Joss Whedon on the set of Much Ado About Nothing
We've got some shiny news! Joss Whedon is coming to Film Society on May 29 for a very special evening including a conversation about his career and sneak preview of his bold and modern Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, which will open here on June 7 (tickets now on sale)!
Whedon came to some people's attention for the first time with the success of last year's mega-blockbuster The Avengers, which became the third highest-grossing film of all time. But those who have been following Whedon’s career since the beginning know that the “Whedonverse,” as his fictional repertoire has been affectionately dubbed by fans, spans more than two decades in film and television. After graduating with a film degree from Wesleyan University, Whedon relocated to Los Angeles and began to write for the television sitcoms Roseanne and Parenthood. Soon after, Whedon wrote screenplays for Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie), Alien: Resurrection, and Toy Story.
By 1997, Whedon created the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was finally able to portray Buffy’s story in the original way he intended. Running for a total of seven seasons, the show gained incredible cult status, and even birthed a successful spin-off series, Angel. A few years later, Whedon expanded his science fiction work—to the rest of the universe—with the creation of Firefly, a Space western drama. When the show was cancelled after only one season, fan support helped Whedon get a screenplay based on the show greenlit and Serenity opened in theaters in September 2005.
Whedon’s next television show was Dollhouse, which was followed by work on other shows including The Office and Glee. Whedon even directed a musical tragicomedy miniseries starring Neil Patrick Harris; Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. A firm believer in new media, Whedon crafted the show specifically for Internet distribution. Not only was Dr. Horrible successful, it was wildly influential, and was even named one of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Inventions of 2008 (listed at #15!).
Recently, Whedon’s Avengers success landed him the gig with Marvel Studios to direct Avengers 2 and his new superhero television project Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is set to debut on ABC this fall. Of course, he is no stranger to graphic novels. Whedon is the author of Fray, which takes place in a future “Buffyverse” and he has also written comic continuations of Buffy and Firefly/Serenity. Whedon penned 24 issues of the Astonishing X-Men series, which won an Eisner Award in 2006 for Best Continuing Series, and one of the issues (#6, to be exact) was listed by Marvel Comics readers as one of Marvel’s Top 70 comics of all time.
If you’re not already impressed, enter: Shakespeare. Whedon’s latest venture is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and not only did he write the screenplay and direct the film, but he also composed the original score. This sharp, fresh take on a classic has been receiving praise since its debut at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.