Joss Whedon Will Return for the Avengers Sequel

Director Joss Whedon attends the Equality Now 20th Anniversary Fundraiser Event at Asia Society on April 19, 2012 in New York City. Photo: 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.