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May 25 2005

Spike TV movie still 'a project of interest' for the WB president. And David Janollari tells TV Guide's Ausiello that Joss "has yet to pick up the phone to discuss the matter with him" (scroll down to the bottom of the page to read).

To me sounds like the same finger pointing that has always happened with the Wb and Joss. Joss is a busy man and if he has not done anything in two months, I sincerly doubt he has the time with all the Serinty and Wondy stuff.

But to me it sounds like the same he said she said stuff that came out right after Angel got cancelled and they both went back and forth over the 4 so-called tv movies and who should contact who, who said what, until it came out those movies were really never anything but talk. Ripper all over again.

[ edited by FalenAnjl on 2005-05-25 10:45 ]
Yeah, this doesn't give me much hope because it seems like the same old stuff that the WB has been saying all along. If they were that interested they'd call Joss up and ask him. They're the ones with the struggling network afterall.

And for all of you that are interested in seeing Veronica Mars, he mentioned that it will be shown in repeats starting in June.
That is a big nod to VM. Most networks don't do repeats unless they can make money. It is why the wb never repeated Angel, they lost money on it's repeat.

I wonder what the off record stuff was. Maybe money. Maybe they want certain cast members?It is not beyond them to require certain things to seal a deal. Maybe Faith/Eliza? Who knows. But deffinatly still at square one.
Anyone remember back in January when this guy said that a spike movie had never crossed his mind? I bet it hasn't since then either. Project of interest my ass.
I remember that eddy.

Hum...I was hoping for slightly more positive news than this from the snippet! To me it sounds as though the "off the record stuff" is the real hold-up and the "Joss has yet to phone me" comment is just an excuse.

I know very little about how the TV industry works, the internal politics of it all. So, I am going to choose to be positive and say at least it wasn't a direct "no"!

Also, I'm going to pretend that the original four TV movies that were discussed are still in consideration, and this is where the hold up lies. So, that would be Spike, Illyria, Faith and Ripper. Anyone who wishes to join me in my la-la land is quite welcome.
bubblecat, im joining
Joss - Dude - pick up the phone! PLEASE!!!!! I dont care who is at fault for what - I want more Spike !
I wonder what was in "off the record stuff".

Simply put: are they both too proud to make the first move or right now Joss is shopping Buffyverse movie on some other channel?
Moscow Watcher, I was wondering the same. Couldn't be possible that Joss's rooting for Fox and that that is why he said that Joss must make the move?
bubblecat, your la-la land sounds like a nice place, Do you have the 'all Joss all the time' channels mentioned in the other thread, comfy chairs and free drinks for everyone as well ?

If that is the case can I visit for a short vacation before going back to being my usual pessimistic self ?
All are welcome in my la-la land....excepts for reavers.

There are sofas, leather ones and tea lights for the mood lighting and 24 TV hour Joss TV with Joss ads.

I shall put this here, even if it's just hearsay and speculation. Mr Head was asked about The Return of Ripper at Collectorama and said that he would be wiling to do it, but that it was all up to Joss. He speculated that the format would be a DVD release of four movies of two hours a piece(the other three centered around different characters) - the question was asked by a fan over at Buffyworld, so credit to him/her.

I too am quite interested to know what the "off the record" comments were!
Janollari's response doesn't sound so bad or vague to me as it does to some of you. There are better ways for a network head to damn the possibility of a Spike TV movie in networkheadspeak than "Janollari insisted a William the Bloody telepic was most definitely not [strong emphasis added by Ausiello] a lost cause, adding that it remains a "project of interest" for him."

The key to what's going on here lies in the "off the record stuff" that Ausiello and Janollari discussed over what the holdup to a Spike TV movie has been. Damn Ausiello for not sharing it with us! But Ausiello is choosing his words carefully here, I think. Remember, he has talked to Joss a couple of times and to Janollari a couple of times. If Ausiello thinks that "the ball is in Joss's court" I put some stock in his opinion. He certainly knows more than any of us do. If you look at Joss's March 05 comment to Ausiello about a Spike TV movie (Ausiello provides the link), you'll see that while Joss has a lot of interest (or said he did in March), he hadn't contacted Janollari or anyone else at the WB. Who should contact whom first? I'm not in the TV business, so I don't know. But remember, Janollari wasn't around when Angel was cancelled. It's a new regime, a fresh slate. For there to be a Spike TV movie, negotiations would have to begin all over again and someone would have to make a first move. TV movies aren't created in TV critics' internet columns.

In my humble opinion, it sounds to me like Joss is interested but awfully busy with other things right now and he may or may not ever get around to coming up with something concrete. It sounds like Janollari is interested and hasn't ruled anything out but is waiting to be contacted with a concrete pitch. Not the greatest news for folks who want a Spike TV movie, but not the worst news, either. The worst news would be for either or both sides to say, "Nope, the world has moved on, Angel/Spike is the past, we're looking towards the future."
I don't see why he would say that it has potential if it doesn't. Really, what would be the point. I've decided to be hopeful. Hope that Joss will do this.
Very good point phlebotinin...it looks like a stalemate at this time...or as simply as you have stated...Joss is far too busy right now to get anything together for the movie. He has said he is interested...but he is overwhelmed right now. Or maybe as someone else said...he wants another network to pick it up or show interest. I have no idea either about the proper protocol for getting things done in HollyWeird...but Joss needs some time to get thinking on these movies...and then if he has something concrete he will shop it around. I wish we had something more optimistic right now, but I am still hopefull this will happen. I do hope the networks will take some initiative as well...but maybe it is too soon and maybe Joss does have to make the first move. I'm looking at the bright side...Joss says he has not given up on the Buffyverse...so if this means movies or a new series...great. And though the answer is vague from the WB...it still is not a definitive..NO...so that to me is still positive. I would rather see another network do the movie...but who knows.....
At least he didn't say "no."
And Joss does wanna return to the slayerverse.

We just have to worry about when.
If the WB really wanted to blow us off, Janollari would simply say that it's not going to happen and put an end to the speculation. TV execs have never been shy about saying no before. I don't expect anything to happen in the near future, but this answer is better than a definitive no.
Personally for me, the most hopeful thing I've heard is that Joss has approached James about something Spike related. You really can't pitch something to a network without getting your ducks in a row. Maybe that's what Joss is doing, and he'll approach the networks when it's all in order. Maybe now he's talking to writers and crew about their availability. I know that we want something NOW, but these things take time, and I've gotta trust that Joss knows what he's doing since he's been in the biz longer than any of us have(or ya know, at all).

We're all so used to Joss multi-tasking, but let's remember: He's got a little one and another bound to pop at any moment, a new movie in it's tweaking stage and another on deck, a comic to write, and god knows what other lines he's got in the water that just make me tired thinking about. Let's cut him a little slack and be patient. It's hard, I know.

And hey, we gotta wait for James to grow his hair out. I say when the fans see that happening, it's a good sign!
Ausiello pretty much laid it on the line. He said if there wasn't a chance, he'd tell the Spike fans to give up.

WB guy didn't want us to give up.

Joss keeps saying that he wants to do this.

I am still on the hopeful side.
Just a small thought, the WB had wanted Angel to be more like BTVS(or how they perceived it, light and quippy), now Spike is often a source of humor in the verse, but his story could hardly be called light and quippy. Perhaps the WB wants droll funny Spike, when creatively, Spike's story has necessarily moved into far deeper territory. Would Joss be interested in doing a 'funny' Spike movie when the character is actually poised for his own season 6, 7 and ATS 5 belly of the whale story? Is the WB the right fit for anything Joss anymore?

Edited to say, where's my manners? I'm new to the group but have been avidly following Whedonesque for ever. (Like a groupie kind of, just not in a stalkery way:))

[ edited by ramses 2 on 2005-05-25 17:12 ]
Well I think we'll really see what's what when Serenity is truly in the can. Then Joss can look at some other things. I doubt he'd fully write and direct a Spike movie anyway, so if he can just have a good idea and/or break the basic story, he can get Jane or Marti or Doug or David, etc etc. to crank out a script. We all know James would jump at the chance and Jane has said on record she'd always want to be involved with anything Buffyverse related, so I'm thinking it's a definite possibility, which is more than it seemed to be, say, two months ago.
Janollari, when confronted with the question, which included the phrase ".... tell me now and I'll tell them to give up" most likely recognized a PR disaster in the making. Not wishing to be this year's Levin, he gives a throw-away non-answer and tries to re-direct any fan anger towards Joss. At least, that's what I read.

Fine with me. The WB sucks bug guts, anyway. On to HBO!
Janollari, when confronted with the question, which included the phrase ".... tell me now and I'll tell them to give up" most likely recognized a PR disaster in the making


Yes, he definitely realised that he has been cornered by Ausiello. No new hits in sight on The WB and critics tell fans to give up because Mr. Janollari said so - not a favorable position.
I'd just like to add my voice to the unholy chorus of the still-interested.

*Raises hands Jossward*

"Hallelujah, praise the Spike!"
So the only thing that he's actually saying, is that THE WB, under his regime is open to the idea, nothing more.

And now it's up for Joss, who as we all know very well is über busy right now.

That's not saying much in my opinion, since it just leave us at the same spot that we already were.

It's not uncommon networks approaching creators for new shows, and I still feel it lacks such proactiveness from THE WB, who's got more to gain, than lose giving us a more definite answer.

Though there are several advantages from this neither yay or nay answer, which is leaving most fans lost in the midst, so they'll still be on the media spotlight. It's the Agenda Setting effect.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2005-05-25 19:11 ]
Joss is working with Universal pretty tightly these days. They own SciFi, where Firefly will be rebroadcast in July. Who's to say that SciFi wouldn't be interested in a telemovie? They did it for Farscape, and I don't know about the diehard fans, but I was a newbie watching Peacekeeper Wars and I really liked it. LOVED Taken. It's cable but they play the nightly run three times quite often. I think Joss has a really good relationhip with them, so why bother with the WB? As someone pointed out, he has outgrown them, and what they are comfortable handling.
I might be mistaken but did Joss not say in some fairly recent interview that he has not really even started working on Wonder Woman because of Serenity post-production responsibilities (and then added something abut future Serenity PR events)?

Well, if Joss is finishing up all things Serenity and has Wonder Woman breathing in his neck (I mean that in a figure of speech way) maybe calling Janollari isn’t his Nr 1 priority??

I wish it was!
....but that is me being selfish…
I might be mistaken but did Joss not say in some fairly recent interview that he has not really even started working on Wonder Woman because of Serenity post-production responsibilities (and then added something abut future Serenity PR events)?


Yes he did, he's a very busy man.
With Serenity finally being all tied up, finished, and allowing Joss & Co. to breathe until September, and the fact that Wonder Woman doesn't exactly have a due date, wouldn't now be a very good time to start talks on regarding the Spike thing? It isn't something that HAS to be done for a midseason start next season or anything, but it'd be nice if we had confirmation of either Joss or the network telling us they'd talked, etc. The suspense (in addition to the repeated fact that everyone keeps telling me "Joss is taking a break") is really killing me.

Sometimes I wish that I could interview Joss and ask him the important questions.
I was rather encouraged by Janollari's statement, I was expecting a repeat of his previous statements. I think he was being sincere, I see no ego or hidden agenda at play here. What would Janollari benefit by stringing people along? He has been asked this question often these past six months, if he had no interest in a Spike movie, I think he would have said so.

And I wouldn't be surprised if Joss hasn't had a chance to work on this project. As several of you have pointed out, Joss is a very busy man at the moment. We know how important 'Serenity' is to him, I imagine he's spending every effort ensuring the movie will be a success (Good for us!). On the same note, how do we know he hasn't been working out the details of a Spike movie? Anyone who follows Joss' work knows he isn't the type to make any public announcements on a project until he has every 't' crossed and every 'i' dotted. We just need to be patient.
Serenity isn't all tied up and finished yet Christopher. I suspect Joss will be busy until September, not to mention all the publicity he will have to do.
For the WB president it deffintly can come down to publicity. He still is a sort of politician.Think of how many walked after Angel. He is trying to keep people intrested, yet not really saying more then he ever has. Really what needs to be known are the factors OFF the record.

My opinion, maybe they want to see what Supernatural does, to see if the WB can support a supernatural anything again. Because as much as I loved Charmed in the early days, all it is now is skimpy bad outfits and soap-opera. And not counting Smallville which has it's own mythological fanbase ready built, all the other shows are teen or adult drama's with no genre flair at all.

Post-prod if learned anything from reading The Making of Revenge of the Sith (My husband bought it I swear!)is very very long process. Especially for sci-fi. Joss seems the hands one kind of guy to, always tinkering. And if any of us remember the publcity campaign SMG went on for the Grudge, I would bet Joss and Co will be on one of the same.

Anyone know, or have a idea or thought of how long it will be till Joss sits down and a least starts some rough thoughts of Wondy? I know they said no time line, But I might assume they would hope to have a teaser trailer to go before Superman?
Think of how many walked after Angel.

What does this mean?
Fan wise. How many left the WB or swore never to watch the network again. I only watched Smallville because of Lois and one day will watch the end of Charmed, but otherwise I don't watch the network anymore. Many only watch GG and that's it now, when before that network was the majority of what you watched.

But hey, maybe a tv movie would open up the door to the animated cartoon finding a home, or vice versa.
The WB was never the network that contained the majority of what I watched - Angel was it for me. The fanbase online is trivial compared to the actual number viewers, many of whom really aren't aware of all this stuff, so its hard to really say that those Angel fans who swore never to watch the network again are enough to really explain the current drop in ratings. I think that has more to do with the fact that most of their shows are of low quality and there's better to be found elsewhere.
That is very true. The offline communtiy is ten times the online. But mainly the nelsien homes are the only ones that matter. That and any advertisers. But when the WB was at it's peak it did have a majority of shows. Like Buffy, Angel, DC, Smallville, Charmed and so on. Cable tv and the fact that cop and forensic dramas are all the rage, I am sure hurts them badly.
Yes, killinj! "low quality"
I figured out awhile back that NBC shows weren't as cool as I thought they were, but in comparison to WB programming, they are pretty darn genius.

ETA: I will also one day tune in to watch the end of Charmed. Last night I tuned in for the first time in forever (rerun) and there was this line about a character and they used the words "one girl in all the world" and "each generation" and "chosen one" and it was way too stilted to be funny, so...

[ edited by April on 2005-05-26 00:48 ]
In the world of network televison, imitation is the highest form of flattery. So those producers are really tipping their hats towards Joss. What did James Marsters say in his last interview? "Everyone is ripping off Joss." Understandable, minds like his are hard to come by in Hollywood.
Charmed has always ripped Buffy off.
Well, from all we've heard recently--from what James has said, to the recent comments by Joss in continuing the buffyverse, to this recent news by the WB guy, I'll say I'm going to stay positive here.

But on the other hand, no news of Tru Calling's last episode? Ausiello, how could you!?!
Gang, this ain't just about pride. You gotta follow the money. Where's the money in this?

If Whedon goes to WB, it will look like he's asking the network for money. He might also have to eat crow for things said before Buffy left WB for UPN. If the network goes to Whedon, then that puts Joss in the catbird seat. He can ask the network for more money cuz it looks like they're crawling to him. Some may see this as pride, but it's really about money.

The WB can't really afford Whedon. Most networks are hurting for money and have been for years, which is why they are resorting to programming that's less expensive to produce and lower in quality. I don't know how much money Whedon gets just having his name on a project, but while he's no Spielberg or Hitchcock, he's definitely on the mat. He's got a place to barter from, but it's more precarious than some of us might presume. His stuff is critically hailed and he does have a following, but money people in Hollywood look at the numbers, and his aren't all that consistent.

If Whedon goes back to television now it'd be one step forward and two steps back. He should wrap up Serenity and do Wonder Woman, THEN she where he stands on that mat. Personally I don't see a Spike telepic in the near future, considering the present landscape.

What we need is an outside financial interest. A diehard fan with some real collateral to bring these people together. That'd change things. It's a shame in a way, that there's no ethical or legal way to get fans to pool their money together like they do for charities. You'd have to raise several million dollars though, to get either party to take you seriously, and there's too many legal pitfalls to such an enterprise.
ZachsMind has it spot on! The politics of television mean that whoever makes the first move tends to always be the one doing the chasing! If Joss goes to the WB, or any other network for that matter, he will ultimately be forced to compromise again, and he knows that. If they go to him then he will have a much better position to bargain from!

If there was a way to find an outside investor who had the interests of the cast, crew and fans first and foremost in mind then things might be different but we all know that the networks don't work that way so as long as Joss works with them he will be forever hindered in what he can do!

By the way, ZachsMind, i thought the use of the word "enterprise" was very appropriate ... considering the content of your final paragraph! Hehe!
ZacksMind, deeply respect your thinking, but you lost me at a few turns there (cat's meow perhaps?). I agree it all comes down to money, however I don't think that's an issue.
I don' know, maybe cranky this morning, but a good part of me just wants the WB to go away. They seem to be doing pretty well at that. If Joss doesn't call Janollari, why doesn't he call Joss? I hope Joss does take what he does elsewhere. It would be like that tree falling in the forest with nobody there if it aired on the WB. Going for coffee.
How is it different from pitching a show to any other network? There's always money involved. As I understand it, the money (licensing fee) is arranged via negotiations with 20th Century Fox who front the production costs. Joss figures out what he wants to do and comes up with a budget. 20th Century says we need X amount from a network to give you that budget. Negotiations take place under a number is reached that's acceptable to everyone. The distinctions you're making have to do with pride and political brinksmanship.
It's undoubtably true that pride, brinksmanship and money figure into the equation, but as I see it this is also about who Joss wants to work with. The quality of his potential interactions at the WB have a great deal to do, I would imagine, with whether or not this is something in which he'd consider getting himself involved. (Assuming, of course, that he'll be the one on set.)

Recalling a year ago: The WB treated Angel -- and by extension Joss and everyone else associated with the show, including us, its dedicated-for-years-fanbase -- like crap. Not a great incentive for continuing a relationship with them, in spite of Janollari's replacing Levin in the suit hierarchy. Our desire for such a TV movie/series notwithstanding, Joss's concern is likely to be more focused on the mundane, i.e. 'Can I actually stand working with these people again (since, besides Levin, likely almost everyone else he'd be dealing with would be the same as before), after the way they handled Angel's cancellation?' Only he knows the answer to that question, and by all appearances he isn't rushing to fill in that blank.

I'm sure it's not that Joss doesn't know we're all salivating for something out here, and I'm sure the WB is still aware the Whedon fanbase is ardently hoping for a continuation of the 'verse (as evidenced by the article posted elsewhere mentioning that Supernatural will tap into some of Angel's territory). I just think he's extremely busy with other projects, and the WB was extremely stupid not to be nicer to Joss when they could still afford him, and we're extremely impatient, and there's a whole lot of money and egos and spin involved that have to be laboriously untangled and nailed down before anything concrete can happen.

I'd like to believe something will happen eventually, but this is a situation where I'm definitely not going to be holding my breath.

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