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August 10 2012

Why Joss' exclusive Marvel contract could actually be a big deal. The main takeaway from Marvel's announcement.

This seems like a lot of speculation. For example, jumping to the conclusion that the announcement of Joss helping to develop a TV show means he'll be running it, seems a bit premature.
Does anyone know what Joss wants to do? I always thought his first love was television but maybe that's changed recently. Maybe everything has changed... FOREVER.
I do agree that it seems like a lot of speculation, but the author of the article seems to also have thought about it thoroughly.
@Bunnies you may be very very right. I'm going to assume it's for the better though. But of course secretly worry on a regular basis :)

I think this a great opportunity and it is really premature to decide we know what will be happening in the next 3 years, but every little bit of information gives us a better idea of what to expect. This contract news was new to me so who knows what else he's right about.
Maybe these Marvel-Fox negotiations are Marvel trying to get the rights to the Firefly 'Verse to bring it into the Marvel 'Verse. I can dream, right?
Bunnies, I think he's said before that he thought his future was in movies. I wouldn't blame him. TV shows are a lot of work, and a lot of the issues that plague a director and writer don't go away when a show is a massive hit, or when a show is a beloeved cultural icon.

I think with a film, at least there's a little more artistic control. You have more time to resolve differences and tweak the work, rather than hurrying to get a TV show in the can every other week. Jon Favreau told him when he signed on for Avengers that a big budget movie was easier than a small indie because with all of that money, you can focus on your story and how you really want something to look like rather than worry about how you're going to come up with the money to pay for that one thing you really wanted, or how you going to ask the studio to buy into what you wanted to do.
Much as I love his television, I believe Joss at least originally was very much a movies guy. He's said that when he was at school he was only ever thinking features, and sort of brushed off TV as lesser. Now obviously his thinking has probably changed with 15 combined years of work, more if you count his work on other shows, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's always harbored that yearning for directing features. He had more control on TV, but as a writer (inclined toward TV, no less!) there's definitely something inexplicably alluring about movies.

Maybe it's because of how rich film's history is artistically--relatively speaking, TV is still the baby (well, now web is, I guess--TV is the middle child) and has only recently begun to really prove itself, at least in the eyes of pop culture ('cause I'll argue there are plenty of shows from the '50s onward that do credit to TV).

Anyway, my point is, I hope he returns to the telly, but I wouldn't be surprised if this film career is fulfilling a long-held dream of his.
Joss wants to work on his own stories, and he said at Comic Con he prefers the storytelling of TV. This is why I was initially surprised he agreed to do Avengers 2.
I was kind of suprised he took on Avengers 2 as well. Even moreso that he took a 3-year contract with Marvel, because... well I thought he said he wanted to work on his own characters for a while.

Whatever he wants to do is fine of course. As long as the work is good, it doesn't really matter. But I'd greatly prefer Joss tv shows to Joss films to be honest. Though I wouldn't say no to a Dr. Horrible follow-up, of course.
I'm just glad he's going to have a new show on air. Good enough for me!
I want whatever Joss wants, and also 3 more seasons of Angel, but I know that's never gonna happen.
I think with a film, at least there's a little more artistic control.

Huh--I've always heard the opposite. I mean, obviously both forms end up with a lot of meddling, but my understanding was that there's more risk in film of the studio just saying "sorry, no, we don't like the way this is going--we're going to bring someone in to butcher your script for you."

It's also always been my understanding that writers for HBO and the like have the most freedom of all.
Jobo, I think Joss is foremost a writer, and television is a writer's medium. It's only as of literally now, after 25 years in the game, that he can have the same freedom in movies that had in television. Plus it's more money, and arguably a bigger stage. I just remembered the answer to my question: he wants to do a musical. That doesn't really answer my question.
I bet a dollar to a donut that much of what we have been hearing from the blockbustering of Avengers until the signing of the three year deal was part of the negotiating process. He spoke what was true; he may prefer TV. It may have also been a nudge to Marvel/Disney to see his terms. I bet that they would have preferred the three year deal be announced at SDCC.

He signed the deal so he obviously got what he wants. That's a good thing folks! Our Joss is satisfied with this deal.

And yes my rhetorical device is outdated, a dollar isn't really worth many donuts.

[ edited by hann23 on 2012-08-10 22:29 ]
And yes my rhetorical device is outdated, a dollar isn't really worth more then one donuts.

I've always said "dollars to donuts" which is nicely inflation-proof.
Once again, could people PLEASE put SPOILER warnings on their postings? This policy seems to be getting ignored a lot lately!
I'm happy with whatever Joss wants to do; whatever medium he's working in will likely prove to be interesting, if not awesome.

Also, I don't know where you guys are getting your donuts, but where I'm from, I can get at least two donuts for my dollar. ;)
Once again, could people PLEASE put SPOILER warnings on their postings?

What's the spoiler here? Isn't this all just speculation?
Oh donuts are pricey here because our water is just so special. ;-)

Now, I really hope donuts work their way back into Joss's idea grab bag.

And I want one, powdered ICYMI.
Now, I really hope donuts work their way back into Joss's idea grab bag.

Xander: "Ha ha ha ha, laugh now, missy, they assigned you to the booth for law
enforcement professionals."
Buffy: "As in police?"
Xander: "As in polyester, donuts, and brutality."
Buffy: "Uhhh."
Willow: "But...donuts!"
Buffy: "Uhhh!"

(Just one of many donuts references in the Buffyverse, actually)
Jobo, I think Joss is foremost a writer, and television is a writer's medium.

That may be the case, but at the very least in film school I believe his aspirations were toward writing/directing equally. I'll try and dig up the interview I'm thinking of.

At any rate, I just think he's wanted movies for a long time, even if he now loves TV, and I can't blame him for pursuing something he's wanted for decades now.

EDIT: Here we go. The first five or so questions of this IGN interview.

[ edited by Jobo on 2012-08-10 23:50 ]
What spoiler? How about the whole Thanos business from THE AVENGERS? Look, some of us are still waiting for the DVD release, so could people not assume that everybody who visits this site has already seen THE AVENGERS (or THE CABIN IN THE WOODS) yet?
I might be wrong, but I think we've passed the point where spoiler tags are necessary for those films, since they've been released in most of the world. Pretty sure the mods have cleared tag-less talk, much as we can now openly discuss the many deaths in Serenity or Buffy.

At any rate, unfortunately your best bet is probably just to avoid threads related to Marvel altogether, especially those discussing the future of the franchise.
What spoiler? How about the whole Thanos business from THE AVENGERS?

Hmmm. I don't know what the official "use-by" date on plot info is for this site, but I would be surprised if it were "until the DVD comes out". I mean, I feel your pain because there's quite a few TV shows and films I don't watch until they're available on Netflix. But that just means I stay away from sites that would be likely to discuss those shows/films.

But I'm pretty new here, so I'm just offering my two-cents worth. Is there an official Whedonesque policy on when Spoiler tags cease to be required?
we can now openly discuss the many deaths in Serenity or Buffy

Oh God. Someone DIES in Buffy? You BASTARD!

(It's not that nice Jesse character is it? I mean, I just started watching the show and so far he seems like a really cool character with lots of rich potential for development. No, there's no way they'd kill him. He's obviously part of the gang. Phew. Settle down. Oh well, better press "play" I guess.)
Yes, hopefully as of episode two Jesse can finally make it into those opening credits!
I'm not sure if the spoiler policy here covers movies, but with TV the spoiler rule drops after a week or two of airing in North America, doesn't it? To be sure, if you haven't seen it, I wouldn't read details about Avengers 2 without seeing Avengers, anyway. And certainly don't read articles about Cabin.

[ edited by gossi on 2012-08-11 00:44 ]
On the slightly off-topic topic of spoiler warnings:

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS was NOT widely released in many countries, meaning there are many people (including myself) who have not yet had the opportunity to see it.

I've managed to avoid spoilers so far, and I would hope that those who have seen the film will continue to make the tiny sacrifice of taking the time to tag CABIN spoilers, so that those less fortunate than themselves can enjoy the film the way they were able to (albeit on a smaller screen) when it eventually, finally, makes its way to DVD.
Joss wrote and directed the 3rd highest grossing film of all time, not only that but it is a massive critical success as well. If he wanted, he could have found a studio willing to fund a project of filming himself doing crossword puzzles.

He had options that he chose to sign such a large exclusive contract with Marvel means he got terms he was very happy with.
I'd see the crossword puzzle movie, as long as there are powdered donuts.
Yep. No one should even remotely feel sorry for poor Joss. I'm sure it was an amazing deal that included wonderful creative freedom and also included many many many millions of dollars. Many. Did I say many millions of dollars? Buco Bucks. Mucho Dinero. The boy got mad paid.
The boy got mad paid.

Unless, in a crucial but understandable error, he specified that he get paid in "donuts" rather than in dollars.
"He had options..."

That's what I'm saying. Maybe he said, "Yes, Marvel. I'll sign your deal and make your movies awesome for the next 3 years...IF you let me make Firefly again. Get the rights back from Fox and I'm your bitch."

Exactly like that. And that's what these Marvel negotiations have been about. Right? RIGHT?!? Please, just tell me I'm right. Sigh.
(He wouldn't have to "get the rights back" from Fox. If anyone sensed bank to be made on more Firefly, they'd be making more Firefly.)
20th will never sell the rights to Firefly. Won't ever happen. They still make money off Firefly. Every year more DVDs/BDs sell and every year Netflix and Amazon pay them for the rights to stream it. iTunes pays them for every download. And there is always a cable channel (like Science) paying for the right to air it. They would never give that up to another studio.
Rather than saying Joss is foremost a writer, I'd say that Joss is a storyteller who appreciates the potential for conveying the story through both writing and visual montage. That's why whenever Joss wrote an episode of Buffy, he directed it, too.
20th will never sell the rights to Firefly. Won't ever happen. They still make money off Firefly

20th century sells the rights if the price is right ==> the present value of the expected stream of income of the first season of Firefly as a stand alone + a dollar.

The buyer can afford to pay that because one expects that the present value of the first season of Firefly goes up if there's ever a second season, if that first season is no longer a stand alone.

So if 20th century hasn't sold the rights, its because nobody has made a compelling offer. And a compelling offer can't/won't be made unless there are plans for a second season.

Pretty much if Joss wants to do more Firefly he can. And I think he's repeatedly said why it won't happen... the actors are all busy with other projects. That's the problem - not who owns the rights.
Maggie that argument works if everyone is rational and could possibly agree on the future cash flows on such a risky project. I doubt that would happen. I do agree with you about if Joss wanted more Firefly he could do it. 20th would probably love that if they could find a buyer. I also don't believe that Joss will ever do more Firefly. Would take a crazy miracle for the stars to align. :) Not that I wouldn't love it but I have no delusions (and that's exactly what they would be) that it is even remotely possible.
I also think we shouldn't keep our hopes up for more Firefly. I mean, if it happens it would be a huge and great thing, but right now it's not happening.

But, I think if Fox wanted to test waters and see how Firefly would fare these days, it would be possible to do it as TV movies, like Doctor Who Specials once or twice a year and see what the response would be. The risk for them would be relatively low because whatever the ratings -- and I think that now they would be significantly more impressive than 10 years ago -- Fox would have more merchandise to sell for years to come. Plus, it would be possible to get the actors for one movie per year.

Then again, I don't know a lot about the TV business - it must be much more complicated than that...

Did I just do exactly what I said we shouldn't be doing? Sigh.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2012-08-11 10:17 ]
It's hard not to, Effulgent. But now we know that Joss could not be involved for at least 3 years even if that pipe dream was to materialize. Minear on the other hand...

Damnit, now you have me doing it. :) No really, it won't happen.
The bottom line is, what is happening right now is amazing, something many of us couldn't have imagined only a few years ago. So let's focus on the great things we can and will soon have, rather than those other, more painful things...

But back to the topic, if the TV show in question is Hulk... I can't even imagine the awesomeness of bringing together Guillermo del Toro's visual flair and Joss's storytelling.
Re: Spoilers - The Avengers is fair game now as it has been been for a couple of months now. Cabin in the Woods slightly less so but use common sense. If anyone would like to discuss this, I'd be happy to talk to them offsite.
The reason Fox will not soon sell Firefly: No Fox executive will ever get fired for not selling it and continuing to enjoy the revenue stream. But a Fox executive who sells a property only for it to make more money for the other guy than whatever it was sold for? Not so much with the job security--so why risk it?

Licensing, like they did to Universal for the movie, is another story--it'd be possible if someone came with a serious offer. (Not that it's likely at this point, but we Browncoats don't know the meaning of giving up.)
I just watched the Comic-Con panel last night for the first time. I'm now definitely of the opinion Joss wishes he could...see his comments about the radio show and the general vibe of the whole thing...I dunno...still dreaming...
If I were a betting man, I would hazard a guess that behind the scenes Joss has tried and tried to bring it back on several occasions. I imagine we will never get the full story, just the whispers.
It seems to me that, at this point, if somebody doesn't want to be spoiled on Avengers or Cabin, they shouldn't click an article about it.

[ edited by GreatMuppetyOdin on 2012-08-11 13:20 ]
Things we have learnt from this discussion -
Bunnies said:
"he wants to do a musical."

Avengers 2 will be a musical.

IrrationaliTV Said:
"20th will never sell the rights to Firefly. Won't ever happen. They still make money off Firefly. Every year more DVDs/BDs sell and every year Netflix and Amazon pay them for the rights to stream it. iTunes pays them for every download. And there is always a cable channel (like Science) paying for the right to air it. They would never give that up to another studio."

In order for there to be more Firefly, we need a new campaign that stops people buying Firefly related products.

Bit slow to this happy Joss party, but this is awesome. Despite his protestations, it doesn't come as a massive surprise that he will be helming Avengers 2 and the involvement in the lead up films is just common sense, but I was not expecting him to be creating/overseeing/developing/buying the cakes for a Marvel TV show. Hoping it will be more the creating and exec producing rather then the others, but we will have to wait and see just how much involvement he will be getting.

With my zero knowledge of comics, SHIELD probably seems the most likely, with Cobie Smoulders reprising her role and being the lead, whilst Samuel L. Jackson would pop in once in a while as a special guest star.

On the spoilers side topic, personally, I think they should be kept to the absolutely minimum when it comes to major plot details no matter how old the TV, film or book is. From my own experience, A Hole in the World was spoiled for me long before I completed Angel and I know my enjoyment of what many regard as one of the greatest episodes of the series to have been dampened greatly. I will never have that experience those that watched original had now. Obviously, when it comes to discussions like "Most upsetting deaths" or "Greatest Plot Twists" it gets had to avoid them.

However, stuff like Thanos is really a very, very minor detail that is completely irrelevant to the story of Avengers 1. I don't see any reason to be coy about discussing that.
At least a few of the higher-ups at Marvel have worked with Whedon, at least at the comic-book level. There is respect for the comics he has written (Astonishing X-Men and others), the contributions he has made for other writers (solving the Civil War "Gordian Knot" comes to mind), and he did a damn fine job on "Avengers". Although there will be some resistance (especially from the purse-holders), I don't foresee the types of problems that Joss has had in the past (like when know-nothings could overrule the writer on important storytelling points).
Re Marvel and TV - the head of Marvel TV (the studio) is Jeph Loeb. Yes, of Buffy animated and Buffy season 8 fame.
"the head of Marvel TV (the studio) is Jeph Loeb..."

I did not know this. That's awesome. He's done a lot of really cool things over the years, including Teen Wold, Lost, and Heroes, in addition to the Buffy-related stuff.

I do think SHIELD is probably the most likely show, and I'm also sure that in Joss' hands it will be awesome. In my dream world, though, I'd prefer Runaways...which I actually think would make an amazing show.
He's also busy cancelling the awesome serialised Marvel animated shows like Avengers EMH and replacing them with overly comical standalone shows like Ult. Spidey...

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