The official release date for the hugely-anticipated sequel to the Avengers, Avengers 2, has been announced.
The news comes just a week after Disney revealed Joss Whedon, director and co-writer of The Avengers, will be returning to the series for the next installment.
There are still a long line of films Marvel plans to release prior to Avengers 2, including Iron Man 3 next May, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier in April 2014, and Guardians of the Galaxy for August 2014.
The original installment, which is still in theaters, broke box-office records with a staggering first weekend release grossing over $207 million domestic. As of today, it is the third highest grossing film of all-time both domestic and worldwide behind James Cameron‘s Avatar and Titanic.
The first film ended with comic book villain Thanos passing a glance after one of his minions explains the situation on Earth, after the failed exploits of Thor’s brother Loki. Whether or not the franchise will continue with Thanos as the central villain in the next installment isn’t certain, but critics believe it to be very likely.