COMIC-CON: BURNING QUESTIONS
As we close in on the 2012 edition of Comic-Con International, we look at some of the burning questions that will be answered in San Diego.
What’s next for Joss Whedon?
Writer-director Joss Whedon now has a resume that lives up to his reputation — “Avengers” is closing in on a staggering $1.5 billion at the box office — and he returns to San Diego as a triumphant figure who can pick his next shot. Whedon is in the rare position of having cult credibility and mainstream momentum and his next choice will reveal plenty about what career course he plans to set.
Will it be “Avengers 2”? Or a “Hulk” film with Mark Ruffalo? (Don’t laugh; the character is considered the second most recognizable Marvel Comics character for consumers of all ages around the globe. Spider-Man is first.) How about that “Wonder Woman” project that Warner Bros. should be doing instead of “Justice League”? Maybe the future is in the past and Whedon will go back to a frontier story he knows chapter and ‘verse: “Firefly,” the tragically short-lived Fox series that is being feted Friday with a 10th anniversary reunion panel and the screening of previously unseen footage.
Whedon, the show’s creator, will be joined by executive producer Tim Minear and stars Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Sean Maher and Summer Glau. The show made it to the big screen before — Whedon’s first film, “Serenity” in 2005 — could Whedon make it shiny again? Never say never, but there’s also another possibility floating around that involves a different deep-space team of outsiders, daft spirits and battle-scarred survivors.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has been alluding to the possibility of a “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie since his team was in production on “Thor” and he openly named it as a short-list ambition in an April interview with Crave Online; now there are plenty of signs that the lesser-known Marvel team is indeed the next Marvel franchise. The Guardians were created in 1969 and then completely reinvented in 2008 and, from what Feige has said, the latter is the focus of the movie development.
So Star-Lord, Adam Warlock, Drax The Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, Vance Astro and, ahem, Rocket Racoon, could be the characters in mind for the film — along with Thanos, the mad Titan who made an appearance in “Avengers” and is a foe for the Guardians.
Why would Whedon sign up for that? He might not. But it’s intriguing to note that Whedon made the big push to put Thanos in “Avengers” and that Warlock was one of the reasons: “For me, the greatest Avengers was ‘The Avengers’ annual that Jim Starlin did followed by the Thing ‘Two-in-One‘ that contained the death of Adam Warlock,” Whedon told Slash Film. “Those were some of the most important texts and, I think, underrated milestones in Marvel history.”
I’m actually moderating the Marvel Studios panel Saturday in Hall H, but I have no idea who will be there on stage in the chairs next to Feige — we won’t meet until Saturday morning to talk about that. So I’m in the dark, just like everyone else. I sent over an email earlier today to ask Joss some questions but they were only about the “Firefly” reunion (hosted by Science Channel), which will be one of the biggest, loudest must-see moments of this year’s convention. The answer I got back from Joss reminds me that it will also be one of the funniest.
“No matter how many years pass, I’ll never forget ‘Firebug.’ I can’t wait to sit once more with Washboard, KayMart, Rivet, the Hot Hooker from Homeland and Captain Kirk. Those guys are my family. Expect laughter, tears, faith-healing and Internet rumors about a sequel. To infinity, and prosper!”
— Geoff Boucher
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