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  1.  (8628.1)
    crosspost from

    Joss Whedon mentioned, at his San Diego panel last week, a project called WASTELANDERS that I was co-writing with him and which got postponed. I’ve gotten a lot of messages about that, since. So this is my WASTELANDERS FAQ, such as it is, and all I’m really prepared to say about it for now.

    So Joss and I had just finished the second or third day of sitting in a hotel bar and beating out the rough shape of WASTELANDERS, a story idea he’d had that he invited me to co-write with him because it had Science Stuff and Nasty Stuff and those things are more me than him, and I demanded Meat because I really can’t run my brain for more than ten minutes before bits of it start breaking off and I think I mentioned that we’d been at this for two or three days and so we went to a steak restaurant that scared Joss because all the lighting was red and the walls were covered in cowhide and we’d just started on the beer in this Room Of Meat Terror when Joss said: "I’ve been asked to write and direct the AVENGERS film. What do you think?"

    WASTELANDERS was being devised as a five-part series that we’d do as "internet television," in the mode of DR HORRIBLE, only without the singing. Joss was worried about the lack of singing. I’d hoped that directing an episode of GLEE had gotten it out of his system. I wasn’t sure who I’d have to hurt or kill to secure the situation, but we were solid enough with the outline that we’d be ready to shoot in two or three months.

    "You have to take that job," I said. "Even though it’ll probably be insane. It’s a tentpole movie. You’ll be able to print your own money afterwards. You’ll be able to do anything you want. Take it."

    No good deed goes unpunished. He took the gig, and then the start date got moved up, and three or four other horrible things happened, and suddenly the space to do WASTELANDERS was erased.

    I saw Joss the other week. It took us a few hours to get around to WASTELANDERS, because we’re ferociously polite and respectful to each other (if to and about no-one else) and I think neither of us wanted to broach the subject. And when we finally did, I said to him; once you’re on the other side of AVENGERS, email me, and we’ll finish the bastard off. I’ll wait.

    So that’s what we’ll do. And that gives me time to terminate anyone whom he might secretly work on musical numbers with.

    A few notes. WASTELANDERS is not, as some people who can’t read have commented, the same as Antony Johnston’s WASTELAND. WASTELANDERS is Joss’ idea and Joss’ title. WASTELANDERS also has no connection to DR HORRIBLE. WASTELANDERS is where Joss’ sense that too few people followed the example of DR HORRIBLE meets my obsession with the QUATERMASS serials, which were half-hour episodes. Short-form genre serials of the kind that tv just doesn’t make anymore. What we eventually came up with was very much a fusion of British and American styles, and very much a fusion of my style and Joss’ style. And full-on science fiction.

    And the plan is that you’ll see it once Joss has made the AVENGERS film.

    (Which, by the way, is going to be really fucking good. I have Sekrit Knowledges. Also worth noting: Joss has nothing but good things to say about Kevin Feige, which bodes extremely well.)

    WASTELANDERS is sort of a funny horrible story about the end of the world. I look forward to finishing it.
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010
    Forget the Hollywood stuff: Where is this beautiful restaurant of Meat that you mentioned? It sounds like my kind of place. I hope the waitstaff wear Leatherface costumes.
    • CommentAuthorepalicki
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010
    So...instead of "WASTELANDERS, from the writer of Crooked Little Vein and Transmetropolitan and the creator of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer," it will be "WASTELANDERS, from the creator of Red and the writer/director of The Avengers"?

    Seems like the wait is better for all parties, and could give the mode/medium a better chance of surviving/thriving and, hopefully, catching on.
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010 edited
    who's this joss whedon fellow i keep hearing about? i think you should wait until he gets famous before working with him.

    sounds like we'll enjoy this when it gets off the ground!
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010
    @epalicki - I'd say that Dr. Horrible did pretty well for itself without the movie connotations. Further proof (like FreakAngels) that the internet is a fantastic tool when used for/by the Forces of Good.
  2.  (8628.6)
    [MEAT THREAD DERAIL] If you want Resaurant of Meat, I recently went to, a retro style steakhouse with (classy?) pictures of women in various levels of undressing all over the place. For an appetizer, I had a "salad" with ribeye grilled bacon. Basically, mini bacon steaks over some lettuce and the tinyest tomatoes you'd ever seen. The bacon could have been its own meal. The steak (and whiskey) was excellent.

    (Edit because I didn't realize that there are Striphouse's in NYC; Livingston, NJ; LAs Vegas; Key West and Naples, FL; as well as H-Town. And the pictures of the lovely women were from the early 1900's in Vienna.)
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010
    [continued MEAT THREAD DERAIL]

    @government spy - that place looks excellent, I'll have to try it the next time, Ellis forbid, I'm in Houston. Have you made it to Fogo de Chao or any other churrascaria? I didn't think it was possible for there to be too much meat, and it isn't possible, however if it were within the realm of possibility that would be the place to find out.
  3.  (8628.8)
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010
    Wow, reading this piece made me realize that I value Joss Whedon less than Warren Ellis not only about science or Dark Things Happening, but even about women characters or minorities. Thanks for being who you are, Mr. Ellis.
  4.  (8628.10)
    This sounds potentially amazing. I've never actively followed Joss' work, but I always liked the bits I saw of Buffy, Angel and Firefly/Serenity. I think you can always tell a Whedon-written character (like I read the first trade of his X-Men run and it could have easily been a Buffy Halloween episode where they all dressed up like the X-Men), but I think his style and Warren's style together could make something very interesting & weird.

    I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for news on this once Avengers wraps.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2010
    This will be interesting and I will consume it.
  5.  (8628.12)
    Sounds interesting. I really enjoyed the Dr Horrible experiment.
    And as a whole I'm very impressed with Marvel's handling of their movie franchises — attracting the right talent.
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2010
    Joss Whedon is a super nice fella--at SDCC '05, some friends of mine waylaid him as he was walking back toward the convention center, and he was extraordinarily gracious to us. Well--them; I wanted to go get shitfaced and my friends gushing nerdjuice all over the guy was the one thing standing in my way.

    CODA: I did indeed get shitfaced. Thanks, Joss!
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2010
    Warren, just curious, would you ever want to direct a movie or show or is does that not hold any interest for you?
  6.  (8628.15)
    Never gave it any thought, because it'll never happen.
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2010
    You'd get to wear jodhpurs and carry a riding crop, if that's any incentive. Oh, and the yelling at people and possibly making a beautiful actress cry.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2010
    @COOP - In Ellisland, that's called "Tuesday".
  7.  (8628.18)
    "Which, by the way, is going to be really fucking good."

    So the rumors are true! Spoilers for THE AVENGERS ahead:

    In the final minutes, after laying waste to Thor and the Hulk, Thanos looks at his hand and discovers his gauntlet has gone missing. He screams his rage at the universe and searches all around the wasteland, his horror growing as the starlight above him coalesces. A familiar eyepatched face with a cigarette stares down...

    "Who's God now, muthafucka?"
    • CommentAuthorBerserker
    • CommentTimeJul 28th 2010 edited
    I'd hoped that Joss would find a way to do more with 'internet television', as it were, even though I'm sure it's barely, if at all, profitable. Good to hear there's still projects in the works, somewhat. Better to hear your name attached, honestly.
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2010 edited
    I gotta admit, Whedon-Avengers has the potential to be blindingly awesome - Whedon does snappy, mindless pop-culture brilliantly. And he's good with superheros, and with Marvel source material. I really liked the subtle scripting of Astonishing X-men; all the riffs on phrases from Morrison's just-ended run, the 70's marvel references, the explanation for WHY they act like superheros.
    I always liked this little touch.
    :Astonishing X-men;torn - This from Whedon's run, Emma Frost having taken out everyone except Kitty, who's now underground.
    This is the final panel from the original Hellfire club storyline, where Kitty was first introduced...Original Hellfire club storyline

    Can't wait to see what happens with Wastelanders - Whedon and Warren both have a knack for "holy-fucking-yeah" moments and catchy script-writing, but I'm intrigued to see who's personality emerges dominant. Whedon's mostly been a PG-13 kinda writer, whereas Warren's ability to swear is beyond legendary. Will it be aimed at a more mature audience? or safe for all the little children?