There were cheers and applause at Saturday's Dark Horse Prensents: Joss Whedon panel at San Diego Comic-con Internation. One of the convention center's biggest rooms was used to house an astounding number of fans who all gave Whedon a standing ovation upon arrival. Joss Whedon: "Thank you to Dark Horse comics for bringing me here."
Joss Whedon spent the majority of the panel answering audience questions that ranged from warm compliments to detailed examinations of Whedon's work, but the focus was clearly on "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer." He spoke proudly about the impact of the series on the portrayal of women: "We were trying to make a statement about women and where they are in society and where they could be. We don't need heroes so much as recognizing ourselves as heroes." Many in the audience, hungry for more Buffy, were curious about possible spin-offs. Whedon admitted that there were no current plans for another series, but did say that he would be interested in a project centered on the Giles character. Responding to rumors about a new series with fan-favorite bad girl Faith, Joss agreed with the fans: "If Eliza [Dushku] became available, that might become an issue [to create a spin-off]." Despite scripts already written by Jeph Loeb, the "Buffy" animated series project continues to be tabled.
Also discussed was the premature demise of "Firefly." Whedon promised that the complete DVD box set would feature commentaries on every episode, as well as widescreen presentations of all of the episodes. Joss, who has been jockying for the chance to do a "Firefly" feature film, informed the audience that he would know whether that project was a go within the next few weeks. Whedon told the audience that if the movie was a reality, there was only one word to describe: "Reavers" (referring to the subhuman space scavengers plauguing the "Firefly" universe). Nathan Fillion, who played Captain Malcolm Reynolds in "Firefly" and Caleb in "Buffy", visited the panel toward the end much to the joy of the audience.
Being a presentation of Dark Horse, Joss Whedon's comic series "Fray" was brought up. The final issue of the current "Fray" mini-series will hit store shelves within the next week or two, and Whedon announced plans for a second "Fray" mini-series. Also on the docket is a compilation called "Tales of the Vampires" as a follow up to "Tales of the Slayers" released last year. A comic series based on Faith is in the planning stages as well.
Mutant Enemy's other series, "Angel" rounded off the topics discussed at the panel. Shooting for season five begins Thursday, July 24, and promises to bring back James Marsters as Spike. Other cast members from "Buffy" are likely to make guest appearences as well. No musical episode is planned for the "Angel" series, but Whedon did say that he was interested in doing a real stage musical at some point.
Whedon was asked who his favorite "Buffy" character was and he proudly named Willow. The audience reciprocated that notion by vocally calling for a Willow series. Joss gave no indication that anything like that was in the works.