Joss Whedon stopped by the Film Society of Lincoln Center to talk about his adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, starring Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Clark Gregg, Fran Kranz and other Whedon regulars. The indie reimagining of the Bard's comedic masterpiece was filmed entirely in black and white at Whedon's home in Santa Monica, California. The shoot lasted a whopping 12 days and took place during a postproduction break from his superhero blockbuster The Avengers.
"Shakespeare has been a part of the fabric of my life, for all of my life," he told the audience. The director had a vacation planned, but his wife encouraged him to stay home and relax. Instead he made another movie. Apparently, Shakespeare readings are a popular pastime at Casa Whedon. He felt the characters of Much Ado were a strong part of what Shakespeare was about, which drew him to the text.
The Q&A delves into more of the movie adaptation, along with some fascinating tidbits about Whedon's film and television career. The director never saw himself working in television, despite jabs from classmates about becoming a third-generation TV writer. Whedon's father was a screenwriter for series like The Golden Girls, and his grandfather wrote for The Donna Reed Show during the 1950s.
The filmmaker also discusses the profound sense of loss he experienced when Firefly was canceled, and his experience with making the follow-up film, Serenity. Sorry fans, but he won't be creating a Veronica Mars-style Kickstarter to resurrect those characters. "There's a real fear of the monkey's paw, where you bring it back to life and it isn't the same. Even if it's great, and it isn't the same," he told the audience.
When asked about the next Marvel character he'd like to bring to life on the big screen, Whedon's answer elicited roars from the audience: "If I could get my mits on absolutely anybody, it would be Batman."
The softer side of Whedon revealed he doesn't understand happiness and romance, which is perhaps why his characters that are couples frequently experience great loss.
There's a lot more to the 35-minute chat, which is a great watch. Whedon is as funny and charming as ever. Enjoy!