Whether it’s books, articles, blogs, movie scripts or pieces in magazines, these authors sure earn a lot. Famous for their work and impact to various communities and demographics globally, authors are usually very respected and have huge followings. Joss Whedon, the United States of America Screenwriter, Television Director, Television producer, Film Producer, Film director, Cartoonist, Novelist, Actor, Writer, Comic Book Creator is no exception from this rule. This person was born in unknown on the June 23, 1964. As a kid and throughout his teenage years, attending Wesleyan University, Winchester College, Riverdale Country School helped develop a love for creating content and writing pieces. Joss Whedon has a family of Tom Whedon, Lee Stearns unknown Squire Cole, Arden Cole. Standing at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) tall, Joss Whedon has a huge fanbase throughout every continent. So, do you want to know how much this person is worth? Well, the total estimated net worth of Joss Whedon is said to be $100 Million.
Read more about Joss Whedon Biography
Joss parents were also involved in acting and this might have influenced Joss’ choice to become an actor as well. Whedon studied at the Riverdale Country School and later continued his studies at Winchester College. Later he also studied at the Wesleyan University, from which he graduated in 1987. In 1989 Joss worked on such shows as “Parenthood” and “Roseanne”. He also worked on such movies as “Waterworld”, “Twister”, “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” and others. Working on these shows and movies had a huge impact not only on the growth of Joss’s net worth but on his popularity as well.
In 1997 Joss created the famous show called “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, during the making of which Joss worked with such actors as Nicholas Brendon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emma Caulfield, Alyson Hannigan and others. This show soon gained critical acclaim and became known all over the world, so obviously it had a huge impact on the growth of Joss Whedon’s net worth. In 1999 he created another show, called “Angel”. Although it was created as a spin-off to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” did not gain as much success and acclaim.
In 2004 Joss started working on the comic book series called “Astonishing X-Men”. It soon became really popular and added a lot to Joss’s net worth.
In 2009 Whedon created another very popular television show, called “Dollhouse”, working with Eliza Dushku, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams, Enver Gjokaj and others. This show aired until 2010 and lifted Whedon’s net worth again. In 2010 Joss’s career became even more successful after he got an opportunity to create “The Avengers” movie, which became one of the most successful movies of all time. In addition to this, Whedon directed and wrote the sequel to this movie, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, which also became very popular. These movies added a lot to Whedon’s net worth and his acclaim in the industry.
Other shows and movies that Whedon has worked on include “Glee”, “The Office”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “The Cabin in the Woods”, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” among others. It is clear that Joss has created some of the most famous movies and television shows of our time. That is why he is considered to be one of the most acclaimed and successful directors and producers.
If to talk about Joss Whedon’s personal life, it can be said that he married Kai Cole in 1991, and they have two children. All in all, Joss Whedon is a very talented and hard-working person, who has already achieved a lot in the movie and television industries. Joss has a lot of fans all over the world, who are waiting for him to create new successful projects.
Full Name: Joss Whedon
Net Worth: $100 Million
Date Of Birth: June 23, 1964
Place Of Birth: New York City, New York, United States
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Profession: Screenwriter, Television Director, Television producer, Film Producer, Film director, Cartoonist, Novelist, Actor, Writer, Comic Book Creator
Education: Wesleyan University, Winchester College, Riverdale Country School
Nationality: United States of America
Spouse: Kai Cole (m. 1991)
Children: Squire Cole, Arden Cole
Parents: Tom Whedon, Lee Stearns
Siblings: Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon, Samuel Whedon, Matthew Whedon
Nicknames: Joseph Hill Whedon , Josh Wedon , Joss Wheadon , Joss Hill Whedon , Joss ‘The Boss’ Whedon , ジョセフ・ヒル・ウィードン , Joseph Hill “Joss” Whedon
Awards: Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, Ray Bradbury Award, Nebula Award for Best Script, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class – Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs, PGA Vanguard Award, Prometheus Special …
Nominations: Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book, Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Book, Empire Award for Best Direc…
Movies: Avengers: Age of Ultron, In Your Eyes, Much Ado About Nothing, The Avengers, The Cabin in the Woods, Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fans Hope, Serenity, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Titan A.E., Alien: Resurrection, Toy Story, Waterworld, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Goners, Spike
TV Shows: Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Buffy the Animated Series
I’m interested in men and women. I’m interested in grown-ups who act like children and dress like clowns and punch each other.
I made more money off Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008) than the first The Avengers (2012) movie.
I’m a fan of most Marvel comics. It’s like a disease, I can’t stop.
[on his favorite film] The Matrix (1999) is my number one. It was a movie that made me want to put down my pen and say, “Oh, so that’s how you tell a story. I’ll be over here weeping”. I thought there were two things I was put on this Earth to do and in the same year I saw “The Matrix” and read Harry Potter and thought, “Well, apparently someone’s done them for me. I therefore have been put on this Earth for no reason and will just have to wait until I go away, like a boil”. It was very depressing for me. Initially I just thought, “Well, the trailer looks good. Science-fiction film, so I must go” I managed not to have seen anything, so when Keanu Reeves found out what the real world was like, my jaw was on the goddamn floor. And then it just kept paying off and paying off and paying off and the structure just got tighter and tighter and tighter. And it works on so many philosophical levels. It’s much more than a yarn, it is an intense philosophical or religious or psychological piece. It works on whatever level you want to bring to it.
[on Dollhouse (2003)] I mean it’s potentially the most offensive show in the history of television. And to me it’s also the most pure feminist and empowering statement I ever made.
[on Dollhouse (2003)] When the changes started coming I tried to ride with them. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had some of it. I had the idea of identity. I had the idea of moral culpability. But I lost one or two essential things. And that ultimately killed the show because we were dancing around them.
[accepting an award for The Avengers (2012)] We are humbled to be standing here. No, we’re not humbled. We won. What’s the opposite of “humbled”? We’re “Biebered” to be standing here.
Everything you do affects your perspective on everything. Ultimately, I hope the Buffyverse isn’t the last universe I create that really has resonance for people, but you know, if you only get one, it’s one I’m so proud of, so that hasn’t changed.
[if writing a comic book script is similar to writing a teleplay] It’s very similar in the sense that you’re looking for the moment and you have to be very careful about how you come to the moment, how you present the moment. You’re looking for the reason for the thing to exist. You don’t want anything to be a throwaway, you don’t want anything to be useless or just a set-up. You really want to get into these characters and find those things about them that you love. I write “The X-Men” the way I’d write an episode of Angel (1999), which is, I love every single one of these characters–let me remind myself why.
[on what a sixth season of Angel (1999) would have been like] I think we could have had a sixth season, like with [Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)], We really would have been able to absolutely hit the pocket, because we would have had everybody there [who had] figured out the show and how it needed to work. There were some bumps in the fifth season that I think we could have avoided in the sixth, because people were really hitting their stride.
I find the term “guilty pleasure” not only idiotic but a bit offensive. I love some corny-ass stuff, and I’ve got no problem with it. I saw Newsies (1992) in a theater.
[on death] Well, it is the one universal truth, and our culture is so terrified of it. I work in Hollywood, where people routinely chop their faces in order to look younger and look like shiny, scary monsters. And everybody says, “Well, that’s just fine”. Death and life are part of the same thing.
Vampires are a wonderful metaphor, the sort of monstrous, isolated creatures that we can all relate to, especially when we are in high school. But they happen to be the most beautiful, sexy, perfect, usually vaguely wealthy and well-dressed version.
If I create a strong female character, I’m going to want her to go through things. I’ve killed off characters, male and female, willy-nilly. I have a reputation for it. But if I’m not giving them real pain and hardship and tragedy, I’m not a storyteller.
Those of us who write spend our entire lives in an endless English class.
The only way to achieve that “Star Wars” vibe is not to chase it . . . to try to be an original universe and have all the fun.
[on Robert Downey Jr.] He is Iron Man. He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) without him, nor do I think I’ll be called upon to do that. I don’t think it’s in my interest, Marvel’s interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine.
[on Sarah Michelle Gellar] It would be difficult to overemphasize Sarah’s value to the show [Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)]. There’ve been times that we didn’t get along. There have been times when we’ve palled around. But no matter what, she was the other half of “Buffy”. In seven years, she never let me down.
I still believe that even though Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) is better in innumerable ways than Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) wins because you can’t end a movie with Han frozen in carbonite. That’s not a movie, it’s an episode.
I’m very much of the “make it dark, make it grim, make it tough”, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.
I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.
To infinity, and prosper!
I’m never going to stop telling stores that have to do with helplessness, that have to do with empowerment. There’s always going to be some element of government conspiracy, because people are manipulated every day and they never even notice it. I’m never going to stop wanting to talk about leadership. These are themes I’m going to come back to time and time again. And, generally speaking, those themes are going to be sung or they’re going to be flying through space, because I’m also a ten-year-old. And I’ve got no problem with that.
I love genre. I love fantasy. I love it more than anything else. I love it because of the scope and the chance to talk about humanity in a way that is very,very close to the heart but not wearing the same skin.
I don’t think of myself as a quality guy, like, “‘m going to make highbrow art!”. At the same time I don’t think of myself as a schlockmeister. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough but, apart from the Internet, I don’t know where I belong.
[how he planned for his career] All I knew was that I was going to do something other than make an honest living.
I will never put something out that I don’t believe in. Everything I’ve ever worked on, I love on some level. And, yes, I’m including Waterworld (1995).
. . . If you’re not building a textured human and putting them through some kind of pain, I’m not sure what the purpose of the narrative is going to be. That applies to comedy, too.
[on why he writes strong female characters] Because you’re still asking me that question.
[on the possibility of making a full-scale musical] Full scale musical? The biggest non-spaceship-involving dream of my life. But it’s a huge life commitment…
[what made him want to tackle William Shakespeare with Much Ado About Nothing (2012)] I wanted to drag Shakespeare from obscurity. I’ve been a fan my whole life, and it’s time other people started noticing him!
All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn’t your pet–it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.
[what his favorite characters to write have been] Jeez. Spike, Andrew, Illyria, River, Captain Hammer, Loki, the Cheese Man . . . hell, I love them all, or I wouldn’t write them. But I tend to the left of center. The hardest was always Angel. How to make a decent, handsome, stalwart hero interesting–tough. Angelus, on the other hand . . .
I’m absolutely devoted to working outside the mainstream, or at least in smaller venues and on my own terms (my terms–unconditional surrender. Plus back-end).
[what he’d do if money were no object] I have many dream projects. But all the money in the world means just one thing: spaceships. Spaceships in trouble.
[what would have happened had Angel (1999) not been canceled after season five] Season six of “Angel” would have kicked all manner of ass. And Illyria would have manifested as Fred often enough to become very confused about her identity. And now I’m sad again.
[if he could pick one piece of his work to represent his entire body of work to future generations] Firefly: Objects in Space (2002).
[his favorite work of science-fiction and what inspires him to continue to create] “Dune”–the book–and what inspires me is Dune (2000)–the miniseries. Actually, I don’t think of myself as being inspired to create. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s like breathing.
[if killing a character has ever had a profound emotional affect on him] I actually find it refreshing . . . delightful . . . vaguely arousing . . . Actually, I’m–no offense–very tired of being labeled as “the guy who kills people”. [William Shakespeare]–he’s this hot new writer–does it way more than me, and everyone’s all excited about how he, as it were, holds a mirror up to nature, while I’m like the Jason Voorhees of the writing community. Unfair. Also, probably Buffy’s Mom.
I love fantasy. I love horror. I love musicals. Whatever doesn’t really happen in life is what I’m interested in, as a way of commenting on everything that does happen in life, because ultimately the only thing I’m really interested in is people.
[on the possibility of originality in the horror genre anymore] You know, the next way to be original will present itself, and we’ll all go, “Oh! I didn’t think of that”. We definitely put our own stamp on it–and it’s a big red stamp–but you don’t kill horror. One of the things this movie [The Cabin in the Woods (2012)] is very clear about is that there’s a basic human need going on here. We pay to see these kids, and in the way that this is sort of about us writing these situations, the viewer is absolutely complicit in that. Horror movies don’t exist unless you go and see them, and people always will. Every time you think, “Well, you know what, we all know the tropes, it’s all been done”, someone’s going to make The Descent (2005) and knock you off your ass, and you’ll be like, “Oh, that’s great”. You take people you care about and you make it awful for them.
[on actually caring about the characters in The Cabin in the Woods (2012)] This movie was definitely a reaction to that, because [Drew Goddard] and I both felt like, “Well, there’s a bit of a devolution going on here” and it happens in all genres. This is something that I’ve only realized talking about this movie lately, but you look at action movies and eventually it’s just a series of explosions. If you look at romantic comedies and eventually it’s Love Actually (2003), it’s just, like, hit you over the head and horror movies become a series of inventive killings of people you don’t care about. I am unable to write about people that I don’t care about and that goes for everybody. That goes for Mordecai . . . I love that guy! I don’t necessarily want to have dinner with him, I’m just saying I love him. The point of this movie to a larger extent is these are textured interesting humans who love each other and they are being forced to devolve into horror movie clichés and it’s the one cliché that I’m not interested in, which is, “Oh look it’s okay, they are expendable”. They smoke pot, they have sex, so it’s okay to kill them. I’m like, “When did that come into the equation?” . . . It was always that everybody in this movie is doing what they think is right, including the terrifying Buckners, because they have a belief system, which writing that diary . . . [Drew Goddard] was like, “Hey, do you want to write a 14-year-old girl’s turn-of=the century diary about worshiping pain?”. I’m like, “Yeah, I can do that”. “Okay”. You know, that was one of the great things about this. He’s like, “Okay, I’m going to write a girl making out with a wolf’s head! I’ll catch up with you”. Absolutely, you have to have sympathy for all of the characters. You have to understand both sides of the conflict, otherwise it’s not a conflict, it’s just a fight. Sometimes it’s fine to just say, “Okay, bad guys are bad and we’ve got to get out of this situation”, but it’s much more interesting, especially in a situation like this where you are going to spend a lot of time with both sides of this weird filmic equation to understand that everybody is doing what they think is best. You can absolutely go, “Wow, some very bad decision making went on” and we’re not just talking about the pot and the sex. At the same time, that sort of dehumanizing of people is what we were reacting to and the movie has a very sort of humanistic message in the sense of “I will stand by my friend”. That’s how humanity is supposed to work and if it doesn’t work that way, then what else have we got?
I always watch what I say. I am what I say. And I say I’m Emperor of Always, so . . . Respect, buddy.
[on if he can protect Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) fans from it getting rebooted or remade] Protect her from being rebooted? Yes, if they [fans] all chip in, send the money to me; it’ll be fine, that should work out. Paypal. We seem to be rebooting things that haven’t been debooted yet. It’s part of the culture but it’s not my favorite part, I don’t concern myself with it. I think about the things that I can control and the things I’d like to do and say and I don’t think about somebody coming along and having a go at it.Look, either they do it poorly, and people will say they’ve done it poorly.Or they’re do it well and good for them.Either way, I don’t think it’s going to make the work we did disappear.
[if he misses Angel (1999)] I’m sad they pulled the plug before the sixth season; because we really had it all tapped out and thought we were firing on all cylinders. It was a stupid business move on their part and the network died soon after. Had I not been so exhausted by the year of Firefly (2002) and “Angel” that had come before, maybe I could’ve fought–though fighting with the head of a network is much like not fighting, ’cause they just do what they do. They pay no attention to what you say, ever.
Part of this movie [The Cabin in the Woods (2012)] was definitely about the idea that people are not expendable and that as a culture, for our own entertainment, we tend to assume that they are. Although I absolutely love horror movies and always have, I love them most when I really, really care about the people who are in dire trouble.
[on horror and The Cabin in the Woods (2012)] [Drew Goddard] was saying the other day [that] Scream (2007) was clearly made by people who love horror movies and everyone is like, “Oh, they deconstructed the horror movie. You can’t make one anymore”. I’m like, “That was a terrifying horror movie, where you are really worried about the people in it. End of story”. That’s the goods. There have been a bunch of successful and some awesome horror movies since then. You can’t stop it. That train is going to run, because people need it. That’s part of what we were writing about. It’s not just like “Horror is fun”. It’s like, “Horror fulfills a basic human need. We are not exactly sure we understand it. We think it might not be good, but we have it and we love it”. … It’s sort of an inoculation. It’s ‘Oh, things are so horrible’ and then you get out and you’re like “Oh, actually no, things are not as horrible as it was for those people and so I can go about my day.’ But there’s also a joy in it. It’s a release, but it’s not just something you get through. It’s not just therapy. There’s a genuine joy in being frightened that is giddy.
[on ironic detachment in The Cabin in the Woods (2012) and throughout his work] Well, you can only go so far with ironic detachment, and then ultimately, you stop being invested in something. What Scream (2007) was great at was presenting ironic detachment and then making you actually care about the people that were having it, and juxtaposing it with their situation, all in the service of making a great horror movie. It was fresh. We wanted to make sure we never went so far with our awareness of popular culture and horror movies and the kids’ awareness that things were not as they should be–we never wanted to go so far that you would step outside . . . Like the end of Blazing Saddles (1974), where they walk out of the Western onto the lot, which to me screams “Copout!”. I’m a “Blazing Saddles” fan, but you never want to go that far. You want the integrity of the world. We live in the world. Unless you’re writing about [“Cabin” villains] the Buckners, about people who aren’t aware of how things work in popular culture. But you don’t want that to be your benchmark. You don’t want that to be what the dialogue’s really about.
[on the story that he walked out of Friday the 13th (2009)] I did walk out, but I found it fascinating that the movie opens with a group of expendable teens, which Jason kills–not, by the way, very inventively–and then the movie starts, and an even more expendable group of teens shows up. It was as hateful as anything I’ve seen. There’s an element of this ‘torture porn’ promulgation that’s made me as angry as I can remember being. The disconnect between movie behavior and normal human behavior starts to strain. It starts with, “I’ll drop the knife now, because it’s a really good time to be unarmed while I have my back to the thing”, and goes further into, “I’m an unbelievable asshole and also I’m doing drugs and crime and sex all at the same time, so not only might I die but I deserve to”. Punishment for youth-y behavior is bizarre to me, and unsettling.
I’ve had so much success. I had something to say, I got to say it, people heard it, and they agreed. That’s every artist’s dream. That’s the brass ring.
[on The Cabin in the Woods (2012)] Ot’s an attempt to be aware, without being too self-referential. It’s our way of saying, “We love horror movies, and so do you. But don’t you wonder why?”
There’s a very unlovely thing about the horror genre that is still something that I don’t understand and don’t respond to. There is also something that I absolutely respond to; I love horror, I love terrible scary situations and people getting into terrible trouble and all the good stuff. Those two things co-exist. We can talk about the movie [The Cabin in the Woods (2012)] as a criticism, but it’s the most loving one there is.
[on what his favorite horror film is] I’ll rock out Alien (1979) partially because I got to see that completely unspoiled which was hard to do even then. That’s all anyone was talking about and I was just like [covers ears, makes mumbling noise]; I would not talk to my friends for a couple of weeks until I could see it. Front row, Times Square, 14 years old. Oh, yeah.
[on why Alien (1979) is his favorite horror film] I got to stay spoiler-free, for one thing. There are many that have perhaps filled me with more dread, but “Alien” worked for me on a level that was dazzling; it’s science fiction and horror which I love; the creature’s unparalleled and constantly in the first one shifting your expectations of what it is and can do; and it was also a movie that terrified me because it was the first horror movie I’d seen where I didn’t think the people in it would look out for each other. The way they related to each other frightened me as much as the alien because usually there’s a safe haven of, “Well, we’ve got each other’s backs”, and they didn’t seem like they did.
[on what makes the horror genre unique] I’m gonna go with bloody killing. Horror is . . . on the edge of something. It’s populist entertainment but it’s also allowed to take certain risks and that’s where you get some of the ugliest things in society, and also some of the most interesting comments on society. When you’re on the fringe like that, when you’re working in a genre that’s just a little bit edgier, that’s the place where you find the most interesting dialogue about what we all expect in society from each other and from movies and stuff. So you get to take risks in horror, and then there’s bloody killing.
[on the horror clichés that The Cabin in the Woods (2012) explores] You do go, “We have to question this. We have to question is this still valid? Is this still valid storytelling, or has it fallen into cliché?”, but at the same time we seek out these movies where these young people do these stupid things. So we love it but we can’t not question it, too. So we really wanted to make a movie that contained our ambivalence, where we have a great time with this horror at the same time as we’re sort of going, “We really love these people and we want to protect them from this horror”. That ambivalence just exists as a viewer and as a writer. Specifically I’m thinking of one passage where you’re rooting for different things at the same time very clearly, and that’s sort of part of the excitement and part of what I’ve never understood about horror, and what I’ve always loved.
[on what genre(s) The Cabin in the Woods (2012) belongs to] There’s a little twitch of sci-fi in pretty much everything that comes out of us, but that’s not the experience that you’re having. I think you define the genre by the experience, and this is a horror movie. There’s a lot of laughs in it as well; [Drew Goddard] and I are not gonna not make jokes, but it’s not a comedy. The experience is classic horror and anything else that feeds into it is just sort of icing.
[what he looks for in an actor when casting] I look for future stars; I go to the future, see who’s famous and then I go back and cast them. [laughs] You know, every role is different, but you’re looking for someone who understands it, will make it pop, will take it beyond where I’ve taken it; who will bring more to it than I imagined. Hopefully they’re easy on the eyes, that’ll help too, and are sane. I stand very firmly, and The Cabin in the Woods (2012) is a good example, of casting for sanity. People that you want to be in the trenches with, because there are trenches and you are fighting. It’s hard to make a film, it’s hard to make a TV show and you want somebody who’s got the kind of energy and enthusiasm like Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford have where they’re just like, “Let’s do this!” and I’m like, “You guys are super-famous Oscar people; why are you so excited?”
[on Warner Bros. announcing plans for a rebooted version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) without involvement by the original creative team] This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youth, just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers [The Avengers (2012)] idea that I made up myself. Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, “Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER. Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, “I’ll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story (1995) residuals combined!” Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more? I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there [are] no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto”, rebooting into a theater near you.
[asked whether he threatened his actors never to give spoilers] I’m a very gentle man, not unlike [Mohandas K. Gandhi]. I don’t ever threaten them. There is, sort of hanging over the head, the thing that I could kill them [i.e., their characters] at any moment. But that’s really just if they annoy me. They know that I’m very secretive about plot twists and whatnot, because I think it’s better for the show.
[why he thought Alien: Resurrection (1997) was not faithful to his vision] . . . It wasn’t a question of doing everything differently, although they changed the ending; it was mostly a matter of doing everything wrong. They said the lines . . . mostly . . . but they said them all wrong. And they cast it wrong. And they designed it wrong. And they scored it wrong. They did everything wrong that they could possibly do. There’s actually a fascinating lesson in filmmaking, because everything that they did reflects back to the script or looks like something from the script, and people assume that, if I hated it, then they’d changed the script . . . but it wasn’t so much that they’d changed the script; it’s that they just executed it in such a ghastly fashion as to render it almost unwatchable.
[on his philosophy of story writing] We plot it out leaving room for disasters or fortuitous occasions. Anything could change. Basically, we plot it ahead always, because if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going anywhere.
[why he was unhappy with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)] The thing is, people always make fun of Rutger Hauer. Even though he was big and silly and looked sort of goofy in the movie, I have to give him credit, because he was there. He was into it. Whereas [Donald Sutherland] was just . . . He would rewrite all his dialogue, and the director would let him. He can’t write–he’s not a writer–so the dialogue would not make sense. And he had a very bad attitude. He was incredibly rude to the director, he was rude to everyone around him, he was just a real pain. And to see him destroying my stuff . . . Some people didn’t notice. Some people liked him in the movie. Because he’s Donald Sutherland. He’s a great actor. He can read the phone book, and I’m interested. But the thing is, he acts well enough that you didn’t notice, with his little rewrites, and his little ideas about what his character should do, that he was actually destroying the movie more than Rutger was. So I got out of there. I had to run away.
I don’t tend to write straight dramas where real life just impinges. But because I don’t, when I do it is very interesting to slap people in the face with just an absolute of life.
[on the infamous line spoken by the character Storm in X-Men (2000)] That’s the interesting thing. Everybody remembers that as the worst line ever written, but the thing about that is, it was supposed to be delivered as completely offhand–“You know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning?” Then, after he gets electrocuted, “Ahhh, pretty much the same thing that happens to anything else.” But Halle Berry said it like she was Desdemona. [Strident, ringing voice.] “The same thing that happens to everything eeelse!” That’s the thing that makes you go crazy. At least “You’re a dick” got delivered right. The worst thing about these things is that, when the actors say it wrong, it makes the writer look stupid. People assume that the line . . . I listened to half the dialogue in Alien: Resurrection (1997), and I’m like, “That’s idiotic,” because of the way it was said. And nobody knows that. Nobody ever gets that. They say, “That was a stupid script,” which is the worst pain in the world. I have a great long, boring story about that, but I can tell you the very short version. In “Alien 4”, the director changed something so that it didn’t make any sense. He wanted someone to go and get a gun and get killed by the alien, so I wrote that in and tried to make it work, but he directed it in a way that it made no sense whatsoever. And I was sitting there in the editing room, trying to come up with looplines to explain what’s going on, to make the scene make sense, and I asked the director, “Can you just explain to me why he’s doing this? Why is he going for this gun?” And the editor, who was French, turned to me and said, with a little leer on his face, “Because eet’s een the screept.” And I actually went and dented the bathroom stall with my puddly little fist. I have never been angrier. But it’s the classic, “When something goes wrong, you assume the writer’s a dork.” And that’s painful.
As I’ve often said, subtlety is for little men.
[on if he feels he can take bigger chances because of his loyal fanbase]. . . It has to do with being under the radar. The fan base kept us [Dollhouse (2009)] from being not canceled, which was very thoughtful of them. But at the same time, I do know that they demand a certain amount of surprise, they demand the unexpected, and they demand to be challenged when they watch the show. Hopefully not confused, just challenged. They never want any of my shows to fall into a comfortable formula, which is just the greatest thing in the world for both the writers and the actors. To know that they’re not every week going to go, “I’m the one who explains things,” “And I’m the one who makes a wacky aside!” For them to know that their characters are going to change and go through hell and in some cases change very literally, and then they’re more excited to be a part of it. The whole energy comes from this little band of rebels–I don’t mean the people in the Dollhouse . . . but I sort of do.
[on what he’s learned from making Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008) that may help when making another] Basically that you can do anything. If you pool your resources, and in my case all of your connections after 20 years in the business–actually, God help me, 21–and just give up the idea that you’re going to act like a normal person or sleep, if you want it hard enough and do it well enough, it happens. I think a lot of really talented people either sort of get crushed under the wheel of the movie studio system or desperately try and get their next gig in TV. I understand why, because we’ve all got to put food on the table and the brass ring is out there, we’d all like to be making the Emmy-winning shows and the blockbusters and all that, but at the same time you could be doing stuff yourself. I wish more people would take the extraordinary talent they have and just let their id go because that’s what we discovered. We discovered that the sillier we got, the more people believed that we were speaking from our hearts.
[asked if there are any embarrassing Eliza Dushku moments] . . . nothing embarrasses Eliza. That’s kind of why I love working with her. Apart from finally conquering her fear of wearing her hair in an up-do. Literally, I’ve had her doing kung-fu, speaking Spanish, swing dancing, comedy, drama, horror, naked, anything–no problem–but put her hair up and she freaks. For some reason the back of her neck should not be exposed, but she’s OK with it now, and she’s really proud of that. She’s really grown as an actress with the back of her neck.
[on how he approaches the season finales of his shows] I’ve always approached every season that way. Firefly (2002) was the one time I really got the rug pulled out from under me. But every season of [Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)], except that time I got a two-year pickup from UPN, we ended the show as though we were not coming back. Or with the thought that if we did not come back, we would be satisfied–that’s why I never ended with a cliffhanger. Then we got a bigger pick-up on “Buffy” and I ended with a cliffhanger and went, “No wonder our first episodes are always so crappy–cliffhangers are awesome!
[the first thing he did when he found out that Dollhouse (2009) had been renewed for a second season] I’m not afraid to say panic. I’m not too much of a man to use the words “completely panic”. The first thing I did, even before it was totally official, was go out to a restaurant, which is where I do most of my writing, and write down everything I thought about what Season 2 would be, and sent it to the writers. I wrote down everything that I thought would be useful–what we hadn’t had enough of, what I thought had clicked, what we could improve–and also things that excited me about the second season. Once I had that memo out to the writers I felt like I was ready for anything. I wasn’t, but it was cute that I thought so . . . I’d had a few drinks by the end of that memo and I’m not allowed to tell you anything. What happens in Vancouver is nobody’s business.
[if there are any specific characteristics he looks for in actors] The people that I come back to are people who are either extremely versatile or just right for the part, but they all share the same work ethic and they all throw themselves into a part or a task with enormous professionalism and gusto. Nobody coasts. Nobody isn’t bringing their “A” game.
[if he considers potential fan reaction when writing] It’s a consideration, but it’s not the first one. The first one is “What’s cool?” If I think something is cool, then other people will, too, because I’m a fan. Something that makes me go “Ohh, tingly”, that’s something that other people will share. I am the audience. When you’re thinking about the fans, you’re more thinking about “What do we not have enough of?” and “Where do we need to be next, emotionally?” But beyond that, you’re thinking, “What makes me excited, what’s wrong with me, and how cool is that?” It’s a playground. You also think about the actors. What will challenge them? What will jazz them? What haven’t I seen from them? It’s just all part of the same equation. The audience includes the people making it. Actually, I think the people making it and me might make up about half of the audience.
There are two things that interest me–and they’re both power, ultimately. One is not having it and one is abusing it.
Writers are completely out of touch with reality. Writers are a crazy person. We create conflict–for a living. We do this all the time, sometimes on a weekly basis, we create horrible, incredible circumstances and then figure a way out of them. That’s what we do.
. . . I believe the best way to examine anything is to go to a dark place. You can’t be a storyteller and a speechwriter at the same time.
If somebody comes up to me, it’s because they’re moved by something I’m moved by. I’ve never taken a job I didn’t love . . . So when somebody’s coming up to me, or they’re writing, they’re in the same space I am in. I write for fanboy moments. I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. I write to do all the things the viewers want to. So the intensity of the fan response is enormously gratifying. It means I hit a nerve.
[on why his “Wonder Woman” script wasn’t accepted] It was in an outline, and not in a draft, and they didn’t like it. So I never got to write a draft where I got to work out exactly what I wanted to do. In terms of the meaning, the feeling, the look, the emotion, the character, the relationship with Steve Trevor, all of that stuff, I never wavered for a second . . . The lack of enthusiasm was overwhelming. It was almost staggering, and that was kind of from the beginning. I just don’t think my take on Wonder Woman was ever to their liking.
I’d rather make a show 100 people need to see, than a show that 1000 people want to see.
[about “Serenity” and making a movie] When you’re making a movie, you gotta amp it up, you gotta go to a greater scale and everything is gonna be a little grander, you hero is gonna be more “heroicaler” . . . yes, that’s a word . . . now . . .
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.
[5/13/04, about his Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) and Angel (1999) TV shows] Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down-and-dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.
[5/20/04, after The WB channel canceled the series] We put a lot of that heartbreak into the script, into the show, so it would hurt as much to watch as it did to have it taken away from us. I would not have been as brutal about the ending–had we had another season.”
[interview, The Vancouver Sun, 2/3/04] The times are chaotic. For me, I would hope that people look at [Angel (1999)] and gain strength by it. With everything that I do, I hope that they see people struggling to live decent, moral lives in a completely chaotic world. They see how hard it is, how often they fail, and how they get up and keep trying. That, to me, is the most important message I’m ever going to tell.
[New York Post interview, 5/20/03, about filming the last day of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)] “The last scene that I filmed [involved] a one-day player with no lines, which is great. I actually said, ‘I want the last scene to be a one-day player with no lines, so I don’t lose it.”
[on “NPR Fresh Air”, 11/8/02] It’s fascinating to me, the shows that I’ve always loved the best, Hill Street Blues (1981), Wiseguy (1987), Twin Peaks (1990), have always been shows that did have accumulative knowledge. One of the reasons why The X-Files (1993) started to leave me cold was that after five years, I just started yelling at Scully, “You’re an idiot. It’s a monster”, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I need people to grow, I need them to change, I need them to learn and explore, you know, and die and do all of the things that people do in real life. And so [on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)] we’re very, very strict about making sure that things track, that they’re presented in the right way. Because, ultimately–and this is one of the things that I did find out after we had aired–the soap opera, the characters, the interaction between them is really what people respond to more than anything else. And although we came out of it as a sort of monster-of-the-week format, it was clear that the interaction was the thing that people were latching onto. So we were happy to sort of go with that and really play it up and really see where these characters were going to go.
But nowadays I’m really cranky about comics. Because most of them are just really, really poorly written soft-core. And I miss good old storytelling. And you know what else I miss? Super powers. Why is it now that everybody’s like “I can reverse the polarity of your ions!” Like in one big flash everybody’s Doctor Strange. I like the guys that can stick to walls and change into sand and stuff. I don’t understand anything anymore. And all the girls are wearing nothing, and they all look like they have implants. Well, I sound like a very old man, and a cranky one, but it’s true.
[in April 2003, asked how he designed each unstoppable season villain to be unique and threatening] We got into a problem with that. We kept saying, “This monster can’t be killed. It’s like, “Well, have you used violence? It was never about the unstoppableness. It was never about the monster. It was about the emotion. The monster came from that. We didn’t always make them unique. We tried as much as possible, but what was important was how they related to the characters and that’s what made them unique.
Is responsible for making Thanos the overall villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
One of the many screenwriters to submit a draft for the film Freddy vs. Jason (2003).
Directed the post-credits scene of Thor (2011) to set up The Avengers (2012) and the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) to set up Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
Announced plans for a new Fox television series Dollhouse (2009) starring Eliza Dushku, to be aired in 2008. [October 2007]
Reportedly made more money off Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008) than the third-highest-grossing film The Avengers (2012).
Will be writing a second set of 12 issues of Marvel Comics’ “Astonishing X-Men”, the first issue of which is tentatively scheduled to ship in December of 2005. [September 2005]
He is scripting a 3-issue run of Serenity comics, Better Days, for Dark Horse Comics, as a prequel to the movie. [March 2008]
He is scripting an Angel graphic novel (After the Fall) , a sixth season and continuation of the television series. [December 2007]
Has just been signed to write the new “Wonder Woman” movie. [March 2005]
Finished shooting and production on Serenity (2005). [May 2005]
Announced that BBC had optioned ‘Ripper,’ a television film centered on ‘Anthony Stewart Head’ and his character Giles from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)’. [July 2007]
Writer on the Marvel comics, Runaways (with Astonishing X-men and Buffy the Vampire Slayer he’s currently putting out three different comics simultaneously). [April 2007]
Writing and supervising a Dark Horse comic book series that’s the official and canonical sequel to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. [March 2007]
Completing his first draft script for “Wonder Woman” (2007). [April 2006]
Currently in the middle of a 12-issue stint on Marvel’s Astonishing X- Men. [June 2004]
His influences include Ray Bradbury, James Cameron, Rod Serling, William Shakespeare, Stephen Sondheim, and Steven Spielberg.
His work often contains twinning, doubles, or doppelgängers. He has twice cast the non-acting identical twin brother of one of his series regulars as a supernatural double or doppelgänger of the regular character. In the season 5 Buffy episode “The Replacement,” Kelly Donovan, the twin brother of Buffy regular Nicholas Brendon (Xander) plays a part of Xander’s personality that has become mystically separated from the original Xander. In the season 2 Dollhouse episode “The Attic,” Demir Gjokaj, the twin brother of Dollhouse regular Enver Gjokaj (Victor/Anthony) plays an alternate version of Victor/Anthony who fights the original character while he is trapped in his own nightmares.
After the cancellation of Firefly, Whedon cast nearly all of the main cast members as villains in his other projects. Nathan Fillion appeared in the seventh season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Caleb. Gina Torres appeared in the fourth season of Angel as Jasmine. Adam Baldwin also appeared in Angel, in the fifth season as Marcus Hamilton. Summer Glau and Alan Tudyk appeared in Dollhouse as Bennett Halverson and Alpha, respectively. Sean Maher played Don John in Whedon’s movie of Much Ado About Nothing.
Is one of several successful current filmmakers who are graduates of Wesleyan University, including Michael Bay, Ruben Fleischer and Benh Zeitlin.
Is a huge fan of the “Terminator” series.
Is a very big fan of ”Battlestar Galactica” and cast ‘Tahmoh Pennikett’ as one of the leads in ”Dollhouse” based on his work in it. He also cast Jamie Bamber, Michael Hogan and Mark Sheppard in guest parts.
He is a huge “X-Men” fan and based his most famous character, Buffy Summers, partly on Kitty Pryde.
Whedon’s children have his wife’s last name, not his.
Whedon, who has made his support of feminist causes well known and who has built much of his career writing films and TV shows about empowered teenage girls or young women, was a subscriber to Sassy, an American feminist magazine for teenage girls. Sassy was published between 1988-1994, which means that Whedon (who was born in 1964) would have been far into his late 20s or early 30s while receiving the publication.
In X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), the idea of a cure developed by Dr. Kavita Rao, Beast’s interest in it, and the prominent roles played by Kitty Pryde and Colossus, were inspired by Joss Whedon’s story “Gifted” which took place in the first six issues of “Astonishing X-Men”.
An active supporter of gay rights.
Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof are the godparents of his son Arden.
Related to Jed Whedon, video game music composer.
Rewrote the script for Speed (1994) uncredited.
In 2007, started writing the comic-book Runaways after Brian K. Vaughan left it.
Daughter, Squire, born late 2004/early 2005.
Wrote the plot to the comic book Serenity, which bridged the gap between the Firefly T.V. series and the film. Fellow Firefly writer Brett Matthews scripted it.
Has claimed that his script for Firefly episode “Our Mrs. Reynolds” is his personal favorite thing he has ever written.
The August 21, 1995, draft of the screenplay for Twister (1996) credits Joss Whedon and Jeff Nathanson as writers. Neither writer is credited in the final film.
Considers The Road Warrior (1981) to be a perfect movie.
His favorite movie is The Matrix (1999).
Wrote an introduction for Jim Krugeer and Alex Ross’s Marvel Comics’s award- winning graphic novel “Earth X.”
Took him two years to finish writing Buffy comic book spin-off mini-series “Fray” with artist Karl Moline, due to his schedule with his three shows (Buffy/Angel/ Firefly) and the artist’s new job at CrossGen Comics.
Brother of Zack Whedon (assistant to Mr. David Milch) and Jed Whedon.
Has cited the “X-Men” character Kitty Pryde (AKA Shadowcat) as a major influence for the character of Buffy.
His wife, Kai Cole, gave birth to their son Arden on December 18, 2002.
Whedon and Cole can be heard doing a demo track for the wildly popular episode “Once More With Feeling” on the episode soundtrack. It was recorded in the front hall of their home.
Lived in the UK for three years, from 1980-2, attending Winchester College in Hampshire, where he took his A levels. The character of Rupert Giles is mistakenly thought to be based on a history teacher there, Dr. Peter Cramer. Dr. Cramer’s arrival at the College post-dates Whedon’s departure. The character was named in tribute to his House Matron: Barbara Giles.
Was asked to revise the script for X-Men (2000) and reportedly decided the whole script needed to be totally rewritten. When he handed the studio this draft, they apparently threw it out; they only really wanted him to add a couple jokes here and there.
Has said that he created Buffy (of the vampire slaying fame) to be an “alternative feminist icon”.
Appeared on-screen in the Jossverse for the first-time in the Angel (1999) episode “Through the Looking Glass” as “Numfar” of the Deathwok Clan. A relative of the Host, he is routinely ordered by Lorne’s mother to dance.
After receiving a degree in film studies from Wesleyan University, Whedon moved to Los Angeles and landed his first writing job on the staff of Roseanne (1988), working as a story editor and writing several episodes of the top-rated series. He later pulled double duty on the NBC series Parenthood (1990), co-producing and writing a number of episodes.
Writing is clearly in his blood, since he could arguably be the world’s first third-generation television writer. His grandfather was a successful sitcom writer in the 1950s and ’60s on The Donna Reed Show (1958) and Leave It to Beaver (1957), and his father wrote for the likes of The Dick Cavett Show (1968), Alice (1976) and Benson (1979).
Whedon is married and resides in Los Angeles.
Grandson of John Whedon.
Son of Tom Whedon.
Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) episode “Hush” was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2000 for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series. “Hush” featured 28 minutes without dialogue, as a group of fairy-tale demons called the Gentlemen arrived in Sunnydale to steal voices, and then hearts (literally).
Graduated from Wesleyan University in 1987.
Frequently includes ballet/ballerinas in his projects – though almost always with a supernatuural twist to their inclusion (Angel, Cabin in the Woods, Avengers: Age of Ultron, etc.)
Tongue-in-cheek, witty writing style
References to classic stories and films, through storytelling methods and direct reference in dialogue
Frequently casts Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk
Often gives his characters names that are later revealed to be their last names and/or based on an unusual abbreviation for their full name. For example: only after the character Oz had already left Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) did the show reveal that “Oz” was an abbreviation of his full name, Daniel Osbourne; on “Angel,” they did not clarify that Doyle was actually the character’s last name for many episodes; “Xander,” the name of a main Buffy character, is a much less usual nickname for “Alexander” than the much more common “Alex;” and likewise for the name “Topher,” the name of a main Dollhouse (2009) character, which is a much less usual nickname for “Christopher” than the much more common “Chris”. “Wash,” the name of a main Firefly and Serenity character, was short for “Hoban Washburne”. Whedon’s own nickname, “Joss,” is an uncommon diminuitive of “Joseph,” which is much more often abbreviated “Joe.”
Supernatural and science fiction themes
Kills off characters who are among his most popular, to keep his audiences surprised.
Features tough, strong female characters
Frequent use of nouns as adjectives, by adding the suffix “-y”
Plans storylines far in advance for all his television series, allowing for remarkable long-term continuity.
Untitled Joss Whedon/WWII Horror Project
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
TV Series created by – 73 episodes, 2013 – 2017 written by – 1 episode, 2013
Avengers: Age of Ultron
In Your Eyes
Much Ado About Nothing
written for the screen by
Buffy the Vampire Slayer XXX: A Parody
Video based on the characters created by
screenplay / story
The Cabin in the Woods
Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Motion Comic
TV Series created by – 27 episodes, 2009 – 2010 written by – 4 episodes, 2009 story – 1 episode, 2009
This American Life Live!
TV Movie written by
TV Series creator
Commentary! The Musical
Video short written by
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
TV Mini-Series 2 episodes, 2008 written by – 1 episode, 2008
Video short based on the characters created by
TV Series created by – 110 episodes, 1999 – 2004 written by – 8 episodes, 1999 – 2004 story – 4 episodes, 1999 – 2004
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series
TV Movie creator
TV Series created by – 14 episodes, 2002 – 2003 written by – 5 episodes, 2002 – 2003
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
TV Series created by – 144 episodes, 1997 – 2003 written by – 25 episodes, 1996 – 2003 story by – 3 episodes, 1997