A little piece I did for university, the brief was a 600 word retrospective on some aspect of film in 2012 in the house style of empire!
To any person on this planet with nerdy tendencies or a fully blown obsession with pop culture Joss Whedon is a man that should need no introduction. Since his first credit on a little known film called Toy Story, the Buffy and Firefly creator has won the militant loyalty of nerds worldwide through his witty pop culture ridden dialogue, iconic moments and more kick arse females that Beatrix kiddo can shake a stick at. Without having blessed our screens since 2009, If some mystical figure pulled us aside at empires Christmas party last year and told us that in one year the ginger autuer would have released the most original horror film of the decade, the third highest grossing film in history and reunited the original crew of the serenity at comic con I would have assumed the mulled wine had got the better of you.
Our first present of the year was Cabin In The Woods which had been delayed since 2009 due to the same MGM bankruptcy problems The Hobbit suffered from. To the uninitiated Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard slyly crafted a horror film would appear to be your typical mash up of jocks, promiscuity and the all too predictable Latin induced bloodshed, all up until Whedon slaps you violently in the face with a genius meta deconstruction of a genre pulverised to death in recent years. The heresy which follows telling people just what makes cabin so fresh has been one of the biggest dilemmas of the year as it goes far beyond the typical ‘he was dead all along twist’ and just generally ramps up the madness until Ellen Ripley herself has to show up to deal with the whole bloody affair. As well as Sigourney Weaver the cast also boasts a fresh faced pre-god of thunder Chris Hemsworth playing our deceivingly stereotypical jock and Dollhouse alumni Fran Kranz Playing pothead Marty, the only character with a clear enough mindset to figure out the cabins mystery all whilst being monumentally baked.
Less than a month after Cabin In the woods hit it was Easter, but rather than chocolate bunnies and guy called Jesus, the world official went crazy for Whedon long awaited Marvel superhero team up movie The Avengers. Ever since the surprise announcement at nerdy Mecca Comic Con, much discussion had took place as to whether Whedon’s comic book mastery and overall nerd friendly appeal was enough to see him through tackling the gargantuan task of combining all of Marvel studios biggest heroes into one uber property. It turns out more than a few of you agreed that this was the case, Whedons take on earths mightiest heroes earned a Hulk sized $1.5 billion at the office making it the third highest grossing film of all time. Through Whedon’s auteur stamp and Alan Silvestre’s sweeping John Williams esque score it was proved that super hero films do not always need to be a dark and gritty affair to drawn in the punters. Just as the post credits sequence in The Avengers teases us, Whedon is less than done with this group sized affair. Following the success of The Avengers Marvel handed Joss Whedon the keys to ‘phase two’ which is a ticket to oversee all forthcoming Marvel films, eventually writing and directing The Avengers 2 and developing Marvels first foray into television named SHEILD.
What does the most bankableHollywooddirector do after making a billion dollars at the box office? Buy a mansion? Break some deep sea diving records? How about making an indie black and white adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in his house with a plethora of actors from previous projects. We have yet to see Whedons take on the comedy here but with the UK rights bought on Halloween 2012 rest assured it doth come this way hastily. With his Marvel projects, Buffy comics and a rumoured Dr Horrible sequel coming up in 2013, all things in the ‘verse seem like they are going to stay shiny for Joss Whedon.