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Joss Whedon Will Return for the Avengers Sequel

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19:  Director Joss Whedon attends the Equality Now 20th Anniversary Fundraiser Event at Asia Society on April 19, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

It finally happened: Marvel has signed Joss Whedon to write and direct a sequel to The Avengers, Disney executives announced today on a shareholders call. Whedon wasn't a lock to return, as he'd recently evinced a desire to make more projects centered on original characters; meanwhile, Marvel has a history of parting ways with its helmers, as there's been director turnover on the studio's Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk franchises. Still, when you put together the third-most-successful movie ever made, maybe everyone's willing to make an exception.

Photo: Fernando Leon/Getty Images