Joss Whedon Thanks Fans, Talks 'Dark Knight Rises' & Future in Film
After a record smashing opening weekend at the box office, not to mention netting over $702 million worldwide so far, director Joss Whedon is in a very good position following his successful assembly of The Avengers. Of course, that means he's likely been inundated with questions about his future in the industry from gestating projects to how he feels about competition from The Dark Knight Rises later this summer and whether or not this will change the kind of films and projects we'll see from the fan favorite. Thankfully he answers all those questions and warmly thanks fans who've supported him over the years.
Well, it's been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can't wait! But before I become blinded by this "emotion" experience, there's a few things I'd like to say. Well, type.
People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. 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. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of 'The Avengers' gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of "Air Bud" that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)
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."
And for all of your support, Whedon has decided to answer some pressing questions for the fans, using the fictional interviewer Rutherford D. Actualperson to get all the gritty details. First of all, Whedon answers an interesting question of how he will feel if Christopher Nolan and The Dark Knight Rises eclipses him at the box office. Whedon humbly answers:
"I will feel sad. 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."
Whedon in fact goes on to talk about the rave reviews the film has been getting, and react to the claim that The Avengers is a perfect movie (this writer thinks there's too many problems in the first act for that to be true), and thankfully his answer is very satisfying and should even keep some of the naysayers quiet as well:
"There are very few perfect movies. 'The Court Jester,' 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' 'Godfather I & II'… The list does not go on and on. 'The Avengers' is notably IMperfect, which makes its success mean so much more to me -- because it's striking a chord that matters MORE than its obvious flaws. Like the team, it appears to be more than the sum of its parts."
And for those of you who want to read some of Whedon's witty banter with himself, wherein he keeps calling The Avengers by false titles like The Scavengers and The Availers, talks about his future after The Avengers, including web series like The Wastelanders and a follow-up to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, there's some more in the full letter which you can check out at Whedonesque. Any thoughts?