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Joss Whedon (1964)

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  Summary  

Joseph Hill "Joss" Whedon is an American screenwriter, executive producer, director, comic book writer, occasional composer and actor, founder of Mutant Enemy Productions and co-creator of Bellwether Pictures. He is best known as the creator and showrunner of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003), Angel (1999–2004), Firefly and Dollhouse (2009–2010), as well as the short film Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog . Whedon wrote and directed the movie adaptation of Marvel's The Avengers which will be released in May 2012. He is also notable for his work in film, comic books, and online media. Many of Whedon's projects, as well as Whedon himself, enjoy cult status.

  Biography  

 early life
Joss Whedon was born in New York City. He has been described as the world's first third-generation TV writer, as he is the son of Tom Whedon, a screenwriter for The Electric Company in the 1970s and The Golden Girls in the 1980s, and the grandson of John Whedon, a writer for The Donna Reed Show in the 1950s. His mother, Lee Stearns, taught history at Riverdale Country School as Lee Whedon, and was an unpublished novelist. Joss Whedon is the younger brother of Samuel and Matthew Whedon and older brother of writers Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon.

Whedon graduated from Wesleyan University in 1987. Before going to Wesleyan he spent two years at Winchester College in England. He attended Riverdale Country School in New York City where his mother taught history. At a young age he was a prolific writer, loved Monty Python and showed great interest in acting.

 career
  Television work
Following a move to Los Angeles, Whedon secured his first writing job on the television series Roseanne. After working several years as a script doctor for films, he returned to television, where he created four TV shows.


Years after having his script for the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer produced, Whedon revived the concept as a television series of the same name. Buffy the Vampire Slayer went on to become a critical and cult hit receiving an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series in 2000. Buffy ran for five seasons on The WB Television Network before being relocated to the UPN Network for its final two seasons. Angel was a spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, featuring Buffy's vampire-with-a-soul ex-boyfriend as the title character. Debuting in September 1999 on the WB, Angel was broadcast following Buffy during its first two seasons. The WB canceled the show in February 2004 while it was in its fifth season.

In 2002, Fox canceled Firefly, after only 11 of 14 episodes were aired, many out of intended order. The original ninety-minute pilot ("Serenity") was aired last. After the cancellation, Whedon wrote the script for a Firefly movie, titled Serenity. In early 2004 Whedon announced that it had been greenlit by Universal Studios. It was widely released in the United States on September 30, 2005. In the DVD release, Whedon discusses how Serenity would not have been made if not for the dedication of the Browncoats, fans of the series.

In late 2007, Eliza Dushku, with whom Whedon worked on Buffy and Angel, met over lunch to discuss possible ideas for a series for her to star in and came up with an idea which excited both of them. The show, Dollhouse, was announced by Fox in November 2008 to begin airing on February 13, 2009. Dollhouse was canceled after two seasons due to low ratings.

Whedon is also noted for his directing work in television, which includes two 2007 episodes of The Office ("Business School" and "Branch Wars") as well as a 2010 episode of the musical series Glee ("Dream On") in which he reunited with his Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog star Neil Patrick Harris.

Although not an actor, he has made cameos in his own shows as well as others. He appeared as a newsreader in the Buffy season one episode, "I, Robot... You, Jane". During the second season of Angel, he made a cameo appearance as the character Numfar under heavy makeup, where his entire role was to perform comical dances in "Through the Looking Glass". In Firefly, Whedon appeared as a guest at a funeral in the final produced episode, "The Message". He made a brief appearance as an overbearing rental-car clerk in an episode of Veronica Mars, "Rat Saw God", in 2005; Whedon is a vocal fan of Veronica Mars. He voiced himself in two episodes of Seth Green's television series Robot Chicken titled "Rabbits on a Roller Coaster" in 2007 and "Help Me" in 2008.

 Feature films and video
Whedon wrote or co-wrote several films, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Alien Resurrection and Titan A.E.. The song "My Lullaby" from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride was written by him and Seattle native Scott Warrender. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Toy Story's screenplay.

He also wrote uncredited drafts or rewrites of Speed, Waterworld, Twister and X-Men, although in interviews, Whedon disowned the latter three films. He claimed that he had a good script for Alien Resurrection, which he felt was spoiled by its director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. His Waterworld script was thrown out , and only two of his lines were kept in the final script of X-Men. Even the Buffy movie bore little resemblance to his original screenplay. According to Graham Yost, the credited writer of Speed, Whedon wrote most of its dialogue.

He wrote and directed 2005's Serenity, based on his television series Firefly. Serenity won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. Beginning in January 2006, fans (with Universal's blessing) began organizing worldwide charity screenings called "Can't Stop the Serenity" , a play on a line in the film: "You can't stop the signal", to benefit Equality Now, a human rights organization supported by Joss Whedon. Over $500,000 has been raised for Equality Now since 2006. As of May 1, 2011, 45 cities were registered for CSTS 2011 in 6 countries and 24 U.S. states.

In November 2008, Whedon guest starred in the premiere episode of The Write Environment, a direct to DVD series featuring in-depth, candid one-on-one interviews with some of TV's most prolific and well known series creator/writers.

Whedon wrote a horror film titled The Cabin in the Woods with Drew Goddard which finished production in 2009. The film was produced by MGM, but once the studio went bankrupt, the film was held back indefinitely. It was finally given a release date of April 13, 2012 and will be distributed by Lionsgate. Goddard directed the Whedon-produced film, which stars Bradley Whitford, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz and Richard Jenkins.

In April 2010, it was confirmed that Whedon will direct The Avengers, a live-action adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The film will be released on May 4, 2012 - two weeks after The Cabin in the Woods.

On October 24, 2011, Bellwether Pictures confirmed they had completed principal photography on an adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing, which is directed and produced by Joss Whedon. It was filmed in 12 days in Santa Monica. Whedon is also the writer and producer of the upcoming paranormal romance film In Your Eyes. It is the second feature film under production by Bellwether Pictures.

 Comic books
Whedon, a lifelong comic book fan, is the author of the Dark Horse Comics miniseries Fray which takes place in the far future of the Buffyverse. Whedon returned to the world of Fray during the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight arc, "Time of Your Life".

Like many other authors from the Buffy TV show, he also contributed to the show's comic book version: he wrote three stories in the anthology Tales of the Slayers and also the main storyline of the five-issue miniseries Tales of the Vampires.

The three-issue miniseries Serenity: Those Left Behind, based on the Firefly series and leading up to the film Serenity, was released June through August 2005. Co-written with Brett Matthews and pencilled by Will Conrad, the first issue featured covers drawn by John Cassaday, J.G. Jones, and Bryan Hitch, as well as other artists for the second and third issues. The first two issues went to a second printing. The trade paperback featured a new cover by acclaimed painter Adam Hughes.

A second three-issue Serenity miniseries Serenity: Better Days, was released in March, April, and May 2008. "Better Days" reunites Whedon, Matthews, Conrad, and Adam Hughes, who will provide all three covers. The three covers form a larger panorama of the ship's crew. "Better Days" is set before "Those Left Behind", and features the full crew of Serenity. A trade paperback featuring a cover by Jo Chen was released in October 2008.

Whedon and others have mentioned that more Serenity comics are planned for the near future, and will be based in the Firefly continuation of the series, including one about Shepherd Book. Likewise, Whedon and other former Buffy writers have released a new ongoing Buffy which takes place after the series finale "Chosen", which he officially recognizes as the canonical "Season 8". The first issue was released on March 14, 2007 by Dark Horse Comics. Following the success of issue one of Buffy season eight, IDW Publishing approached Whedon about similarly producing a canonical Angel Season 6. Angel: After the Fall has 14 issues published as of November 19, 2008 with 3 more to come following the adventures of Angel and his team after the TV series ended, where the title of the series will then change to Angel: Aftermath. Although Whedon has not had the time to write the series, he has served as executive producer with Brian Lynch, writing the season 6 story.

Whedon wrote Astonishing X-Men in Marvel Comics' popular line of comics about the X-Men but finished his 24 issue run in 2008 and handed over the writing reins to Warren Ellis. The title, recreated specifically for Whedon, has been one of Marvel's best-selling comics as of 2006 and was nominated for several Eisner Awards including Best Serialized Story, Best Continuing Series, Best New Series and Best Writer, winning the Best Continuing Series award in 2006. One storyline from this comic, the notion of a cure for mutation being found, was also an element in the third X-Men film, X-Men: The Last Stand. Whedon also introduced several new characters into the Marvel Universe such as the villainous Ord, X-Men Ruth "Blindfold" Aldine and Hisako "Armor" Ichiki, Runaway Klara Prast and Special Agent Abigail Brand, along with S.W.O.R.D., the organization she commands.

Whedon is the second writer of the critically acclaimed and fan-favorite Marvel comic Runaways, taking over after series creator Brian K. Vaughan completed his run. Whedon had been a fan of the series for some time, and had a letter published in the first volume, which was included in the Volume 1 hardcover.

Whedon's other comic-related work includes writing the introduction to Identity Crisis trade paperback and a contribution to the "jam issue" Superman/Batman #26 , writing short pieces for Marvel's Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man and Giant-Size X-Men #3 and also being the subject of an issue of Marvel Spotlight . He contributed as part of a panel of writers to Marvel Comics' Civil War crossover event, lending advice in how to tell the story and how to end it.

In February 2009, Astonishing X-Men #6, which depicted the return of Colossus to the title, and concluded Whedon's first story arc on that title, was named by Marvel Comics readers the #65 in Marvel's Top 70 Comics of all time.

 Online media

In 2005 he released a series of online shorts titled the R. Tam sessions, starring himself and Summer Glau, which served as a form of viral marketing for Serenity. In 2007, he launched a free webcomic, titled Sugarshock! hosted on Dark Horse comic's Myspace page.

In March 2008, Whedon teamed up with his brothers Zack Whedon and Jed Whedon, along with Jed's then-fiancée Maurissa Tancharoen to write, compose and produce the musical superhero spoof, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The musical stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. Whedon conceived of Dr. Horrible over the year before and production took place over seven days during the Writers Guild strike. The project was freely available online from July 15 until July 20. In August, Whedon released a new Serenity/Firefly comic free online Serenity: The Other Half. In September, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Soundtrack, made the top 40 Album list despite being a digital exclusive only available on iTunes. The Soundtrack was successful enough to pay its crew and all its bills.

In February 2009, he stated that after his series Dollhouse is over, whether by cancellation or reaching its end, that he plans on putting his efforts purely into on-line content like Dr. Horrible. In the Dr. Horrible bonus feature Commentary! The Musical!, Joss sings the song "Heart " about the crippling scrutiny and commercialisation of producing fiction for a modern consumer audience.

 Unrealized projects
Whedon had a number of planned television projects that have become stuck in development or terminally stalled. Among these was a Buffy animated series, a set of made-for-television movies for The WB based on Angel and Buffy characters, and Ripper, a proposed BBC pilot about Rupert Giles. Ripper was announced to be in development at the San Diego Comic-Con 2007. The development process was set to begin in 2008 and Ripper to be shown that summer but the pilot has not materialized yet due to characters rights.

Early in his career Whedon sold two spec scripts that have not yet been produced, Suspension and Afterlife. He sold Suspension for $750,000 with an additional $250,000 if production commences. It has been described as "Die Hard on a bridge." A year later in 1994 he sold Afterlife for $1.5 million with an additional $500,000 if production commences. As of 2000 Andy Tennant was in talks to direct and rewrite. In Afterlife are precursors to many of the themes Whedon would later explore in Dollhouse. The script is about Daniel Hoffstetter, a government scientist, who awakes after dying to discover his mind has been imprinted on a mind-wiped body.

Whedon had been signed to write and direct Warner Bros.' adaptation of Wonder Woman but on February 3, 2007, Whedon announced that he would no longer be involved with the project. "We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that's never gonna work. Non-sympatico. It happens all the time."

Late in 2009, Whedon made a humorous bid of $10,000 for control of future Terminator material. He was rebuffed at that time and it is not known if he has plans to attempt this again.

Goners
Goners was announced in 2005. According to Variety magazine, it is a fantasy thriller under development by Universal Pictures, and is to be produced by Mary Parent and Scott Stuber. However, according to Whedon's latest comments, the script is still in rewrites and has not been greenlit for production.

When asked about the film itself during an interview, Whedon said:

It is a fantasy thriller, it is pretty dark and it’s all me. So people will pretty much know what that means if they look at my body of work. But it’s a new universe set in the present day with a new concept for me and a new bunch of characters. It’s been a long time since I got to do that, so that’s really fun.

From an interview with Fanboy Radio:

I've been seeing a lot of horror movies that are torture-porn, where kids we don't care about are mutilated for hours, and I just cannot abide them... it's an antidote to that very kind of film, the horror movie with the expendable human beings in it. Because I don't believe any human beings are.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Уидон, Джосс", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.