Joss Whedon Spills on 'The Avengers,' Killing Buffy's Mom & More

If the name Joss Whedon doesn't immediately ring a bell, perhaps a few of his TV creations will: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and, of course, my personal favorite, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Whedon's also the writing force behind this weekend's horror film release, The Cabin in the Woods, and directed the much-anticipated upcoming superhero mashup, The Avengers.

Whedon has what you might call a dedicated online following, so it's no surprise that his participation in Tuesday's Ask Me Anythng Q&A session on Reddit was a huge hit. Fans flocked to the site to pepper Whedon with questions about his past and upcoming work, and he was pretty forthcoming. In fact, one of his announcements is probably the BEST NEWS I'VE HEARD ALL YEAR.

Check some highlights from the session:

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On Scarlet Johnson's character's sexualization in The Avengers:

All I can say is that Scarlett gets to do a lot more than be hot in Avengers. It's definitely dispiriting to have a woman play an heroic role and then be reduced to body parts by fan commentary, but that can only change slowly. And is.

On being known for killing off key and beloved characters in his shows and movies, and who was the hardest to kill:

I actually find it refreshing... delightful.... vaguely arousing.... Actually, I'm, no offense, very tired of being labelled as "the guy who kills people". Shakespeare (he's this hot new writer) does it way more than me, and everyone's all excited about how he, as it were, holds a mirror up to nature, while I'm like the Jason Voorhees of the writing community. Unfair.

Also, probably Buffy's Mom.

On how where he would have taken the Dollhouse story, if the show hadn't been cancelled:

It would have been a much slower odyssey of Echo's self-creation and liberation, peppered with astonishing perversions.

On whether he'd ever do a full-scale musical movie:

Full scale musical? The biggest non-spaceship-involving dream of my life. But it's a huge life commitment...

On which character was the most difficult to write:

The hardest was always Angel. How to make a decent, handsome, stalwart hero interesting -- tough.

On working with Neil Patrick Harris and Robert Downey Jr.:

Robert and Neil are both even funnier off-screen than on. Funnier, in fact, than me. I hate Robert and Neil.

On what it was like to co-write Pixar’s Toy Story:

It was so much fun. They were in this crappy, sprawling space in the middle of nowhere, and I spent most of my time with [director John Lasseter], [Andrew] Stanton, [Pete Docter] and the late, very great Joe Ramft, just making jokes, pitching ideas and watching them get sharpie head-aches from sketching. We all learned so much from that experience. mostly about sharpies.”

On working with the cast of The Avengers (which includes Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemworth, Jeremy Renner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson, and more!):

Handling that many stars was easy, because they looked after each other. They cared about the work. They one time did what I said (well, asked). No, it really was a dream ensemble. ... [It was] like herding adorable kittens.

And — drumroll — for my favorite Joss Whedon answer of the entire session ….

On the timing for a Dr. Horrible sequel:

We're not shooting right now, we're still in the early stages of writing. But we hope to make a great deal of progress this summer. And you can expect the death of someone you love...Yes, the original cast will be back for Dr H 2, but Penny will be... um... I don't want to say 'decomposing...'

Um, is he talking about combining zombies with Dr. Horrible? HOLY SHIT NERD KEGEL.

I love Whedon, and I love that he doesn't think he's too cool to participate in this kind of online geekery. You can read the entire AMA here, and hey, who's excited about Dr. Horrible 2? And The Avengers? And, like, anything Whedon does EVER?

Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore

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