“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,” said a statement from Disney. ”Joss Whedon returns to write and direct the untitled Marvel’s Avengers sequel, set for release [on] May 1, 2015.”
The idea that Disney, who have released semi-official branding for the film with “Avengers 2″ on it, are now calling the film untitled is probably telling; will we see Avengers: The Infinity Gauntlet or something like it come out of the production house as the movie gets closer? It seems likely; while Iron Man has gone the route of simply numbering the sequels, both Thor and Captain America have instead elected to go with subtitles. In the event that one of the actors needs to be replaced, having subtitles arguably establishes each story (even in an interconnected universe) as a standalone film and so the re-cast lead wouldn’t necessarily constitute a reboot. This is the way the studio approached the changes made between The Hulk and The Incredible Hulk.
ComicBook.com first reported that Avengers 2 would be released on May 1, 2015 just over a week ago, with MTV News following up with a similar story on the next day, and the rest of the Internet essentially deciding that MTV was unlikely to have it wrong.
Director Joss Whedon is set to return to pen the film and guide it through completion, with an exclusive deal he signed to develop film and TV with Marvel Studios expiring a month after the film is set to hit theaters. Most of the film’s principal cast are expected to return, with almost everybody locked down to multi-picture deals.
The studio is currently developing Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man set to start shooting soon, according to reports.