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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Superpowers, a scintillating wit, and the best body money can buy... and I still rate below a corpse."
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November 02 2009

"But I adore the Terminator franchise". Joss explains his open letter to the Terminator owners.

I'm just depressed that someone felt he needed to be asked to explain it. Giles was right. The earth is doomed.
A"savvy play"? After all that explanation?
And the repeated comments about how a bid of $10 000 seems a little low? Priceless.

Oooh, I think I just made a (sort of) pun there! A bad pun admittedly but there you go .....

ETA: the usual endemic illiteracy!

[ edited by catalyst2 on 2009-11-03 04:33 ]
A certain proportion of readers always seem to have real difficulty understanding Joss's tone as conveyed in text. I think the way he mixes seriousness and unseriousness just doesn't register for some readers. EW was probably just hoping for a follow-up story in this case though. Success. Seems like overkill to me but I also saw some confusion on other blogs earlier so maybe this helps.
Sheesh... this reminds me of a Monty Python sketch where the word "Satire" kept flashing across the screen so the audience would know the shenanigans were a joke...

I would love to know what Joss said after he hung up the phone... heh...
Sarcasm also doesn't translate perfectly to every culture on the planet, so misinterpretations are likely.

What the article says about it being a savvy play to put his name out there to eventually helm the franchise...maybe. But isn't McG still directing and running the show for the next sequel ? It's not a bad franchise for Joss to get into after Cabin in the Woods to keep his movie career happening (although Terminators 3 and 4 sullied the name pretty badly), if he needs big name movies in order to make creator-owned/original-ish stuff in between the big blockbusters.

Heh, Joss would've bought frames from The Little Mermaid. It does have some incredible artwork and I was wowed by it as much as anyone back then, still holds up (I just loved it less after I found out that Disney changed it to a happy ending, although the anime-ish adaptation of the original Hans Christian Anderson story is depressing as hell).
Sarcasm also doesn't translate perfectly to every culture on the planet, so misinterpretations are likely.

Although we're mostly talking the culture of American entertainment coverage.
It's funny, but I've seen and heard enough Joss interviews/etc. to be able to "hear" him saying everything in his open letter, and I got it. But I don't think I'm the typical TV watcher....
While laughing myself silly reading the letter, I couldnít help trying to find some hidden meaning buried there. At some point I became convinced it contained a scalding review of T:Salvation, a critique of the profit mentality in the industry and its surrounding press, and even a hint that Dollhouse was now cancelled. Joss inspires an inappropriate lust for analysis in some.
The letter was great, and the SNL follow-up by the first poster was inspired. I'd love to see Joss write a "Terminator" movie. He seems to really love the franchise.

As for the auction, I really wish James Cameron would step up and buy it back if he can. Even with all the flaws of T3, I bet he could make a sequel that would work.
@11thHour: Satire! Satire!
ah it feels good to post after lurking for half a year.
Sometimes we forget. This is Whedonesque, thus people in hereget it. Issues are when the tidal waves go beyond safe reach. Outside, most people won't get it.
Kris said: Sarcasm also doesn't translate perfectly to every culture on the planet, so misinterpretations are likely.

B!x said: Although we're mostly talking the culture of American entertainment coverage.

If you read that back I think you'll see you're both actually agreeing with each other ;).

And I agree with Joss, he's terrible at being a dumb-ass.

(please someone tell me this is a joke itself. The world has issues but by and large i'm pro it, I don't want it to be doomed)
As far as I am concerned the last good Terminator movie was part 2. I think Joss has it in him to bring something of that back to the franchise. And if it were him and James Cameron....WOW is all I can say.
1....2.....3..... *deep breath*

OMG, like, does Josh Whatshisface ACTUALLY think he can buy the Terminator franchise for only $10,000??? Ummm, HELLO! The last guy bought it for, like, $25 million or something. What is this crazay guy thinkin?!?
It's sad how many people just don't get it.

And...anyone else sick of the Joss-hate? Some of those comments are just downright nasty. Attack us "Whedonites" all you want, but leave the Master (But not The Master, 'cause...fruit-punch mouth. Plus - dead.) alone.

"It's like my momma useta say: if ya can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."
As a rule, never read the comments. Except on Whedonesque.

I wonder how many people took his media mogul thing seriously, and listing Titan AE as a cred.
A depressing number would be my bet. And hey, "Titan A.E." could've been worse.

As a rule, never read the comments. Except on Whedonesque.

True dat, my one consistent exception being AV Club comments which almost never fail to make me smile.
ShadowQuest, I'm not a big fan of the Joss hate myself, but I'm not overjoyed by the bashing of his fans either.

Gossi wrote:
As a rule, never read the comments. Except on Whedonesque.
As a general rule, that's very wise. I often end up curious to see people's comments but its almost never a good idea, except in those few wonderfull communities like this.
@hence: I agree, I always try to find at least three layers to what Joss writes. And in others words: satire! Read some Swift. A Modest Proposal, anyone?
Great, now the next round of "articles" will be headlined "Joss Whedon Offers to Eat Terminator Owners' Babies to Save the Franchise".
ouch Saje! I can't help the spin peeps! Too high brow? :)
No-one can help them I reckon (and in fairness, he could be saying that in his post, you just have to read it a bit more "creatively" ;).
hoping the next twitter feed won't be about Joss eating babies...I was just suggesting that it's in the same vein. It was meant to be a compliment! Maybe I should've mentioned the Yahoos in Gulliver's Travels instead?
"This stuff just comes to me. I mean it."


The Man is incorrigible isn't he?

And thank the goddess for it!

Yep, this is all going pretty much as expected ;). The internets are a strange place indeed.

So, when are those babies being served? I'm starving.
And...anyone else sick of the Joss-hate?

Me too ShadowQuest

It's something I just don't understand. There are plenty of shows / films that I don't like, but I don't feel the need to slag the creator/writer/director everytime I see their name mentioned in an online article. I think I should follow Gossi's advice and just not bother with reading these things.
At the risk of sounding like I missed the joke, I do think Joss was probably only half joking here. Obviously, he's not going to buy the rights (let alone for $10 000) but I do think that this might well have been his way of letting the powers that be know that he's interested in being involved in the creative side of future Terminator movies (or TV shows). And if so I think it's fair to call it a 'savvy play'
I agree, Let Down, the problem is: if someone else owns the franchise and they hire Joss to write/direct then Joss (once again, remember Wonder Woman?!) enters development hell where he doesn't have the power to move forward with the project (and can't, contractually, do anything else). I never want to see Joss' time and talent wasted again like it was when he was working on Wonder Woman!
Sure Let Down, I wouldn't bet any important organs that it's just a joke because me and Joss with the psychic link ? Not so much. But it's definitely a joke though, taking it (as some apparently have) as literal in any way beyond "Hey, i'm here, a creator of film and television and I like the Terminator stories" seems pretty daft. Especially since he's now had to make clear that he actually does like the Terminator stories after that apparently didn't come across either.
Does anybody else wonder what precisely Joss Whedon heard/read/saw to prompt his original post about the "Terminator" franchise? It's a very funny post, and I don't doubt his love for it, but I felt that he was reacting to something specific that had happened ("'Superman' Rights Found in Empty Elevator, Finder to Make Next Film" or something like that).
The rights to the film franchise are going up for auction Shapenew (the current owners have financial woes).
Feeling seared by the hate over there too (both towards The Big Purple and us). But in any case, I would prefer that Joss develop his own original ideas and concepts than take over a tired franchise that someone else has used up. We need more Original Joss!
But in any case, I would prefer that Joss develop his own original ideas and concepts than take over a tired franchise that someone else has used up. We need more Original Joss!

What other Joss do we have right now? He has an original network TV-show going, an original Comic book, an original Webmusical-Sequel and an original movie up his sleeve.

I think his work on "Astonishing X-Men" was amazing, and if he can work with established franchises in that way, I would love to see him take on ... well, anything. :)

The basic premise of the Terminator-franchise is still just as rich and fresh as it was in the 80s. The sometimes bad work that has been done with it might make it seem tired, but that work would not impact new stories necessarily. TSCC sidestepped Terminator 3 without a problem. The Terminator-universe is imo very loosely structured, it's not a highly serialized narrative that can actually be "used up".


The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but itís a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero couldíve been good. Thereís an idea somewhere in almost any movie: if you can find something that you love, then you can do it.

-- Joss Whedon

However, I was one of the twenty-three people worldwide that really liked "Terminator: Salvation", so I would be happy to see the trilogy the current team envisioned play out.
ShadowQuest the Groosalug The Do That Girl: Reading some of thsoe repsonses over there made me realize something; I haven't stopped liking Joss. I'm permanently miffed at him but still find his worlds good places to go.

Kris; doing the Little Mermaid with Andersen's original ending wouldn't have been Disney; they have an integrity of their own, too. Undiluted Andersen is Kierkegaard for the nursery school set and not for everyone. Movies are supposed to have broad appeal. Disney has changed everything else they've gotten their hands on, too.

hopitopia; I'ven't read Gulliver's Travels but I'm familiar with it so I get some of the references. (I even mentioned the Hhouyhnnnm (spelling?) in a fic but it was Harmony saying it so she pronounced it "Hoo-hin-nin-hum."
Hey all. Long (looooooong) time reader, first time poster.

Looks like I was beaten to the punch, as I was just about to say I think Joss's comments were perhaps in the hope to show his interest in the franchise. Actually attempting to buy it probably not so much, but to have some form of creative input.

I must admit though, I don't really share Joss's love for the franchise. I would say I probably have enjoyed everything that has come from it (although I've not seen the 3rd film), but none of it has jumped out at me as being absolutely fantastic. The original was a great rough and ready film, the sequel was a solid action film, although felt like it was geared towards 15 year olds, and the recent Salvation was a passable, if mediocre, film. Probably the best thing to come from the franchise would be Sarah Connor Chronicles, simply because it occasionally managed to deal with a few of the issues that were merely suggested by the films. Even that had its ups and downs though.

That's not to say I wouldn't love to see what Joss would do with it. I'm sure he would create something wonderful, as I can really see the potential in the franchise. The problem seems to be that the series is stuck in a rut of being brainless action, an expectation that most likely killed TSCC. I think I would share Embers worry that he may end up wasting his time putting some creative input into the project, with the go the Joss touch going ignored, as has been the way on many other occasions.
Welcome to the board Vandelay. I think if you love Terminator or not really comes from a love of the mythology. If you're really into it, it is great. I think Joss says he loves it, and from other projects he's chosen to work on, I wonder if he's not a big Jim Cameron fan.

Honestly, to me T2 is hands down superior because he's working with so many great themes and ties them up so neatly. T3 immediately gets down rated to me because the entire premise of any movie after T2 invalidates one of the most powerful themes in T2, "no fate but what we make for ourselves."

Although you may have something about the 15 year old thing since I was 9 or 10 when I saw it the first time. That said, I still prefer it.

Regarding Joss Hate (trademark), I don't particularly get it. One guy who always cracks me up claims he hates Joss Whedon and somehow maintains an encyclopedic knowledge of plot flaws and will argue with anyone who says anything good about something Joss has done on any board at any time (I've seen him on at least two.) So apparently disliking someone's work means you look for fights all day while rewatching everything the person has ever done so you're ready for the aforementioned fight. I'm not so sure he isn't a Whedonesque viewer either since he always seems to be on boards linked to from here. It's... special.

[ edited by azzers on 2009-11-04 04:09 ]
However, I was one of the twenty-three people worldwide that really liked "Terminator: Salvation", so I would be happy to see the trilogy the current team envisioned play out.

I did too, and I actually wasn't aware so many people didn't. (Clearly I live under a rock.)
Like azzers, I love T2, which came out when I was in my twenties, and now in my forties I still find it very powerful (and no, I'm not talking about stuff being blown up). It is an excellent actioneer, but it's much more than that. It moves me every time I watch it, and I'm not a sentimental person.

But, as much as I love Joss, I'd rather see James Cameron regain the control over his 'baby'...

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