Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV series, is reportedly in final negotiations to direct Marvel Studios all-star team-up movie The Avengers.  It is still not clear exactly which Marvel superheroes will appear in The Avengers though it is generally thought that Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will be included.  Production on The Avengers is expected to begin in early 2011 with the movie slated to debut in theaters on May 4th, 2012. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon, who at one time was announced as the director of Wonder Woman for Warner Bros. only to see the project blow up in pre-production (see “Whedon Off Wonder Woman Film”), first appeared on a short list of potential Avengers helmers in early April and then“quickly and quietly became the only candidate.”

Thanks to his work on Buffy and comic book writing stints on Dark Horse’s Buffy Season 8 and Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men, Whedon has plenty of “cred” with comic book fans.  While his lone feature film directing effort, Serenity, failed at the box office, it has become something of a cult hit on DVD.