|Height:||178 cm (5' 11'')|
|Birth Day:||June 23, 1964|
|Birth Place:||New York City, United States|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|178 cm (5' 11'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
He attended Winchester College in England and Wesleyan University. He was obsessed with Monty Python growing up.
Whedon attended Riverdale Country School in New York City; his mother taught history at the school. Next he spent three years at Winchester College in England, where, taking note of omnipresent bullying, he concluded, "it was clear to me from the start that I must take an active role in my survival". Whedon graduated from Wesleyan University in 1987, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2013. There, he also studied under renowned academic Richard Slotkin. After leaving Wesleyan, Whedon came up with the first incarnation of Buffy Summers, "Rhonda, the Immortal Waitress".
From 1989 to 1990, Whedon worked as a staff writer on the sitcoms Roseanne and Parenthood. As a script doctor, Whedon was an uncredited writer on films including The Getaway, Speed, Waterworld, and Twister. X-Men, on which Whedon worked on an early draft, contained at least two dialogue exchanges of Whedon's contribution, while the final cut of Speed left in most of his dialogue. While he was script consulting, he also wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer—the film that would precede the series—Alien Resurrection and an early draft for Atlantis: The Lost Empire and co-wrote Toy Story and Titan A.E., the former of which earned him a shared Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Whedon has expressed strong dissatisfaction with the released versions of the films Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Titan A.E. and Alien Resurrection. He became one of the highest paid screenwriters when he sold his Afterlife script to Columbia Pictures for $1.5 million.
In 1995, Whedon married Kai Cole, an architect, producer and co-founder of Bellwether Pictures. They have two children together. Whedon and Cole separated in 2012 and divorced in 2016. In 2017, his ex-wife claimed that Whedon had repeatedly been unfaithful to her and that he "does not practice what he preaches" in regard to feminism.
In 1997, Whedon created his first television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series depicts Buffy Summers, the latest in a line of young women called to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. The idea came directly from his aversion to seeing the Hollywood formula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie". Whedon said he wanted to subvert the idea and create someone who was a hero. This conception came from "the very first mission statement of the show, which was the joy of female power: having it, using it, sharing it". The writing process came together from conversations about the emotional issues facing Buffy Summers, and how she would confront them in her battle against supernatural forces. Whedon usually directed episodes from his own scripts that held the most cathartic moments in Buffy's story.
The series received numerous awards and nominations, including an Emmy Award nomination for writing for the 1999 episode "Hush". The 2001 episode "The Body" was nominated for a Nebula Award in 2002, and the fall 2001 musical episode "Once More, with Feeling" was nominated for a Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award and a Best Script Nebula Award. The final episode "Chosen" was nominated for a Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo Award in 2003. All written and directed by Whedon, they are considered some of the most effective and popular episodes of the series.
Though praised for presenting a unique and progressive version of the archetypal noir hero as a sympathetic vampire detective, it was criticized as being lesser than its parent show, in the context of having devolved from a more popular original work. Despite that it won a Saturn Award for Best Network TV Series and three episodes, "Waiting in the Wings", "Smile Time" and "Not Fade Away", were nominated for Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in 2003 and 2005.
The WB Network announced on February 13, 2004 that Angel would not be brought back for a sixth season. Whedon said of the cancellation, "I believe the reason Angel had trouble on The WB was that it was the only show on the network that wasn't trying to be Buffy. It was a show about grown-ups". An official continuation of the story came later in the form of a comic book series. Following the successful eighth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, IDW Publishing approached Whedon about similarly producing a canonical sixth season for Angel. Angel: After the Fall released 17 issues written by Whedon and Brian Lynch.
In 2004, Whedon created the comic book line Astonishing X-Men. He finished a 24 issue run in 2008 and then handed over the reins as a writer to Warren Ellis. One storyline from the comic, the notion of a cure for mutation being found, was also an element in the third X-Men film, X-Men: The Last Stand. In February 2009 Astonishing X-Men #6, which depicted the return of Colossus to the title and concluded Whedon's first story arc, was named by readers as #65 in Marvel's Top 70 Comics of all time.
Fox chose to play the episodes of the series out of order, running The Train Job first, and not airing the pilot until a dozen episodes later, resulting in some confusion from viewers. The series was also promoted as a comedy, not a science fiction drama, and placed in the infamous "Friday night death slot". The show was praised by critics overall, but some objected to the fusion of American frontier and outer space motifs. Faced with these hurdles, the show had an average of 4.7 million viewers at the time and was ranked 98th in Nielsen ratings. The series was cancelled by Fox before all of the episodes had aired. Whedon took to Universal Pictures as a means of achieving a continuation of the story. Following Firefly was Serenity, a follow-up film taking place after the events of the final episode. Serenity developed into a franchise that led to graphic novels, books and other media. New Scientist magazine held a poll in 2005 to find "The World's Best Space Sci-Fi Ever", and Firefly and Serenity took first and second place, respectively. It also received an Emmy shortly after its cancellation, as well as a number of other awards. Since being canceled, Firefly has attained cult status.
The limited three-issue comic book series called Serenity: Those Left Behind, the story of which was written by Whedon, was released in 2005 as a tie-in to Serenity. Set between Firefly and the film, it was intended to connect the two storylines. Serenity: Better Days also spanned three issues, and was written by Whedon and Brett Matthews. Whedon later co-wrote The Shepherd's Tale with his half brother Zack.
Goners was announced in 2005. According to Variety magazine, it was a fantasy thriller under development by Universal Pictures, and was to be produced by Mary Parent and Scott Stuber. From a 2006 interview with Fanboy Radio: "I've been seeing a lot of horror movies that are torture-porn, where kids we don't care about are mutilated for hours, and I just cannot abide them... it's an antidote to that very kind of film, the horror movie with the expendable human beings in it. Because I don't believe any human beings are".
The score was composed by David Newman, and according to Whedon was intended to "deglorify space — to feel the intimacy of being on a ship as opposed to the grandeur". He used two long steadicam shots for several minutes of the film's opening sequence to establish "a sense of safety in space". In 2006, it won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form. The elements of science fiction that Whedon wanted to convey were essentially different in kind, and held "a sort of grittiness" and "realism", which he said, together, "get the most exciting kind of film-making". Like Firefly, the film contained a statement on individual liberty. Critic Roger Ebert observed, "Like Brave New World and 1984, the movie plays like a critique of contemporary society, with the Alliance as Big Brother, enemy of discontent". The film received the 2005 Nebula Award for Best Script, the 2006 Prometheus Special Award, and was voted the best sci-fi movie of all time in a poll set up by SFX magazine. There have since been multiple rumors regarding sequel possibilities.
Elements of feminism are present throughout much of Whedon's work, which he gives his mother credit for inspiring. The character Kitty Pryde from the X-Men comics was an early model for Whedon's strong teenage girl characters. He said, "If there's a bigger influence on Buffy than Kitty, I don't know what it was. She was an adolescent girl finding out she has great power and dealing with it." Kitty Pryde later played a central role in Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men. In his 2006 Equality Now address, Whedon said that journalists frequently ask him why he writes such strong female characters. In his speech he provided several answers, concluding with, "Because you're still asking me that question."
Whedon was hired to write and direct a Warner Bros. adaptation of Wonder Woman. However, in February 2007, Whedon announced that he would no longer be involved with the project. "We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that's never gonna work. Non-sympatico. It happens all the time". Conversely, he stated, "the fact of the matter is, it was a waste of my time. We never [wanted] to make the same movie; none of us knew that". Whedon also pitched a screenplay to adapt Batman for the same company as development started on what would eventually become Batman Begins. It was described as having included a new, "more of a 'Hannibal Lecter' type" villain, and portrayed Bruce Wayne as "a morbid, death-obsessed kid" whose grief was overcome by protecting a girl from being bullied in an alley similar to where his parents were murdered. In March 2017, Whedon was in negotiations to direct, write, and produce Batgirl set in the DC Extended Universe. He withdrew from the project in February 2018, saying he didn't have a story for the movie.
In college, Whedon studied a theory called "womb envy", a concept he says observes "a fundamental thing that women have something men don't, the obvious being an ability to bear children. Men not only don't get what's important about what women are capable of, but in fact they fear it, and envy it, and want to throw stones at it, because it's the thing they can't have." In 2007, Whedon expressed his outrage over the murder of Du'a Khalil Aswad, and because the act was caught on video, was prompted to attack the underlying attitude he felt led to the murder, comparing the video to torture porn.
The miniseries was nominated and won numerous awards. Whedon was awarded Best Directing and Best Writing for a Comedy Web Series at the Streamy Awards, a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, and a Creative Arts Emmy Award in 2009.
In 2009, Whedon created his fourth television series Dollhouse, and explored themes throughout the show that were initially present in an unproduced spec script of his called Afterlife. The series follows Echo, whose brain is programmed to accomplish various assignments, on her journey towards self-awareness. As stated by Whedon, Dollhouse was about "the sides of us that we don't want people to see", sexuality and, on some level, a celebration of perversion, which he equates to obsession, "the thing that makes people passionate and interesting and worthy".
Whedon co-wrote and produced a horror-comedy film titled The Cabin in the Woods with director Drew Goddard, finishing production in 2009. Whedon and Goddard intended to make a film that exemplified horror movies while still preserving the fun and frightening elements necessary to being a horror film. The script was written in three days and they produced a minimum of 15 pages a day. Whedon described it as an attempt to revitalize horror, calling it a "loving hate letter" to the genre, continuing:
The sequel to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has been shelved on multiple occasions. In 2009, Whedon remarked upon the possibility of presenting it in the form of another miniseries or a feature film. The script was planned to be written in summer 2012 and the principal photography to take place the following year. However, production was delayed because of his commitment to projects at Marvel Studios.
In July 2010, it was confirmed that Whedon would write and direct The Avengers, a live-action adaptation of the superhero team of the same name. Of his desire to take on the film, he explained that the core of the movie was about "finding yourself from community" and the togetherness derived from a group that ultimately doesn't belong together.
A. Asbjørn Jøn, an anthropologist and scholar, recognized that the series has shifted the way vampires have since been depicted in popular culture representations. Since the end of the series, Whedon has stated that his initial intention was to produce a "cult" television series and acknowledged a corresponding "rabid, almost insane fan base" that subsequently emerged. In June 2012, Slate magazine identified it as the most written about popular culture text of all time. "[M]ore than twice as many papers, essays, and books have been devoted to the vampire drama than any of our other choices—so many that we stopped counting when we hit 200".
In March 2012, Whedon stated that although television involves more compromise than film:
In August 2012, Whedon signed a deal to develop the Marvel TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for ABC. The series focuses on the secret military law-enforcement agency featured throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Created by Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, the show involves individuals who possess powers within the spectacle of science fiction, while also focusing on "the peripheral people ... the people on the edges of the grand adventures." The character Phil Coulson was resurrected after his death in The Avengers to helm the show.
In July 2012, at the San Diego Comic-Con International, in response to one woman who noted the anti-corporate themes in many of his films, and asked him to give his economic philosophy in 30 seconds or less, Whedon spoke out against both socialism and capitalism, saying that "ultimately all these systems don't work." He went on to say that America is "turning into Tsarist Russia."
Endorsing Barack Obama in the 2012 United States presidential election, Whedon satirically equated Mitt Romney's future as president with a zombie apocalypse, quipping, "Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks in health care, education, social services and reproductive rights that will guarantee poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting—all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland."
In late 2013, Whedon spoke at an Equality Now event, where he issued a pointed dissection of the word "feminist". He begins to say, "I have the privilege living my life inside of words ... but part of being a writer is also living in the very smallest part of every word." Arguing against the suffix "-ist", he continues, "you can't be born an –ist. It's not natural." Whedon explains that because of this, the word "includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal ... is not a natural state. That we don't emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human. That the idea of equality is just an idea that's imposed on us..." This sparked an unfavorable reaction from the feminist community, but also an appreciation for Whedon's arguments' thought provocation.
In 2013, Whedon claimed that he suffers from workaholism. This arose during the time that followed the completion of Much Ado About Nothing, which was made in the span of a two-week vacation from The Avengers, and after making the pilot for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. amidst the pre-production for Avengers: Age of Ultron. "It is actually a problem. Sometimes it's adorable ... and sometimes it's not ... Not to get all dark and weird, but it is something I need to address."
In summer 2014, Whedon encountered artist Shawnee Kilgore on Kickstarter. Whedon funded her album and when Kilgore contacted him about his fulfillment reward, he suggested they make a song together. She agreed, and the collaboration was later repurposed into producing an EP.
Early in his career, Whedon sold two spec scripts that were not produced, Suspension and Afterlife. He sold Suspension for $750,000, with an additional $250,000 if production had commenced. In September 2014, Empire suggested the script was being made, with Liam Neeson attached to the project. In 1994, he sold Afterlife for $1.5 million, with an additional $500,000 if production had commenced. In 2000, Andy Tennant was in talks to direct and rewrite. In Afterlife there were precursors to themes Whedon would later explore in Dollhouse. The script was about Daniel Hoffstetter, a government scientist, who awakes after dying to discover his mind has been imprinted on a mind-wiped body.
Whedon returned to write and direct the sequel to The Avengers, following the deal with Marvel Studios, which expired in June 2015. On the matter of approaching a sequel, Whedon reasoned not to go "bigger" but "deeper," and likened it to digging with a scalpel to cause pain. He said of the film's characters, "Strong but damaged by power describes every person in this movie. It may, in fact, describe what the movie is about ... the more power that we have, the less human we are." Whedon discerns that Age of Ultron "is an odd film" that proved challenging when it came to finding the rhythm between both its calm and exciting moments. Drawing parallels to a symphony, he wanted to bring about "grace in the middle of ultimate chaos."
At the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International, Whedon announced Twist, which was described as a comic book about "a Victorian female Batman".
News website Digital Spy released in early 2015 an interview they had conducted with Whedon, during which he criticized the entertainment industry for its "genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny." Whedon exemplified The Hunger Games film series as an argument for female led franchises, and hoped Marvel Studios would pursue production of more such franchises. However, critics noted an almost stereotypical lack of feminist ideals in his writing decisions and portrayal of Black Widow, one of two female protagonists in Marvel's 2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron, played by Scarlett Johansson.
In 2015, Whedon signed a petition as part of a political campaign calling for Elizabeth Warren to run for President of the United States.
Taking over after series creator Brian K. Vaughan completed his run on the series, Whedon became the second writer of the Marvel comic Runaways. Having already been a committed reader, he had a letter published in the first volume, which was included in the Volume 1 hardcover edition. He also wrote short pieces for Stan Lee Meets Spider-Man and Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1, and he was the subject of an issue of the comic book, Marvel Spotlight (alongside artist Michael Lark). As part of a panel of writers, he contributed to Marvel Comics' Civil War crossover event lending advice on how to tell the story and also how to end it. In March 2016, Whedon contributed a story for the 75th anniversary issue of Captain America: Sam Wilson with Astonishing X-Men collaborator John Cassaday. He introduced several new characters into the Marvel Universe such as the villainous Ord, X-Men Ruth "Blindfold" Aldine and Hisako "Armor" Ichiki, Runaway Klara Prast, and Special Agent Abigail Brand along with S.W.O.R.D., the organization Brand commands.
Whedon also served as a creative consultant on the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading up to Age of Ultron. He rewrote some dialogue for Thor: The Dark World, directed the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and suggested that James Gunn make Guardians of the Galaxy "weirder" after reading an early draft. Whedon said it was unlikely that he would return to make another sequel, stating that he "couldn't imagine doing this again." He remarked that not having created his own fictional universe in over five years felt wrong and intended to use the proceeds made from Avengers: Age of Ultron for such ventures. In January 2016, Whedon announced that he will no longer work with Marvel.
On October 20, 2016, Whedon revealed that he is currently writing a new project that is a historical fiction/horror film set during World War II.
In 2017, Whedon directed Unlocked, a short film in support of Planned Parenthood.
In May 2017, Whedon took over post-production duties for Justice League, including writing and directing additional photography for the film. He received a co-writing credit for his contributions to the film, which was released in November 2017. He did not receive a co-director credit however, despite reshooting and changing most of the film from what Zack Snyder had already filmed, completed, and intended.
In August 2017, Whedon's ex-wife, Kai Cole, published an essay on an industry trade site accusing Whedon of 15 years of multiple infidelities and the hypocrisy of touting feminist ideals while using their marriage "as a shield" for his misuse of power. A Whedon spokesperson said the essay contained "inaccuracies and misrepresentations."
In January 2017, after actress Nicole Kidman publicly suggested that America should accept that Donald Trump is President, Whedon tweeted a photograph of plastic puppet Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward alongside an image of Kidman, an action some interpreted as mocking and objectifying Kidman's physical appearance. That same month, Whedon also received criticism for reportedly comparing Ivanka Trump to a dog and for wishing that Paul Ryan would be raped to death by a rhinoceros. Referring to Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner and Trump, he tweeted: "He's a Voldemort in training, & unlike the Pekingese he married under, can play the long game." Whedon stated that he had been referring to Donald Trump. In April 2017, Whedon took a shot at Republicans by criticizing the physical appearance of teenage cancers survivors who were visiting then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
On July 13, 2018, HBO announced that the network had obtained the rights to The Nevers, an "epic science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world", on which Whedon will serve as writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner.
In July 2020, Justice League actor Ray Fisher accused Whedon of showing "gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" behavior toward the cast and crew of the film. Fisher later added that he invites Whedon to sue him for slander if he believed that these abusive allegations are untrue. A virtual panel for the 2020 at-home San Diego Comic-Con focusing on Whedon's body of work was canceled following Fisher's statements about Whedon. The following month, it was reported that WarnerMedia had begun conducting an investigation on Whedon's behavior during the production of the film.
Currently, Joss Whedon is 57 years, 3 months and 23 days old. Joss Whedon will celebrate 58th birthday on a Thursday 23rd of June 2022.
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