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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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October 20 2016

Joss Whedon talks about his new World War 2 screenplay and lots of other cool stuff. Though the press will probably will seize upon his Star Wars comments (the Buffy fandom may examine his shipping preferences).

Hillary, then Buffy/Spike ... I didn't think I could love Joss more. I'm so excited to see what he does with WW2.
There is a little bit more meat in that interview than may initially meet the eye. Some very interesting insights and comments.
I originally intended to comment how this might just be the first JW movie I wasn't going to watch, since I firmly believe there have been made more than enough movies about - or surrounding - the second world war. But...I like his premise.

Could do without "Star Wars", though.
Although he mentioned what his WW II screenplay was horror, I'd love one about the 'fake army' that was sent in. A group made up of Hollywood special effects guys and set builders that would basically make pop up tanks and noises to fool the enemy that we were in positions we weren't and to send them false information. That fascinates me. The guts it had to take to face down German troops with tanks made of airbags and plywood. (Or whatever they had as plywood back then. Was plywood a thing in the 40s?)

Love the Great British Baking show. So, he has good taste, obvs.

I go back and forth on the whole Spike or Angel question. Is it weird I still like Riley?

Can't wait for Rogue One. I can see why he'd have the impulse after the trailer.

EDITED: I missed a thing he said and changed my post to reflect that.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2016-10-20 18:40 ]
So we won't have anything Whedon related earlier than 2018...

Iím a Buffy/Spike shipper. I always felt like he was a more evolved person, but thatís like saying Julietís going to be so happy with Benvolio and everyone will love it.

Buffy/Angel is for the ages; Buffy/Spike is maybe for me.


This is a great answer.
When I think of the great tragic love stories, I think Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Iseult, and Buffy and Angel.
As a love story, Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Iseult are both terrible. One has a love potion, the other one two teenagers who start crushing on each other the moment they met, before they even talked to each other, and getting married after knowing each other for a couple of days. Both of thesr strike me as obsessive infatuations rather than anything resembling "true love". Compared to those, Bangel is much more relatable, but it is still in the same ballpark, the teen first love between two people who barely knew each other and have grown apart since. I still love the Bangel storyline in the first 2 seasons and parts of season 3, but they should have never dragged it past that point, and the insistence on the idea that it's "true wuv 4eva" has made it really annoying and made me go from shipping it to anti-shipping it.

Buffy/Spike and Angel/Darla are far deeper and more interesting.
It's on my bucket list to one day meet Joss, give him a big hug and whisper in his ear "Ultron was brilliant and I can't count how many times I've watched it and enjoyed the depth and pathos and timeliness and Whedonesqueness of the thing." Breaks my heart that the experience broke him.
Mainstream media will definitely hold to the Star Wars thing, I also see some maybe taking the "watching Flash and Supergirl with his daughter" comment as added fuel that he might be involved on Flash-Supergirl Musical Crossover.

Onto the "shipping" topic. Seasons 9 and 10 had a lot of evolving Buffy and Spike's relationship, while it made a lot of sense why there was nothing on the romance front for Angel during S9, do wish they did try to give that back to him during S10 but that never happened. Maybe that will change on S11, as he's back on a solo title of this own.
Nice to see that Joss gets it: Season 2 of UnReal wasnt that bad and Trump is a threat to the entire planet.
I strongly dislike this article based on its first paragraph... Haven't gotten to the rest yet. How hard is this author trying to make Joss sound like some sort of failure based on the fact that he was tired after making two very successful and well received movies? Three years since he was forced i to self-imposed exile? Wasn't Age of Ultron released last year? Largely negative critical reception? It's got an 85% audience rating and 75% critic rating on rotten tomatoes. Because a lot of people don't consider it as good as the original (I consider them about equal for what they are; hard to compare as they're very different movies) it's considered a failure now? If it's not perfect it's not worthy seems to be a disturbing trend among comic book movie fans at the moment. How many people consider Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 horrific failures today despite the fact that they were solid enjoyable blockbusters that were well reviewed when they came out. A few years go by and the flaws are used to pronounce good movies abominations. In any case, Age of Ultron had its flaws but man I think its strengths are underappreciated. And I think Hulk and Black Widow were one of those strengths for the record! Hoping they end up together, they make perfect sense together.
The Geek Groupthink on the Internet usually goes something like this:

1. It was a good movie.

2. It was good, but not quite as good as the first one.

3. I'm going to start bad-mouthing the movie to show how cool and contrarian and hard-to-please I am.

(3a. JOSS-SPECIFIC: Joss Whedon has a lot of very dedicated fans and that annoys me, so I'm going to automatically trash anything with his name on it.)

4. Critics start writing about how bad the movie was because people on the Internet are drawn to negativity more than positivity.

5. It was a terrible movie and its director owes the fans an apology.
That's one for the Spike/Buffy VIP Quotes (yes, I'm still idly maintaining that list).

And I love Joss even more for appreciating Hillary Clinton.

[ edited by Enisy on 2016-10-21 15:23 ]
Hindsight is already showing that Joss did massive superhero meetup cinema with more thoughtfulness, cohesion and panache than a lot of other filmmakers are going to.
Spangelers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your preconceptions.
(and you should always be using preprotection to protect against preconception)
We've known Joss was a Spike/Angel shipper for a long time, haven't we?
Please forgive the didacticism in what follows. I can't sleep. This is a groggy message.

As a love story, Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Iseult are both terrible. One has a love potion, the other one two teenagers who start crushing on each other the moment they met, before they even talked to each other, and getting married after knowing each other for a couple of days. Both of thesr strike me as obsessive infatuations rather than anything resembling "true love".


There's no such thing as 'true love,' only sustainable and unsustainable relationships.

That said...

Though I'd read and seen R&J a few times, I couldn't (maybe let myself?) feel it, until I saw Baz Luhrmann's version with a couple of friends and -- crucially -- my friend's 13-year-old sister. (That was 1996.) She'd never read the play and genuinely had no idea how it would end.

From the moment when R walks in to find J's body, until about 20 minutes after the greatest soundtrack closer of all time has faded out, this girl cried *hysterically*. Inconsolable. I've never known someone to react that way to a film. I thought the story was totally unbelievable, the protagonists' actions stupid. (Unfortunately, I was the kind of person who'd loudly proclaim shit like that to friends after a movie.)

But in emotional terms, it's simply a true story.

In 2007 or 2008 my (then-not-yet-)wife and I watched Slings & Arrows, one of the best TV series I've ever seen. Each of its three seasons centers on a production at a Canadian Shakespeare festival (a fictionalized Stratford): Hamlet the first year, Macbeth the second, Lear the third -- an 'ages of man' structure.

The Macbeth year also includes, as counterpoint, an ill-starred production of Romeo & Juliet. After the harrowing opening of Macbeth and a season of unbearable *mundanity* -- erectile dysfunction, an audit, ego, marriage, commerce, the long slow second act of not yet being dead and not quite knowing why -- the two leads, Paul Gross as the festival's artistic director and Martha Burns (Gross's real-life wife and a great classical actress) as his Lady Macbeth, watch the stupid unbelievable love story from the wings.

Ellen: I hate this play.
Geoffrey: Yeah.
Ellen: You watch it and you feel miserable. Because you don't have that kind of passion In your life. Nobody does. It's a fantasy. It's irresponsible.
Geoffrey: Yeah.

(He watches a moment -- the 'What shall I swear by?' scene. The actor playing Romeo is gay; his Juliet is desperately in love with him; somehow, in the midst of a disastrous production they've found their way into an unexpected, unsustainable thing. Their confused/certain longing is real. It's kind of beautiful.)

Geoffrey: You know what I think? I think it's painfully accurate. Two idiots meet, They fall in love, they're happy -- briefly. Then all hell breaks loose. Happens all the time.
...
Ellen: I'm so fucking miserable, Geoffrey.
Geoffrey: Yeah, I know. Me too.
Ellen: Am I a loser?
Geoffrey: Yeah, you are. So am I. We're both big, fat losers.
Ellen: You're my only friend. Isn't that pathetic?
G: (pause) Yeah, that *is* pathetic.
Ellen: I owe $27,867.53 in back taxes.

(He takes her hand.)

Geoffrey: Let's watch the show.

--------

I watched the Luhrmann R&J again not too long ago. It'd been ages and ages. It's...well, it's got its good and bad points. I was caught up. I cried like a 13-year-old girl. (She's a 30+ year old woman now, actually. She makes movies.)

At this point I'm fairly certain there isn't one sort of love, or one sort of love story (or 'love' story); nor should there be. You can take each on its own terms. I remember that Angel turns up in a crypt where Buffy's fighting this evil hell-priest and they share the kind of kiss that TV was invented for -- and then they *don't* get together, they don't solve their problems or take back the past. It just feels right, right then. I get that.

That strikes me as an adult story about adults.

Everything about Romeo & Juliet is ridiculous. But sometimes you're a fool and you love someone so much, or the idea of you-and-them or them-completing-you or you-and-them-away-from-the-world so much that you can't imagine a way past it. I get that too: you're young, you have all this desire and no idea what it's for and falling in love doesn't feel good, it feels *everything*. But Romeo and Juliet get everyone around them killed or ruined, and they die too, stupidly. That's about the least adult behaviour I can imagine, I think it's an adult story. For an instant, that's how it feels, right? Those are the stakes. The light is that liquid; the music is that sweet and sad.

I guess I'm trying to say that the story of Buffy and Angel, like the story of Romeo and Juliet, surely isn't meant as a prescription or a documentary. I suppose it's a dream. It's not quite right but it's true. Plenty of folks were there, right there, alongside them.
As for Star Wars -- Disney would do well to rehire Whedon, but I'd much rather have him on TV. He was born for it.

[ edited by waxbanks on 2016-10-22 12:18 ]
Is anyone else completely unsurprised that Joss' interest in Star Wars was re-sparked by Rogue One? Not only is it stand-alone, but it's about as close to Firefly as Star Wars can get.
"In 2007 or 2008 my (then-not-yet-)wife and I watched Slings & Arrows, one of the best TV series I've ever seen. Each of its three seasons centers on a production at a Canadian Shakespeare festival (a fictionalized Stratford): Hamlet the first year, Macbeth the second, Lear the third -- an 'ages of man' structure."

Your post was great overall, waxbanks, but I'm gonna laser in on this point to amplify and echo it: Slings & Arrows is fantastic TV. If you haven't watched it, I recommend it in the highest possible terms.
Hmm. Deadpool 2 director has dropped out due to creative differences with Ryan Reynolds.

Joss is currently taking it easy with little projects, but... did anyone else think he would've been amazing directing the first one? Negasonic Teenage Warhead alone!

I wonder if he'd be interested?
waxbanks your post was long and rambly and I really enjoyed it. :)
I think Romeo and Juliet rings true because the first time you "fall in love" you feel that way if it coincides with your sexual awakening. The lust hits you hard, powerfully, and you feel like this is everything, always, no one has ever had this beautiful thing that we have and no one ever will again. If this person dies I must die too and be glad to do it. Then, if you don't commit mutual suicide you grow up, calm down, and things get a little more realistic. I think Joss captured this- that is what happened for Buffy, Angel was a different story. This plays out in that when there are choices to be made, Angel walks away. Buffy never got the chance to get over it.
Can we please stop campaigning for Presidential candidates on here? It's really making this a very unwelcoming community, especially for those of us who don't feel free to say what we really think. I know it's addressed in the article, but this is difficult for any of us on here who have a different perspective. I loathe Trump, but I am not in agreement with Joss, either.

I really hope Joss doesn't do Star Wars. I'm tired of reboots and sequels of older stories (even though I enjoyed JJ Abrams Star Wars sequel better than any of the original Star Wars movies, and nobody likes episodes 1, 2, and 3), and would rather see new, original stuff. Joss is the new, original stuff guy.

Also, the "largely negative" reviews of Age of Ultron were hardly that. The majority of reviews were still positive, but it was a smaller majority than for the first Avengers movie.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2016-10-24 06:57 ]
Moderators' decisions get discussed via email. Please do not discuss them in comments. Thank you.

[ edited by Simon on 2016-10-25 09:42 ]
Moderators' decisions get discussed via email. Please do not discuss them in comments. Thank you.

[ edited by Simon on 2016-10-25 09:42 ]
Slings & Arrows is brilliant TV (and went on for exactly as long as it should've, for three seasons). Would have to watch it again, but I think my favourite year was the first. Show also gets points for introducing me to Luke Kirby and Rachel McAddams (they're only in the first season -- loved the rotating cast of young actors, whereas the main players in the 40-50+ range all stayed on from season to season). Was before she broke out big. Love Luke Kirby.

If you didn't appreciate much, any, or all of the Shakespeare that was part of the curriculum in high school, this series might change that. But it's a heck of a lot more than that as well. Definitely for theatre geeks (it just happened to start airing during the one year I was heavily involved in three plays both behind the scenes and on stage at a local community theatre). There's a DVD boxed set out there.

Thanks Waxbanks for posting.
Moderators' decisions get discussed via email. Please do not discuss them in comments. Thank you.

[ edited by Simon on 2016-10-25 09:41 ]
Right this is the last time, moderators decisions don't get discussed on site. If you have issues, email us. That's always been our policy. We're more than happy to discuss them with you. The address is at the bottom of the page. What I don't appreciate is the same comments getting posted over and over again, despite our warnings.

Roll on November 9th.

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