He came to talk about his latest film, The Avengers, wearing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer jacket. “The truth is I’m too cheap to buy new clothes,” says Joss Whedon, straight-faced. The writer is best known as the creator of the vampire-hunter TV series, along with Angel and Firefly. In 2005, he directed Serenity. Almost seven years later, The Avengers is finally out in India (though the US will not see it till next week).
“I’ve kept myself busy — running a TV show, writing comics, producing a movie, making an Internet short, going on strike… writing movies that weren’t getting made,” says Whedon, who had his share of tough times when Universal’s fantasy-thriller Goners “got pulled out from under” him. “… And Wonder Woman,” he adds. But better things were in store. Marvel Studios’ The Avengers seems to have given him the opportunity to have a lot more fun, or so is evident in the laugh-
out-loud moments in the film.
“The humour is very important, otherwise in this universe if the characters take themselves seriously, you’re going to go, ‘they’re wearing outfits. This isn’t real’,” he says, before giving Downey Jr due credit. “One of the first things he said to me was, ‘there is no way Tony Stark gets in a room with Bruce Banner and doesn’t poke him.’ And, it’s in the movie. Literally like that.”
In 2007-2008, during the Writers’ Guild strike in the US, Whedon and a team of his associates created the series Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which earned itself awards and avid fan followings. And now that The Avengers is done, his plan is to get back to producing and writing his next web drama.
“Doing Dr Horrible was a game changer for me, it was most fun to make and was also profitable. It introduced me to a new medium, a whole new business and creative paradigm, where I could just do whatever I wanted,” Whedon laughs, adding, “I’m going back to this little series I’d planned before Avengers. It’s basically a grownup drama called Wastelanders, something that reminded me of the work of Warren Ellis, who is one of my favourite writers. We’re working on that.”
The Avengers sequel
“I don’t like to think about it, because it sounds like a lot of work. I don’t know whether I’d be the one making it. I know I have an interest in certain characters, who I am going to tell you nothing about,” says Whedon.