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FireflyJoss Whedon - "Serenity" Movie - Tvweek.ninemsn.com.au Interview
Monday 19 September 2005, by Webmaster
Joss Whedon talks to TV WEEK about his new movie Serenity, based on the TV series Firefly - and also gives us the goss on the Buffy/Angel telemovie and the Wonder Woman movie.
What made you want to make this movie when Firefly wasn’t a success as a TV series? Why didn’t you just go on to another project, something completely different? The idea of the completely different is always enticing, but I felt there was a story to be told and it was about these characters, as played by these people, and I hadn’t told it yet. And I wasn’t finished. And when you’re not finished, you have to finish. And I simply couldn’t accept the idea that I would never see these characters again, and I wanted to come onto this trip again. I believe so much in the universe, in the story that the movie ended up telling, which was the story we were going to tell in the series, or part of the story.
Do you think Firefly will get a whole new audience from this? Do you think it could get another series on TV after this? It’s hard to say. I don’t think you’ll ever capture the same thing you captured. People get on with their lives and you get a different vibe, different crew, you’re at a different time. You’ll never get Firefly back. There could be a series, and one of the things I always like to do is create an ensemble strong enough that any that any single one of them could carry it, or any group of them. I guess my first goal if the movie did well enough would be to make another one. But I’m open to anything right now. I’m concentrating on trying to get people to be interested to see the first one. If not, then this conversation would be moot. One of the great things about Serenity is all the strong female roles - the women are all really smart and they can kick arse and they can drive as well.
Do you consciously try to write strong female roles, or do you just have a really enlightened attitude towards women? I think it’s both. I was raised by a smart woman, a strong woman; I married a strong woman, I tend to be surrounded by them and you write what you know. But also you write what you want to see and when I started writing Buffy it was specifically because there weren’t enough of them.
What’s next for you - the Wonder Woman movie? Yes. I have to get down to the grinding stone on writing that.
Do you have anyone in mind for the role of Wonder Woman? I really don’t. I suspect that she’ll either be somebody I’ve never met before or seen on screen. I could be wrong, but that’s my instinct.
Do you like to do that when you’re casting? It’s wonderful to get them off the boat. You find people like Summer (Glau) and Morena (Baccarin) from Serenity, or Amy Acker and Alexis Denisoff from Angel, who just really walk in fresh, they’ve never done that much in this country, they’ve been in town for a week and they’re already incredibly talented and you just give them a shot and they’re really grateful even though you didn’t really teach them anything.
I have to ask for Buffy and Angel fans - are you looking at doing a Buffy or Angel movie? I am trying to put something together that is to do with the Buffyverse, but I don’t know if it’ll involve either Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) or Angel (David Boreanaz). They’re working on other things. But I am trying to see if I can put something together.
Would it be a movie? I think probably not on the level of Serenity. Probably something on telly.
And would it be around a character who’s been in both Buffy and Angel? Could be. Could be just a Buffy or just an Angel. Or it might be more than one. I have a lot of different ideas about what could be done. I’m just trying to figure out which one of them is the most viable.
Are there Buffy and Angel cast members keen to work with you on that? Yes, there are. Or at least so they tell me. Maybe they’re just being nice.
Australia’s education minister, Brendan Nelson, recently had a go at universities because there are more students studying Buffy than Milton. How do you feel about people studying Buffy at university? I think they should be. There’s two reasons. One, because there’s not an episode of that show which we didn’t have a very specific intent for. There’s no episode that was just there to spin a yarn. They all were trying to capture something, even if it was just like a certain experience. There was always philosophical and political discussion about what it was we were trying to say. But even if none of that was the case, even if it was just a show that people took to, the fact that it’s made such an inroad into popular culture means that it should be studied for whatever it is popular culture seems to have needed that made it grasp onto it. Do I think it’s as good as Milton’s poems? Well, I’m not, like, a big Milton-head. I don’t think it’s as good as Emily Dickinson’s poems. Do I think it’s the greatest literature ever? I don’t think it is. Do I think it’s topical and thoughtful and deals with issues of human morality and personal responsibility and a lot of things that need to be talked about both academically and casually, yes. So I’m all for it.