Speaking recently to Total Film about ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ writer/director Joss Whedon shed some light on a number of topics relating to the much anticipated Marvel sequel (quotes via CBM). Reiterating that ”The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ will have an original story, Whedon says, “It’s not based on the series. Honestly, we went through a lot of titles – Underoos Of Ultron. None of them landed…Underoos would’ve been better because of the alliteration. But Age of Ultron really stuck. We were like, ‘It’s a book, but we’re still going to use it’.”

Whether we’ll see Ultron’s creator, Henry Pym, or the android that Ultron himself created, the Vision, Joss Whedon reassures, “We’re not going to see Pym and all the accoutrements. Ultron is more central to the Avengers as they are. But we will explore the idea of lineage, because he was created by us and we’ve got to own that… Then we have the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver and I think that’s plenty, because Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch did not begin their time as friends of the Avengers, so there’s going to be a lot of, well, conflict.”

Asked about the possibility of a ‘multi-studio crossover’ film, Joss Whedon says, “That’s not the plan. It would be cool but I think right now I already have a ton of very talented actors in my movie playing a ton of characters, and I’m about to add a few more. So I’m not like, ‘How can we get more licensed characters because I want to kill myself and make a nine-hour movie.’”

While it’s no secret that the Avengers and X-Men won’t share the big screen any time soon, it was believed that Thanos would provoke Earth’s mightiest heroes to assemble with the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ This obviously isn’t happening in ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ as the writer/director says, “We have to stay grounded. It’s part of what makes the Marvel universe click – their relationship to the real world. It’s science-fiction, and Thanos is not out of the mix, but Thanos was never meant to be the next villain. He’s always been the overlord of villainy & darkness.”

Over the next three years Marvel Studios has a lot in store for fans with their wave of “Phase Two” films: ‘Thor: The Dark World’ later this year, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in 2014, and  ’The Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ in 2015. It was recently announced that the Avengers sequel is set to shoot at Pinewood-Shepperton in early 2014, with production due to get underway later this year. ‘The Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ marks the latest collaboration between Marvel and the Buckinghamshire hub, with the studio recently wrapping shoot at the studios on ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and being home to the production of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ at this moment in time.

While plot and cast details have been kept under wraps, Joss Whedon is returning to write and direct ‘The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.’ To date, the cast will also include Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Mark Ruffallo as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America and possibly Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver. The upcoming line-up for Marvel’s “Phase Two” includes the release of ‘Thor: The Dark World’ on November 8th, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ on April 4th, 2014, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ on August 1st, 2014 and, finally, ‘The Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ on May 1st, 2015.

Marvel kicks off its “Phase Three” of movies with Edgar Wright’s long awaited ‘Ant-Man.’ While details on ‘Ant-Man’ are currently under lock and key, the script for the film is co-written by Wright and Joe Cornish. ‘Ant-Man’ is set for November, 2015. Marvel recently announced three mystery projects for May 6th, 2016, July 8th, 2016 and May 5th, 2017.

‘The Avengers’ is sitting comfortably at #3 on the all-time world box office list with a hefty haul of $1,511,757,910 billion – trailing only James Cameron’s ’Titanic’ ($2.185 billion) and ‘Avatar’ ($2.782 billion). 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. The first Marvel film after ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ recently became the fifth highest grossing movie of all-time.