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April 21 2010

The (possible) redemption of Joss Whedon. Daily Wildcat explores the possible redemption of Joss Whedon.

Joss needs no redemption. To suggest otherwise is heresy.
He really shouldn't have killed so many people in his youth.
I wouldn't say heresy, exactly ;), but foolishness certainly.

However, the article does make some sense, even if I disagree on a few points (I think Whedon does have some name recognition outside of hardcore fandom, and I think he does have something to lose of The Avengers tanks at the box office - to name but two).

Overall though, I agree that this is a BFD (like we've all mentioned and agreed to here repeatedly), it's a big step up, it's good to have Joss writing this and if it's a hit, it could do wonders for his career (though I fear the writer's mom might still have no clue who this Whedon character is, even after The Avengers ;)).
It's not a bad article but boy is that headline daft.
I personally feel that Joss has yet to make amends for blowing the levees during katrina. I still can't believe he avoided prosecution after that nationally televised confession we all saw.
Whedon doesn't need a redemption ! Even if the article is better than the title.
We know him.
He has a life to make movies and famous TV shows.
Can someone explain the headline?
Come on, What's wrong with Spiderman?

And was the crack pipe line really necessary?

[ edited by tickled pink on 2010-04-21 21:23 ]
Any idea if the writer's mom wondered who this Josh guy was going to cast as Emma Peel?
The headline does not match the article and "redemption" is used incorrectly. It implies that Joss somehow fell from grace in the past, whereas the truth is he just got screwed over.

I don't understand why so many people say that Joss Whedon isn't a big name. The fact that he'll be working on the Avengers film caused buzz for days.

The author of the article claims to be a nerd, but nerds are the best people to know. =P All of the people I surround myself with know Joss Whedon's name, even if they haven't seen his work.
The headline is actually good, actually. It gets us fanboys and girls riled up, but speaks to the question of what I think many of us hope will finally happen.

Joss is well-known to the geeks and the TV Insiders, but most people don't know who he his, and he has always toiled with tiny budgets and off the beaten path.

The Avengers, playing with Iron Man and Marvel's other toys is the BIG TIME. If he pulls this off the way we all hope he is able to, the sky is the limit, but it also would silence the majority of critics (even among us) who have feared that Whedon is ALL niche, and more style than substance.
I agree with the people writing 'Joss doesn't need a redemption,' but you gotta see that this is clearly a shot for Joss to become mainstream in his recognition. It's just common sense, that's all.
Being "mainstream" is overrated.

If mainstream media had a taste, it would be cardboard with just a dash of wax paper. In contrast, well-done scifi/fantasy would taste like rich, velvety mangos.

Okay, it must be snack time...

Anyway, Joss has stated numerous times he loves this genre and wants to stay with it. That's a good idea. Make the art you know.
Thank all that is holy that the writer of Elektra and X3 has been dumped.

Worst. Headline. Ever.
Joss getting named for the Avengers created buzz because he *isn't* a big name. Not in those circles. A lot of my friends who are casual comic readers and mild SF geeks had no idea who he was. Very few people outside of genre fiction know his name.

Redemption is the wrong word, yes. But as I think I said in another thread, this is an opportunity for Joss to write his own checks for a change. That is, if Avengers is successful then Joss can basically do what he wants, when he wants, how he wants. Now, *we* have a lot of confidence in Joss to pull this off (he's great at the ensemble cast, and that's what Avengers has--a bunch of actors with egos and big on-screen presence), but not too many others do. It's a risk, but I think in the end we'll benefit.
Maybe the headline should have been "The Mainstream Empowering of Joss Whedon." Redemption? Of all the words in the English language, *that's* the one the editor settled on? Sheesh ...
You know, I think I'm the only person in the world that actually liked the Fantastic Four movies.
Joss, please, before it's too late, make amends for having your own unique career. That's a slam only to the title of the article, not the content.
I was given to understand at some publications that titles never have anything to do with the actual content of the article and are imposed by editors. Granted I'm not sure that would even apply at college newspapers but yeah, I see it problematic too. Mostly since it suggests that Whedon had a fall from grace, even though the guy writing the actual article suggests he was never there in the first place.

That said, who hears "Joss" and thinks "Josh is a girl's name" exactly?

Anyway, the rest of it seemed decent enough except some of that snarkiness seems off. There was that drug jab at Downey but I didn't quite get the Titan AE brush off ("like Titan AE did anything for anyone"?)

I'm admittedly more thrown by the idea that by definition comic book films can't or shouldn't be mainstream? (Or the sort of random example the Casablanca is implicitly mainstream.) The Fantastic Four movies were sort of meaningless fun albeit not as fun as they could have been, and it's sort of up to Sony if they killed the Spider-Man franchise relaunching it but as awkward as Spider-Man 3 was it still made the most money of the films.

(Also I swear some comic books are completely built on slick action sequences.)
Josss has been first and foremost a writer, majoring in television, with minors in comics and movies. How many people with that background have much name-recognition at all, much less a vocal and adoring fan-base? While the writer's mother didn't recognize Joss, I doubt if Aaron Sorkin, JJ Abrams or any writer would have pinged her radar. She'd know some of the famous movie directors, probably, and that would be it.
I agree with what all of you are saying. Joss is a pretty big name amongst the type of people that are likely to know about people in his position. I think the author was misjudging how big the majority of writers/directors are. Sure, a lot of people have heard of James Cameron, Roman Polanski, George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott, but I doubt even people like Micheal Mann, David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Guillermo Dell Toro, Paul Greengrass, Zack Snyder, etc, etc. are household names outside of the people that follow this kind of thing, even though they have had prolific and/or successful careers. Considering that Joss has actually only had his name above one film, it isn't really surprising that he hasn't joined the first list.

For those people that are in the know, he is very well respected. Him even getting talked to about 'The Avengers' proves this, the fact that he is directing it and editing scripts on it and the lead up films proves it doubly so. Perhaps this will lead on to him being well known amongst the public, but I don't think it is really relevant as most people don't care who makes a film. The more important aspect of this is the fact that Joss will hopefully get the chance to make films he wants to make and be given more freedom.

'Goners' for 2013!
Speaking as a student at the U of A and a reader of the Wildcat, the atrocious headline does not suprise me...
I guestimate revenues earned by Joss for Fox and friends exceeds $1bn so far. Atonement required my arse.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-04-21 22:58 ]
Too bad all this hype and anticipation wasn't about, oh I don't know, say, Serenity 2!. And I liked Titan A.E!
Which women heroes will Joss include in this version of the Avengers? Why don't any of them get a prequel film?

The Avengers will be the most macho project Joss has ever worked on.
Why don't any of them get a prequel film?

Lack of brand recognition?

The Avengers will be the most macho project Joss has ever worked on.

Angel and Firefly could be viewed as very macho.
Oddly, Alien Resurrection too. I actually think it's quite a well written article, but I think the idea that Joss isn't a name is missing the point. If Joss was making poor video game movies, people would know who he is. He's the man behind the camera. The only people who need to know who he is are the people with money - and they do.
I'm definitely agreeing that the female characters don't get prequels since they lack brand recognition. (To a lesser extent a lot of them also aren't particularly unique or interesting. I would love a Patsy Walker Hellcat movie though.) I remember hearing in the 80s they either made a She-Hulk movie or did a photo shoot with Brigitte Nielsen?

Granted, I know that there was one movie studio-- I think it was the WB?-- that basically issued an ultimatum "no more female leads" even if I imagine that must have been shot down or clarified eventually but I reckon that sort of stupid psych is underlying some decision making.

Also in terms of male-heavy Whedon things, as female and/or LGBTIQIQA friendly musicals are supposed to be, I know a lot of people argue that in Dr. Horrible Penny was not particularly a strong female figure and some sort of consider her a Fridged-female. (Yeah, she's technically the most "effective" character at achieving her goals, wishes, and desires despite being an unpowered human but I can still kind of see some of the disappointment she wasn't a bit more of a presence.)
That said, who hears "Joss" and thinks "Josh is a girl's name" exactly?

Isn't there a singer named Joss who is a girl?

I'm somebody's mother (and grandmother.) I know who he is. ;)

I figured 'redemption' was to tie it to Angel or something.
Joss Stone. It's not surprising to me that "Joss" can be taken as a female name. I've known more than one Jocelyn who shortened her name to Joss.
I think the 'redemption' part was referring to Joss' ventures that were not well-recieved and/or less than stellar. Some of these were mentioned in the article.
Anyone else have a problem with this sentence?

His script for "Alien: Resurrection" helped kill the franchise and “Titan A.E.” did anything for anyone.

I should know this, but didn't the Powers That Be discard most of Joss' script on A:R? Years ago, I read his original draft online, and it was really, really good (particularly the third act, which is where the filmed version of A:R goes completely off the rails).

And I like Titan A.E. It foreshadows some of the great stuff in Firefly. As a fairly small-scale animated film, was it really that much of a bomb? Or maybe it isn't a typo, and it really "did anything for anyone." In which case... whoa. Good movie.
I've written a couple of articles for newspapers and editors sometimes do saddle them with ridiculous headlines.

Reedem 147 beat me to it; I assume this editor had some rudimentary knowledge of the big theme of ATS and went with what he thought was cleverness over accuracy.

Silly editor...

[ edited by Brett on 2010-04-22 02:41 ]
To echo something that Vandelay was getting at, I'm struggling to see how the writer's mom's recognition of the name of a TV creator proves anything. How many people have the slightest clue as to who writes or produces the TV they love?

This is why advertisements will say "from (insert name of showrunner), creator of (insert name of show you liked)." The average person has no clue who Joss Whedon, JJ Abrams, Aaron Sorkin or Alan Ball are. Honestly, if I asked my mom, the ONLY TV creator she would recognize would be Joss. But that's cuz I've got her trained. ;)
I'm somebody's mother (and grandmother.) I know who he is. ;) redeem147 | April 22, 00:10 CET

Me too. In fact I introduced my grown daughter to BtS. Unfortunate story there, but I tried. :)
@Tin Ear Tom - Someone actually posted Joss's reaction to Alien Resurrection in the comments section of the article (I recognise it from somewhere else too), in which he said:

"It wasn't a question of doing everything differently, although they changed the ending; it was mostly a matter of doing everything wrong. They said the lines...mostly...but they said them all wrong. And they cast it wrong. And they designed it wrong. And they scored it wrong. They did everything wrong that they could possibly do. There's actually a fascinating lesson in filmmaking, because everything that they did reflects back to the script or looks like something from the script, and people assume that, if I hated it, then they’d changed the script...but it wasn’t so much that they’d changed the script; it’s that they just executed it in such a ghastly fashion as to render it almost unwatchable."

Sounds as if it was only the ending that was actually significantly changed, which I believe went through various different incarnations when Joss was writing, all of which involved some sort of fight on Earth that never ended up in the final film. Seems as if Joss places the blame entirely on the director, who I have also heard being quoted as saying something along the lines of it being one of the hardest periods of his life.

Think I've said it on here before, but I'll say it again, I really don't think Alien Resurrection is as bad as everyone makes it out to be. It may not be a great film and it is certainly no where near the same league as Alien and Aliens, but it is still enjoyable enough while it lasts and the scene with the failed Ripley clones is one of the greats of the series. I would definitely rate it higher than Alien3.

Not seen Titan A.E., but I remember reading quite recently that it was actually quite a hit amongst critics, although the consensus seemed to to be that it was unsure who it was aimed at. The problem was no one went to see it.
To echo what several other people have sad, there is no tradition for writers being known as celebrities (except posthumously) especially in mediums like tv and film where the primary mode of delivery is through sight and sound. There is no reason, really, why Joss should be famous at this point. The fact that HE has such a committed fanbase beyond the scope of his individual shows is pretty bizzare.
Oh no, your daughter didn't like Buffy Shey??

I thought it was a very silly title for the article too, but then again, I did click on it (huh? redemption? wha?), so I guess they know what they're about. And what gossi said re. the irrelevance of Joss not being a household name:

The only people who need to know who he is are the people with money - and they do.

Nobody in the fields he wants to be working in is going to go, Joss who? But I do hope that a Big Hit movie will make his other movie projects easier to get made. I don't know who the writer is, but am I right that Joss is doing a rewrite? I mean, is he just tweaking the script a bit, or is he actually going to make it a Joss Script?

When you say you think he does have something to lose if it bombs, GVH, what do you mean? That it would make his movie career even more... non-careery?

And because I'm feeling catty today, I thought it was a very silly article and the winner of my Silliest Line In The Whole Article contest is this:

Whedon’s work helped identify him as a feminist and he has been honored for glorifying women in popular culture.

Tee hee hee. /bitchy
maybe the redemption line is that we should forgive him for killing so many people?

I liked Titan A.E. I believe I have it on's a good movie.

and people do know who Joss is. even down here where most people don't know anything they know who Joss, I was surprised to discover this. or they know buffy so they go "oh that guy.I liked that show"
and he's a writer,especifically a tv writer, not a position to make yourself insanely famous. most people know those in front of the camera, not behind. even so at most they know who directed or produced it.

and the line about Titan AE is rather awkard. should've been "never did anything to/for anyone" or "didn't do a thing"
Yeah, catherine, that's more-or-less what I mean. If he gets to be known as the guy who wrote and directed that huge-budget sure-thing Marvel movie, that nontheless tanked at the B.O., it's going to be hard to get much stuff done. Probably (as you never quite know, with the movie industry). So while there's more chance of this giving a boost to his career, it's not entirely no-lose either.
Did I say "most macho"? I guess I meant to say "least feminist thing Joss has ever worked on." The female characters in the Avengers have always been voluptuous window dressing.

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