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January 17 2006

'Door still open for Joss to do Spike movie' say The WB. But as entertainment president David Janollari told reporters at the TCA's winter press tour, "Joss Whedon is fast becoming a big-feature filmmaker. He's currently working on an adaptation of Wonder Woman for Warner Bros. He's simply just not been available to us".

This was the original link:

Janollari said "the door is open" to do a spin-off TV movie starring James Marsters' Spike from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." But he admitted the prospect was less likely now that creator Joss Whedon has established himself as a credible big-budget fantasy filmmaker ("Serenity," the forthcoming "Wonder Woman").


but the URL was changed to iFMagazine's website (as they have the exact quote).

Blah blah blah, with a little more blah thrown in for good measure!

Yet more passing of the blame by the suits at the WB. Just in case the Spike movie doesn't happen they want to make damn certain everyone thinks it's down to Joss, rather than anything they might have done. Despite the fact we all know that Joss' movie commitments are not going to effect his involvement in the Buffyverse's future in any way. Or maybe he was just telling a big old fib about pushing for the movie and working on the comics. Guess who i'm more likely to believe.

Anybody here actually think for one second that the WB will have anything at all to do with the future of the Buffyverse anyway? Nah, me neither.
It does feel like The WB has been bringing out excuse after excuse over the Spike movie but then I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.
I'll second that Blah!
Why would Joss film career affect this in any way at all? Didn't I hear something awhile back about him approaching Tim Minear to do this?
Didn't I hear something awhile back about him approaching Tim Minear to do this?


Yes you did.
So, Joss is credible so they would like him to do it but know that he will have no time. So when it is announced some time in the future that Tim is doing it, WB will say that he doesn't have the same kind of track record. I'm just guessing here but it does seem likely.
Joss may have 'first pass' on a project like that, it depends on the legal state of affairs. Plus, to be honest, whilst I have absolute faith in Tim as a writer - Buffy was Joss' baby, I'd want him involved in a story (or more) in that 'verse.

Who says it has to be at The WB anyway?
Well since my Greg The Bunny dvd's arrived this morning and I just watched the 1st episode I'd like to add a big [Count] Blah to anything the WB have to say on the subject.
Hm this quote from Janollari translates in my mind to: " I don´t get why people are still asking for this, but Í´ll just nod and point to Joss so that they go and bother him for a change!"
And here I am not surprised the ratings of WB have decreased.
Am I the only one who's giddy? I think its great that the subject of a Spike movie comes up at every single press tour. It doesn't matter if we believe what the WB says or not. After all, it shows that there's still a demand out there, which can hopefully be used to convince 20th Century Fox, who actually has a say in whether it gets made or not, rather than the WB. Bravo to all the reporters who keep bringing it up!
It's a sad state of affairs for the Buffyverse when only one newspaper (as far as I can make out) has picked up on this news.

What are the odds that it was Mike Ausiello from TV Guide that actually asked the question about the Spike movie?
Simon, I was coming to ask the same question. I think Ausiello is keeping at them and is not going to let up.. ( much to their horror, I'm sure)
I think Ausiello said he wasn't going to be at this TCA press tour, so it was some other reporter. IF Magazine has the exact quote:

"We would love to do a SPIKE movie with Joss Whedon," says Janollari. "Joss Whedon is fast becoming a big-feature filmmaker. He's currently working on an adaptation of WONDER WOMAN for Warner Bros. He's simply just not been available to us. But he knows and you guys all know, the door is open any time that he wants to do that -- for us to do that movie. We're thankful that James Marsters is on SMALLVILLE this year, keeping him alive on our network."
That's a far better quote thanks killnj, I'll swap URLs around.
Again with the interpretation issues tho' this time from English to, well, English. Much better news now tho', sounds a lot more positive.

What is it they say, 'believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear' ? Good advice considering how little of the intent of the original message made it through to the 'Star Ledger' quote.
Oh, so Joss knows the door is open to do that movie? Well then... Joss should make them eat those words and ask them to make it. ;-)
Tim is gonna write and direct it, but Joss owns the franchise, its not like he just says do it, legal terms have to be met and agreed upon not just for TV but for an eventual dvd release, thats a lot of time consuming negotiations. Plus Joss, even trusting Tim to do it will give the final yay or nay to any script, so it cant be done over night. Joss is in early stages of two films right now, he has to find time to work out the spike specs. PLus, i personally think he wants the WB to sweat a little bit after that crap with Angel.
I think its 20th Century Fox that has to agree to make it. Sort of the same boat as Firefly, to get on TV or even DVD, 20th Century has to agree.

The WB's press tour was yesterday, so I'm guessing the news just hasn't made the rounds yet and will appear in more media outlets soon.
Yep, have to admit that the actual comment made by Janollari does put him in a better light than the interpretation given in the Star Ledger article so i take back at least two of the blahs i gave in my first post.

Still blah blah though. The WB have a lot more work to do before i'm willing to start taking their word at face value again. And by "a lot more work" what i mean is giving the greenlight to another Buffyverse series on their network and bowing down at the feet of Joss Whedon in an attempt to apologise for axing Angel, that kind of thing.
I don't think there is that many legalalities. Fox still owns the rights. The only thing that would have to be negotiated would be the broadcasting rights and salaries. However, I don't think DJ has even approached Joss. How many times have we read comments from the WB about wanting a movie, just to have JW himself say they have not even approached him? TM says JW has approached him. Until we get confirmation from JW or TM that a scripts is done, to me nothing is done.

I can't wait until a script is done and they say it's in the WB's court. Then let's see what DJ says. I personally think they should skip the WB and go to another network. That would be just sweet justice. I hope they stick with UPN or TNT.
Taking into account everything that would have to come together for a Spike movie to happen (most importantly, no one has even written a script yet as far as we know) I don't see the Spike movie ever happening—and not because it's Joss’ 'fault'.
If the WB varmints are "thankful that James Marsters is on SMALLVILLE this year, keeping him alive on our network" I don't think they'll feel much inclined to go to the extra expense for a movie when they can reap the benefits of the ratings boost for Smallville that James brings. The only time a movie is mentioned is when someone pokes them with a pointed stick and they say "Soon!" Or the current answer seems to be "We were rarin' to go, but now that Whedon guy wants to write and direct features instead".
As I recall, the movie talk started soon after Angel was killed and none of the suits had the balls to make make a definite decision one way or the other since then. I expect more of the same until till the end of time.
I'm very grateful for the WB keeping James Marsters alive. Though I'm sure it's news to him.

And as for the comment about Joss knows that the WB want the Spike movie and can do it anytime he wants to it. I just read that as "hey let's kick Joss around one more time". It's not working WB, change your tune.
It sounds like maybe WB want Whedon writing/directing. We need to get Ausiello to pin Janollari done and ask him if a spike movie gets a green light with Minear writing/directing, then if he says no, keep poking him til he agrees.
My thought too, Simon. Interesting turn of phrase concerning JM. That brings to mind the question though, if they are so anxious to keep him alive at their network, did they gave any consideration to the series ideas that he and David Greenwalt were shopping around awhile ago...

Somewhere I remember reading that near the end of BTVS S3 someone had said to Joss (SMG perhaps) that he should sign-up JM before some other show got him instead. Maybe the WB should think about that as well. JM is building a career. Joss is building a career. Instead of using Joss's success as an excuse not to do something, they should be trying to get under the wire with these two guys before they absolutely cannot afford them anymore. That would be logical and good business.

Oh yeah. Never mind.

[ edited by newcj on 2006-01-17 18:20 ]
I simply no longer believe the WB at this point. They made a bad choice in cancelling AtS and they've been trying to make excuses ever since. I'm not buying it.
Well...um...it sounded sorta positive...

*shies away*
"JM is builing a career."

What, a recurring role on Smallville?
"JM is builing a career." (sic)

What, a recurring role on Smallville?
PMMJ "

Well he's had a very sucessful career on stage and TV already

As to his work post BTVS AtS

Well, let's see..two films. guest spots, the aforementioned recurring role on Smallville Plus audio book work ,music ( album and sold out tours) a very succesful theatre performance in London. Oh and a ton of ongoing positive press coverage .


Yep I'd say he was building a career.

I'd love to see the Spike movie happen but I'm not holding my breath.

[ edited by debw on 2006-01-17 19:42 ]

[ edited by debw on 2006-01-17 19:43 ]
James has had some publicity due to the fact that he had to turn down several roles because of family obligation. This is a man who knows what he wants and does what he chooses. He said he'd do the Spike movie, but in a certain time frame. It sounds like Janarelli (Sp) is putting the ball in Joss's court.

Does anyone know, does FOX still have first rights to these characters, or can the WB put up the money for a movie?
What ever network be it Fox or the WB would have to deal with 20th Century Fox (the production company) who own the rights. Or something like that.
Who says it has to be at The WB anyway?
I figured that when talk began about the Spike movie being a straight to DVD, that they were going to skip WB and just work with 20th Century Fox. That based on the high sales of the Buffy and Angel DVD's that they could support a movie if it went straight to DVD. They could end up making more money that way, selling more copies without it being on tv first and then later selling the tv rights to a network after it's been released. 20th Century Fox done this once with the straight-to-DVD Family Guy movie which did really, really well.
Agreed. The WB doesn't have to be an option. Furthermore, 20th Century Fox could sell it to the Sci-Fi Channel and also release it via iTunes as well as sell it on DVD.

For me, those options would mean a very good return on the initial investment. And lets not forget about overseas sales (i.e. Sky One in the UK etc).
I get all the venom and lack of trust toward WB. I do. But I believe their statement.

Joss is super busy. He's coming off his first movie and working on 2 others (maybe even more we don't know about). He's writing a comic book. He has a wife and kids he probably likes to spend time with.

I imagine it's possible the WB has no intention to follow through with this, I dunno about that, but for the time being, I certainly believe that Joss has been too busy to move forward with this. It took months just to get James and Tim on board, which are no-brainers. I don't expect this to happen overnight even if all parties are willing.

Reading the last couple of posts, that sounds like a very good explanation for why the WB has not been hearing from Joss about this, he might realize he's better off doing this without them.
You all might be interested in this Seattle Based TV Gal Blog about the WB's TCA event. The "James Marsters Army" comment made me chuckle.
I simply no longer believe the WB at this point. They made a bad choice in cancelling AtS and they've been trying to make excuses ever since. I'm not buying it.
Madhatter


I seriously have not watched the WB since Angel's Finale. No reason too. I dont like any of the other crap they show. Sadly i dont really like Smallville, so i havent seen James on it at all.
I don't think there is that many legalalities. Fox still owns the rights. The only thing that would have to be negotiated would be the broadcasting rights and salaries. However, I don't think DJ has even approached Joss. How many times have we read comments from the WB about wanting a movie, just to have JW himself say they have not even approached him? TM says JW has approached him. Until we get confirmation from JW or TM that a scripts is done, to me nothing is done.

I can't wait until a script is done and they say it's in the WB's court. Then let's see what DJ says. I personally think they should skip the WB and go to another network. That would be just sweet justice. I hope they stick with UPN or TNT.
DarenG



Fox only owns distribution rights to the old shows, not the creative licence. Anything done with it has to be okay'd by the person who owns that...which is Joss. NOt just broadcasting right have to be negotiated, but budgetting, distribution, allocations from both, product licensing dispertion, origin of funds etc....(No the WB doesnt just write a check, TV studios often make producers pay at least some, thats in the process) Its not as simple as "yeah lets do it". Even when both sides agree, they each have a dozen attorneys bicker between each other to get every detail right.
Pongluver, your post was very informative--I always forget how many things must fall into place in order for a movie to get made. However, we have all seen what Joss can get accomplished when he says he wants something. So, given that I'm feeling particularly optimistic today, since Joss says he wants to do the Spike movie, I'm going to assume (today) that the Spike movie will happen.
killinj, thanks for your link to TV Gal Blog, which is posted on the Seattle PI newspaper website. It's interesting that James, while he was active in Seattle theater, got many good reviews from the PI and their competitor, the Seattle Times (where I used to work--unfortunately not at the same time that James was in the neighborhood emoting. *Sigh*). I, too, enjoyed the "James Marsters Army" comment.

So. 'Ten-hut!' (How on earth *do* you spell that bastardization of "Attention!"?) Anyway, any of you grunts in JM's army have any ideas of how we might "muster" some more interest from TPTB or indeed anybody to maybe help things along for a Spike movie? I tend to agree with most of what I've read in these comments. I think this movie could get made, but "players" like the WB get in the mix and muddy the waters. (Oh, I should be flogged for mixing these metaphors!) I hope they're sincere, but since the demise of AtS, I don't trust them one iota--not their integrity, their judgment or their taste ("Oh yeah. Never mind. newcj"). But I'd be willing to forgive if they prove sincere.

I've said it before (though not here), and I'll say it again: please, JW, TM or any/all of the BtVS/AtS alums, please please please and, um, please?, give us a Spike movie. And I'd love it if it could be done by totally doing an end run around the WB. Poetic justice, that. But really, anything, anything, as long as we get a Spike movie just as soon as humanly (inhumanly?) possible. . . .
In case anyone was wondering, Mike Ausiello did not ask the question. This is what he had to say in his latest TV Guide column.

Question: Any updates on the Spike movie? — Sam

Ausiello: I wasn't able to attend the WB exec session on Monday due to the Globes, so I did what any omnipresent being would do: I channeled the obligatory Spike movie question through one of my peers. "We'd love to do a Spike movie with Joss Whedon," replied network president David Janollari. "[But] he's currently working on Wonder Woman… and simply has not been available to us." OK, I've got a follow-up to that: Someone in the room ask him, "Isn't that what Tim Minear is for?" (Crickets) One more time: Will someone in the room please ask him, "Isn't that what Tim Minear is for?" (Crickets) Crikey, it appears I lost my connection.

Mmm. Not sure where my mind is gone today, but I am quite sure Mr Minear could also be used for all sorts of other purposes, some of which might make you blush. Best of all, can you imagine how interesting the pillow talk would be?

I am of course speaking entirely hypothetically, you understand.
There is an article at Sci Fi Wire about the Janollari statement. Nothing particularly new but given that the WB has now publically stated that they will do the Spike movie if Joss contacts them (at least that is the way i'm reading "But he knows, and you guys all know, the door is open any time that he wants to do that, for us to do that movie.") i really wish Joss would just call their bluff and get in touch.

Go on, Joss! Make them sweat! ;)

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