What's a superhero movie without a sequel? The record shattering Avengers will be back for more action, as Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger announced that its Marvel Entertainment group is already in development on a sequel.
The first installment to the Avengers franchise raked in $207 million in its first three days of release in the United States, bringing its global box office to around $702 million.
It's a great illustration of why we like Marvel so much -- great characters, great storytelling and a wonderful ability for them to bring their characters and stories to the big screen so effectively, Iger told analysts Tuesday during the company's quarterly earnings call.
Disney is making good use out of their 2009 acquisition of Marvel for $4 billion, as they have announced the release of Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 next year, Iger said, with a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger due out in 2014, according to the Los Angeles Times.
But while all of those movies are sure to score big for Marvel-Disney, the super movie making company will have to work out some pretty problematic logistics in order to make all pieces fit together.
According to Variety, as most of the characters appearing in the first Avengers have already signed on to do a sequel, and then some, Robert Downey Jr. has not.
Marvel-Disney is apparently still working on booking Downey Jr., who initially signed on for four turns as Tony Stark in a deal that carries him through next year's Iron Man 3.
If fans want to see Iron Man suite up in the Avengers sequel, MD will have to serve up its most appealing character with a deal of the same measure as his Iron Man contract.
Variety is reporting that Other Avengers stars -- including Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner -- have signed deals that go beyond the three-picture pacts -- a move that has become an industry standard for movie franchises of this magnitude.
In one of the lengthiest Avengers deals, Samuel L. Jackson reportedly inked a nine-picture deal, while most of the other main actors have signed on for six.
Another lingering question mark is Avengers director Joss Whedon. If brought back for the sequel, the brains behind the box office hit will be only the second director to head up a super sequel, as Jon Favreau is the only Marvel movie director to get a second go, with Iron Man 2.
While bringing the entire team back for a second go would please the Marvel fan base, the star-studded cast of characters also has no reason to doubt Whedon's ability to follow-up.
Marvel exec. Kevin Feige is said to be under a tremendous amount of pressure while consider whether to bring back the Avengers director. It means questioning every cost, every dollar, Feige told Variety earlier this month. We don't take any of (our success) for granted.
Future endeavors for Marvel-Disney include developing Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, the Inhumans and Guardians of the Galaxy as potential new franchises, with potential spinoffs of the Johansson, Renner and Jackson characters from Avengers.
But as future plans coincide with already engaged projects, Iron Man 3 and sequels for Captain America and Thor are scheduled for release through 2014.
So that means an Avengers sequel would most likely be released in 2015 -- that is if Marvel-Disney can keep up with the balancing act.