Here that rumbling noise?  It’s the sound of Marvel Studios getting just a little nervous, as Avengers director Joss Whedon has already begun talking about The Avengers 2 and, going against the general studio mandate of ‘more explosions, more sex, more SFX,’ Whedon has said he wants The Avengers 2 to be a much smaller and intimate film than the special effects extravaganza that is set for a May 4, 2012 release.

According to /Film, Whedon recently spoke to SFX about his thoughts on The Avengers 2, and how he is already beginning to think about how the film should be structured (“smaller”) and where the characters should go (“more personal, more painful”).  Whedon’s comments came when asked how he could possibly top the spectacle of The Avengers:

“By not trying to. By being smaller. More personal, more painful. By being the next thing that should happen to these characters, and not just a rehash of what seemed to work the first time. By having a theme that is completely fresh and organic to itself… I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them flawed, what makes them fight – and ultimately, what makes them awesome.  I go to these movies for those moments when the heroes define themselves, either through action or deliciously overwritten speeches.”

And with that, you could hear a chorus of a million fanboys cheering over the Marvel Studios grumbling—it seems that Whedon has a real grasp on how to handle the franchise’s future in a way that avoids crass franchise cash-ins (Iron Man 2) and is willing to get stranger (Batman Returns; The Dark Knight) to tell the story of a bunch of people decked out in tights, iron suits, and radioactively-enhanced green skin join together to protect the Earth.  Not bad at all.

What do you think of Whedon’s comments?