Joss Whedon Is Still Bitter About Firefly

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Joss Whedon Is Still Bitter About Firefly



His career has had many ups and downs, but Whedon clearly holds a grudge about more than a few of his failures.

Watching the panel at Comic Con 2010, it was clear that Joss Whedon still has as sore spot for how his scifi western show, Firefly, was treated by Fox. Dollhouse fared a bit better but Whedon was also sensitive about its cancellation. Compared with the cool confidence that J. J. Abrams exuded, Whedon's nervous jokes were more entertaining, but also displayed a bitterness. That being said, Whedon does not appear to be depressed or discouraged by these events and will continue to fight to create the stories that he loves.

Whedon didn't mention Firefly by name, but he did make one huge dig at how his show was handled. When asked whether he preferred film or TV he said, "What you can do in a movie, what you can accomplish is so extraordinary and so fulfilling. And you get to be done, which is a huge relief. Being able to tell a story over 7 years or even, you know, 15 episodes, 11 of which they air out of order is just so-"

Here Whedon was drowned out by the surge of cheers from the crowd in protest to what Fox did to his show (not airing the pilot first making the plot hard to follow, etc.). Whedon was also asked point-blank about the cancellation of Dollhouse, which aired on Fox for 1.5 season before being cancelled in November 2009:

"My experiences at Fox have not been successful," he said. "Ultimately it's because there is a certain amount of incompatibility that is very easy to miss. I like genre stuff, and that's what they wanted. You mention sexy and they want that but you can't actually mention sex. I have more of a cable mentality than I realized. I had been away from television for a while. I didn't know how much things have changed. I didn't look at Janet Jackson's nipple and I didn't know how much trouble it caused. What I learned was know your audience and your first audience is the people who are paying you to make [the show].

"Which is why, right now, I'm at Marvel and I'm extremely happy. It's a very different experience."

Whedon also wrote the script for Alien Resurrection, which is maligned by fans and studios alike. When he was asked if he kept any props or memorabilia from his movies, he quipped, "I have an Alien egg but I had to bury the franchise in order to get it."

I had to laugh at that one myself. The fact that Whedon is able to laugh at his failures is a good thing. You have to have a thick skin in Holywood and Whedon certainly showed that at the panel by making light of heavy things.

Now, he better not screw up The Avengers or he may just snap.


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Plinglebob

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Nov 11, 2008
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I'm a fan of Joss Whedons, but Dollhouse never had much focus which made it hard to watch. It had some shining moments, but no-where near as many as Firefly, Angel or Buffy and I wasn't upset that it was cancelled. Personally I'm most annoyed about the cancellation of Angel. Season 5 was one of its best and was gaining an audience, but it was still cancelled.
 

Pandalisk

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Jan 25, 2009
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Im bitter about it too, i really got into it when i first heard of it on these forums and i really enjoyed what little there was of it.

Well at least he admits his failures, people love to ***** about Alien Resurrection something chronic so its nice to see he can save face about it. I believe he'll make the Avengers something special...J.J. Abrams however..I dunno, i didn't really mind what he's made, but i've never liked them etheir, dare i trust in him?
 

blalien

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Jul 3, 2009
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Two things:
Dollhouse sucked until it was canceled, then became awesome when they realized they couldn't stretch the B-plot over seven seasons.
Joss Whedon was an idiot for pitching Dollhouse to Fox. Whatever happened to fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?
 

Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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Why did they not air the pilot first?

I thought the whole point of a pilot was to see if audiences were interested or not. Then you go on to make more if they are.
 

AgentNein

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Jun 14, 2008
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Woodsey said:
Why did they not air the pilot first?

I thought the whole point of a pilot was to see if audiences were interested or not. Then you go on to make more if they are.
If I'm not mistaken, Fox didn't actually like the original pilot of Firefly, so Joss made Train Job. If you notice, Train Job basically gives us the cliff notes of the pilot. The nice thing is Train Job didn't replace the pilot, so it worked either way, whether or not you actually saw it. Joss does that well. But yeah, Fox are stupid. The pilot was a bajillion times the better episode than Train Job. Which DID have it's moments.
 

JaredXE

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Apr 1, 2009
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I'd be bitter too. Firefly and Dollhouse were awesome and cancelled by pants-on-head retarded monkeys in suits.

"Gee, we have a show that is very story centric and is going to require the viewer to absorb a bit of info when they first watch it. I know(!), lets air the episodes out of order so no one knows what's going on. Or even better, lets air a show marketed for ages 18-30 on Friday night! I'm sure lots of people that age are home watching tv then."


Fucking stupid Fox monkeys.
 

Dark Sup3rn0va

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Jul 14, 2009
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I don't get the love that Firefly gets. I personally didn't think it was that great. I was most annoyed at the cancellation of Angel because that was still good and it could've gone for another season. For me, Firefly wasn't as great as Angel or Buffy for me.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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Well, I've heard differant points of view over the years on a lot of this.

When it comes to "Dollhouse" I'm not surprised it was cancelled, I think it was in "Sci-Fi Magazine" that it was mentioned that he came up with the show largely as a vehicle for Elizha Dushku to showcase her range as an actress. While it did that, I personally never really got into the concept of the show very much, it needed something more.

I also think part of Joss Whedon's lack of success has largely been him bouncing around onto obscure projects. To be honest I don't think anything he's done has risen to the bar of Buffy or Angel, and that includes Firefly... though that might have happened if it lasted longer. Having read some of his comic stuff, I personally think it's not his best genere even though many fans disagree, his run on the "X-men" was to me pretty average.

To put it simply I think he needs to go back to campy, episodic TV. He's not at his best when he tries to be perfectly serious. He needs to come up with a concept similar to things he's already worked on like "Buffy", or "Firefly" and move from there. In general when it plays with other people's works, or tries to get too serious (and oddly I think this was one of Dollhouse's problems, while it had it's lighter side it was too much of a "hard" science fiction concept to really shine under his hand) I think he fails. Teenage monster hunters, soulful vampires, and space confederates acting like Han Solo are more his thing.
 

Hallow'sEve

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Sep 4, 2008
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Firefly is 8 years old
you people seriously need to move the fuck on.
(it wasn't even that good of a show anyway)
 

Trivun

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Dec 13, 2008
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Pandalisk said:
Im bitter about it too, i really got into it when i first heard of it on these forums and i really enjoyed what little there was of it.

Well at least he admits his failures, people love to ***** about Alien Resurrection something chronic so its nice to see he can save face about it. I believe he'll make the Avengers something special...J.J. Abrams however..I dunno, i didn't really mind what he's made, but i've never liked them etheir, dare i trust in him?
Abrams was one of the two main guys behind Lost, alongside Damon Lindeloff. Abrams also made Cloverfield, and the newest Star Trek film. Overall, he's a great director and producer and I really do like his work. Same to Whedon, so I'm looking forward immensely to The Avengers despite never having had a real interest in comic books (aside from the works of Alan Moore, of course...).

So yeah, Abrams and Lindeloff. Both are awesome on their own, together though? I think we can expect fangasms all over the place come 2012...

As for Firefly? I'm pissed about that too, and I never even heard of it when it first came out (being in the UK and all...). I first heard of it when a friend of mine back at high school lent me the boxset and suggested I watched it. I then saw Serenity and was hooked. It's all very well making the comic books (which I really need to get around to seeing) and the film to carry on the story and tie up loose ends (two by two, hands of blue, anyone?), but that shouldn't have had to have happened in the first place. Fox have given Joss Whedon such a raw deal over the years, so much that he even had a trope named after him, and it's unfair. So yeah, if I was Whedon, I'd still be pretty bitter too. He mentioned it several times on the DVD commentaries for Firefly, for heaven's sake. Ah well, at least he and the others involved on the series were prepared to carry on the story and care about it enough to keep it up despite what Fox did to them...
 

Trivun

Stabat mater dolorosa
Dec 13, 2008
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Scrumpmonkey said:
Trivun said:
Pandalisk said:
Im bitter about it too, i really got into it when i first heard of it on these forums and i really enjoyed what little there was of it.

Well at least he admits his failures, people love to ***** about Alien Resurrection something chronic so its nice to see he can save face about it. I believe he'll make the Avengers something special...J.J. Abrams however..I dunno, i didn't really mind what he's made, but i've never liked them etheir, dare i trust in him?
Abrams also made Cloverfield, and the newest Star Trek film.
Both of which should be punishable by death.
I've seen bits of Star Trek, and enjoyed them, and I had Cloverfield on DVD until it was stolen. I loved that film. And I still do. So to me, personally, your statement is refuted, though I respect it's just your opinion. Can I ask though, exactly what you didn't like about them...?
 

spartan_0214

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Apr 26, 2009
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"Whedon clearly holds a grudge about more than a few of his failures."

Firefly was not one of Whedon's failures, it was one of Fox's. The same could be said, debatably, about Dollhouse. Your wording made it sound like Firefly's cancellation was Whedon's fault when it decidedly was not. Please watch this in the future, Mr. Tito.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Hallow said:
Firefly is 8 years old
you people seriously need to move the fuck on.
(it wasn't even that good of a show anyway)
Blasphemy!

OT: Hell I'd still hold a grudge if I made anything even nearly as good as Firefly and then had it thrown out like that.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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I really dont blame him. It was an awesome series, and, for cancelling it...there own loss. Serious loss
 

Digikid

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Dec 29, 2007
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Fox just plains SUCKS. Pure and simple. They cancel all the GOOD shows then leave on crappy ones.
 

Nimzar

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Nov 30, 2009
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I think everyone (who enjoyed Firefly) is still bitter over its cancellation.