The Avengers, Marvel’s 2012 blockbuster film, could have been the film that catapulted its writer/director, Joss Whedon, into the spotlight—if Whedon hadn’t already spent 15 years there, thanks to the passionate cult following he gained with his groundbreaking 1997 teen horror series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With The Avengers, his audience grew from the 4 million U.S. viewers who watched the trials of Buffy Summers, to a worldwide box office of $1.5 billion dollars. Yet Whedon remains most lauded for his skills in telling as personal and meaningful a tale with six superheroes and over-the-top explosions as he did with a girl trying to make her way through high school. With an impressive list of credits across film, television and comics, Whedon deals in classic themes of love, death and redemption. Many are told from the feminist perspective that was first imprinted upon him by his mother, a beloved teacher and activist. Although he comes from a family of television writers, he was determined to follow his own path – one not including television – from a young age. Desperate for connection, he felt loved but alone, important but invisible. He dove into the world of comics, where secret identities were the norm, and emerged writing his own tales of characters who felt alone but had secrets and strengths that would make them important to the world. And those characters created a family of trusted friends who loved and respected them. That theme quickly spilled from the television screen to the computer screen. Whedon became one of the first in the entertainment industry to harness the power of the Internet to engage directly with his fans. It was a relationship of mutual respect, and as he created work to inspire them, his fans rallied around his projects early on. They would become a driving force in showing studios that a Joss Whedon project has a built-in, passionate audience that will show up on day one.
Joss Whedon: The Biography follows his development from a creative childhood and teenager who spent years spent away from family at an elite English public school, through his early successes, which often turned into frustrating heartbreak in both television (Roseanne) and film (Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Alien: Resurrection). Then, like a magical Hollywood story, the young writer was given the chance to resurrect his girl hero on a baby network trying to find itself; the resulting successes and confidence led him to produce three more television series, several movies and Marvel comic books. When Whedon was broken down by the Writers Guild Strike in 2007, he took his musical about a super-villain online and funded the whole production himself, creating a new system of producing content for the Web. Five years later, he went from a small, self-funded budget to writing and directing the massive, $220 million dollar blockbuster film, The Avengers. Through it all, Whedon continues to reinterpret and reinvent storytelling on his own terms through television, film, comics and online media. Amy Pascale has based this revealing biography on extensive original interviews with Whedon’s family, friends, collaborators and stars, as well as the man himself. They’ve shared candid, behind-the-scenes accounts of the making of his groundbreaking series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse, as well as new stories about such things as his work with Pixar writers and animators in creating Toy Story, the development and demise of the Buffy animated series, and personal moments from The Avengers.
Including original interviews with: Joss Whedon, Kai Cole, Nathan Fillion, Jeanine Basinger, Tim Minear, David Greenwalt, David Solomon, Anthony Stewart Head, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Clark Gregg, Chris Hemsworth, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Feige, Joe Quesada, Jeph Loeb, Eric Wight, Scott Allie, Alexis Denisof, Drew Goddard, Marti Noxon, Jane Espenson, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jorge Saralegui, Andrew Stanton, Howard Gordon, Chris Boal, Chris Buchanan, Eliza Dushku, Julie Benz, Fran Kranz, Neil Patrick Harris, Simon Helberg, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Adam Baldwin, Amy Acker, Jay Hunter, Olivia Williams, Miracle Laurie, Tahmoh Penikett, Nicholas Brendon, Ryan Penagos, Mike Marts, Nick Lowe, Patton Oswalt, Paul Reubens, Rob Thomas, Diego Gutierrez, Dean Batali, David Fury, Shawn Ryan, Danny Strong, Amy Britt, Jessica Neuwirth, Christian Kane, Marc Blucas, and Tom Lenk. Also with the late Mr. Dick Massen and his wife Jane, Emily Nussbaum, Gail Collins, and Rhonda Wilcox.