Joss Whedon

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Was Loki your favorite part of The Avengers? Do you have fond memories of seeing the Asgardian villain create chaos everywhere he went, trying to take down the intrepid band of superheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents while also getting pummeled by the Hulk? Well too bad, because Tom Hiddleston just confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the god of mischief will not be appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Apparently, he and writer-director Joss Whedon are in agreement that Loki’s story was played out to completion in the first film, and the sequel to the 2012 hit will focus on a new villain for the Avengers to battle. Hiddleston’s fine with it – no, really. “When I think of all the things I loved as a child, for example, Hans Gruber wasn’t in Die Hard 2. And in Indiana Jones, by the time he moved from the Lost Ark to the Temple of Doom, there was a whole new bad guy. I think keeping it fresh and new is good for The Avengers even though it’s a shame for me,” he tells EW.

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The Deal

One might imagine that it wouldn’t be hard for someone with proximity to one of Hollywood’s most newly profitable filmmakers to get some money to make a short film. A simple phone call to a few friends from the red carpet and you’ve got more than you need. That sort of logic shows a fundamental lack of understanding about how this business works. Just because someone is Joss Whedon’s assistant and co-producer on Much Ado About Nothing, it doesn’t mean people are going to line up to throw cash at their first attempt to become a filmmaker. But after you hear this pitch from newcomer (and red carpet photo bomber) Daniel Kaminsky, you might throw a little money at him. Because everybody has a dream, and this one sounds a little twisted.

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Ultron

Now that Marvel has announced the villain for the next Avengers movie, it’s time for the flurry of questions to begin in earnest. Good news for people who love speculating, dreamcasting (Doug Jones for Ultron!) and ignoring rumors. Fortunately, Joss Whedon hung out with Marvel Live! to dispel a few of those whispers (and launch a thousand more). Will Henry Pym/Ant-Man be involved in Age of Ultron? Will Hawkeye get to be a good guy for more than 15 minutes? Will there be multiple versions of Ultron? All these and more get answered in the video below:

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Agents of SHIELD

Footage being released online a day after a panel is one thing. The entire panel, in a way that appears to be sanctioned and not done on someone’s flip phone camera, is another thing entirely. That’s what we have with this version of the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel that took place yesterday at Comic-Con. Thanks to the folks at Emergency Awesome, we’ve got a great look at the entire panel, save for the pilot that was shown. Get a look at what Joss Whedon, Clark Gregg, Ming-Na and others had to say about the upcoming ABC show.

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SHIELD-cast

It was just last May when we got our first look at genre TV legend Joss Whedon’s take on the Marvel Universe via his blockbuster feature The Avengers, and that look was good. It was good indeed. But The Avengers was so well-loved that the wait for another Whedon and Marvel team-up has begun to feel endless already. The good news is that we don’t have to wait until The Avengers 2 in 2015 to get another taste of Whedon handling superhero stuff though, because Marvel also put him in charge of putting together their upcoming primetime network television drama, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. And still, while Whedon getting a chance to develop another TV show is dream come true enough for fans of things like Buffy and Firefly, and the fact that this new show will give us a chance to see Whedon dabbling in the Avengers universe again in 2013 is added icing on the cake, Marvel and the network who’s going to be airing Agents of SHIELD, ABC, have been kind of jerking us around when it comes to telling us when the show is actually going to premiere. Here we are all jittery and agitated, looking for another fix, and all they’ve given us is the generic promise of “coming this fall!” Thankfully for our sanity, with the release of ABC’s new fall schedule, the premiere date for Whedon’s new show has finally been confirmed.

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review much ado

Editor’s note: Our review of Joss Whedon’s latest originally ran during this year’s SXSW film festival, but we’re re-running it as the film opens in limited theatrical release. William Shakespeare has had more film adaptations of his work than any other writer by a wide margin, and that trend shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. The reasons for this are varied and exhaustive, but few would argue it’s not a great thing to see. While most filmmakers maintain the Bard’s language and historical settings, some move the action and wordplay into the present with varying degrees of success. The latest director to do so, and one of the few to do so brilliantly, is Joss Whedon. Yes, that Joss Whedon. His Much Ado About Nothing is updated to modern Los Angeles with limousines, semiautomatic pistols and men in suits, but he keeps Shakespeare’s language intact. The tale takes place almost entirely at the compound of a government official named Leonato (Clark Gregg) who’s visited by fellow dignitary Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) and his two immediate officers, Benedick (Alexis Desinof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). The latter falls in love with Leonato’s daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while the former has a friction-filled and antagonistic past with the man’s niece Beatrice (Amy Acker). It’s not all foreplay and country matters, though, as Don Pedro’s manipulative brother, Don John (Sean Maher), is intent on disrupting political relations by destroying relationships.

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shield01

Nobody was surprised to learn this week that ABC officially picked up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the TV series spun-off from the Avengers movie franchise. After all, it’s a Disney-owned property and the network is also a Disney-owned company. And, well, it’s a tie-in to some of the highest grossing films of all time. Even if Iron Man 3 had somehow been a box office disappointment (fat chance), the main source of the series is last year’s enormously successful The Avengers. As we learned last fall, the popular character Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) would even be the lead, meaning he somehow didn’t actually die at the hands of Loki in that movie. Within days of the confirmed pick up for a full season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC has now unveiled the first look with a teaser trailer that premiered on the air during prime time this evening. Coulson is definitely at the center of the thing (marketing hashtag is #coulsonlives) as head of an elite yet not super powered team of agents who investigate cases involving the “strange” and “unknown,” stuff that hasn’t been classified by the agency yet. Sounds like an action-packed mix of X-Files and Heroes. It kinda looks more like the (best of the) latter in this promo, which you can watch after the jump.

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jossthanos

Now that Joss Whedon’s superhero team-up movie, The Avengers, made well over a billion dollars worldwide, and Marvel’s next step in their ongoing saga, Iron Man 3, has opened overseas with numbers that put the film on track to make the studio gazillions more, it’s probably safe to say that there’s a lot of public interest concerning which direction things are going heading into The Avengers 2. And, lucky for us, Whedon has been pretty generous when it comes to answering questions. When he talked to Collider on the red carpet of the Iron Man 3 premier, he hinted at the fact that he might be adding Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch to the Avengers roster in his upcoming sequel, and it seems that when Desde Hollywood talked to him at the same event, he even talked a bit about his plans for the Avengers’ arch-villain, Thanos, who made his appearance in the after-credits sequence of the first film.

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siblings

If Joss Whedon were really going to add two of the biggest superheroes in Avengers’ history to the roster of his team in Avengers 2, two characters who we’ve yet to see in any Marvel movies or who have yet to even be hinted at in regards to Marvel’s upcoming plans, there’s no way he would reveal it to us this early in the Avengers 2 developmental process, would he? The gut says no, but when you watch the following interview [via Collider] he did on the red carpet of the Iron Man 3 premiere, the brain tells you otherwise.

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If you so happen to Google “Joss Whedon Much Ado About Nothing,” only a few scattered stills pop up and, most often, you’ll get a version of that one up top featuring Fran Kranz as Claudio. That submerged look at Whedon’s version of Much Ado About Nothing was the first peek we got at the project months and months ago so, really, why not keep it around for the film’s first poster? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because Whedon fans are rabid for more looks at the film? Let’s hope for something fresh next time around. Until then… Much Ado About Nothing opens on June 7th. [Entertainment Weekly]

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Much Ado About Nothing

Are you one of those people who could just never get into Shakespeare? Did you pound your head against your desk when you had to read him in school? Doze off when you had to watch that acting major you were dating sophomore year of college perform in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Well maybe Avengers director Joss Whedon making a screen version of a Shakespeare play, complete with a cast of familiar faces from all of his cult TV shows, is the thing that can finally be your gateway into The Bard. Still skeptical? No problem, because now there’s a trailer out for Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, so you can give it a try without having any fear of committal. As you can see from the ad, not only does this film look like a vibrant, fun, and modern adaptation done in the Baz Luhrman tradition, but it’s also a great opportunity for genre geeks to live out dreams like watching Agent Coulson rub elbows with Captain Mal, or finally getting the chance to see Wesley Wyndam-Pryce properly romance Fred. There’s something here for everyone.

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Movie of the Year: The Avengers

“That’s my secret, Cap: I’m always angry.” In the middle of 2008, director Christopher Nolan created a pivot point for superhero movies. Because up to the point when Heath Ledger’s Joker said, “How about a magic trick?” in The Dark Knight, movies based upon comic books had been going in the more colorful direction set forth by directors like Bryan Singer and Sam Raimi. Nolan’s Dark Knight (and the film that preceded it) changed things. And ever since, anyone with the rights to a comic book movie has been trying to capture that same gritty feel, that same realism. Thankfully, the folks at Marvel, who also scored in 2008 with Iron Man, thew that notion out the window. You see, around the same time that Nolan was booting up Batman for Warner Bros. and DC, Marvel was beginning its own journey as a stand-alone studio with a very specific kind of plan. A magic trick of their own, they set out to bring to life Earth’s mightiest heroes with a six-film roadmap that would lead to the most ambitious superhero movie ever produced. A massive risk that would pay off to produce our pick for the Movie of the Year. A movie that yielded the above quote, as spoken by Mark Ruffalo,  which could be seen as the turning point of 2012 at the movies. Every time I experience this moment, there’s no denying that years down the line when we look back at the movies of 2012, there’s no forgetting the year that gave […]

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Pushing Daisies

If Bryan Fuller’s Pushing Daisies were one of the March sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, it would be Beth: the show was too good and gentle for this world, so it had to die a tragic, scarlet fever related death—or more precisely, it had to be unceremoniously canceled after its second season in 2009. Admirers of the ill-fated series about a pie-maker with the power to bring dead things back to life by touching them were, it seemed, being given another opportunity to have a visually stunning, linguistically nimble, Pushing Daisies-esque experience when NBC announced that Fuller would be developing a reboot of The Munsters. Did we really need this reboot? Probably not. But Fuller has a way with high-concept fantasy and with him at the helm, it actually sounded like a good idea.

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Star Wars

You know the story. At this point it’s basically the new shot heard ‘round the world: Disney has bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion, George Lucas is retiring from the Star Wars game, and three more Star Wars films are planned for production starting in 2015. Lucas and the new Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, have stated that they have archives of story treatments for more books, TV shows, and films… but with Lucas stepping back from the property, who are they going to get to direct these next three episodes in the ongoing Star Wars adventure? Let’s take a look at some candidates, whether they be likely, unlikely, or long shots.

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Joss Whedon Endorses Romney

Hurricane Sandy may be en route to obliterating our friends on the East Coast, the western area of the country remains unaffected. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not still focused on impending doom. All the way out in Hollywood, The Avengers director Joss Whedon has publicly announced his endorsement in the Presidential Election. And while you may think that Hollywood is full of bleeding heart liberals, you’re absolutely right. But even a Hollywood liberal can endorse Gov. Mitt Romney, right? Stranger things have happened. As it turns out, this one is about the issues. Because as Whedon explains in the following video, a vote for Romney is a vote for the zombie apocalypse. And if movies have taught we movie fans anything, it’s how to survive such an event. So grab your sword and your sawed-off shotgun and head to the polls, friends. We don’t usually get very political around here, but we’ve got to admit that following the man who directed The Avengers sounds like a reasonable thing to do. He hasn’t let us down yet…

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Pixar Character Logo

It doesn’t seem like much of a stretch to say that there is probably a lot of overlap between fans of Joss Whedon’s television work and fans of Pixar’s animated films. People who like memorable characters, clever writing, and genre-themed storylines tend to take them wherever they can get them. So it shouldn’t come as any real surprise that a veteran writer/producer on Whedon’s first big show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has been picked up to become the latest member of the Pixar brain trust. According to The Playlist, Marti Noxon, who wrote Buffy episodes like “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” “The Prom,” and “Wrecked,’ has joined Pixar to do work on an as-yet-unspecified project. More recently in her career, Noxon has been continuing her writer/producer schtick on television shows like the ridiculously critically acclaimed Mad Men, and the incomprehensibly popular Glee, and she’s also credited as being the writer on the recent remake of Fright Night – so the uses that Pixar could be putting her to are myriad.

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“In a perfect world, ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ would be a lock for a Best Original Screenplay nomination.” – Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit It must be frustrating to write for an awards blog (aka an Oscar blog, since the Academy Awards are always the main focus of these sites), and know that the best films of the year are not necessarily the ones that will be nominated. Magidson’s comment above, from his April review of The Cabin in the Woods, sort of sums that up. But at the same time I don’t know if the movie truly deserves the statement. Something to consider, semantically speaking, is that the Academy’s award is not for “Most Original Screenplay” but “Best Original Screenplay.” This isn’t to say that the script, by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, isn’t well-written, and you’re welcome to argue its case for a nomination. Is it the best-written original screenplay of the year, though? All my time as a movie lover and watcher of the Oscars, including the past few years of hate-watching, the original screenplay category is one I’ve constantly been excited about. It’s the place where you could find some of the more clever and creative efforts, including a number of films that might not get other nominations. You could find a good number of interesting foreign films outside of the foreign-language award ghetto (such as Bunuel‘s two nominations for writing), as well as an interesting showing of mainstream and blockbuster fare, especially in the […]

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Agent Phil Coulson

If you’ve been wearing a black armband in tribute to Agent Phil Coulson since The Avengers opened last May, it’s time to rip the thing off, because you’ve been mourning a decoy. Well, we can ramp up the theory that we saw a Life Model Decoy stabbed to death by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the movie, but we’ll have to wait for the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series to know just how the character survived. Apologies to anyone who hasn’t already seen The Avengers (what’s wrong with you?) and has now been spoiled that Coulson is killed off, but now he’s alive again so I guess it doesn’t matter. At the New York Comic Con Marvel television panel today, actor Clark Gregg hit the stage and then was joined via video by Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige for the announcement that Gregg will reprise his franchise-connecting role as the lead on the show.

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Jesus H. Franco, it’s been a busy week here at Film School Rejects. Mainly because of Fantastic Fest, of course. Since the last Reject Recap, we’ve posted 36 reviews of films from the event, plus six interviews, including one with Tim Burton. And we’re not done. The festival may be over, but we’ll still be rolling out the coverage for a couple more days. Obviously, this link to all that content, which can take you in reverse through that which you’ve missed and forward to what will appear (once it appears), is a crucial bookmark for you in these post-fantastic times. Once again, you can easily track through the week’s prominent other features by clicking on buttons around the main page, but here are some links to help you out: reviews (new releases include Pitch Perfect, Won’t Back Down, The Hole, Hotel Transylvania and Hello I Must Be Going); interviews (including Brian DePalma); the Reject Radio podcast (this week was episode 150!); Short Film of the Day and of course your best spot for the most pertinent movie news. Check out our ten best features from the past week plus some other additional reading after the break.

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Joss Whedon

No matter how big he wins, he will always be our underdog. Joss Whedon, the writer who cut his teeth on Roseanne and started cult phenomenons like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, seems perennially boned over by The Man who secretly placed a glass ceiling on his mainstream success. That is, until he Hulk smashed through it this summer. For some, it may seem strange to check out filmmaking thoughts from Whedon, since he’s only directed three feature films (one of which has only been at festivals so far), but his success rate across mediums is unreal and his particular talent peerless. Serenity was and is a fan factory while The Avengers found the impossible sweet spot that satisfied fans and the financiers. Not to mention his screenwriting career and Oscar nomination. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from Joss the Boss. Maybe we’ll learn who actually calls him that.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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