Is Joss Whedon Really In Line To Direct The Avengers?S

The latest Marvel movie rumor is almost too good to be true: Joss Whedon's the leading contender to direct The Avengers, and it's not an April Fools joke. Meanwhile, another rumor, about trouble on the Thor set, is already busted.

IESB is claiming that Joss Whedon is at the top of the list of candidates to direct The Avengers. Would the auteur-ish Whedon be willing to step back into the world of corporate-owned media properties, with all the micro-managing that goes with it? Maybe, if he gets to play with some of the biggest toys in the superhero world, and get his name on what's likely to be a huge hit movie. Here's hoping, anyway. IESB is insisting this is "NOT AN APRIL FOOL'S DAY JOKE." (Unlike their "Hugh Laurie is J. Jonah Jameson" thing, which apparently is.)

According to Chris Hemsworth (Thor), The Avengers is due to start shooting in January or February of 2011, for a 2012 release date.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reported that Anthony Hopkins has been acting like a "divo" on the set of Thor, where he's playing Odin. Allegedly, Hopkins is not bothering to hide his disapproval of newbie Chris Hemsworth's acting — even though Hemsworth was amazing in Star Trek — and of Kenneth Branagh's directing. An anonymous source told the paper:

Anthony keeps complaining that they're shooting too many scenes inside the L.A. studio and not enough on location," says the source, adding that the film, which is slated for release next year, has so many special effects that the cast is often in a studio against a green screen. He isn't used to this kind of work, and his pessimism is really starting to wear everyone down.

Also, the Daily News source claimed it's been a difficult shoot, which has stretched from four weeks to six. (Which doesn't seem that long, all things considered.)

But Gossip Cop talked to a Marvel rep, who called the Daily News story "100 percent false," and also contacted Hopkins' wife, Stella, who called it a "horrific, vile lie" and said they would be talking to their lawyers. [via Comic Book Movie]