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When Joss Whedon speaks, the internet listens. When they have the chance to ask him questions, they shout to the rooftops.
The producer of this weekend’s horror film The Cabin in the Woods and director of the upcoming Avengers has a massive online following thanks to his previous TV work, and once it was announced that he’d participate in an Ask Me Anythng Q&A session on Reddit on Tuesday, questions from mega fans flooded into the site.
Whedon addressed questions about his past works — mainly Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog — as well as inquiries about his two upcoming films and the micro-budget adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing that he filmed last summer. Here are some highlights.
On the time table for a Dr. Horrible sequel:
“We’re not shooting right now, we’re still in the early stages of writing. But we hope to make a great deal of progress this summer. And you can expect the death of someone you love…
Yes, the original cast will be back for Dr H 2, but Penny will be… um… I don’t want to say ‘decomposing…”
On early marketing for Avengers that fans thought emphasized star Scarlett Johansson’s body more than part in the film:
“All I can say is that Scarlett gets to do a lot more than be hot in Avengers. It’s definitely dispiriting to have a woman play an heroic role and then be reduced to body parts by fan commentary, but that can only change slowly. And is.”
On a suggestion that he “Put Firefly season 2 up as a project on Kickstarter and see how much money you can get to buy the rights and make it happen.”
“Step 2: Cancel Castle. Step 3: Cancel Homeland. Step 4: Generally destroy everybody’s careers. Step 5: Avoid Step 2.”
Note: Firefly star Nathan Fillion is the lead in ABC’s Castle, while Morena Baccarin features in Showtime’s Homeland.
On whether he’d make a full-scale musical movie:
“Full scale musical? The biggest non-spaceship-involving dream of my life. But it’s a huge life commitment…”
On why he made Much Ado:
“I wanted to drag Shakespeare from obscurity. I’ve been a fan my whole life, and it’s time other people started noticing him!”
On his reputation for killing off key and favorite characters in his shows and movies, and who was hardest to kill?
“I actually find it refreshing… delightful…. vaguely arousing….
Actually, I’m, no offense, very tired of being labelled as “the guy who kills people”. Shakespeare (he’s this hot new writer) does it way more than me, and everyone’s all excited about how he, as it were, holds a mirror up to nature, while I’m like the Jason Voorhees of the writing community. Unfair.
Also, probably Buffy’s Mom.”
On working on small projects versus huge studio fare, as well as his progressive politics:
“I’m absolutely devoted to working outside the mainstream, or at least in smaller venues and on my own terms. (My terms : unconditional surrender. Plus back-end.)
As for my political bent, it comes from how I was raised — and my own very strong sense of being helpless and tiny and terrified (that goes away, right?). The only trouble it’s ever caused me is that once you take a stance as a person, people are always using that as a yardstick in your work, which can be kind of limiting.”
Favorite characters to write:
“Favorite characters? Jeez. Spike, Andrew, Illyria, River, Captain Hammer, Loki, the Cheese Man… hell, I love them all, or I wouldn’t write them. But I tend to the left of center.
The hardest was always Angel. How to make a decent, handsome, stalwart hero interesting — tough. Angelus, on the other hand…”
Email: Jordan.Zakarin@THR.com; Twitter: @JordanZakarin
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