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October 26 2005

Empire Online Joss Interview. Empire Online has a readers only interview with Joss Whedon, where he talks about Buffy, Serenity and Wonder Woman. "Some people have asked about a new series but I don't think that's where the thinking would be."

A nice little interview, just wish it had been published in Empire Magazine proper!

That's a beautiful interview. I'm confused about when the interview was conducted -- there's an implied note of sadness concerning Serenity's performance at the box office that makes it seem pretty recent, but it's hard to tell.
I've talked with a few fans who are disappointed because they thought that the story in Serenity hurt the chances of Firefly returning as a series - as if the movie was supposed to be a launching pad for it to come back to television. Personally, I never saw it as a means to come back to tv and I hadn't gotten the impression that Joss felt that way either. I always read everything as: if the movie does well, we'll get more movies. This interview seems to confirm my interpretation.
Yeah, I can understand people wanting the show back, because we loved the show so much. But I'm on board with what Joss wants. I wouldn't want to watch something Joss made without his heart being in it, and his heart clearly isn't in TV right now, it's in film. This is just the most recent of several times that he's said or implied so.
Personally, I can't wait until Joss has his heart back in TV.
You know, that's not how I read this. Notice his comment about returning to television further up, for one thing, where he repeats remarks he's made before that he wouldn't go back to TV unless, in essence, they weren't going to jerk him around again. And the later comment about "I don't think that's where the thinking would be" is a little vague as to whether he's talking about his thinking, or talking about the thinking of the Powers That Be.

Which is not to say I think there's a new series in the offing, because I don't. But looking at his comments over the past several months, it has more to do with TV not being ready to let him come in and do what he wants without interference than with much of anything else.
Which episode of Firefly was he talking about that had a guest director that neither "knew nor cared"?
I'd bet large amounts of money that Joss is being deliberately vague, always careful not to close a door completely. It's a "never say never" kind of a business he's in.
The word that captures how I think Joss feels about TV now is "disillusioned". I don't doubt that he loves the medium, he's said many times that he loves the kind of serial storytelling it allows. But after the different kinds of injustice that were doled out to Firefly and then Angel, I think he just doesn't see why he should set himself up for that kind of disappointment. Maybe in a couple of years that will change...
Does anyone else think it's about POWER? If JW makes WW and it's a hit, that means he can bring in the money (as well as loyal fans and great reviews) and that equals power. And if he makes a horror movie that does well, that's more of the same... Money and power equals "enhanced ability" ;) to tell the stories the way he wants, and isn't that what we want? I don't doubt he'd do television again, although it's more likely to be a high profile cable series than network TV, IMHO. That way he'd have more flexibility to do it in his own time, at his own pace (which is not exactly snail-like).

For that reason, I'd much rather he focus on WW and possible "blockbusters" for now, even if it means delayed gratification on returning to the 'verses he's already created (excepting the Spike TV movie, which is supposedly in the works already).
I have to say, I'm lookin' forward to Goners--I wish JW a long and happy film career (as we all do ), and as much as I love his TV work, I'd rather he be able to do the things he wants to without too many compromises. Network TV is not worthy of him, these days, IMO. Of course it'd be wonderful if he came back crowned in Movie glory, ready to lay down the law to the TV execs, but that won't happen right away. WW may be the vehicle for that, perhaps.
Not even box office success makes a sure thing on network television (can someone else mention "Dark Angel" so I don't have to?...oh wait...).
Which is why I imagine Joss will be smart, build up a respectable blossoming film career over the next two to four films or however many it takes, then go to HBO or another cable outlet who'd love to work with him. Alan Ball was approached by HBO for Six Feet Under after just one film, American Beauty, which he wrote but didn't direct (an exec at HBO pitched him the family running a funeral home idea, so he ran with it). He'd worked in television even less than Joss at the time, though I think he had lotsa theatre experience. Also, it's worth noting that American Beauty was more the kind of film that was a mainstream critical darling, as opposed to a more niche-ish warmly received film like Serenity. Even so, it seems like Joss already has enough clout that he could approach HBO and they'd take a serious interest. But to have enough of it, to be a big enough name to better ensure that a series wouldn't be *cancelled at HBO if it didn't catch on right away, he should be successful in film first. Then return to TV with a vengeance. He may've made his name on network television, but I think it just has to be abandoned at this point, for the most part. Hey I watch Lost too, but that stuff David Fury was saying about ABC not liking the supernatural elements of the show 'cause they were worried about alienating the general audience has me worrying that they'll interfere eventually, try to steer the course of things. Shows just seem more secure on cable, with networks there're even more variables and risks to them completing their intended story.

*They kept Carnivale around for a season more than they seemed to want to and that was probably because of Ronald Moore helping Daniel Knauf at the time, but also just 'cause HBO's polite that way and fan response through a HBO website survey had some impact).
What is it about people not liking supernatural elements. Don't they want a bit of mystery and possibility in their lives over and above "Will she live, doctor?" and "I think the boyfriend did it.. I can tell by this bloodstain on the collar of the dog that's owned by a guy two suburbs away who has the same first name as the victim". SIGH.
Which episode of Firefly was he talking about that had a guest director that neither "knew nor cared"?


Heart of Gold? (I don't know, and don't remember enough of the commentaries to remember if there were director issues with it.)

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