For a generation of television viewers screenwriter/director/producer Joss Whedon is the man who delivered two of the greatest television shows of all time – ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Firefly’, and just when everybody thought that he had reached the peak of his career he rewrote the record books in 2012 when he delivered one of the biggest blockbuster movies of all time – ‘The Avengers’.
Screenwriting was in Joseph Hill ‘Joss’ Whedon’s blood when he was born on June 23, 1964, in New York. His grandfather John was a writer on shows such as ‘The Donna Reed Show’ while his father, Tom was known for his work on ‘The Golden Girls’. His mother, Lee Stearns was also an unpublished author who worked as a history teacher.
While attending Winchester College (England) and Riverdale County School (New York City) Whedon fell in love with acting and writing and soon he began to idolise people such as William Shakespeare and Steven Spielberg.
After graduating from Wesleyan University in 1987 Whedon traveled to California where he quickly landed work as a writer on hit television series ‘Roseanne’. He then went onto work on ‘Parenthood’ before penning his first feature film, ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, a film which Whedon has publicly said he didn’t like due to the fact the producers made it a comedy.
Not to be deterred by this experience Whedon then wrote the animated classic ‘Toy Story’ which saw him earn an Oscar nomination, before then writing science-fiction films such as ‘Alien: Resurrection’ and ‘Titan A.E.’
With a firm belief that ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ could work as a serious science-fiction drama Whedon molded his concept into a television series which when aired in 1996 became an instant hit, catapulting it’s lead actress, Sarah Michelle Gellar, into super stardom. The show eventually ran for seven seasons and has given birth to an animated series, a comic book series and the popular spin-off ‘Angel’.
While ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ was at its peak Whedon created a new science-fiction western called ‘Firefly’ that may have been short lived on television but has become one of the most bought television shows on DVD. So popular was it with fans that a cry-out soon saw Whedon write and direct ‘Serenity’ a movie which provided the show with closure.
As an example of just how versatile Whedon is he also created ‘Dollhouse’ as well as the musical ‘Dr Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog’ which he worked on as a side project during the Hollywood Writer’s strike. The last couple of years has also seen him find success with ‘The Cabin In The Woods’ and ‘The Avengers’.
It also worth noting that Whedon worked on the scripts for ‘Twister’ and ‘Speed’ but has gone largely uncredited for the work that he did on them.
When it comes to his personal life Whedon has always been extremely private but it is known that he is married to Kai Cole with whom he has a daughter named Squire and a son named Arden. Whedon chose his ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’/’Angel’ stars Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisoff to be the god-parents of Arden.
You can virtually never attend an event such as Comic Con or Supanova without somebody mentioning the name Joss Whedon, after all he is virtually considered a God by his fans. And now those loyal followers now nervously wait to see what Whedon has planned for them with ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and ‘The Avengers 2’.