Who knew Marvel would be this, shall we say, flexible when it came to talent contracts? The burgeoning movie studio has always been a little, er, iron fisted when it comes to dealing with actors and directors in the past. But then again, when someone makes a few gazillion dollars for you, it’s not too hard to go above and beyond to keep them around. And so, you have Joss Whedon’s current contract with Marvel, which can only be described as pretty damn sweet.
While over at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he’s showing his low-budget, “friends on a weekend” movie “Much Ado About Nothing”, Joss Whedon took some questions from Vulture, and revealed some inside dish on what his current contract with Marvel really means.
On that lucrative contract that would have him writing and directing “The Avengers 2” as well as doing other things with Marvel:
It was part of what made it attractive to me. I loved the idea of being a consigliere. Every writer loves the idea of being able to go in and fix a problem and then leave without obligation. It’s fun! I also love these characters and the Marvel universe, and I grew up reading the books, and I’ve been going back and reading the old books and realizing that they shaped my storytelling way more than I give them credit for. Now I’m starting up a TV show, which is something I really wanted to do, but I thought it wasn’t going to be a part of my life for the next several years. It’s like a tapas menus of projects that excite me, in addition to the Avengers sequel, which I’m excited for because I’m incredibly excited about the next story that I’m going to tell. For me, it’s a huge win.
It is unbelievably daunting, especially because I don’t want to lose sight of all the other things I have on my docket and in my heart. So, it’s going to be an insane few years, but I feel ready for that. It’s an unholy amount of productivity, but as long as I give it all I can, it’s a good thing. What’s great is that the deal with Marvel is nonspecific, so I will give all I can, but the moment I can’t, I just walk away. The moment I say, “You know, I’d like to help more on this project, but I need this time for The Avengers,” there’s no obligation. It’s not like, “You must spend this amount of time on this movie.” It’s as much as it needs to be.
So he can just basically walk away whenever he feels like it? That’s a pretty damn sweet deal if you can swing it.
The important thing to me is that we know what the show is. We love what it is. It came together very organically, so when we went in to pitch [to Marvel], it wasn’t like, We’re trying to find this because you want a TV show, it was, Check this out. And that’s a good way to walk in a room.
Good support is wonderful, but it’s not a hill of beans, because they may give us all this support and then decide, “Eh. Yeah, it’s Friday.” They might give us all the support and then not do that, but then audiences might go, “Yeahhh … no.” You just can’t be sure. What I do know is that it’s the show it should be, and we’ve got some really dope notions. It’s going to work very well for people who either love the Marvel universe or for people who’ve never dipped a toe in the Marvel universe.
Friday, of course, is where most genre shows go to die. The graveyard, if you will, for fanboy-centric TV. Of course, “The X-Files” sort of changed that a bit, but it’s still generally considered the worst day for a genre show because almost no one is at home to watch it. Or at least, that all-important demo that all TV advertisers crave aren’t.
By the way, still my favorite pic of Whedon: