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Avengers Director Joss Whedon’s Open Letter to Fans

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Avengers Director Joss Whedon’s Open Letter to Fans
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Coming off the astounding success of The Avengers, and, to a lesser extent, Cabin in the Woods, it’s clear that the summer movie blitz is starting off with something of a theme: Currently, it’s Joss Whedon’s world and us mere mortals are all just breathing in his air. Thankfully, he’s been kind enough to share.

While the upcoming releases of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, and perhaps Prometheus, could knock Whedon from his perch, because of The Avengers’ massive box office success, each of these releases has a lot of work cut out for them. Still riding the tidal wave that’s powered by the appearances of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, Whedon is popularity has never been higher. So what happens when a geek-friendly writer/director crosses over to the big time?

He writes an open letter to his fans, etting them know that he’s still the same Joss Whedon people fell in love with during the Firefly days, while introducing himself to his new legion fans he accumulated, thanks to The Avengers:

Dear Friends,

Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy… [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] …a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years”, and how I’m “unrecognized”… I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when.

If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go “I told you so”, to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!

From here, the mock Q and A session gives fans an idea of where Whedon will go next, while discussing the potential challenges The Avengers faces from other summer releases. Instead of quoting the entire session, here are some highlights:

RDA: I’ve seen a lot of a talk about “the Availers” vs “the Dark Knight Rises”. How will you feel if you’re eclipsed by Nolan?

JW: I’m glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let’s look at the bigger picture, and I can’t say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We’re in the business of proving that superhero movies aren’t just eye-candy (they’re eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I’m proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan’s Kirk Douglas, I think they’re missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I’M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.

RDA: What does this mean for your upcoming slate of tiny independent films/Internet shenanigans? Will they fall by the wayside?

JW: There may be new ideas realized — I always leave myself open to that — but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H.2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove.

RDA: What does this mean for your upcoming slate of tiny independent films/Internet shenanigans? Will they fall by the wayside?

JW: There may be new ideas realized — I always leave myself open to that — but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H.2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove.

RDA: What do you feel is the greatest achievement of “the Avoiders”?

JW: Getting “mewling quim” out there to the masses. Also, Hulk.

There’s also a part discussing his next movie, Much Ado About Nothing, which will be something of a departure from The Avengers. Nevertheless, Whedon requests your attendance by saying, “I’m finishing ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ this month. If you liked ‘the Avengers’, you’ll love… I can’t. It’s Shakespeare. And not in the park. I hope it gets watched.”

With Disney’s announcement of a sequel to The Avengers still fresh on people’s minds, can we expect to see Whedon reprise his role as director, as well as contributing writer? Considering the runaway success of the initial offering, it would be a dumb move to leave Whedon out.

[Via Slash Film]

Avengers Director Joss Whedon’s Open Letter to Fans
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  • MovieTarget

    Open Letter to Joss Whedon and Kevin Feige

    If Manipulative Marketing Keeps Making Money… Why Stop Making Bad Movies?

    I recently sat through over two hours of cheesy one-liners, and I’m left wondering whether the 92% favorable rating given to The Avengers by critics on Rotten Tomatoes means they’re all on the studio’s payroll or just didn’t think critically enough. I’m also beyond confused as to why Marvel didn’t hire Jon Favreau, Kenneth Branagh, Joe Johnson or Louis Leterrier – or indeed any director with the genuine talent to tell a story. Joss Whedon has no credibility for this project, and was clearly out of his depth. What a waste – of the studio’s money, and of mine as a frequent moviegoer and shareholder. To mention nothing of the minds of Americans, which this movie will help to further dumb down into thinking that hype and CGI make a “good story” despite grossing $200M+ opening weekend. But unlike other consumer products, smarter moviegoers can’t “return” their viewing of this movie for a refund.

    Let’s begin with the script, which is appallingly low-minded. Even a fast-paced comic-book-hero action movie can and should contain thoughtful, character-revealing dialogue (dialogue meaning more than two sentences per utterance, at least now and then!). It becomes quickly impossible to care at all about any of these once-special characters, each of whom is reduced to sheer flatness.

    Nor is there any discernable armature (moral) – just a vague sense that the movie is flogging to death the platitude of how awesome America is because it’s full of rag-tag teams of really special, gifted people who are destined to save the world from some nebulous evil. The entire plot is, in fact, disconnected and rambling. On the one hand, the movie makes the sweeping assumption that every moviegoer will already know the backstory of the characters (It opens with Loki arriving and being introduced as Loki. End of introduction.) Why not set up each character (as well as the concept of S.H.I.E.L.D) in a way that ties all the prior movies together into this one? But regardless of the lack of backstory and context-setting, the plot is full of outrageously intelligence-insulting turns that are devoid of both logic and human (or superhero) authenticity. Loki plans to use the Hulk against the group – because in a convenient up-ending of logical continuity, the Hulk’s first rage in this movie will be unleashed on anyone and anything around him and be unable to distinguish his friends and enemies. The Black Widow announces that apparently, a blow to the head is sufficient to clear Loki’s magical mind-controlling energy zaps. Loki opens a hole in the sky and randomly brings in Transformers-esque aliens to help him in his feebly articulated quest to “free Earth from freedom”.

    Kudos to critics like A. O. Scott for telling the truth about this movie and Whedon’s failed vision for The Avengers. Just because people spend their money on something hotly anticipated doesn’t mean it’s good. This movie is a crass manipulation of people to cough up money to cover the studio’s ill-spent investment, and you can keep doing this because moviegoers are not entitled to demand a refund for the waste of two hours of their life. Nor, can they take you to court over product misrepresentation through trailers that set a tone of quality that the feature film doesn’t even begin to reach. Clearly, it’s time for that kind of consumer protection in the movie industry, because failing that it seems unlikely that studios will actually take responsibility for the egregious waste of resources that goes into churning out mediocre movies like The Avengers, let alone the outright duplicity of packaging it as something worthwhile and meaningful.

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