Joss Whedon recently talked with Total Film about the challenges of returning for The Avengers 2, the impending sequel to the hugely successful 2012 adventure Marvel's The Avengers.

The director doesn't really feel too much pressure in taking on this eagerly awaited follow-up, instead viewing it as a glorious challenge. And Marvel president Kevin Feige has already stated that the recently completed screenplay has "seven things worth the price of admission." So, how much pressure could there honestly be?

Here's what Joss had to say about fan expectations.

"The only pressure is the pressure that is there every time I do a new project. Is it going to be good? It is going to be different? Is there even a reason to make another one? Is there a reason for this to be my next thing? Can I pull it off? I am not going to try and match the box office of the first one because that would be bonkers.

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Yes, there is a certain level of safety [knowing there's a huge audience] - because now people know about The Avengers and they like the characters so it probably won't completely crash and burn. But you don't want to just get by and do something that is merely OK. If I am going to dedicate three years of my short life to this then I want to do something that I have never done before. So I think of The Avengers 2 as a glorious challenge - it is a sequel, yes, but how can it be different? Of course, the pressure that I don't feel, my body internalises. It happens all the time. I was comfortable making the first Avengers, but I didn't sleep during it."

The screenplay is completed, but will continue to be updated and tweaked leading up to the shoot start date, which will happen in 2014. Coming in 2013 is the tie-in ABC TV series Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D., which Joss Whedon also teased.

"The S.H.I.E.L.D. show fits into the mythology of The Avengers remarkably well and they both complement each other. So it just seemed like a no-brainer - although it has required a lot of my brain to get it right. We have just finished shooting and I am excited. I think Marvel fans will appreciate what we have done."

Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't have a set premiere date, but it is expected to debut in September of 2013. The pilot is completed, but it hasn't been given a series order just yet.

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B. Alan Orange