Do all roads lead to the Wasp in Iron Man 3 (and The Avengers 2)?

Normally, I would never post about a nebulous movie rumor, but the potential for discussion and mystery is so cool that I couldn't resist. It concerns the possible cinematic introduction of one of the actual, original founding members of the Avengers from the Marvel comics: Janet van Dyne, aka the Wasp. Rumors concerning the Wasp in the first Avengers movie definitely existed before they were squashed, but lately, we've been treated to a bunch of hints that might actually make this a credible subject for speculation.

So, why bother doing an entire post about speculation? The stakes are high, if you've been hoping for more Marvel heroines on the big screen, especially one with superpowers who could also be in The Avengers 2. It's also just so irresistibly old-school Marvel. Let's look at some of the evidence that might just point to the Wasp.

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More on Marvel's Joss Whedon news, including how he's now involved with basically everything through 2015

Yesterday brought the exciting, but not at all unexpected news that Joss Whedon will return to write and direct the sequel to this year's superhero success The Avengers. While that's basically the gist of it, there is a little bit more information coming out about his involvement in not just Avengers 2, but also a live-action Marvel TV series for ABC and further contributions to other Marvel movies. I think this is what happens when you make a bunch of cult shows that get canceled before they should, and then karma repays you generously. Or shawarma. One of those things.

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Scarlett Johansson: $20 Million For The Avengers 2

According to The New York Post, Scarlett Johansson will become Hollywood's highest-paid woman, snagging a cool $20 million paycheck for assembling for the sequel to this spring's humble, low-budget sleeper hit The Avengers. This will mean that for her supporting role -- because there was no official lead in the ensemble superhero flick -- she will receive one million more dollars than Angelina Jolie made for her lead role in The Tourist, which was a colossal flop and a running joke at the Golden Globes in 2011. Does this mean more screen time for the Black Widow? Does it mean shawarma every night of the week? Is she making anywhere near what Robert Downey Jr. will make? (Answer to that: No, but no one is, really.)

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