What happens when you throw Joss Whedon on stage with a mic before a thousand diehard fans? That's exactly what his panel was about at Comic-Con 2012 where people were given the opportunity to ask The Avengers director (almost) anything. And if they couldn't get to ask anything, they were happy to sit back and listen.
Whedon first spoke about having just finished the post production on his new film, Much Ado About Nothing, which he said was "one of the greatest experiences" for him and was "so proud of everyone in it," a shoot he described as watching "people you love rocking Shakespeare so hard." Aside from taking on one of literature's greatest, he also announced that the movie would feature his first film score.
And if it's terrible? "Well, then. It was my first."
The other big reveal that Whedon kicked off the panel with was the sequel for the online musical comedy, Dr. Horrible. Finally! Here's what we learned: production for Dr. Horrible 2 will start sometime in the spring, and they've been working on it for the past couple of years. The CW will also air Dr. Horrible in its entirety for its big television premiere! (See, people? You can find success on the Internet and then bring it to the big screen!)
Did we say this was a panel? The event was more along the lines of a one-on-one session with the Firefly/Buffy/Angel creator where fans were incredibly excited to interact and laugh along with him for an hour.
I found it inspiring that the director took the time to sit down and speak frankly with the public, while also cracking jokes about his own self-esteem and even threatening to kill one person's family. (No, really.) If you're obsessed with everything that Joss Whedon writes and puts on the big screen, the small screen or your computer monitory, you definitely should try to attend any future con panels with him!
Here's some of the best questions that the fans asked--and that Whedon so kindly answered:
If you were to write a zombie apocalypse graphic novel or series, what would be your unique twist? (Besides killing all of our favorite characters.)
The zombie apocalypse shows up in most of the stuff I do, and in a lot of the stuff I haven't done yet...I think that we assume we know where they're coming from. The thing that interests me the most is what we assume is our worst trait. I'm more interested in our best intentions and how they turn us into horrible zombies. And you gotta have a zombie apocalypse. Everyone wants one. It's fun.
The twist is, where does it come from? What if you had a zombie apocalypse and there was a chance you could actually cure them? And then you couldn't just shoot them in the head? I would like to complicate it. I think they've become popular because they've become fodder. You can mow them down, and it's okay...I'd like to investigate not taking the easy way out. And then killing the people that you love. I mean, the people that YOU love. Your family.
Would you ever consider having an official collection of art for sale from Firefly and Dr. Horrible?
They did something like that at Gallery 1988, and a lot of people did some cool interpretation of stuff. We don't have an official Firefly art store. All of this stuff is tied up with likeness approval and licensing from whichever studio has the rights, so it's not something that I actively pursue, because it seems like it would be difficult in ways that would make it not interesting.
What tips would you have for struggling artists/writers to advance their careers and creative projects?
My advice will make you want to slap me. Make things. Make things yourself. Put it online, shoot it with your friends, and do some live stuff. Right now, they're eliminating the middle movie. [Studios] want everything and risk nothing. The problem is getting worse. So it's really about the DIY. You really have to make it happen yourself. You have to keep working on it. Anybody can do it.
What inspires you as a writer to write so many genres in movies and TV?
When I was a kid, my family used to make fun of me all the time because...well, they just did. One of the reasons was because I loved every movie I saw. I just loved them. And that's the thing: I really do. I think my education was divided by genre, and so understanding those genres as well as I was able to with the teachers I had really hit home how they worked. At the end of the day, I just love movies. I love stories. I also have ADD.
At what point did you think The Avengers would be something special?
It wasn't until it happened, until people kept coming and coming back. The thing that I was trying to do, which was making a summer movie that was still a movie and not a ride, it felt like there was a need for that very old fashioned notion. I had the need, and I was so busy getting the movie done that I didn't really know if I had fulfilled it. It seems like I had and that other people had that need as well. The success means a lot to me.
Would you ever make a new season of Firefly that would take place before Serenity so that Wash (Alan Tudyk) would be back?
No, because ultimately I wouldn't be able to move forward with the other characters at all. There is sadness in that. I love Alan very dearly and inappropriately, but you have to move forward. To keep him alive, I'd have to keep River crazy. I couldn't run in place. I'd have to keep going. I'm sorry. There will be flashbacks.
Do you have any plans for a stage musical?
Here's the thing. Of course I do. But I have too many plans. The question is do I have the time to commit to what would be one of the largest and most difficult ventures. I'm at that place that there are many different projects floating in front of me, and I have to figure out which one will descend to do. There's still time.