INTERVIEW: "Fantastic Four" EP On Character-Driven Approach, Sequel Plans
Comic Books, Film
What do you do after the movie you directed makes more than $700 million in 13 days? Why, you write a blog post thanking your fans, of course. That’s what The Avengers director Joss Whedon did in a meandering piece on the Whedonesque fan site filled with the kind of comments you’d expect from one of his characters. However, it also includes some interesting bits of information.
After admitting to not yet having an emotional reaction to the film’s success, Whedon said he’s excited about the change that will come for him professionally. “People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change,” he wrote. “I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon [sic]. Imagine!”
The writer and director went on to discuss some of the less busy and successful parts of his career by way of thanking the people who have always supported him.
What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered.
Whedon also discussed his feelings toward The Dark Knight Rises, should that film happen to make more money than The Avengers in its opening weekend. “I will feel sad,” he said. “But let’s look at the bigger picture, and I can’t say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We’re in the business of proving that superhero movies aren’t just eye-candy (they’re eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I’m proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan’s Kirk Douglas, I think they’re missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I’M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.”
There’s more to be read in the original post, but Whedon eventually commented on his upcoming projects. We know he’s already directed a lightning-fast adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, but there are always other possibilities in both movies and TV, he said.
There may be new ideas realized — I always leave myself open to that — but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H[orrible] 2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove…TV is my great love. To tell stories with that alacrity, intensity, and immediacy… Nothing quite like it. I imagine it’s not dissimilar to the feeling great poker players have: “Here’s what I got, here’s where I’m going… How to trick everybody into thinking I know what I’m doing?”
What the industry — and the world — is most curious about now is what Whedon’s next big project will be. He joked about rejuvenating the Air Bud franchise with a jai alai theme, but here’s hoping he has bigger and better things planned.