UPDATE 8/7/12: Disney announced their third quarter profits today, and that means they've also revealed to investors what their plans for the future are. According to Variety reporter Marc Graser, the studio has officially signed Joss Whedon to return for The Avengers 2, both as a writer and a director.
But that's not all! Disney CEO Bob Iger also teased on the earnings call that Whedon is developing a live-action TV series for Marvel, but he did not say what characters he'll be using. That's all we know for now, but we're sure confirmation is more than enough for fans worried the project might leave Whedon's clearly capable hands, and a new TV show should get the gears of fan speculation turning.
In case you weren't sure whether you'd see another Avengers movie after it produced the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time, Disney's CEO Bob Iger today announced that they are in development on the sequel, adding that the film "is a great illustration of why we like Marvel so much." No word on whether Joss Whedon will return as director, but it's safe to say all of our main players are under contract for the sequel. We also imagine that whatever characters Marvel launches in between now and Avengers 2 will also have a role in the sequel, which may see the popular villain Thanos come into play. More as it develops...
What would you like to see from an Avengers sequel? [via Deadline]
Previous Update: Apparently Iger did not officially announce the sequel... yet. Here are his exact comments to CNBC (via Coming Soon): "The Avengers isn't just a film," says Iger. "It's a franchise from our perspective. Obviously, it was helped a lot by the success of the Iron Man movies and of Thor and Captain America. From The Avengers we get a chance to make Thor 2 and Captain America 2 and Iron Man 3 and hopefully another Avengers movie. So this one film that is immensely successful... is going to get a number of other films and franchises. We have an ability to leverage what was a very fun film done by a great group of filmmakers into something much bigger for the company and the effect will be prolonged and that's very, very exciting for us."
So, not yet, but an announcement is inevitable. Expect one soon.