Tale of the Tape: Joss Whedon and Louis Leterrier Battle for The Avengers
And you thought you could go even one day without reading something about Marvel. What started out as a possible April Fool's Day joke is now confirmed as truth. According to the LA Times blog, Hero Complex, Marvel Studios has placed cult director Joss Whedon on the short-list to direct their super-sized super hero menagerie, The Avengers. Scheduled for 2012, the film will bring together all the Marvel heroes (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk) under one green-screen enhanced sky and presumably make tons of money so long as Marvel fatigue hasn't set in by then. If seeing "short-list" and "The Avengers" in the same sentence seems a bit familiar, that's probably because just last week, Clash of the Titans director Louis Leterrier said his name was on there as well. This has all the makings of a knock-down, drag-out war! After the jump, find out which director has the inside edge.
Joss Whedon has been the creative force behind such beloved television series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dollhouse (never mind that no one watched the latter two) and also created the web-musical, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Louis Leterrier, in addition to Clash of the Titans, is the man responsible for The Incredible Hulk, Transporter 2 and that weird Jet Li-in-a-dog-collar actioner from a few years back, Unleashed. Um, yeah.
Whedon's got some major stars in his Rolodex (see: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Eliza Dushku, Summer Glau, Felicia Day and Neil Patrick Harris). Unfortunately, Leterrier has the Kraken.
In a 2002 feature on Whedon, The New York Times called Firefly, "one of the most intelligent, and most underestimated, shows on television." A quick perusal of Rotten Tomatoes finds Leterrier's Clash of the Titans being called "a sham," "a joyless slog" and "tone deaf."
Whedon's only feature film as a director was Serenity, which grossed just over $25 million. Leterrier's Clash of the Titans grossed that in one day.
And there you have it: if Marvel is looking for a smart and beloved Avengers film, they'll hire Joss Whedon. If they're looking for one that will make a ton of money, they'll hire Leterrier. Wonder which way they'll go...