Wednesday, August 01, 2007

SDCC 2007: Joss Whedon

One of the highlights of Comic-Con was attending Joss Whedon's Dark Horse Panel. There's a fantastic report of that panel by Comic Book Resources. Here's the highlights:

- His horror film “Goners,” Whedon said the script was still in rewrites, but the project is “starting to look extremely good.” And rather than bemoan the studio notes he's had to sit through, Whedon admitted that most of their concerns were right on the money.

- Whedon then announced a new horror film he's going to be writing with Drew Goddard, entitled “Cabin in the Woods.” Whedon characterized it as the “horror film to end all horror films, literally.”

- Additionally, while Whedon couldn't say anything for certain, he did say there's a good possibility that next year there would be some movement on his long-in-limbo film project “Ripper.” The deal is not yet set, but there's a good chance it will take the form of a 90-minute BBC project.

- Next up, the Q&A. One fan asked Whedon if Oz would be making an appearance in the “Buffy” comic. “I can't tell you when, but you don't have to ask ‘if,'” Whedon answered.

- As to the future of his comics work, Whedon admitted he's come to the end of what he and his wife have been calling his “Mary Marvel midlife crisis.” That said, he can't bring himself to stop writing the “Buffy” comic. “It's like a drug,” the writer said. On that front, Whedon said he hasn't had to give writer Brian K. Vaughan a great deal of notes on his upcoming arc on “Buffy: Season 8,” because “he's one of the best writers in comics.” After BKV's run is done, Whedon is writing two one-shot issues, to be followed by an arc by Drew Goddard.

- Whedon then took a moment to tell the audience about a pet project he's been working on for some time: “I'm composing the score for a short film, a ballet starring Summer Glau.” The film is called “The Serving Girl,” and Whedon is reportedly in talks with a “great choreographer.”

- Whedon then spoke to IDW's upcoming “Angel: After the Fall,” written by Brian Lynch. It was after reading Lynch's “Spike: Asylum” that Whedon was struck with how completely the writer had captured his characters' voices. “It's a maxiseries, 12 issues, not continuing indefinitely as ‘Buffy' seems to be,” Whedon said. Then the writer teased, “I have an ending for [“Buffy”] Season 8, but I know what happens in Season 9.”

- Since “Angel” was cancelled prematurely --so far as Whedon and company were concerned-- he'd always had ideas for the show's life beyond season 5. “Angel: After the Fall” is “somewhat derived from what might have been season 6,” Whedon said. It shows what happens after the battle of Wolfram and Hart, and since a comic doesn't have the same budgetary restrictions as a TV series, Whedon assured fans, “What happened was really bad.”

- When asked what has been his favorite character to write for, Whedon admitted that can change on a day-to-day basis, but at present it's Illyria. After seeing Amy Acker's brilliant portrayal of Lady Capulet in a performance of Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet,” Whedon became aware of the actress' untapped potential. And, in keeping with tradition, Whedon decided the only way to help her was to kill her. He fondly recalls work-shopping the character with Amy and her fellow “Angel” star Alexis Denisof, and made it a point to write most of the character's dialogue himself.

- Whedon ended the discussion with a sincere thank-you to everyone in the audience. “It's been a rough couple of years, because I assume I've been forgotten,” Whedon said. “And them I come here. Your support means everything.”


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