Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

Once upon a time being a nerd was looked at as a negative, with depictions of them being scrawny losers with glasses and high pitched voices who loved comic books and wouldn’t know how to throw a baseball unless Captain America taught them how. But something happened. Geek culture has become mainstream and the people behind it were once alienated by their seemingly uncool interests. Joss Whedon, who used his childhood isolation to create some of the most cult-hit TV shows and penned a number of groundbreaking screenplays. Everything from sci-fi, horror, action adventure, animation to Shakespeare and the biggest superhero films ever. Behind closed doors, however, there was a different story. It was the story of a man who was so consumed by ego that it made everyone around him tremble with fear. Joss Whedon may not have been the hero that he thought he would be, but rather the villain that we didn’t expect. How could a man who was so revered in geek culture fall from grace to the level of some of the comic characters he wrote? It’s time to find out what happened to Joss! The video embedded above was produced, edited and narrated by Taylor Johnson. Taylor James Johnson. As always, we must start at the beginning. The beginning began when he was born on June 23, 1964. He was named Joseph in the Upper West Side in New York City. Later in life he changed his name to Joss because it is Chinese for Luck. He was fortunate enough to land a staff writer gig on the hit ABC show

Roseanne. He wrote four episodes in the second season, before switching to the show based on the hit film

Parenthood. However this was not the popular Parenthood that aired in 2010, but rather a failed sitcom starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio that only lasted a single season.During this time, Whedon would write a spec script about a teenage girl named Buffy who hunts vampires called Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Unfortunately studio executives took

the script Whedon wrote and slayed it, removing humor and darker elements of the plot. You know, those two elements that make Buffy work. The comedy and horror. The film only made $16.6 million in the box office. Critics called it a huge letdown. But no one was more disappointed than Joss, who saw his first theatrical attempt go up in smoke through no fault on his part. This would haunt him for several years before he was able to right the wrong. Whedon made a name as a ghostwriter, someone who takes a screenplay and rewrites it without credit. You would watch films like The Getaway and X Men without knowing that some of the ideas were from Joss Whedon. The script had been developed for several years, but didn’t have the wow-factor. So Pixar sought out Whedon to punch it up, which he did by adding the character of Rex and giving a more substantial role for Bo Peep as well as taking the Buzz Lightyear character from a dim-witted self aware character to an action figure that doesn’t know he is a toy which many say saved the film.In 1997, 20th Century Fox would hire Whedon to write a new film in the Alien franchise. Whedon was hired by 20th Century Fox to write a new film in the Alien

franchise. Whedon was told to write a new story featuring the resurrection of Ripley, which he did. And he kept the cloning idea he had originally intended for Newt and assigned it to Ripley and when Weaver read the script she was intrigued, saying the script brought back the spirit of the first two films and she immediately signed on.With two interesting scripts produced into films he didn’t enjoy (the Alien script became the divisive

Alien: Resurrection), Whedon was getting a bit dissuaded form the business, but then Dolly Parton’s Sandollar Studios called him and told him they loved the original script for Buffy that he submitted. He was asked to make a pitch video for executives of Warner Brothers television. Whedon was a little intimidated by this prospect as he hadn’t directed anything before, but he loved being able get what he had originally envisioned on screen. Warner Brothers picked up Buffy The Vampire Slayer and gave it a small budget because the WB network was struggling at the time. This meant Whedon would have to rely on the story rather than the special effect. He did this by digging back into his childhood, when he had felt like an outcast at school. Whedon was nominated for many awards during the run of the show, including an Emmy Award and a Bram Stoker Award. The episode “Hush” won the Bram Stoker Award. Whedon spun-off the show with Angel, which ran for five seasons and was considered to be a darker, more adult show. Whedon went back to his first love, animation, and wrote the script for the Fox Animation Studio movie Titan A.E. that unfortunately tanked in theaters with only $36.8 millions off a reported $100 million budget. Whedon would then go on to be one of the people who helped develop the storyline for Walt Disney Animated’s Atlantis : The Lost Empire. The movie did well, bringing in more than $186 million worldwide. However, with a $120 million budget, it was considered a financial failure. Whedon didn’t seem to mind, as he said that the final version of his film was void of any of his contributions. TV Guide ranked the show as number five on their list 60 shows that were canceled too soon. Whedon created the show after reading

The Killer Angels 11001010about the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. He was fascinated by the idea of telling a story of people who fought on the losing end of a war. Whedon began writing a script for the series immediately after the cancellation and contacted everyone he knew about making it. Universal was able to see the potential of the series, thanks to its stellar DVD sales. In 2005, Whedon made his feature directorial début with Serenity. This film was a disappointment at the box office and the release in several countries was scrapped. After these perceived failures, Whedon took a break and guest directed on shows such as The Office and Glee. He then returned to Sci-Fi television by creating another short lived but now cult classic show Dollhouse,which would only air for 2 seasons before being canceled. After these perceived failures, Whedon took a bit of a break, taking on some guest directing gigs on shows such as

The Office and Glee but would step back into the world of Sci-Fi television by creating another short lived but now cult classic show Dollhouse,

which would only air for 2 seasons before being canceled.After making the Creative Arts Emmy winning Dr. After directing the Creative Arts Emmy-winning Dr. Horrible’s Blog in 2007, Whedon returned to the big screen with the horror comedy Cabin In The Woods which, in my humble opinion, was one of best horror films in the last 15 years. The screenplay was reportedly written in three days by the pair. It’s a perfect Whedon-style script that combines science fiction tropes and genuine laugh out loud humor while also making fun at the genre they are making. Marvel Studios had a growing arsenal of films. The first was 2008’s Iron Man which hinted at some sort of Avengers Initiative during its post credits scene. Who would be the director of such a massive project that would bring the biggest super heroes together for an epic mashup? Joss Whedon, who grew reading comics and had earned his stripes over the years writing for Marvel Comics, was chosen. Whedon became the director of the film in July 2010. Kevin Feige was informed that the script by Zak Pen was a complete mess. He decided to rewrite it from page one. The Avengers , which was released on May 4, 2012, broke nearly all records at the time. This included the highest grossing opening weekend with $207.4 millions. You can feel Whedon’s humor in every joke. A lot of the Marvel films have stale humor, but Whedon’s Avengers script had several scenes with genuine bust out laughing moments like when Hulk just punches Thor or the entire post credits scene of the Avengers, broken and beaten from battle, just enjoying some Shwarma, which was an idea that Whedon had on a whim during post-production.Whedon would then take on a few smaller passion projects in the wake of The Avengers

massive success including the modern day retelling of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (2012). Whedon returned to the world of The Avengers in its sequel, Avengers Age of Ultron, which was another monster hit, earning over $1.4 billion worldwide. Whedon then helped launch the Marvel show Agents Of Shield

writing the pilot episode. What would Whedon do next? It would appear that his time at Marvel was about to end. DC was at the time putting together a Super Hero mashup film called Justice league. Zack Snyder was the director and his film was darker. Warner Brothers executives were not happy with this, as they felt Snyder’s first films were too dark. They also thought that the Marvel films lacked a fun element. Snyder was forced to withdraw from the still-shooting project due to an unimaginable tragedy in his family. Whedon, who had written Wonder Woman scripts for the company but never made it, stepped in. Whedon was reportedly asked by the studio to make some changes to the script in order to lighten up the tone. Whedon was asked to take over the director’s seat when Snyder left the movie. He finished the film. Many claim that Whedon rewrote the script almost from the first page. The original writer of the film, Academy Award winner Chris Terrio, called the theatrical version of the film vandalism and unsuccessfully tried to have his name removed. It was no secret to many in the industry that Whedon is a bully. In November 2017, his ex-wife Kai Cole published a blog in which she called Whedon a hypocrite for preaching feminist ideals while calling him out on his secret affairs over the years. The floodgates opened and many began to look back at his work, finding issues with the way he marginalized and sexualized his female characters. But the more damning allegations came in 2020 when James Marsters who played vampire Spike on Buffy said that Whedon once pushed him up against a wall and told him he was dead after his character exploded in popularity. Ray Fisher, who played the actor Ray Fisher, accused Whedon a few days later of abusive behavior while on the set of the Justice League, including lightening of the actors’ skin tone in the post-production. Whedon claims he did this to the entire film and not just the actors’ skin.

More people came forward to detail the abuse they experienced at the hands Whedon, who now seemed more like a mad producer driven by ego than the happy-go-lucky geek god that we were used to. Whedon forced a stunt double from the Buffy series when he told her not to date the stunt coordinator. Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase in Buffy and Angel, detailed the abuse she received at the hands Whedon. She claimed that he would always degrade her and threaten to fire her in front the cast and crew. Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz, as well as Eliza Dushku, all publicly supported Carpenter. Gellar said that she was forever grateful to have her name associated with Buffy Summers. She didn’t want it to be forever associated Joss Whedon. Michelle Trachtenberg, who started working on Buffy at the age of 14, was inspired by Gellar’s comments to come forward and say that Whedon could never be alone with her. While many kept quiet, the allegations against Whedon continued to mount, until many could no longer keep their silence. Zach Snyder was allowed to finish his version of Justice League during the pandemic before Joss jumped in and messed everything up. And it was pretty dang unanimous that Zach’s cut is far superior.Whedon would try to clear his name in a New York Magazine profile in 2022 titled The Undoing of Joss Whedon that many believe was the final nail in the coffin of Joss Whedon’s career, in it he tries hard to frame his professional career in a way that makes him out to be a passionate hero, but all he does is confirm everything that everyone ever said about him. He doesn’t seem willing to accept responsibility for the misery that he caused so many people or offer any kind of mea culpa. All of it came across as a bit self-righteous. It would seem that it has taken its toll on his professional life. Since 2017’s Justice league, Whedon only had one project in development. The HBO series The Nevers that actually he left before it aired, with HBO simply stating that they had mutually separated ways. In 2021, he married Heather Horton, a painter. For now, Whedon seems to be playing the low-key game. Hollywood is a place of forgiveness, and the allegations against Whedon are not at the level of Harvey Weinstein. Is it possible, with time and a huge dose of humility and hubris that Joss Whedon could return to creating characters that have massive followings? But forgiveness must be earned. Only time will tell…

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch