With ‘The Avengers’ garnering overwhelmingly positive response from fans and critics alike, added to fact that it earned a gazillion dollars at the box office, it was always expected – and hoped for – that Joss Whedon would return to write and direct the films sequel. Now with Marvel confirming Whedon’s ‘The Avengers’ return, Crave Online spoke to the filmmaker about the decision to write and direct ‘The Avengers 2,’ Avengers 2, it wasn’t a tough decision. For a long time I thought, “Well, it’s just not going to happen.” Then when I actually started to consider it, it became so clear that I desperately wanted to say more about these characters, it would’ve been an easy no and it was a spectacularly easy yes. There was no wrestling. Either scenario was delightful. It was a win win but I’m very excited about it.”

Announced in conjunction with the filmmakers return for ‘The Avengers’ sequel was Joss Whedon’s role in developing a live-action ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ series for Marvel Television at ABC. Crave asked Whedon if there will be room for Lizzy Caplan and Jesse Bradford on ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ after they were in the Marvel One-Shot ‘Item 47,’I honestly don’t think they’re available because I think she’s on another show. We’re building it with a new group of people. They were great and that had a lot to do with why we’re making the show, but we’re starting fresh.” Continuing about the ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ series, Whedon shed some light on the format of the Marvel show,  “It’s going to be a very standalone show. We’ll do what we always do which is every episode will conclude and you’ll have taken away your story, but there will be a through line running throughout. It will not be in the foreground but as in all of these shows, it will probably take foreground at some point, many seasons down the road God willing.”

Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ is currently sitting comfortably at the third spot on the all-time world box office list with a hefty haul of $1,507.4 billion, trailing only James Cameron’s ’Titanic’ ($2.185 billion) and ‘Avatar’ ($2.782 billion). Alongside returning for ‘The Avengers 2,’ and developing a live-action ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ series for Marvel Television at ABC, the filmmaker will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe. The tentatively-titled ‘The Avengers 2′ will follow ’Iron Man 3,’ ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and presumably hopefully Edgar Wright’s ‘Ant-Man.’ Marvel Studios has set a May 1st, 2015 release date for ‘The Avengers 2.’

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in ‘Iron Man,’ ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ ‘Iron Man 2,’ ‘Thor,’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger,’ the global box office for ‘The Avengers’ has obliterated the totals of those individual films. The totals for those preceding films are: ‘Iron Man’ with $585.1 million worldwide, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ with $263.4 million worldwide, ’Iron Man 2′ with $623.9 million worldwide, ’Thor’ with $449.3 million worldwide, and finally ‘Captain America’ with $368.6 million worldwide. Directed by Joss Whedon, ‘The Avengers’ (‘Avengers Assemble’ in the UK) stars Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), and Tom Hiddleston (Loki). The likes of Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, and Stellen Skarsgard co-star.

’The Avengers’ is available as a 2D Blu-ray Combo Pack, a 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack and on DVD from September 17th in the UK and September 25th in the US. The synopsis and production notes for Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ can be read below. My interviews for the film can be found here: Robert Downey JrChris EvansChris HemsworthScarlett JohanssonMark RuffaloTom HiddlestonSamuel L. JacksonJeremy Renner and Joss Whedon. Blu-ray and DVD interviews can be found here: Chris Hemsworth and Chris EvansSamuel L. Jackson and Clark GreggTom Hiddleston, and Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo (more to come).

Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time. The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”

Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. 

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.

The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2″), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).