Joss Whedon Gains Superpowers

Of course there could not be better news for the Avengers sequel than the announcement that Joss Whedon will write and direct it — but it now appears that, as part of his three-year exclusive deal, Marvel will let him shape the Captain America, Thor and Iron Man sequels to set up the characters the way he wants them for The Avengers 2.

Marvel’s statement this week declared:

“As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”

What that TV series will be is anyone’s guess, but I’m more interested in the bit that promises he will “contribute creatively” to other movies — namely, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Except for the Guardians, all those characters are closely tied to the Avengers. Maybe Whedon will be able to get Nathan Fillion to sign on as the Hank Pym original version of Ant-Man!
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And the Oscar goes to…And the Winner Is…

Bigelow\’s big win

Well, we made it through another marathon Oscar telecast full of stilted presentations, dancing, and head-scratching acceptance speeches. And, of course, little golden statuettes. And we loved it all.

Congratulations to Kathryn Bigelow for a richly deserved directing Oscar. Her work on The Hurt Locker was amazing and, as she noted, winning was “the moment of a lifetime.” I remember walking out of that movie last summer thinking I had just seen a slam-dunk best picture nominee, and that Bigelow would garner a nod as well. I am elated that both she and the film were victorious. Kudos also to Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock for the top acting awards. His Bad Blake was sublime in Crazy Heart, and my Netflix wait for The Blind Side will seem even longer. Christoph Waltz, Mo’nique and Avatar’s special-effects team walked away with the other locks of the night.

But how was the show itself, which ran just a tick under 30 minutes longer than usual? Surprisingly, it did not really feel like it dragged to me. I enjoyed Steve Martin’s erudite solo stint back in 2001, and liked him well enough this year with Alec Baldwin. In my opinion, he save the best line for last when he noted that the kudofest ran so long that “Avatar now takes place in the past.”
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