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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Given that you're a raping scumbag one tick shy of a murderer. I can't recall, do you take sugar?"
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January 29 2005

Joss Whedon wanted for 'Shadowmancer'. The author of the best selling fantasy novel says Universal want Joss to write the movie script. "He's their number one choice and he is my number one choice".

If you're like me and never heard of the book, here's some details of it at Amazon.co.uk. Personally, I'd like to see Joss tackle "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell".

It must give him a whole bunch of warm fuzziness to feel so wanted by the Hollywood establishment. First X-men, then Wonder Woman, and now Shadowmancer. Yet, still no mention of giving him the opportunity to do original 'verse related material outside of 'Serenity'. I want new Whedon stuff - never seen before Whedonesque stuff. I want him to discover a new cast that makes the others that come before pale in comparrison - I want him to destroy and demolish all the types of characters Hollywood keeps shoving down are throat in the name of mediocrity. I want him to fully exercise that dialogue and wit, we all know he has, until it hurts to breathe and bleed. I want unabashed pure out and out Whedon, with no delusions (except of grandeur - which he is entitled too) and no distillations or filtering of his thoughts and ideas, through the studios whitewashing machines. Plain and simple, pure Joss Whedon is what we need more of not subjecting him to fit his sensibility around someone elseís dreams or ideas.

Huff Ė huff Ė huff

Ok I am calm now and maybe this would not be a bad little knock off exercise for him anyway to do until he is ready to do whatever next his mind is now churning up to take are breath away by his brilliance yet again.

The personal opinions expressed in the statements above are mine, mine alone, and do not represent the thoughts or sentiments of anyone else on this website. And now I think it's time to go rest my brain cause it's starting to hurt. :)
Yeah, I'm not sure how suited Joss would be for this material. I'd never heard of the book before, so I looked it up on amazon, and apparently it's a Lord of the Rings type fantasy, but kid-oriented with an overall Christian message; so LotR crossed with Narnia. Somehow I can't see Joss seeing this as somehow in his line. If he did adapt it, I don't see how he could do it "straight", because he excells at wit and genre-bending and this book looks like it needs to be translated without bendiness.

If Joss had to be pursued to adapt kiddie fantasy lit to the screen, I'd love it to be Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series, which is dark and strange, though not much given to humor. (he could add that!)

And RavenU, I agree. I'd much prefer to have Joss' original work over his adaptation work anyday -- I still haven't gotten round to seeing Titan A.E. or Alien Resurrection, even though I need my fix. When he's doing his own thing, and allowed to follow through with his own vision (without studio or network interference), his work is just shiny.
Speaking of adaptaions, wouldn't it be nice if Joss did the big(or even small)screen version of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series? I can only dream...
Am I totally off base when I get a "We know this will never happen cause Joss is busy but we are fans of his work and we will get a lot of extra publicity if we mention his name" vibe of this ?
Jpr, I know what you mean *cough*HollyValence*cough* but I can imagine they would genuinly want Joss on board and they sound realistic about their chances.

And I never thought I'd see Whitby Today quoted on Whedonesque...
Yes, this book is definitely religious and was not very well-received. Every review I've read of it has been poor, so I was surprised to see it described as 'best-selling.' I very much doubt Joss would touch this, but if he did I would need to lie down.

And I never thought I'd see Whitby Today quoted on Whedonesque...


It's strangely fitting what with the Dracula connection and all that.
jpr, my thoughts exactly. There's lots of projects I can see Joss taking far, but this surely doesn't leap to mind as his 'thing.'
Everything would be better if Joss wrote it. Anything Joss has a hand in, I'll put down money for. That said, I want him to concentrate on his own original work, not adapting someone else's stuff. Whether it's Buffyverse or Fireflyverse or something else he's dreamed up, I want the real thing: pure Joss, no filters.
I'd be happy to have my work adapted by Joss Whedon as well, but somehow I don't see this one happening...
Even though what I really want is more Buffy/ Angel stories I have to say that Raven U makes an excellent point about entirely new work from Joss. Why should someone who is so full of wonderful and innovative ideas, visions and dialogue waste his time on someone elses?
If memory serves, Joss is aetheist. His usage of religious stuff in the Buffy series was cursory at best. I recall the time Wesley used a cross on vampire Willow and she just kinda sneered at it and turned away bored. I'd imagine a star of David would work on vampy Willow but not a cross, since Rosenberg was born jewish, but Joss didn't even bother going there. Whenever Joss used crosses to burn vampires it was generally because he thought it looked cool, not because he necessarily believed in the Christian faith that was behind the symbol. So I'd imagine if Whedon took this project, read the book, and infused a screenplay with his own take on the issue, the vicar who wrote the original novel would freak out at the end result.

Coincidently, I bet Whedon's version of Waterworld would have been better than what actually ended up on the screen. God, I get shudders just thinking about that one again. I want those two hours of my life back.
Itīs like Harry Potter.
But more (way more) interensting than Wonder Woman.

Yes! His Darks Materials is perfect now that Chris left :D

[ edited by Angel TheVampire on 2005-01-29 20:56 ]
...So I'd imagine if Whedon took this project, read the book, and infused a screenplay with his own take on the issue, the vicar who wrote the original novel would freak out at the end result.

Joss Whedon does describe himself as an atheist, but he has also said he has an interest in the concepts of faith and redemption. BtVS increasingly made use of religious imagery, and it wasn't always in a negative context. For example, 'Amends' could interpreted as such, as could 'Beneath You'.
Coincidently, I bet Whedon's version of Waterworld would have been better than what actually ended up on the screen. God, I get shudders just thinking about that one again. I want those two hours of my life back.

I'm probably the only person who enjoyed waterworld!
Simon I agree that Joss might do an interesting job on Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrell. I'd like to see his take on the thistle haired man. I've just never really seen him as a costume drama type person though, despite all the flashbacks in Buffy and Angel. Still,he could bring the darkness to the movie that the book tried for and didn't quite achieve, in my opinion.
In "Beneath You" he had Spike burning on the cross at the end because it looked cool. He could care less about the religious implications good or bad. His appreciation of the issues of death and sacrifice and resurrection are those of Joseph Campbell. These issues are integral to human mythology. My point is, Whedon appreciates the Christian legend, but he doesn't believe in it any more than he might believe in the tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's good myth. Great fodder for visual storytelling. Quite compelling material, but based on what I've read, this Shadowmancer thing uses catholicism as more than merely a plot element. The writer is trying to tell what is effectively a morality play, and he didn't focus very well on character to do so, because all the characters' voices sound like a well educated priest, even though one of the characters spent three years in a cave.

They claim they want Joss Whedon for this work because Whedon has used similar plot elements, but he hasn't used them in the same ways before.
OH gosh I hope he doesnt write the script because then I'd have to go see it.
In "Beneath You" he had Spike burning on the cross at the end because it looked cool. He could care less about the religious implications good or bad.

I wasn't really thinking about the closing image per se, although that's not particularly important. I am inclined to think Joss doesn't just do things for the fact they look cool. However, I certainly don't know this for a fact and you may well be right.
"In 'Beneath You' he had Spike burning on the cross at the end because it looked cool. He could care less about the religious implications good or bad."

Besides loooking cool it also illustrated the character's state of mind beautifully--better than words alone ever could. And that is, after all, why something is put on screen rather than written as a story or novel. My take is that Joss will use whatever is available in our culture that will resonate with the audience to make his point about the human journey. (Blast, I couldn't think of a less academically pompous way to say it without getting more longwinded.) He does not need to believe the mythology or dogma itself to use it to put across his own point/message. I doubt, for instance, that he actually believes in vampires or mutant humans...well, maybe mutant humans as I sometimes think many of my family may illustrate...myself included. Hmmm.
It must give him a whole bunch of warm fuzziness to feel so wanted by the Hollywood establishment

Yes but...
how many projects can a writer/director realistically carry out in a lifetime? I donít mean somehow be involved in, but be in full on charge of and make his own. 10? 20? 30?

At any rate, itís a finite number. That makes it important to be really choosy what one wants to give time to. (Well, apart from those months when the tax bill is due).

Adaptations are ok, but original stuff if what makes my heart soar, so thatís what I am hoping Joss will spend his time on. Iíll watch just about anything though, as long as he doesnít pull a Scorsese on us and starts directing Amex commercials. I donít care how many film festivals they sponsor, that's where I'll draw the line.

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