I’m told Marvel Studios is in final negotiations for Buffy the Vampire Slayer series architect Joss Whedon to direct Marvel Studios’ The Avengers. That’s the fast-tracked film that would amount to an all-star team of Marvel superheros, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as well as SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Other signature superheros will likely be involved, but I’ve listed the actors in active superhero duty. Whedon has been rumored for this job for awhile, and is high on the fanboy wish-list. He’s an interesting choice: despite his writing/producing TV series resume, his lone feature directing effort, Serenity, was not a hit. After Iron Man 2, Marvel has three pictures left on a distribution deal with Paramount before it moves to Disney, and the studio has been churning them out. Iron Man 2 gets released in May, Captain America will begin shooting this summer in Europe, Thor is in production, and Marvel Studios just set Pete Sollett to direct Runaways, based on the comic book series created by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan. Whedon has written installments of the latter, so he knows how to make those superheros fly. Marvel has considered all of the individual superhero movies to be an intro to The Avengers, so the wanna-see on this one will be huge. The film will be released in the first weekend of May, 2012.