Born Joseph Hill Whedon, Joss spent his childhood in Manhattan before attending an all-boys high school in England. Upon graduation he returned to the United States and attended Connecticut's Wesleyan University where he received a degree in Film Studies. He then moved to Los Angeles, and after a…more
According to Graham Yost, credited screenwriter of the film Speed, Joss Whedon wrote 98.9% of the dialogue for that film.
Joss directed the episode "Business School" on the television series The Office. Many people who saw this episode thought it was made for him because it had vampires bats in it but Greg Daniels assures people it wasn't.
The first issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, written by Joss Whedon, came out on March 14, 2007.
Joss Whedon never had Halloween as a kid, in the city or on the farm, however Joss remembers, "But oh! We had costumes at school and one year I rigged a little scaffold to come out of the back of my shirt and was a hanged man. Shared Best Costume with a girl in catsuit. A GIRL in a CATSUIT??? I want a recount."
One of Joss Whedon's favorite shows after the cancellation of his own series is Veronica Mars.
Joss lived in the UK for 3 years from 1980-82, 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.
In Joss' series Firefly there are 14 episodes in total (15 if you count the pilot as two episodes), only 11 of the 14 episodes were aired, and in the incorrect order as well. When the series came to boxset, the extra 3 episodes were added in, and all episodes were placed in their correct order.
Before creating Firefly, Joss had previously ventured into the world of outer space epics with the animated feature Titan A.E. for which he co-wrote the screenplay.
Joss tries to form relationships with his cast as he believes that then it is easier for everyone.
Joss had planned on doing a series of Buffy/Angel movies each centering on a different character, but they have not come to pass. He also planned on an Angel season 6, a spin-off series from Buffy starring Eliza Dushku, who plays Faith, and the animated series of Buffy, but none of these left the ground. So far the only continuation of the Buffyverse has been a number of Angel comics, but Joss is now penning a series of comics which enter into Buffy canon as a "season 8" of Buffy.
Joss has said that the original idea for Buffy came from all the horror movies he had seen featuring a helpless young blonde who would almost always be the first to die. He thought it would be great if the petite little girl turned around and kicked the monster's ass.
After he was disappointed with the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss's wife Kai Cole suggested he wait a while and maybe one day he would get to make a TV show. He dismissed this as "naive."
Joss is the son of Tom Whedon, who wrote for such shows as Captain Kangaroo, The Electric Company, The Dick Cavett Show, Alice, and Benson. His grandfather, John Whedon, also wrote for television including Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Joss Whedon may be the world's first third generation television writer.
Joss was once attached to the big budget film adaptation of Wonder Woman, but he was allowed to drop out due to creative differences with the studio on their visions of what the movie should be. "We just saw different movies..." Joss said.
Universal Pictures has greenlighted a spec script by Joss for a horror movie called Goners. Joss will write and direct, and he describes it as "The story of a young woman's journey that involves a great deal of horror and some heroics. It's certainly darker than Serenity, and there are a lot of left turns along the way. It is something I had in mind for a while, and it just poured out of me when I finished my film."
Joss' television show Firefly was cancelled in 2002 after only eleven episodes had aired. However, at the wrap party he vowed to find another home for the show. Two years later he received an offer from Universal Pictures to let him write and direct a big screen adaptation of the show which was called Serenity. This is a mirror image of his experience with Buffy the Vampire Slayer which started as a fairly unsuccessful movie but then became a hit television series.
In 2000, Joss wrote and directed the season 6 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled, Once More With Feeling. This was a musical episode in which a demon appeared in town and made all the characters burst into song. Along with writing the script, Joss also wrote all the songs in the episode. The music from this episode was later released as a CD soundtrack.
Awards and nominations: 1996: Nominated for Oscar and Saturn awards, and won an Annie award for Best Writing for the movie Toy Story. 1999: Nominated for an Annie for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production" for the song "My Lullaby" from the movie Lion King II: Simba's Pride. 2000: Nominated for an Emmy and a Bram Stoker Award for writing for the episode Hush of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 2002: Nominated for a Nebula Award for "Best Script" for the episode The Body of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 2003: Nominated for a Nebula Award for "Best Script" for the episode Once More With Feeling of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Joss has moved into the realm of comic books as well as TV and film. He wrote the first twenty four issues of the critically acclaimed comic book series Astonishing X-Men but he took a hiatus for several months while he worked on the script for the big screen version of Wonder Woman.
Joss is a fan of the Harry Potter books and his favorite character is Hermione.
Joss did some voice work for the video game Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds. In the game you can unlock him as a playable character for the two-player games.
The game also includes video clips of interviews with Joss and much of the rest of the cast as well as clips from their voice recording sessions.
Joss wrote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Hush which 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). Hush was also nominated for the coveted Bram Stoker Award the same year.
Joss: 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.
Joss: (On the buzz surrounding his series Dollhouse before it even airs) We are kind of living in a fish bowl a little bit. Sometimes I don't like people to see the man behind the curtain. I don't like them to know that something wasn't awesome before they saw it. You know, the things we had to tweak, the things we had to cut, that is inevitable.
But now, I don't think it is just us. The whole world is so much about seeing behind the curtain and seeing how things are made and how they work and the extended cut, and what we could have done and what we didn't do and the alternate ending and you just, you kind of take it as part and parcel at the beginning. Because it's Eliza, and because it's me, we might suffer from it a little bit more. But those are high-class problems to have.
Joss: (on the selection of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast) The truth is, I wasn't positive that any of them were right. I didn't realize any of them had the depth they have when we first cast it. I just thought they were cute and funny. That was good enough at the time.
Joss: (on how Alyson Hannigan wasn't his first choice for Willow.) She wont let me forget that! I was charmed by her, but I had no idea, basically, how great she was.
Joss: (On the title of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) That title, is one of the things I fought for. A lot of people said "But it's stupid, and it's the title of a comedy movie, and people won't take it seriously," and I'm sure there are some people who still don't. But for the most part, people do see that we really have a quality show.
Joss Whedon: (on having an internet fanbase) By and large, it's a really positive force. It is like having a really big drunk friend who holds nothing back and says everything openly and honestly.
On friend and colleague Marti Noxon...
Joss Whedon: She's been a vital part of everything people love about Buffy since she overhauled the Halloween script in season two. She's as good a story-breaker as I've ever worked with. And she's a leader.
Joss: (about Buffy Season 8 comic) I should probably say that it's the awesomest thing ever. I'm having so much fun.
Joss: (On is favorite convention experiences) Buying my first lightsaber. Dude, I have a lightsaber! Also catching Tenacious D right after our panel -- lots of new material in that set. Hearing people cheer for the first time in my life (for me). Buying my second lightsaber. Ditching security with Aly and David B. Watching my nephew seeing his tribe for the first time. And coming in at number one: a lecture on drawing from John Buscema when I was ten. Got his and Stan's autographs, gnarlsome!
Joss: (about Battlestar Galactica) That is my favorite show. Maybe ever.
Joss: (On the Buffy Season 8 Comic) Well, I'm not that bright. I keep thinking that I have all this free time that I don't have. It started going in my brain — "Wouldn't it be fun if... " and, "You could... " while the other voice was saying, "It's death. I'm out of control. I'm already writing." So I basically said, "We could do something and for once we could make it canon. We could make it officially what happened after the end of the show." Let Buffy not only address certain themes that slipped between the cracks of the show, but also really be a comic book. Take the template of the show, but not so religiously that they're all standing in the Magic Box, talking, for 10 pages.
Joss Whedon: (About James Marsters from the audio commentary for the Buffy episode Chosen) The ability to turn on a dime is a very rare thing in an actor. From incredibly noble or scary to completely dorky or disarming. He does it with the tongue line earlier, he does it here. You'd be amazed how few people can actually do that, and the last person I ever expected to be able to do it would be a theater-trained guy, but yet, he's got the chops. He can go from Dracula to Jack Benny in a heartbeat, which is one of the reasons why I love him. That, and his shiny, shiny hair.
Joss Whedon: When I created Buffy, I wanted to create a female icon, but I also wanted to be very careful to surround her with men that not only have no problem with the idea of a female leader, but were in fact engaged and even attracted to the idea.
Joss: (about Veronica Mars) Best. Show. Ever. Seriously.
Joss Whedon: Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.
Joss: Buffy loves Angel. He loves her. And I love Ho Hos.
Joss: I don't want the giant ego. I don't want to become Kevin Costner, singing on the soundtrack to The Postman.
Joss: As far as I am concerned, the first episode of Buffy was the beginning of my career. It was the first time I told a story from start to finish the way I wanted.
Joss Whedon: I'm a believer in that, ... I am a great believer in found families and I'm not a great believer in blood. Although I love my family, even the ones I grew up with, to me I've always felt that the people who treated you with respect and included you in their lives were your family and the people who were related to you by blood might happen to be those people but that correlation was a lot less [strong] than society believes it is.
Joss Whedon: It's about how much freedom you can take away from somebody before they either fold or fight, ... It's about the right to be wrong and the nature of human beings, that they need the freedom to be wrong. That they cannot be made to be better or perfect.
Joss Whedon: I think everyone who makes movies should be forced to do television. Because you have to finish. You have to get it done, and there are a lot of decisions made just for the sake of making decisions. You do something because it's efficient and because it gets the story told and it connects to the audience.
Joss Whedon: The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn't look like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, he's going to keep digging, he's going to keep trying to do right and make up for what's gone before, just because that's who he is.
Joss Whedon: Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there.
Joss Whedon: The two things that matter the most to me: emotional resonance and rocket launchers. Party of Five, a brilliant show, and often made me cry uncontrollably, suffered ultimately from a lack of rocket launchers.
Joss Whedon: I'm a very hard-line, angry atheist. Yet I am fascinated by the concept of devotion.
Joss Whedon: I love to write. I love it. I mean there's nothin in the world I like better, and that includes sex, probably because I'm so very bad at it.
Joss Whedon: I also don't trust Caribou anymore. They're out there, on the tundra, waiting... Something's going down. I'm right about this.
Joss Whedon: (about high school and Buffy The Vampire Slayer) What makes the show popular is the central myth of high school as horrific... The humiliation, the alienation... the confusion of high school is taken to such great proportions that they become demonic... I don't think you ever get over high school.
Joss Whedon: It's embarrassing to say that one watches one's own work, but on occasion, I have, and I thought, 'Yeah, this is a thing.'
Joss Whedon: I hate it when people talk about Buffy as being campy... I hate camp, I don't enjoy dumb TV. I believe Aaron Spelling has single-handedly lowered SAT scores.
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