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Director Joss Whedon has signed on to direct the second film after signing an exclusive and highly lucrative deal with Marvel, and is thought to have already developed a template for the storyline.
The studio have given themselves almost three years to shoot the film as a number of cast members in the ensemble action movie will be filming their own standalone motion pictures.
Robert Downey Jr. is to reprise his titular role in Iron Man 3 in 2013, Chris Evans will return as the lead character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014 and Chris Hemsworth is to star in Thor: The Dark World next year.
Marvel said in a statement: “The Walt Disney Studios has announced a release date for Marvel Studios’ sequel to the biggest superhero blockbuster and third highest-grossing film of all time, Marvel’s The Avengers.
“Joss Whedon returns to write and direct the untitled Marvel’s Avengers sequel, set for release on May 1, 2015.”
A source close to the production said: “Marvel has a very set agenda of what they want to do, they are already kind of ahead of the game on the sequel because they’ve got the guy that did it before doing it again and something tells me Joss already has the template for the film.
“In terms of the time frame, I think that it is well in the works. It looks like the release date might be May 1, 2015, but that can change depending on people’s schedules.
“The beauty of The Avengers is that you’ve got so many people in this that even during the shoot if someone has to do another film they can just focus on other characters.”