Joss Whedon is set to return to direct the sequel to The Avengers, and bonus: He'll also be writing this installment. Not a huge surprise, but with other huge franchises -- Hunger Games, Twilight and even Marvel's own Iron Man and Thor -- changing horses between installments, it's nice to see that at least one director will stick around. No timetable has been set on the sequel, but the deal -- which includes a arrangement for Whedon to create a Marvel television series -- runs through June 2015, which seems about right for the sequel, since 2014 is already chock full of Marvel with the return of Captain America and Guardians of the Galaxy, plus the possibility of Edgar Wright's Ant Man.
Speaking of Edgar Wright, he, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) are officially reuniting for The World's End. The film will follow five old friends who attempt to re-create a heroic pub crawl they attempted 20 years ago only to discover that the fate of humankind also hangs in the balance. Here's the first poster.
According to THR, Veena Sud, the showrunner and writer of AMC's cancelled The Killing is now on the shortlist to draft a screenplay for 50 Shades of Gray, the erotic bestseller that I have somehow managed not to know anything about. Great choice, guys! All the sex scenes will be set in pouring rain, they'll be excruciatingly long, and you'll have to wait for the sequel to see the money shots!
Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love), Karen Croner (One True Thing), and Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova) are also on the shortlist.
Here's the theatrical trailer for This Is 40, Judd Apatow's sort-of-sequel to Knocked Up centered on the characters played by Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann, and Paul Rudd. For whatever reason, the reception around the movie-blog world hasn't been incredibly enthusiastic, but I'm all over it. If it hits half as many honest notes as Knocked Up and manages to be half as funny, I'll consider it a huge success.
Speaking of ... Hey! Are you a white person in your 30s clinging to the notion that you're kind of cool and relevant, but really, you drive a mini-van and wear Doctor Who T-shirts covered in spit-up? Wow! That's weirdly specific, but if so, you probably love Mumford and Sons, hipster music for people too old to be hipsters! Here's the new single from their upcoming album, due out in September, which is a small consolation to make up for the fact that you didn't get to go to their outdoor concert last weekend -- the biggest music-related event in your city in years -- because you couldn't land a babysitter responsible enough to take care of your infant twins and your five year old all day. You suck, old man!