Joss Whedon confirmed to direct ‘The Avengers’ sequel

Director had previously been hesitant about taking charge of franchise's second outing

Joss Whedon has been confirmed to return as the director for the sequel to The Avengers.

The Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse creator had previously been non-committal about whether he would take charge of the follow-up to this year’s hugely successful first film, saying in June that he felt that it was “an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else’s story, even though I feel like I did get to put myself into it.”

However, his return has now been confirmed by Disney, who have not only said that Whedon will write and direct the next Avengers film, but will also develop a new TV series for comic manufacturers Marvel to be shown on US network ABC.

They said in a statement: “Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The 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.”

The Avengers earned a staggering $1.5 billion (£960 million) at the global box office, making it the third most successful film of all time behind Titanic and Avatar.

The sequel is tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2015, but Marvel already have three others film due for release before then with Iron Man 3 due in May 2013, Thor: The Dark World set for release in November 2013 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April 2014.

Watch the trailer for the film, known in the UK as Avengers Assemble, below.