Joss Whedon‘s last directorial effort, The Avengers, was a massive affair all around. The culmination of Marvel Studios’ ambitious years-long Cinematic Universe effort, the summer blockbuster boasted an all-star cast, a $220 million, and, eventually, a $1.5 billion box office take. So as a palate cleanser, he went super-duper-small for his next film.

Shot over just twelve days at Whedon’s own home during a break in The Avenger‘s post-production period, Much Ado About Nothing reimagines William Shakespeare‘s classic play as “noir comedy” set in present-day Santa Monica. Whedon alums Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Sean Maher, and Fran Kranz all star. Watch the first trailer and check out a poster after the jump.

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It’s a big deal when the new movie arrives from the director of one of the biggest movies ever to set box office receipts blazing. But this time it’s a little bit weird, too. Because the director is Joss Whedon, whose film The Avengers became a massive success early this past summer. His next film, however, is something very different: a black and white adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Whedon shot the film with friends on off days from The Avengers; it’s a true indie.

Now Roadside Attractions and LiosnGate have decided to release Much Ado About Nothing in a few markets on June 7, 2013, with a wide release to follow on June 21. It could be an interesting experiment, to open the film essentially opposite DC and Warner Bros.’ Man of Steel. Read More »

What sort of show will Joss Whedon‘s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series be? If you’ve assumed that it will be a lot like Whedon’s other shows, you’re probably correct.

So here’s what we’ve got on the show, which will help expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it also expands the reach of those characters to current live-action television. Ming-Na was cast as a top pilot and weapons expert Agent Melinda May, while Clark Gregg‘s late Agent Phil Coulson will appear in some fashion.

Now the show has added Elizabeth Henstridge (The Thompsons, and the CW pilot Shelter) and Iain De Caestecker, of UK series The Fades and Young James Herriot, and the upcoming Irvine Welsh film Filth.

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After serving as the anchor for the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One, Clark Gregg is set to do the same on TV. The actor will reprise his role as S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Phil Coulson in Joss Whedon‘s ABC series Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Whedon himself send a video to New York Comic-Con to make the announcement  which also revealed that he’ll be co-writing the pilot with co-write the pilot with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. Read more after the jump.  Read More »

Want to read about a fight in Man of Steel? Are there already spoilers for Thor: The Dark World floating around? Was doing The Avengers 2 a tough decision for Joss Whedon? Would Nathan Fillion do Guardians of the Galaxy with James Gunn? Does Ben Affleck have fond memories of Daredevil? How does a behind the scenes video from The Amazing Spider-Man look? Is the Iron Man 3 trailer coming soon? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Joss Whedon‘s already two for two this year, earning critical raves for The Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote with Drew Goddard) and then knocking it out of the park on every level with The Avengers. But he’s not finished: His third film of the year, the black-and-white William Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, just premiered at TIFF. And based on the reviews so far it sounds like the perfect capper to Whedon’s already stunning year.

Shot in just 12 days while Whedon was finishing up The Avengers, this version retains the Bard’s dialogue but moves the action to contemporary LA. (Specifically, Whedon’s own house.) Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof star as Beatrice and Benedick, acquaintances whose prickly banter signals an obvious compatibility. Other Whedon favorites fill out the rest of the cast: Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, and Clark Gregg. Read more of the early buzz after the jump.

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What job did Bane get after The Dark Knight Rises and why is Chris Kattan playing him? Want to know the specs and release date for The Amazing Spider-Man Blu-ray? Is there a new rumor about the Dark Knight Rises Blu-ray? Was Joss Whedon upset with negative reviews of The Avengers? Just how excited is Mark Millar to have Jim Carrey in Kick-Ass 2? Would Clark Gregg come back to Marvel in a non-acting capacity? And why did one movie blog make a hilarious Avengers diorama? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

With her sharp, sarcastic persona, Aubrey Plaza could’ve easily wound up with a decent career playing BFF and sidekick roles. But in this year’s heartwarming indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed, she proved herself equally up for the task of leading a film — and now she’s about to do so again in next year’s The To Do List.

The cast list for the R-rated coming-of-age comedy reads is chock full of funny young talents. In addition to Plaza, Alia Shawkat, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Rachel Bilson, Scott Porter, Johnny Simmons, and Sarah Steele all co-star. Connie Britton and Clark Gregg take on the rare grown-up roles, apparently as Plaza’s parents. CBS Films has just offered a first red-band (i.e., NSFW) look at the film in a new video announcing the release date. Watch it after the jump.

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NOTE: This post deals with a major plot point in The Avengers. If you haven’t seen it, please turn away, major spoilers follow.

Ever since the first Iron Man, one character has been the rock of the Marvel Universe: Agent Coulson, played by Clark Gregg. Though he didn’t appear in The Incredible Hulk or Captain America: The First Avenger, we know from The Avengers he’s very familar with “the big guy” and quite a fan of Mr. Rogers too. Add that to appearances in both Iron Man films, Thor and The Avengers and you understand why he’s such a fan favorite. He’s the human personification of the connectivity in the Marvel Movie Universe. That’s why, when Joss Whedon decides to kill him in The Avengers (I warned you there would be spoilers) you really feel something for him as does the team.

This is a comic book world though and ever since The Avengers started breaking box office records fans wondered if the tried and true practice of comic book resurrection would happen in the movies for Agent Coulson. There’s evidence and speculation on both sides of the spectrum. Read More »