So, Joss, we asked our social media followers for questions, which I’ll put to you in a minute. But first, my own fan question….
How do you think audiences are going to react to The Cabin In The Woods ?
Like this, ‘Aaaahh’.
I think they are going to love it. It is – I’m enormously proud of what we’ve done.
I like to do two things, I like to entertain people and I like to have something to say. And with Cabin , you could talk about it like it’s a lecture on horror movies but for me it’s just an extraordinary amount of absurd fun.
Without the absurd fun there’s no point in listening to the lecture.
Without the lecture the absurd fun can just become a string of events and not an actual film.
So I think they’re going to go ‘Aaaah’ then they’re going to go, ‘Mmmm’ and then they’re going to go, ‘Yaaaay’.
So it’s ‘Aaah’ ‘Mmm’ ‘Yaaay’ is what I’m looking for.
The Cabin In The Woods
David Ramrod Rogers asks did it hurt when Hollywood shelved The Cabin In The Woods until you and its star became hot property?
Has Chris Hemsworth done anything since Cabin ? I hope it goes well for him. He shows potential.
Obviously the reason its back has nothing to do with me or Chris, it has to do with Lionsgate watching the film and stepping up, that’s been one of the greatest things for me and Drew.
Not just because the film will finally get to see the light of day but Lionsgate have really understood it and all of their advertising has shown a true understanding of what we were trying to do, and all of their enthusiasm and everything they’re doing is the salve.
Timothy Alexander MacFarlane asks if you could pick another superhero to be in The Avengers from any film or comic whom would you pick?
From any film or comic? To be in The Avengers ? What an interesting question.
I think I’d have Emma Peel and John Steed, and there would be a big fight about the name.
Buffy in The Avengers
Ashleigh Walmsley asks at any point filming The Avengers did you wish Buffy could cameo on screen and show those superheroes who’s boss?
There’s always going to be a little bit of Buffy somewhere in the film.
I think when people see Black Widow in action they’re not going to feel like that voice is not heard.
Now, just to warn you Joss, our next question is, well, a bit forthcoming…
Scarlett's leather outfit...
Gerry Keane wonders how bad was the urge to fondle Scarlett in her leather outfit?
Dear Jerry – some things are actually anti-social media and should be kept to oneself.
But I will tell you a story that made me laugh. She was doing a scene, she had been off for awhile, everybody only worked a certain amount of days and she was doing a scene with Mark and they were both great in it.
But there was something she was doing that I was like, ‘This is extraordinary, it’s different to what I’ve seen her do before, I can’t put my finger on it what is it? That’s just so compelling…’
I was thinking about it and was talking to Seamus, the DP and I just realised – ‘I’ve been shooting dudes for awhile! Oh, it’s my latent heterosexuality.’
I told Scarlett that, she laughed. No, we’re just good friends. Let me also say this, Chris Hemsworth's leather outfit wasn’t bad either.
Now, onto a couple more questions regarding Buffy.
I’m not aware of that work.
Stephen Jackson says, if we all club in and buy the rights to Buffy , could you protect her for us? The rumour mill keeps churning and I’m worried.
Protect her from being rebooted? Yes, if they all chip in, send the money to me; it’ll be fine, that should work out. Paypal.
We seem to be rebooting things that haven’t been debooted yet. It’s part of the culture but it’s not my favourite part, I don’t concern myself with it.
I think about the things that I can control and the things I’d like to do and say and I don’t think about somebody coming along and having a go at it.
Look, either they do it poorly, and people will say they’ve done it poorly.
Or they’re do it well and good for them.
Either way, I don’t think it’s going to make the work we did disappear.
Mark Goddard asks, will there ever be an Angel movie that follows what happens in the comic book series?
Do you miss Angel at all?
I’m sad they pulled the plug before the sixth season; because we really had it all tapped out and thought we were firing on all cylinders.
It was a stupid business move on their part and the network died soon after.
Had I not been so exhausted by the year of Firefly and Angel that had come before, maybe I could’ve fought – though fighting with the head of a network is much like not fighting, cause they just do what they do.
They pay no attention to what you say, ever.
Gary Bishop asks when will we get a sequel to Serenity ?
There’s definitely going to be one very soon! Let’s start that rumour again. It’s been six months since that rumour and we can’t have the internet not be abuzz.
No, there are no plans, I keep thinking that somebody at Universal is going to ring me up at some point and go ‘Say what about this?’
They’re doing Riddick and I know Serenity wasn’t a smash hit, but there’s no way we lost as much money as Riddick .
But, you know, I don’t sit by the phone like a teenage girl waiting to be asked to the prom. It’s…I would go mad.
All those actors are still awesome.
Meggan Edmeades Clinch asks, what do you consider your greatest achievement and why?
My greatest achievement… that’s sort of terrifying. I’d like to say I don’t think I’ve done it yet.
What are your ambitions? What do you want to do post-Avengers?
Everything. First of all I very much want to take up where I left off, which is to do the internet series Wastelanders , with Warren Ellis, because I’ve had that on the brain for awhile and it’s very nice – as I did with Much Ado - to go from something so enormous to miniscule.
Complete control or not, The Avengers is not my film. I’ve had great luck turning it into my film but I very much want to do something that is, sort of the opposite.
After that I always have dozens of ideas and I don’t know which will see the light of day.
God knows we want to put out a second Dr Horrible , but I’m so rusty it’s going to take me awhile to remember how to bang out chords on a piano. Actually compose.
Gareth Whitley asks was it frustrating when the powers that be wouldn’t realise your awesomeness when the general public realised it instantly?
Well I’m actually a bit older than people remember and people didn’t recognise it instantly.
The powers that be will never recognise anything except how much money the last thing made.
I’ve had so many conversations where I realised – when I said studio heads don’t listen to a word you're saying I mean exactly that – I don’t think we are speaking the same language because our priorities are completely different.
Except my work is commercial and it tends to let the people who let me make it, make it money.
They’re looking at you like Neo looking at Agent Smith, it's just numbers, symbols.
I’ve had so many experiences where you think, ‘Well, I’ve got some cred now’ but you don’t. I can get in more doors than I could before, I’ve had more opportunities then I’ve had before but there’s always this thing where it just doesn’t matter.
After Firefly was cancelled I had a very comforting talk with Matt Groening who basically told me how badly he had been treated after basically funding the whole of Fox for 20 years with The Simpsons .
So there’s – one’s awesomeness – I’m starting a sentence where I refer to my awesomeness so I already feel like a douche – is never going to be an issue with the studios if you just hope what works, works for them, not in that same way, in the other way that it works for the audience.
Eleni Mosh says your best work is depicted through the character development in your series. How is that translated into the time restraints of storytelling in your films or in view of your never-ending turmoil with studios, chopping up the series you create – have TV viewers lost you to the film industry?
No. No. It’s very true that I love what TV can do with character. It’s like being a novelist without being able to spell.
You get to wade in and examine something, in a way that film doesn’t.
I love movies, but I love TV equally, it really is just a question of 'is there a venue for me?'
Right now I’m exploring the Internet because I’m enjoying it and because Dr Horrible went quite well and people have said you’ve got to go on cable.
Clearly I’m not going to make a show with Fox.
We do not see eye-to-eye, fool me once, fool me twice, fool me three times and then just shoot me into orbit. I’m an idiot.
But the long form television series is honestly as good as anything out there.
Lula Madison wonders if there will there be a post-credits sequence at the end of The Avengers .
Well she’ll have to sit through it won’t she? That means no walking out. Having said that, if you’ve paid for it – you may walk out.
How long is The Avengers ?
I believe it will be over 2 hours – just a bit, I’m not a fan of the 3 hours ‘Crunchapalooza’.
I love to tell a story as tightly as I can but it’s also an epic starring six or seven of the best actors out there so I was always going to spend some time with them.
What’s your favourite Marvel movie pre Avengers or your favourite superhero film in general, and that’s from David Smart.
There have only been a few Marvel movies... I would say Iron Man .
That was sort of a watershed moment having a guy of Downey’s calibre and having Gwyneth really grounding it and making it really true to the book, and it’s also got a bit of its own thing.
Also it was the beginning of this whole thing.
Matt Maytum asks, what do you think of Twilight ?
Not read it. Seen the first two films.
I liked the first one, I think it’s not my favourite thing but I definitely watched the first one and the fourteen-year-old girl inside me did ‘Squee’ a bit.
I got it. I understand why people go nuts for it.
It’s lovely to have that ‘oh that' feeling again.
Charlie Brigden asks, why do people in the Whedon-verse immediately have kung-fu skills when they become a vampire?
I think we actually said something about that. Yes we mentioned it. Because it is necessary, everything is created cynically then hopefully explained in some way.
Actually, I don’t think we ever did explain it, I think we just made a joke about it.
They turn to dust because I didn’t want Buffy to have these bodies at the end of every episode.
That was basically how that came about. The kung-fu I guess because it’s an ancient and evil art. It predates humanity. Kung-fu is evil.
Liv Violette asks, would you ever direct a musical comedy?
Oh hell yes. I would love to write and direct a musical comedy, I have directed a musical comedy.
Well Dr Horrible ’s not all laughs but… and if she means on the stage then I have never directed anything on the stage so I would be pretty damn nervous about it.
Directing The Avengers
Last question, and it's from Adie Astill. Were you surprised to get the director's chair for The Avengers ?
Not really, it was sort of a natural progression, I had been talking to Marvel for a long time on various projects that didn’t come through and I’ve known Kevin for a long time, we’re very compatible.
It just sort of made sense, I didn’t realise when I came in to talk about it, that I was even considering it or they were considering me.
It was more like they knew me and I was there to read the script and give them advice. Which I did, ‘chuck it’.
Then gradually after a few days, ‘Oh wait a minute, this seems to be happening.’
It makes sense because I’ve been working for a long time, it makes sense because it’s the sort of thing I do.
And it makes sense because Marvel, very wisely, give the projects to those who the experience will be a game-changer because they get someone with a vision that’s a little bit different and they don’t have to pay them that much.
Favreau, Branagh, myself – we’re all in a different sphere before and after and that’s useful and I think each one of them brought something very personal to their movies and I’ve definitely been able to do that with mine.