Prepare yourself, Whedonites: Joss Whedon is headed back to the small screen.
If you're not plugged into the Internet geekosphere, you might have missed the big news yesterday: Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon has signed on to write and direct the blockbuster's sequel. Celebrate!
This news is not exactly shocking. Avengers had the biggest opening weekend of all time, and is currently the third highest-grossing movie ever, topped only by James Cameron juggernauts Titanic and Avatar. Why wouldn't Joss be asked back? But, apparently, his success has given Marvel even more faith in him than we thought, because they've also signed him in an exclusive contract through June 2015 — a deal that includes the development of a Marvel TV show for ABC.
That's right, folks. The man who brought us cult TV favorites like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly will turn his creative genius back to the small screen, this time on a major network and with the backing of Marvel. Somehow, we suspect this new show, if it eventually makes it to screen, won't end up shunted to the Friday death zone like Joss's last two TV projects: Firefly, and the sadly much less brilliant Dollhouse.
It's unclear exactly how involved Joss will be with the show — helping develop it isn't necessarily the same as having creative control in the long run — or what the show will be about. Rumors indicate it will be set in the Avengers universe, but suggest it won't be closely tied to the movies or include any of the same characters.
We'll admit that we're not exactly comics experts, but we are huge Joss Whedon fans, we've seen all of the Marvel movies, and we watch a heck of a lot of TV. So with those dubious credentials, here are five things we're hoping to see from Joss's new show.
1. An ensemble focus. There are a fair number of TV shows that focus on single superheroes and super spies, but what Joss does better than almost anyone — and what made Avengers so special — is ensemble dynamics. Use that!
2. Make it about S.H.I.E.L.D. In that spirit, why not use the super-spy agency that comes built into the Avengers universe? There are a million stories to be told about spies tackling superhuman threats. We're envisioning something that's a little Heroes meets Fringe meets Alias, and it sounds great.
3. Keep it fun. Listen, we like dark-and-gritty TV as much as the next person (*cough* Game of Thrones *cough*), but part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's appeal is that the films really capture how darn fun comic books can be. We want to see that in the show, too. As Joss products go, we're thinking more along the lines of the snappy, snarky Firefly than the attempted mind-f*ckery of Dollhouse. Angst is allowed, but it shouldn't dominate.
4. Emphasis on character and dialogue. We expect that whatever this show is, it will involve a lot of action. But we can get action anywhere. What Joss does brilliantly — and what all the Marvel movies do well to various degrees — is integrate witty dialogue and distinct characters in with the butt kicking. It's always a recipe for awesome.
5. Lots of women. Joss is known as a feminist TV writer. He created a true '90s girl-power icon in Buffy, and he also made sure Natasha was one of the most well-developed characters in The Avengers. On top of that, ABC is home to many of our favorite female-centered shows, from Revenge to Grey's Anatomy. If this show does not end up jam-packed with badass women — preferably including the protagonist — we will be very disappointed.
What do you hope to see from this show? Let us know in the comments below.
Sources: LA Times, Deadline Hollywood
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Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.