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October 4, 2015

J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon at Comic-Con: 'Avengers,' 'Dr. Horrible,' 'Undercovers' Updates

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 22nd 2010 10:00PM
JJ Abrams and Joss WhedonJ.J and Joss ... sounds like one hell of a team, doesn't it?

The two "Visionaries," as labeled by Entertainment Weekly, came together for one geektastic Comic-Con panel Thursday. And the creators of 'Lost,' 'Buffy,' 'Alias,' 'Firefly' and the 'Star Trek' movie only disappointed the hall full of fans in one way -- they sadly aren't collaborating on a project. (Yet.)

Whedon confirmed what has been long suspected -- that he's directing 'The Avengers' movie with Marvel. It's too soon for much info, he said. He's still writing an outline and thoroughly researching the comics, but was enthusiastic about the movie's development. "These people shouldn't even be in the same room together, let alone on a team; isn't that the definition of family?" he reasoned wryly.

Meanwhile, Abrams talked about his new show 'Undercovers,' which will be both "case of the week" and serialized. He also revealed a few (very sparse) tidbits about his upcoming movie 'Super 8,' which is being produced by Steven Spielberg. The movie hasn't begun shooting and may feature an interactive element. Abrams cryptically said, "My favorite thing about the movie is that someone will go to the theater and see the trailer and hopefully go, oh my God, that looks bitchin', and have no idea they will be starring in it." What could he mean?

Whedon also discussed the prospects for future editions of 'Dr. Horrible,' saying he needed to find time to get the whole gang back together as well as find a studio to finance it. But some songs have been written, and Whedon referred to the project as "the movie," which may give a hint to the project's ultimate scope.

There were inevitable questions about the demise of Whedon's 'Dollhouse' and whether he had soured on working with Fox. He admitted that he "didn't think it through" at the time and that he might be a better fit for a cable network, since his methods were "incompatible" with Fox's ideas for the show. Abrams agreed that broadcast networks aren't that interested in serialized television, even though that's where the compelling stories are, in Abrams' opinion. Whedon added: "They see an easy cash cow in something like 'The Mentalist.'"

Speaking of serialized shows, Abrams congratulated his 'Lost' co-creator Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse for how they ended the show. "I personally believe that Damon and Carlton kicked incredible ass" and "wrapped it up really well" he said, praising the finale's emotional weight.

While he acknowledged that some fans were unhappy with the way the epic show concluded and how some plot points were never tied up, Abrams pointed out that writers needed be "fluid and flexible," and that it's important for showrunners to listen their series and let it take them in a direction that feels natural. "Who could predict Michael Emerson, who was only supposed to come on board for three or four episodes?" he reasoned.

And while Abrams was singing the praises of Lindelof and Cuse, Whedon was singing the praises of Abrams. "I have moments of sheer f*cking panic because I love 'Star Trek' so much," he exclaimed, shamelessly embarrassing Abrams, who buried his face in his hands. "Seriously, it makes me throw up in fear because 'Star Trek' is the gold standard for summer movies." At least Abrams can give him pointers on how to make an equal impact with 'Avengers'.

Follow Laura on Twitter @LauinLA for breaking Comic-Con news, direct from San Diego!

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