Joss started his second panel of the day with the latest news about his Dark Horse titles and the third movie that he’s worked on the past year, Much Ado About Nothing. He’s submitting it through several film festivals, but if it doesn’t pick up a distributor, there’s always iTunes. In any case, he just finished writing the score–a first for him–and says that people should prepare themselves for “people you love rocking Shakespeare so hard,” including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Fran Kranz.
He also revealed that he’s been working with his brothers Zack and Jed, and sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon, on a sequel to Dr. Horrible and that it’s coming along well. He also revealed the CW will air the original Dr. Horrible in 2013.
For now, he has a lot of plans about making entertainment that “we create on our own terms, and distribute it on our own terms, which actually means you guys get to see it… in order.”
After a long press session that made his voice sound like Elaine Stritch, he requested the audience to ask long, detailed questions that he might answer in mime. Actually, he talked about how he has prepared the final half of the Buffy and Angel and Faith comic book series, and how he’s getting help from Andrew Chambliss. The subject then changed to zombie apocalypse, and how he would create one even if favorite characters had to be killed. He says if he did, he’d look at how the apocalypse started and whether there could be a cure… and if people would use it rather than kill.
When asked if he’d go back to TV, he said the best storytelling these days is on TV, and he just has to decide when he can do that. Someone dressed as Dr. Horrible asked why she can’t bounce the wonderflonium. Joss asked if she wanted a zombie apocalypse if she did. His tips for those starting out in showbiz or writing is to simply keep making things, and getting it out there. He also talked about how movie studios don’t want to make good movies with mid-sized budgets, or as he put it, they only want to make ”the tentpole or Paranormal Activity.” Of course, Joss isn’t part of the problem… if you don’t count a movie he directed that just made a billion dollars or so.
On the creation of a good villain like Mayor Wilkins, Angelus or Wolfram and Hart, he says “an evil guy who believes in what he’s doing can be an interesting guy.” Joss also talked about some of the things he’s most proud of, like “Astonishing X-Men” or “The Body” episode of Buffy. “It’s the things where you write something and you find something out while you’re writing it,” he said, “when the characters start teaching you.”
I was able to ask him when he knew The Avengers would be something special, and wind up being the top film so far this year. He said that there was a need to make an old-fashioned super-hero movie, and he had filled it. Would he have kept Wash alive if there had been a second season of Firefly? He said no, because Wash’s death was needed to advance the story and the characters. He also admitted that he’d like to create a stage musical someday, but he has other things to do. He’d also like to bring back the Slayer from the future, Fray, and maybe Sugar Shock, too.
Joss Whedon will be signing autographs at the Dark Horse booth on Saturday. On Sunday in room 6BCF there will be a panel to celebrate 20 years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, immediately followed by Whedonopolis’ annual screening of the Buffy musical, “Once More With Feeling,” hosted by Nicholas Brendon.