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March 19 2010

Neil Patrick Harris thinks the Dr. Horrible sequel will be on the big screen. NPH speculates on the future of Dr. Horrible: "I don't know what their plans are, but I don't think it will be on the Internet."

I love how he mentioned Felicia when talking about figuring out everyone's schedules. Could be nothing but I like to think it's a hint that she will be on it.
I'm all conflicted about this. On the one hand, it would be great to see a Dr. Horrible film that will reach a much wider audience and have a large budget, but then again the Internet venue of the first was one of the things that made it so special.

I also feel that it may be going against the original principals of the piece, with its attempts to monetise web-videos and show the internet as a viable place to create original content. Moving Dr. Horrible to the big screen would be proving that the Internet was an inferior place to create fictional entertainment, rather than a medium of its own.

I'm all for something bigger and better, like a complete series or a feature length film, but I think the place for it should remain on the Internet.
I'd be annoyed if Penny was in it or if Dr Horrible wasn't evil. All this bringing back from the dead is starting to get unrealistic.
If it's entertaining to watch I'll be happy - regardless of what medium it comes to me.

All this bringing back from the dead is starting to get unrealistic.

Nice one. ;)
I'm not worried about Doctor Horrible being 'unrealistic'... I see nothing unrealistic about our mad scientist member of the Evil League of Evil figuring out a way to keep Penny in his life!
Also, I wonder just how successful it would be as a major motion picture. Though Dr. Horrible set the Internet afire and was the toast of Comic-Con the following weekend, I don't know if that translates to decent box office. Granted, the DVD's are getting out (I saw one yesterday at my library and couldn't contain my grin), but I would imagine that more people had seen Firefly by the time Serenity hit than would have seen Dr. Horrible by time that movie would hit.

Though there are lots of little things to factor in, plus the all-important marketing. I'm just curious as to how it would translate.

[ edited by UnpluggedCrazy on 2010-03-19 18:36 ]
Perhaps releasing the new Doctor Horrible on the internet, but also having one time special screenings?

Then again, if they kept the movie as low-budget as possible similar to the way they filmed the first one, perhaps it could still be profitable as a movie without it being a big hit.
We live in the era of affordable giant flat screen TVs, Blu Ray, internet direct multimedia, and phenomenal personal sound systems, all of which can paused and adjusted to taste.

Why do we need movie theaters, again? I mean, really? They're about as quaint and appealing as the phonograph.

If movies were released to consumers at the same time as theaters, I'd buy the media and skip the whole rubbing shoulders with the great unwashed, unpredictable masses. Except for a few choice movies, I already do. I'd rather enjoy the show in the privacy of my own home, surrounded by friends and family who respect and share my values.

Yes, the big screen may be bigger, but I'm closer to my flat screen TV, and I can run to the restroom or take a phone call if I need to.
I agree, Vandelay... I'm waiting for more -confirmed- info to form proper opinions though... we'll see.
I kind of agree with Vandelay as well.

I think the format will all depend on what type of deal Joss can get with a studio and distributor. If the PTB's are willing to hand over the cash and still allowed it to be creator-owned, then it would be too big an opportunity to let go.

My personal preference would be to keep DH2 on the internet and for Joss to direct some big-budget project (like what he tried to do with Wonder Woman) or, you know, create a new T.V. show... *crosses fingers*

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-03-19 18:49 ]
Personally I'd love to see it take shape as a classic MGM style musical - complete with a built-in overture and intermission (for those weak-blattered amongst us.) Either that or a production much like the first one.

And I still stand by my plot idea/prediction:
I can see it now...

Still fresh from his glorious entry into the Evil League of Evil, Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris) finds himself unable to enjoy the fruits of his foul deeds as he pines over the death of his true love Penny (Felicia Day.) In an effort to raise the poor (horrible) Doctor's spirits, his best friend Moist (Simon Helberg) coaxes him into spending a night on the town worthy of an ELE card-carrying supervillain. After sampling the many social pleasures reserved for the villainous elite and surviving the attentions of the infamous villainess night-club owner Marla, the One Who Speaks Through Interpretive Dance (Summer Glau ala Cyd Charisse) and her goons, Dr. Horrible forsakes the celebrity side of super-villainy and instead devotes himself to the totally-uncool-in-a-villainous-way zombie resurrection of his beloved Penny.
Will he succeed? Or will his arch-nemesis Captain Hammer inexplicably appear to foil his plans? Find out next...

...or something like that.

ETA: Forgot the goons. Also the night club sequence would culminate in an MGM style dance number.

I still love movie theaters, quantumac. Their only downside is that they cost so much.
While I prefer watching things at home, there is still a special experience in going to the theater. For instance, there have been live broadcasts of Rifftrax live to theaters as special events, and there is something special about laughing along with a whole crowd of people, rather than just chuckling quietly to yourself at home. Epic movies like Avatar also benefit from the big screen / 3D experience. And seeing Serenity with a crowd packed with other Browncoats? Little can compare to that experience.

I'm sure that Joss and Co. will do what is right creatively for Dr. Horrible 2. I'm a bit surprised about the rumors of it being a full fledged movie, but I'm sure they would never give up the creator-owned status of the property for a cash in. I will be happy to see whatever they create with Dr. Horrible next.
For certain films (especially where special effects or just plain visual splendor are involved), it's still worth it for me to go to the theatre. The Hurt Locker probably would've played fine at home, but I'm glad I saw it in the theatre. I doubt I'll re-watch Avatar on the small screen. I suppose, in the long run, it would be more cost-efficient to buy a huge-screen TV (for now I'm happy with my 32" widescreen), sound system (big bucks, if you want quality equipment and a full set-up), and rent/buy downloads or blu-rays instead of attending the theatre, but I'm not willing to spend that much cash on electronics at the moment (I'm getting cheaper as I age too--I still haven't bought a PS3 and didn't have much trouble restraining myself from doing so, much as I like games and might want a blu-ray player).

I also like seeing other people's reaction to things. Movie theatre audiences don't always suck. Seeing tense, suspenseful, and/or scary movies can be hightened by seeing them with a lot of people (though some are better-watched in your house or at a friend's house, alone or close to it, with lights off). Comedies can sometimes be better, the more people you have in a room (depends on the comedy. If I let myself get talked into something lame, or that turns out to be lame, sometimtes the stuff some other audience members laugh at grates a bit). And nothing beats going to a film fest and maybe discovering something cool/beautiful for the first time, for its world or at least regional premiere, before you've heard anything about it (not much more than the cast and director/writer, at least).

Cost of going to a film can be steep, given the brief nature of the entertainment medium and not getting to take anything physical home with you, but it's still a lot cheaper than other forms of entertainment (most concerts/clubs, stage theatre, most other event entertainment). $8.95 to 12.95 Canadian, depending on the theatre around here. As much as $17.95 if we're talking IMAX plus 3D (if I actually think to start bringing my own 3D glasses from now on, will they stop charging me the extra $2 to $3 for the disposable/recyclable ones?).

If theatres in your area still offer it though, there's usually half-price Tuesdays (I don't think I see afternoon matinee Saturdays at all anymore), in which case it's about the same cost as renting from Blockbuster or your local independant mom & pop's video store. A couple theatres around here still do $2.00 11am Saturday movie showings too, although the film's often been out for a long while and I sleep in huge on Saturdays, usually, given going out or a bartending shift on Friday night (or even just staying up way too late at home on a Friday night--I dunno, something about Fridays, incapable of going to bed at a reasonable hour).

I'll watch Dr. Horrible no matter where they put it and it doesn't much matter to me where it debuts. I suppose it might further prove the viability of internet ventures if they keep #2 online, then go DVD/blu-ray/iTunes straight after. If Joss, his brothers, and Maurissa are maybe interested in potentially increasing the power of that entertainment model. Then again, it'd be cool to see on the big screen and potentially more folks would see it.

They could...give away simply-packaged/slim-packed versions of the first film/internet serial leading up to the release of #2 as a potentially hugely-paying-off promotion ? Who needs a trailer (I know, there'll still be trailers), just use the 40-minute original to whet people's appetite/leave 'em wanting more ?
While I completely agree with the problems of going 'mainstream' and moving away from the show's internet roots... I can't help feeling that a NPH fronted, Whedon penned big screen musical would be epic-ly, mind-blowingly amazing. If Joss thinks he can do it then I have faith in him pulling it off.
this won't work on the big screen- fact
I have mixed feelings:

PRO: (1) Possiblity for greater public awareness of Dr. Horrible. (2) Possibility for the creative team to make more money.

CON: (1) I prefer the intimacy of watching it [repeatedly] in the privacy of my home. (2) If ticket sales are lackluster it will be perceived as a "mainstream disappointment" vs. a "new-market blockbuster."
Quantumac said:
Why do we need movie theaters, again? I mean, really? They're about as quaint and appealing as the phonograph.

Oh, there certainly is still a place for the cinema experience. Watching a film at home doesn't compare to seeing it on the big screen. It doesn't matter whether you see it in a crowded theatre or it is you all alone, the experience is still fantastically engrossing and is impossible to replicate in your living room. This is more true with some genres than others (horror, for example, works by far the best in the cinema, whilst comedy less so) but I haven't seen any film that I thought would not benefit from seeing it on the big screen.

Having said that, I do agree on your point about simultaneous cinema and DVD releases or streaming it on the internet for a fee. I particular wish films that have very limited releases would do something like this, so that those unable to make it will still get an opportunity. At least DVD releases seem to be getting closer and closer to theatrical releases.

But that is going off the topic at hand. I still think Dr. Horrible 2 should work on building the internet as a viable place for creative teams, both new and established, to work.
They could maybe take an indie approach to it and do a small release, then a wider one online. That way the theater screenings would be "events" and you can still have "anybody can watch" on the internet.

It's tricky switching formats. I think there are still people who complain about The Guild not going to youtube even when it's readily and freely available in so many other ways.
I'm totally fine with it being in any format whatsoever as long as Joss has creative control.
Why do we need movie theaters, again? I mean, really? They're about as quaint and appealing as the phonograph.

!Tangent Alert!

Wait - since when are phonographs quaint and unappealing? You do know that those "quaint" little electromechanical devices, by virtue of the fact that they don't rely on an information storage method wherein amplitude and frequency are forced to coexist in a storage space of fixed size for each chosen sampling point ala the digital recording methods of today, are perfectly capable of capturing higher fidelity sound than almost anything the digital age has to offer...
For me, movie theaters are about the size. I go to see a movie at the theater to bask in the glory of an enormous screen with incredible surround sound turned up louder than I would dare at my apartment. Any epic movie is good, really.

So I'm not sure Dr. Horrible would be so 'good' on the big screen unless there was unplanned epic-ness that I don't expect. The only reason I might want it in the theater is to go and see it with fellow fans dressed up in their lab coats and welding goggles.
Might be an attempt at a Rocky Horror type of continuous play on the big screen.
Who doesn't love a big screen musical?
Great! I'm delighted. I keep nagging my boyfriend to watch Dr Horrible (or anything by Joss) but he always has some other DVD he needs to see more urgently.

Now I can drag him to the cinema. Although I'm not too big on musicals, so I'm kind of hoping Dr Horrible 2 would be a little less musicaly. Just a touch.

Why do we need movie theaters, again? I mean, really?

I need movie theaters because I enjoy the experience. [Note the use of the first-person singular pronoun.]
I'm either for it or against. If it flops, I'll say I told you so. If it's successful, I'll say I supported the idea from the start. I post on the internet.
Could be a direct-to-dvd/cable On Demand release; "not on the internet" can mean lots of things.

Although, if there was any point in history when Dr. Horrible might get real funding, it's right now. NPH has never been famouser. There must be studios that have thought about putting him on the big screen.
I haven't seen a movie in the theater since Serenity. I don't care for movies, in large part because I'm broke and don't have a car. But I love Dr Horrible and will watch the sequel however it is available.
One of my favorite parts of a weekend sometimes is catching a cheap afternoon movie with some friends for half the price it was like 12 hours ago when it was just released. :)
Also i love the privacy of my home as well but it can't compare to surprising moments you get in theaters. One instance comes to mind that at the end of Iron Man when the agent said "Just call us Shield." everyone applauded, now i can't watch my dvd without thinking about that moment fondly.
Ultimately I would just be happy to see Doctor Horrible 2 no matter the format :)
I think the intimacy of the Internet is what not only made DHSAB so successful but highlighted a rather whole-lot of craft and talent in low-key fashion. The serial form of the film on the computer screen, or your TV, if you had the set up for that, was very specific. I fear for that loss of intimacy if DH2 is made for the big screen. I probably won't shriek much if it is, but hope our guys figure out how to bring it off without losing what was special about the original.
I also feel that it may be going against the original principals of the piece, with its attempts to monetise web-videos and show the internet as a viable place to create original content.

The original principle in essence was creator-controlled art. The web was the most obvious, most direct way to try that out. Given that, a Dr. Horrible movie doesn't inherently stray from that principle.
Web-release, straight-to-Blu-ray, theatrical, whatever they decide on, I just want something that lives up to the name of Dr. Horrible. That said, I would also like John Barrowman to be in it.
It's got to be big screen so we can see Summer Glau as a bigger-than-life dancing super-villain. Tag line: "I can kill you . . . with my feet."
What b!X said:
"The original principle in essence was creator-controlled art. The web was the most obvious, most direct way to try that out. Given that, a Dr. Horrible movie doesn't inherently stray from that principle."

I'm going to enjoy this whether it is successful or not, and in whatever form it is released. It is true that it is hard to get small independent films into theaters, but they can get into film festivals, and played at college campuses, and sold on DVD. I'll be right there... where ever.

Because I AM Whedon's Bitch.
I love it when people say stuff like this:

fivebyfivefaith: this won't work on the big screen- fact

cuz then Joss invariably proves them wrong. Looking forward to another Joss movie on the big screen in a theatre near me.
I'd be annoyed if Penny was in it or if Dr Horrible wasn't evil. All this bringing back from the dead is starting to get unrealistic.

Android Penny... That's all I have to say...
Penny Dreadful.
Not sure how what to think about this. If it's good, I'll be there.

I can't go to the cinema though due to the fact that there is *always* someone with a garbage bag full of noisy junk-food wrappers. I hate that.
Am I the only one that wants to see a singing frankenpenny?
I can't image that Dr. Horrible will work on the big screen. Does it really appeal to that wide of an audience? I would much rather see Buffy and Angel on the big screen, but that's just me. Maybe we could have both? I know which one I would pay to see.
I think I may hope they do bring it to the big screen. I need to stop using the internet so much anyway!
I love the bloody cinema, distracting flaws and all. Which is strange, considering I hate nightclubs/pubs/etc. A Dr Horrible movie would be glorious, no doubt.
I'll take whatever I get. You know the people that created it wouldn't let you down.

It's JOSS WHEDON for cripes sake. It'll be EPIC whatever the medium. jmo
I'm conflicted. I find the idea of watching Dr. Horrible on a giant screen incredibly appealing and it reaching movie theater level of recognition awesome, but I feel the sixteen year old ticket taker will be judging me when I go to see it for the 47th time, which would be avoided if it was available on the internet.

Eh, whatever Joss decides I'll be happy with. I'm probably cooler than the ticket taker anyway.
Does anyone think that a movie would be a (huge) reimagining of the web show?
Just to make it clear, when I original raised doubts about Dr. Horrible: THE MOVIE! I wasn't saying it wouldn't work on the big screen or that I wouldn't want to see it. It is very much comparing something that is awesome against something that is awesome. I would be one of the first to see a Dr. Horrible film and I'm sure Team Whedon would be able to make something incredible, but I would prefer it if they stuck to the roots of the project.

There was just something special about the Dr. Horrible phenomenon, like a mini-revolution, that would be lost in the transition.
The one thing that would make me really enjoy Dr. Horrible in the theater is that I can totally see people returning during the second week of the release, having memorized the music the week prior and having a giant sing along. I realize that already happens with OMWF and Dr. Horrible 1, with special showings, but I never get to go to those, as they are never in my area. So hopefully Dr. Horrible 2 would be a wide spread release, and not for select cities only... if it happens. Other than that, I'm perfectly content with watching it on my computer with a couple of friends.
One of Wired's GeekDad writers questions the idea of a movie.
Simon, I'm not sure I wanna see an expansion/longer cut of what would amount to the same basic story. Then again, Buffy the series was exactly that, starting out...but in that case the original kinda sucked, whereas Dr. Horrible didn't.

I know with the theatrical possibility, your idea would make more sense from maybe a marketing standpoint (or they could just go batshit insane, pull a Lost, and do a big screen Horrible as an alternate timeline/reality branching off from the original--maybe Billy's freeze ray did some damage somewhere along the line. This wouldn't be completely crazy, given the superpeople-featuring, sci-fi nature of the Horribleverse). After all, too many people haven't seen the original. But that's why I kinda liked my idea to give the original away as promotion, if the big screen happens. Give away the DVD/blu, put it on TV, continue to promote it online...The product speaks for itself (though yes, I know they'd need to make trailers to grab the folks that either don't have the time, attention span, or simply aren't interested in risking a portion of their life on a 40-minute unknown film), the original would sell the sequel, in theory.

So many ways they could go with this.

I guess the more conservative side of me (not politically, just feelings-wise) says to keep the format of the original and guarantee a moderate-to-again-amazing online/DVD/blu-ray success. The other side, the "go big or go home" side, says they should just shoot for the moon and put it in theatres.

b!x, read the article. He presents some worthwhile questions/worries, but most of them are easily answered/refuted, IMO. Thinking that the studios might get too involved in the process...if Joss has pitched it the right way, with stringent requirements on what it would take to get him on board with bringing Dr.H to the big screen, then they'll be more or less covered by agreements within the contract. That is, assuming whatever studio finances/distributes this is chomping at the bit to work with Joss/capitalize on the success they witnessed of the online original. But even if Joss was the one that had to go to them to sell the idea, he can simply turn down their offers and be happy with a web release again, if they're too stubborn about wanting to get their fingers into the creative pot.

Worrying that the movie will be too long for something that focuses on slight/shallow characters ? (and he only gave Hammer as an example--Penny and Billy seemed pretty three dimensional, to me...especially Billy, though with Penny I have the benefit of the webcomic and multiple views of the film, which this Wired writer may not have experienced) Even if the sequel remains the same style of satirical/biting social commentary as the original, I don't see these characters as static. If Hammer's in it, he'll receive more depth. I don't worry that Joss and his bros will ruin the parody-potential of the character, the Whedon name has succeeded at making slight or one-timer characters more intriguing and deep countless times when re-introducing or integrating into a recurring or full time basis on TV. No reason doing that in a film would be any different. Overexposure can be a problem for Whedon material once in a blue moon, so if a third Horrible were to happen and Hammer were to take it over or be in it too much the way Spike got overused in the last 2 to 3 seasons of the Buffyverse, that's a mistake I wouldn't be surprised to see from a Mutant Enemy production--or almost any TV creators, to be honest, since most rarely seem to be able to show restraint in that area when it comes to fan-favorites.

[ edited by Kris on 2010-03-21 23:30 ]
Does anyone else think that the movie shown in theaters might be the first Dr. Horrible followed by the sequel which is around the same length? It would almost be like a double feature, except both movies are 40-50 minutes so it's not that long. And they're both the same series... I don't know, part of me wants new material that's movie length but that makes sense to me, as it would deal with the fact that a lot of people havn't seen the original. And Dr. Horrible 2; Tyler Perry's Dr. Horrible would be released on dvd both alone and packaged with the first.

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