Joss Whedon may have a lot of projects in the works, but the writer said no matter how busy he gets, he intends to do a sequel to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the Emmy-nominated musical about a wannabe supervillain.
"We're looking at Dr. Horrible and how we can put it together," Whedon told Newsarama, adding that he could easily use the excuse that he's too busy. "But 'too busy' is not really a concept in my world. I've never not been 'too busy.' And believe me, I'm going to burn out in the next two months, and then it will all be over. But until then, nothing can stop me. Nothing can possibly stop me."
The writer is currently working with co-writer and director Drew Goddard on the 2010 movie Cabin in the Woods, a horror film for MGM, as well as the second season of his Fox television show Dollhouse. He's also got comic book projects brewing at publisher Dark Horse Comics, including plans for a Cabin in the Woods tie-in series and a Season 9 volume of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, once the Season 8 series finishes.
There will also be a Dr. Horrible one-shot comic book for Dark Horse, with a targeted fall release.
The writer's self-produced, self-funded, Dr. Horrible musical was released in three parts in July 2008 as web-only streaming episodes. The musical was free for a limited time before being offered on iTunes, where Dr. Horrible topped the charts. The series was later released on DVD, and a 14-track soundtrack became available on iTunes and CD.
Not only has the series made a profit, according to Whedon, but it received critical acclaim, including an Emmy nomination for best short-form live-action entertainment program.
Starring Neil Patrick Harris as the title character, Dr. Horrible tells the story of an inexperienced supervillain who is hoping to get into the Evil League of Evil while also pining for a girl at the laundromat named Penny, played by Felicia Day. His efforts on both fronts aren't helped by his nemesis, the self-important Captain Hammer, played by Nathan Fillion.
When asked if he already knows the entire story that will be featured in the next chapter of Dr. Horrible, Whedon said, "Of course I do!"
The show was produced for internet distribution only, something that was almost unheard of for a project with such recognizable names involved. Whedon said he was hoping the success he experienced with the "webisode" concept would inspire others to explore the market.
"I'm kind of waiting for other people to do the same thing. Sitting here waiting. Still waiting," he joked. "I thought there would be more more than there is. There seems to be less more. So I'm hopeful, but it's true that I haven't really seen anything comparable. And that makes me sad."
Whedon said his time constraints aren't as big of a problem with Dr. Horrible because it's a small commitment when compared to much larger projects, and he wishes others would view webisodes the same way.
"Nobody seems to be willing to make a really small commitment, at least not people in the business with the wherewithal to make something that's on a bigger scale than just anybody could," Whedon said. "Very few people seem to be willing to do it. They either want to find a way to create a series that helps something that already exists or is a springboard to something else. Nobody seems to want to spend the time to do something that will inevitably be, no matter how profitable it is, kind of small, which is too bad, because the artistic freedom and the joy of making that thing is unparalleled, and the return has been profitable. So you'd think that somebody would jump on. But so far, not so many people."
Another of Whedon's favorite projects, the "Epitaph 1" episode of his Fox series Dollhouse, was also something Hollywood didn't embrace. Although Dollhouse was renewed for a second season, the innovative "Epitaph 1" episode wasn't part of the studio's initial order for Season 1, so it was never aired.
Whedon shared the entire unaired episode with fans at San Diego Comic-Con, as well as including it on the Season 1 DVD. But he was still hoping to convince Fox to air it.
"I begged them to air it. I begged them. I called the executives at the studio, at the network, and begged. They just didn't want it," he said. "You know what? I don't even want to talk about it anymore because it makes me sad. I just made one of my favorite episodes of a TV show that I ever made and they didn't air it."