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We've already brought you the major scoops from the Entertainment Weekly Visionaries panel featuring J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon-- Whedon confirming he'll direct The Avengers, Abrams talking the start date for Super 8-- but what of the rest of the panel? I'm sure someone will eventually post online a blow-by-blow transcript of the conversation between the two geek icons, but here were my personal highlights:
-- Asked about their own personal moments of extreme fandom, Abrams confessed to owning "the tongue" from The Exorcist, which apparently terrified his mom. Whedon countered that he didn't own anything nearly as cool, but "I do have an Alien egg, but I had to bury the franchise to get it"-- referencing his writing gig on Alien: Resurrection of course.
-- Whedon had no news on the status of a potential Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog sequel, though he admits that he and his collaborators on the show would love to do it, but "part of the problem was that we all had jobs." At the same time, he says "We really do feel like we know what the movie is and we really want to do it, and we want to do it on our terms, but our terms seem to be interminable." Given how many good things Whedon had to say about the potential in distributing content online, we may see a second Dr. Horrible-- but only well, well after The Avengers and whatever else Whedon has on his plate.
-- One audience question thanked the two creators for giving us stories that make us think, and both Abrams and Whedon had strong defenses of serialized storytelling on television, even though both of them admit the studios aren't that interested in making them. "Stories imply time, stories imply inevitability and some kind of progress," Abrams insisted. "I'm personally less naturally interested in non-serialized shows. I enjoy the investment and anticipation in the characters and what's going to happen." Whedon put it even more succinctly: "What do people remember from Cheers? Sam and Diane."
-- Right before Q&A time Abrams and Whedon were both asked about what inspired them, and Whedon had his own geek-out moment about something his fellow panelist made. Here's what he said verbatim: "I have had actual moments of sheer fucking panic because I love Star Trek so much. I honestly watch it and go, "This is a gold standard for a team movie, for a summer movie, for any movie that has come out in the last couple of years. And it makes me throw up with fear."
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