In an interview conducted with Vulture late last week, Joss Whedon told the site that, in spite of early reservations he expressed about returning for a sequel to Marvel's The Avengers, it was actually the increased scope of his role--taking on the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series as well as advising on a number of Marvel's other film projects--that made the offer work for him.
"I loved the idea of being a consigliere," Whedon told the interviewer. "Every writer loves the idea of being able to go in and fix a problem and then leave without obligation. It's fun! I also love these characters and the Marvel universe, and I grew up reading the books, and I've been going back and reading the old books and realizing that they shaped my storytelling way more than I give them credit for. Now I'm starting up a TV show, which is something I really wanted to do, but I thought it wasn't going to be a part of my life for the next several years. It's like a tapas menus of projects that excite me, in addition to the Avengers sequel, which I'm excited for because I'm incredibly excited about the next story that I'm going to tell. For me, it's a huge win."
He also said that, while S.H.I.E.L.D. and other projects are very alluring and will take up some of his time, he's in a position where he's got the authority to step back if he feels that what Marvel's asking of him is distracting from getting Avengers 2 done on time and properly.
"It is unbelievably daunting, especially because I don't want to lose sight of all the other things I have on my docket and in my heart," the director said. "So, it's going to be an insane few years, but I feel ready for that. It's an unholy amount of productivity, but as long as I give it all I can, it's a good thing. What's great is that the deal with Marvel is non-specific, so I will give all I can, but the moment I can't, I just walk away. The moment I say, 'You know, I'd like to help more on this project, but I need this time for The Avengers,' there's no obligation. It's not like, "You must spend this amount of time on this movie." It's as much as it needs to be."