Joss Whedon set to direct Marvel's 'The Avengers'

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The Independent Culture

Marvel Studios is in the throes of finalizing a contract with the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers.

The story of The Avengers assembles an all-star team of Marvel superheroes, "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" - Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Hulk - to fight foes that they can't battle alone.

Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) is on board the project as well as Samuel L. Jackson (SHIELD leader Nick Fury) and Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). It is uncertain if Edward Norton who played Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk will join the cast.

Iron Man 2 releases May 7 and other Marvel comic superheroes coming to film include the upcoming Captain America, and Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth ( Star Trek), Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman.

Besides Buffy, Whedon has directed television episodes of Glee, The Office, and feature film Serenity. His writing credits include the first Toy Story screenplay and his producing experience is extensive.

The Avengers screenplay was written by Zak Penn ( The X-Men: The Last Stand, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk).

After Marvel's three pictures with Paramount, including The Avengers which shoots in 2011 for a May 2012 release, it moves to Disney.