SAN DIEGO — Joss Whedon is the busiest man at Comic-Con.
The multihyphenate visionary talked television on Friday, film on Saturday and rounded out the four-day geek extravaganza meeting with fans and talking with reporters Sunday at the Dark Horse Comics booth about a new season of his Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book series, the possibility of a "Serenity" title, and the dual realities of the Marvel film and television worlds.
After saying he can't give too many details about what's going on in all those projects, Whedon did give The Associated Press some insight in a quick interview as Comic-Con swirled around him and fans snapped his picture from afar.
AP: What can you tell us about the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" story?
Whedon: I can't say much about what's going to happen. We're wrapping up Season 9 of "Buffy" and "Angel & Faith," and we've already sort of got a road map for Season 10, which I'm really excited about. Every season we get to come in and find and see a new aspect of what it's like for her and what it's like for anyone that's around her age that's going through life trying to figure it out. She's in her 20s, so she's trying to figure out what the hell she is. We've asked a lot of questions over the last two seasons. Season 10 I'm excited about because it has some very interesting answers for some of them. I can't really say. There's going to be a lot of back and forth between the comics – not so much that if you only like one you won't get what's going on, because I hate that. But they do share a universe, all these characters, and their ability to sort of show up in each other's books is part of the huge fun. And the fact that Giles is now a young boy just makes me laugh and laugh.
AP: You have so much going on in film and TV, you could easily leave the comic books behind. Why do you keep doing them?
Whedon: Dark Horse came to me many years ago and said, "How do you feel about doing new stories with Buffy," and the show had been over for two or three years, and I realized I really really wanted to. Just writing those voices again, remembering that mission statement of let's tell the story of this girl and the trials of having power and trying to keep her friends together. It moves me. I love this medium. I've read comics my whole life. The idea that we got to create our own little comic book universe, it's very heady. I'm very grateful.
AP: Do you have plans to bring "Serenity" out as a comic book?
Whedon: That's the hope, but there's nothing official yet. It's patchy. "Buffy," the way it lent itself to a musical, lends itself to comic books in a very simple way. "Serenity," you've got to have the exact right sort of notion before I'll even let it go forward. Because it was taken away so fast, I was always leery of getting it wrong.
AP: You could revisit the war, take the characters into the future ...
Whedon: There's a lot you can do. I'm a little busy. I have some other stuff to do. But I have some ideas.
AP: Can the new "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" television series thrive without the presence of already-known superheros from the Marvel universe?
Whedon: The thing is SHIELD itself is kind of an espionage book. They're all basically spies. Just the idea of these people's lives was fascinating in all its aspects, so if it was a situation where we had to have a superhero of the week, I would never have done the show. That would get old super fast. It's part of the Marvel collective, but there's also a lot more: The idea of dealing with not just the new technology, the alien stuff, and just regular people who are caught up in the wake of this world; the idea that "The Avengers" changed the game for the Marvel cinematic universe, which SHIELD is now a part of. The whole world suddenly found out there were superheros and aliens and all kinds of wonderful, terrible things, and that's going to have different repercussions for everybody. So there's a lot of different ways to approach every episode."
AP: Samuel L. Jackson told us yesterday he can't believe he's not involved in the new TV series as "SHIELD" Director Nick Fury. Do you see a role for him in the show?
Whedon: We would love to have Sam in the house. If we could work it out, we'd do it in a heartbeat. He's Sam. What are we, new? But we also have the movies and we have TV and we need to make sure there's some crossover, but not so much that people go, "Well, I don't need to see that movie. I saw it on TV." If we do that (Marvel Studios President) Kevin Feige is going to come after me with a pitchfork.
AP: You brought Agent Coulson back to life for the TV series after his apparent death in "The Avengers." Is it possible he'll return for the film's sequel as well?
Whedon: He could. Right now it's not something I'm pursuing because I have so much going on in "Avengers" 2. Finding out that Coulson is alive would be an entire B story. And I already have too much movie. That's better than the other thing.
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