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Cabin in the Woods is a favorite around the CinemaBlend offices, so we were thrilled to see Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s passion project open to $14.7 million last weekend. The reviews were over-the-top positive (92% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), and most critics were able to keep the major spoilers out of their pieces – thanks for nothing, Rex Reed.
We were so anxious to protect the film’s valuable secrets that we broke our exclusive interview with Whedon into two parts. In the first, spoiler-free installment, the co-writer, producer and Avengers director discussed the film’s frantic third act; the casting of Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins; and their infamous white board of monster-movie ideas. But now Cabin is out, so we’re ready to let the cat out of the bag. In part two of our exclusive interview, Whedon delves into more spoilers. Steer clear if you still haven’t seen Cabin (though as we revealed in our intricate Spoiler Supreme Court, time solves most spoiler dilemmas). Here’s Joss Whedon expounding on The Cabin in the Woods:
You do know that if Cabin makes any money, the studio is going to want a sequel, yet you seem to have shut that door.
I don’t think so. I grew up with comics where writers always thought, “How can we bring this guy back, or that guy back?” And Drew and I, we have no artistic integrity.
We also built that world so grandly in our minds that we often do go, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the bit where …” There’s definitely more to be told in that story, but right now we’re both very fixated on, “We hope somebody likes it, and of course pays to come see it.” But there’s always a bridge there to cross. We definitely didn’t come into this going, “Oh, we have an idea for a franchise.” We came in going, “We have three acts.” Which is more than any writer usually gets. That’s a gift.
I’d love to ask you about the story, because I’m interested and there’s no source material I can turn to for explanation. Who is coordinating this game between nations?
You know, we keep enough of it secret and shadowy so that we can say it’s “a secret, shadowy organization.” Because that’s what you want. It’s not that interesting to find out who is elected co-chairman of the treasury of the secret organization.
But we thrive on this. We write fan fic extending the story so we can fill in these gaps, right?
Yes, but if we have done our jobs right, people will be trying to fill in the gaps for years. Drew [Goddard] and I did fill in the gaps for years. We talked about this movie endlessly before we made it, even before we wrote it, because it’s the kind of world that we love to walk in. Also, the way I approach fiction is to not just tell a story but to create a world behind it so that everything has purpose. Every door, we know where it leads. We know what’s behind all of them, and that way, when people want to expand on it, they go, “Oh, it’s there.” And sometimes fans will make things up that we didn’t expect. And we’ll go, “No, yeah, that’s in the canon now. That’s absolutely right. You’re totally right.”
Sigourney Weaver’s cameo was kept under wraps. Now that it’s out there, can you tell me what it meant for you guys to cast her?
It was another wish list thing. We needed someone who had horror cred, who had genuine acting cred – and for good reason – and when they give the final reveal about what’s going on, you’ll just believe them. And believe that they care. It’s funny because she was so much fun to work with, and so giddy and girly about the whole thing. She’s be like, “I never worked with a werewolf before!”
And were you picking her brain for ideas, as well?
Well, the only good thing that came out of the experience that was Alien: Resurrection was her performance. She’s just got enormous chops. But she also came with this energy that said, “Oh, I get to do this?” And watching the movie again the other night, because I hadn’t in a while, I kept thinking, “My God, she’s so good.” I mean, the gravitas that she has on screen, it’s effortless. And I had forgotten, because I was so busy thinking, “Whee, this is so much fun! We have Sigourney Weaver!” I still feel so privileged.