At first, this news seemed completely incomprehensible — Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel”, “Firefly”, and “Dollhouse”, was on the short-list of possible directors for the upcoming “Avengers” movie. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that it was announced on April Fools’ Day, the man just seems like a poor fit to helm any kind of look at Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
It’s not as though I’m not a fan of Whedon’s work. I missed out on “Buffy” and “Angel”, but I loved the hell outta “Firefly” and “Serenity”. “Dollhouse” left me cold, which is just as well, considering its cancellation, but “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” was one of my favorite releases last year. Additionally, what Joss did with “The Astonishing X-Men” was nothing short of amazing. It’s clear that he’s got Story down pat. He can write superheroes, no question. But there is an undercurrent of sly humor through most, if not all of his work. The snarky kind of dialogue Joss excels at writing is perfect for, let’s say, Spider-Man. I don’t, however, want to hear Thor or Captain America spouting it.
The Avengers are Epic. They fight cosmic-level bad-asses and involve themselves in ridiculously over-the-top adventures. The director that gets chosen for this kind of movie needs to have a similarly epic scope through his work. And though I have issues with certain aspects of the man’s filmography, I have to say that someone like Michael Bay would be great for this flick. And now that I’ve said it, I kind of hope he’s on the list — unfortunately, we don’t have access to the full list of names, and we might not ever. But one thing’s clear: Whoever is eventually chosen is going to have a gigantic job to do.