Happy birthday Joss Whedon!

Joss Whedon in 2012
Joss Whedon in 2012

Joseph Hill Whedon (photo ©Gage Skidmore) was born on June 23, 1964 in New York City, New York, USA.

Joss Whedon studied for two years at Winchester College in England before graduating with a film degree at Wesleyan University in 1987. Subsequently, he decided to follow what had already become a family tradition already because his grandfather John Whedon and his father Tom Whedon had worked as screewriters for television.

After relocating to Los Angeles, Joss Whedon started writing scripts for TV shows and the movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992). The movie reverses the cliché of the blonde in horror movies who is always the sacrificial victim instead he made her the heroin who can kill vampires. His screenplay was heavily modified and he was very unhappy with the final result.

In subsequent years, Joss Whedon was one of the authors of the screenplay for the movie “Toy Story” (1995) and wrote the screenplay for the movie “Alien Resurrection” (1997).

In 1997, Joss Whedon managed to develop the concept of the Slayer in his way when he was asked to create a TV show centered around it that became “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. The show quickly acquired acclaim with a growing influence on popular culture. The high-level stories, full of witty sparkling dialogue and a remarkable character development made it a cult show.

After three successful “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” seasons, Joss Whedon created the spinoff “Angel”, follows the vampire with a soul. This show debuted in 1999 and soon found its own style that differentiates it from its parent show. At the same time, there are still the characteristics of Whedon’s products with a clever mix of comedy and drama.

Joss Whedon returned to science fiction in 2002 with the TV show “Firefly“. This time hw wasn’t lucky and the show was canceled after a few episodes, even transmitted out of order. Nevertheless, over time a cult was born around it and in 2005 Whedon wrote and directed the movie “Serenity”, which somehow gives the show a conclusion. The saga continued with novels and comic books.

In 2004, Joss Whedon started writing the Marvel comic book series “Astonishing X-Men”. He continued this job until 2008 for a total of 24 issues.

After 7 seasons “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” ended and after 5 seasons “Angel” ended. Both shows had a continuation in various comic books that tell the ideals subsequent seasons of the two shows.

In 2008, Joss Whedon created, directed and produced “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”, a musical in three acts distributed via the Internet.

In 2009, Joss Whedon tried again with another sci-fi TV show, “Dollhouse”, in which a secret organization uses agents whose mind is reprogrammed to turn them into what is needed in the situation they must be sent into. Whedon often uses the same actors and actresses for his projects and in “Dollhouse” we can see many faces familiar to those who watched his previous shows, starting with the protagonist Eliza Dushku. The show lasted two seasons.

In subsequent years, Joss Whedon wrote the screenplay for the horror movie “The Cabin in the Woods” (2012) and “Much Ado About Nothing” an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play (2012), of which he was also the director. In the same year came the first fruit of the collaboration to some new developments of Marvel’s superheroes with him writing the screenplay and directing the movie “The Avengers”.

In 2013, TV show “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” made its debut, created by Joss Whedon. It’s in some ways a sequel to the 2012 movie in the sense that agent Phil Coulson returns and leads a S.H.I.E.L.D. team that has to deal with dangers old and new. The show is also linked to other movies based on Marvel superheroes such as the presence in an episode of Lady Sif, already present in the movies with Thor as the protagonist.

In April 2014, the paranormal movie “In Your Eyes” was released, in which the protagonists Dylan and Rebecca can sense what the other is feeling even though they’re strangers and live far apart.

The movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is in its production stage, again written and directed by Joss Whedon. The movie should be released in May 2015.

Joss Whedon has his greates influence on the world of television with his shows. Sometimes his relationship with the channels that transmit those shows isn’t easy and it may end up penalizing them. Even when the results are negative, a show can grow a cult status and this is perhaps the most explicit sign of how much he’s appreciated by his fans.

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