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Trivia / Joss Whedon

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  • Cast the Expert: The casting of ballet dancer Summer Glau in an episode of Angel and hiring Tony Award-winning Hinton Battle as a choreographer and as the dancing demon Sweet in Buffy's "Once More With Feeling."
  • Creator Breakdown: Of a sort. Closed his Twitter account three days after the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. After it was speculated that his departure resulted from criticisms regarding the film, particularly the controversies regarding the Bruce/Natasha ship and Natasha angsting over her infertility, Whedon denied that he left because of the backlash, but because he wanted to go to a "quiet place":
    Whedon: I just thought, Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place. And [Twitter] is the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life.
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  • Creator Couple: With Kai Cole who produced many of his works until they divorced.
  • Creator's Pest: Whedon has mentioned in interviews that he's not a fan of The Punisher, viewing the character's concept as fascistic and irresponsible. During his time writing Runaways, Whedon brought in the Punisher for a guest spot, and intentionally wrote him in an extremely unflattering manner.
  • Old Shame:
    • The unaired Buffy pilot. It's on Youtube if anyone's interested. Also, the film.
      IGNFF: Is the presentation ever going to make it to DVD?
      Whedon: Not while there is strength in these bones.
      IGNFF: Well, I mean, it's one of the most heavily bootlegged things on the Internet.
      Whedon: Yeah. It sucks on ass.
      IGNFF: Yeah, it does, but it's sort of that archival, historical perspective...
      Whedon: Yeah, I've got your historical perspective.
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    • Alien: Resurrection, which was supposedly written as a parody. Needless the say, the irony blew up in his face — and not for the last time, either. "The same thing that happens to everything else", indeed.
    • Joss doesn't have fond memories of Roseanne. The eponymous star was apparently on her worst behavior, and the whole crew bore the brunt of it.
    • He's hinted that he's done a bit more uncredited script edits than anyone is aware of, which turned out so badly that it's going to stay that way.
    • His experience as a script doctor for Waterworld got the nickname of "Seven Weeks In Hell".
  • Production Posse: Some actors achieved a "hat trick" of appearing as different characters in three of his series. The most notable of these actors is Jonathan M Woodward. Not only did Woodward appear in three of Whedon's shows (Holden Webster in Buffy; Knox in Angel and Tracy in Firefly), his character died in each instance.
    • For a longer list, see Mutant Enemy.
    • Carlos Jacott, best known for shooting Bill Henrickson in the finale of Big Love, played the smarmy villain Ken in the Buffy episode "Anne". He would later appear on Angel ("Bachelor Party") and Firefly ("Serenity").
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    • Amy Acker (Angel) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly) both resurfaced on Dollhouse after the demise of their respective shows. The former would later be cast in The Cabin in the Woods, Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Felicia Day was in Buffy, Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse.
    • Adam Baldwin and Gina Torres were salvaged from Firefly to play villains on Angel. Morena Baccarin was slated to appear (also as a baddie), but Fox execs nixed the idea. And, of course, Nathan Fillion was the recurring villain Caleb in Buffy's last season.
      • Additionally, if one wanted to play Six Degrees of Adam Baldwin, he also appeared on Tim Minear's short-lived thriller The Inside.
    • Alexis Denisof is a frequent collaborator. In addition to playing Wesley on Buffy and Angel and Senator Daniel Perrin in Dollhouse, he had a surprise voiceover in The Avengers as The Other, and is Benedick in Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.
    • Eliza Dushku appeared in both Buffy and Angel as Faith and later played the lead on Dollhouse.
    • Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye in The Avengers, played a baddie on Angel way back in 2000.
    • Gnarl, one of The Gentleman, the Ubervamp, and the Prince of Lies were all the same guy: Camden Toy.
    • Andy Umberger was D'Hoffryn on Buffy, a crazy psychosurgeon on Angel, and an Alliance Captain in the Firefly pilot.
    • Enver Gjokaj - Victor in Dollhouse - had a cameo in The Avengers as a police officer.
    • Drew Goddard, director and co-writer of The Cabin in the Woods. He previously worked as a writer for Buffy and Angel and had a cameo in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog as a member of The Evil League of Evil. Like Whedon, he now has his own TV pockets of the Marvel Universe to play in.
    • Tim Minear, who worked on series such as Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse as well as being the creator of Drive which starred Nathan Fillion.
    • Jane Espenson, who wrote for Buffy (including the comics), Angel, and Firefly. Joss made a cameo in her series Husbands.
    • Nathan Fillion, Mal in Firefly, Caleb in Season 7 of Buffy, Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible and Dogberry in his 2012 adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.
    • Tom Lenk, who played Andrew Wells in Buffy and Angel and also Verges in Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Screwed by the Network: To many the Trope Codifier, after how Fox under-supported and then cancelled Firefly.
    • His earlier scuffles with the WB, too.
  • Trolling Creator: Regularly kills or emotionally tortures sweet lovable characters in his works. Also regularly lampshaded for laughs.
    Neil Patrick Harris: You do kill a lot of women.
    Joss Whedon: Hey, my personal life is not on trial here.
    • He trolled the Avengers fanbase by killing off Quicksilver, and later with the final scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the former case, Quicksilver lampshades his own death with his movie catchphrase "Didn't see that coming." In the latter case, when Captain America welcomes the Avengers' newest surviving recruits, he triumphantly says "Avengers, a-" right before getting cut off by the end credits. Prior to the film's release, Joss had confirmed that the movie was "one minute shorter" than the first installment.
  • Uncredited Role: He was an uncredited script doctor for several films, including Speed, The Quick and the Dead, Waterworld, Twister and X-Men.
    • According to Disney animator Tom Sito, Whedon did some uncredited script doctoring for The Little Mermaid.
    • As mentioned under Old Shame above, he's done some uncredited script edits that turned out so poor, he prefers they be unknown. Those works technically qualify, but without knowing what they are, they can't be listed here.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A particularly potent one, for comic books fans and companies alike: before he was attached to The Avengers, Whedon was writing a Wonder Woman movie for DC Comics. DC passed on it, he got the Avengers job from Kevin Feige, and the rest is history. Whedon ultimately cast the actress he claimed to have had in mind to play Wonder Woman, Cobie Smulders, as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, and she did get to play the character eventually in The LEGO Movie. However, after the release of the 2017 Wonder Woman film, his script came under fire for being perceived by some as sexist - focussing far more on Steve than Diana, while giving creepily loving descriptions of her beauty in lieu of giving her a particularly interesting personality. When asked about the script at the Avengers: Infinity War premiere, Whedon defended it, saying “it’s easy to take one phrase out of context”. He went on to point out that the portrayal of female action heroes in film has advanced drastically since he had written the script; “not that I was the most woke individual... ten years ago, but I was in there swinging and... the characters have integrity and I stand by it.”
    • He had an idea for a crossover between Captain America and Jenny Sparks, but was never able to make it happen.
    • Upon taking over the post-production of Justice League following Zack Snyder's departure, Warner Bros offered Whedon the chance to helm a Batgirl movie. He was attached to it for several months before ultimately exiting the project, the official reason being he "didn't really have a story".

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