UPDATED: Whedon Confirmed for AVENGERS 2, Marvel TV Series

Update: Marvel Studios has released an official statement on today's Joss Whedon news, effectively confirming a 2015 release date for the Avengers sequel:

"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." Original story: Joss Whedon is returning to both write and direct an Avengers sequel and develop a live-action Marvel TV series, Variety reports. The news was announced by Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday during the company's earnings call. The TV series will reportedly be for Disney-owned ABC, though it's unconfirmed at this point if it's related to the rumored show set in the Avengers world that was reported on late last month. In May, Whedon told the Los Angeles Times that he was "very torn" about returning for a second Avengers film, calling it, "an enormous amount of work telling what is ultimately somebody else's story." Avengers has become the third highest-grossing film in box office history on both the domestic and worldwide charts, with a current combined total of $1.46 billion. No timeframe has been announced yet for an Avengers sequel, but 2015 seems likely, given that 2013 and 2014 are already scheduled for two Marvel Studios films each: Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World in 2013, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. Whedon has an acclaimed background in TV as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly; all shows that cultivated loyal fanbases. Last month at Comic-Con in San Diego, he stated that he'd enjoy a return to television, saying, "TV rules. Most of the good storytelling being done on the screen in America is being done on TV." More from Newsarama: Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!
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