SDCC 2012 Nerd HQ — Joss Whedon Panel Recap & Gallery

Joss Whedon @ Nerd HQ

Conversations for a Cause at SDCC 2012 was a selection of panels hosted offsite at Nerd HQ, which raised money for the international children’s charity Operation Smile. Money was raised through the $20 panels, photo ops at the HQ, and spontaneous auctions. It has been reported that around $140,000 was raised.

If you would like to join the cause and donate to help a child gain something we take for granted every day — a smile — you can do so here.

Joss Whedon is the King of Con. At least, that’s what so very many people were claiming throughout the weekend. He visited with fans who camped out in line overnight, he filled the hall with screaming fans wearing homemade versions of Jayne’s Cunning Hat, and he simply seemed to be everywhere at once. This year, after trying and failing to get him for Nerd HQ in the year past, Zac scored the most sought-after man in Hollywood.

No, seriously, after the wild success of Marvel’s The Avengers, can you think of someone hotter? Anyone from Twilight doesn’t count.

On a side  note, if you came to become a fan of Joss’ only recently and don’t know a lot about him (or, hell, even if you do), I highly suggest checking out this article from GQ. It will open your eyes to exactly how he single-handedly changed the face of popular entertainment without anyone seeming to notice.

But enough of that; on to the panel! Here are some highlights:

  • Joss just finished filming on Much Ado About Nothing right before Con, which means that his schedule is open for the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog sequel. He said that he had a long conversation with Jed, Maurissa, and Zach (his brothers and sister-in-law, collaborators on Dr. Horrible) that night and they pounded out a bunch of songs and ideas for the sequel, so that’s now officially moving. Later on, he gets a question on how it will be released, and he says he’s not sure yet if it will be web-based, but he’s leaning toward it to keep the ethos the same.
  • Joss describes himself as a “super total wannabe” when asked if he ever wants to play any of his characters himself. He says that he wants to play all of them, but he’s realistic about his talents. He also mentions that the director is the guy who is supposed to want to do everyone else’s role on the project, otherwise they don’t care enough and quality will slide. “So, yeah. I wanna play some parts. I’d like to be Spike . . . or as we now call him, Loki!”On a side note, I think this is why there’s always a character that’s the “voice of Joss” in his works. I read an interview recently with actor Fran Kranz where he spoke about the “voice of Joss”. Kranz explained that he was told that his characters Topher (Dollhouse) and Marty (Cabin in the Woods) were the characters that held Joss’ voice, and he was very humbled by the fact that Joss felt that he could handle the job.
  • He is going from Comic-Con to London to work with Warren Ellis and start on Wastelanders. BUT. Since this panel, Avengers 2 happened. Wastelanders has now been postponed, but Ellis himself assures fans that Joss has every intention of coming back around to it once Avengers 2 is in the can.
  • Speaking of Avengers, the first cut was three and a half hours long. That cut had a lot of story involving non-Avengers members’ viewpoints of the action, and some more stuff with Steve Rogers’ character. Eventually he realized it was non-essential, because “people saw in [the Avengers] what they needed to see of humanity”. Also, his first idea was for the movie to be a war movie, told in flashback.
  • Joss, when asked about Cabin in the Woods, describes it as a labor of “love and mutilation”. He chose Drew Goddard to work with because he knew that he was the only guy who would understand that it would have to have a unicorn.
  • When speaking on the hugeness of Avengers, he says “I could see its fin in the water coming towards me”. He was extremely nervous until his wife told him, “Joss, it’s just another story”. After that, he was able to calm down and it didn’t feel like such a huge, scary undertaking.
  • One of the most interesting answers Joss gave during the panel was when he was asked about Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and how he has some very dark moments throughout the series. Joss explained that he was very proud of that character development, because he felt that Xander became truly human in those moments. He wasn’t evil, he just lied. As people do.
  • Last but not least: AGENT PHIL COULSON WAS NOT HIS FAULT! They made him do it!

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