'Avengers' director Joss Whedon releases new film online

Director Joss Whedon poses at the world premiere of the film "Marvel's The Avengers" in Hollywood, California April 11, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Avengers" director Joss Whedon released his newest film, "In Your Eyes," online just as it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival late on Sunday, joining the ranks of filmmakers experimenting with straight-to-consumer digital distribution. In a surprise video message to fans, Whedon said he was disappointed he could not be in New York for the debut of the paranormal love story that he wrote and which was directed by Brin Hill. But then he noted it was available worldwide and online for a $5 (2.98 pounds) fee. "It is exciting for us because it means we get to explore yet another new form of distribution - and we get $5," said the director behind the blockbuster "Avengers" franchise from Marvel. "In Your Eyes" is the love story of an East Coast housewife named Rebecca, played by Zoe Kazan ("Revolutionary Road" and "It's Complicated,") who is strangely connected with an ex-con played by Michael Stahl-David, ("Cloverfield," and "The Congress,") who lives in New Mexico. The film is available at inyoureyesmovie.com and the U.S.-based video-sharing website Vimeo. It is the second feature film by Los Angeles-based Bellwether Pictures, which was founded by Whedon and producer Kai Cole to bring micro-budget films directly to an audience. The company released "Much Ado About Nothing," a retelling of the Shakespearean comedy, in 2012. "The Avengers," the film that united Marvel superheroes in 2012, grossed more than $1.46 billion worldwide. Whedon's sequel "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is due out in 2015. (Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker)