Best Known For
Joss Whedon is a writer and director best known as the creator of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, ran from 1997 to 2003 on the WB and UPN networks, and its spinoff Angel, starring David Boreanaz, ran from 1999 to 2004 on the WB. During these years, Whedon wrote and directed hundreds of episodes of both shows, winning Emmy and Hugo nominations and a rabid fan following for his work. Whedon's shows were lauded for their distinctively offbeat style,
which readily mixed witty dialogue and pop culture references.
Whedon's third TV show was the sci-fi western Firefly, which debuted in 2002. It quickly became a critical and cult success, but was canceled partway through its first season due to low ratings. The show's abandoned plotlines were later picked up in the 2005 movie, Serenity, which Whedon both wrote and directed.
"I just loved the show and the people and the world too much to walk away when they cancelled it, so I hunted about for someone to agree with me and then, rather shockingly, found Universal Studios agreed with me to the tune of a great deal more money than I had ever expected to have to work with. What everybody said was dead in the water suddenly became—maybe not for them, but for me—a rather major motion picture."
After Serenity, Whedon spent a period of time writing comic books based on both his own works (Buffy, Firefly) and other established properties (Runaways, The Astonishing X-Men). He also was attached to write and direct the Wonder Woman movie, but in 2007 announced he would no longer be working on the project.
During the 2007-'08 Writer's Guild strike, Joss Whedon collaborated with his brothers Jed and Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tanchareon to create an original musical: Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Starring Neil Patrick Harris, it was filmed just after the strike ended and was released online for free that summer, where it became so popular that the server couldn't handle the demand and crashed.
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog later won two Emmy Awards. "We just steamrolled past everybody's idea of how you market and of how long it takes to do these things. We had people [drawing up] contracts in days that usually take months, because we were tired of people sitting around. Ultimately, though, we were still in the mind of: This is a bit of a lark. The strike was over and so we wanted to do right by everybody, but we weren't thinking it would be a grand statement. We thought it was going to be cool."
Whedon returned to broadcast television in the fall of 2008 with the television show Dollhouse, starring Eliza Dushku. It ran for two seasons on Fox before being canceled. Early in 2010, Whedon announced that he would be writing and directing the forthcoming Avengers movie, scheduled for release in 2012.
Joss Whedon lives with his wife, the artist Kai Cole, and their two children in Los Angeles. He continues to wear the many hats of writer, director, creator, and producer of his original works. "I believe the best thing in the world," he said, "is for everybody who feels like they have a story to tell, to tell it."
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