Joseph Hill "Joss" Whedon (born 23.6.1964)
Joss Whedon is an American film maker receiving credits in screenwriting, directing, producing, composing and acting as well as being a comic book author and founder of Mutant Enemy Productions. Whedon is best known for being the creator and show runner for cult and critically recognised, Emmy nominated television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as his recent work on the Avengers and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Joss Whedon: Childhood
Joss Whedon was born into a screenwriting family and has been described as the first "third-generation TV writer" as he is the son of Tom Whedon, a screenwriter for the Electric Company (1970's) and The Golden Girls (1980's), and grandson of John Whedon, writer of the Donna Reed Show (1950's). Joss' mother was an unpublished novelist who taught History at Riverdale Country School in New York where Joss grew up. Joss is the younger brother of Samuel and Matthew Whedon and older brother of writers Jed and Zack Whedon who have collaborated with Joss in some of his latter work.
Joss spent 2 years at Winchester College, England before graduating from Wesleyan University in 1987 and has been stated to have shown a great interest in acting and writing from an early age.
Joss Whedon: Career
Whedon began his career in the film industry via following his father and grandfather in television writing. In 1989 Whedon was acknowledged with a 4 episode writing credit in the Golden Globe winning Roseanne, created by Matt Williams and a 3 episode writing credit in Parenthood in 1990.
During 1992 Whedon collaborated with Director, Fran Rubel Kuzui and released Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a feature film about a teenage girl who learns she is destined to battle vampires. The film received a mixed response and didn't win any major awards.
In 1996 Whedon (along with six other writers, including Andrew Stanton) was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the screenplay of Toy Story, starring Academy Award winner, Tom Hanks and Golden Globe winner Tim Allen. The award went to Christopher McQuarrie for The Usual Suspects.
In 1997 Whedon revived the concept of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) which ultimately became the Golden Globe nominated television series by the same name. Between 1997 and 2003 the show featured seven series, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers and achieved critical and public success. The series also resulted in a spin-off show featuring Angel (originally seen on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) which ran between 1992 and 2004 (often being shown directly after Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The television show spanned 111 episodes over 5 series and was self titled after lead character 'Angel' played by David Boreanaz.
Whedon continued to create and write during the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and in 2002, Joss Whedon's Firefly, starring Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres was aired. The show won a Primetime Emmy in 2004 and despite only running for one series due to cancellation and episodes being re-ordered and not shown, the television show lead to the release of Serenity, a 119 minute feature film based on the television series, starring the same cast. The film received critical praise including a UK Empire award nomination for Best Newcomer.
Whedon continued to write, produce and direct small television films and series including a 2 episode directing credit in The US Office before writing box office hit The Cabin in the Woods released in 2011. The film took a unique approach on previous horror films including multiple intertextual references which some reviews claimed were too clever for its own good. The film starred Chris Hemsworth who Whedon continued to work with on The Avengers in 2012.
The Avengers became the 3rd highest grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office behind Avatar and Titanic (both directing by James Cameron, said to be one of Whedon's inspirations). The film featured multiple superheroes brought together by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D to fight a threatening, alien force. The Avengers was nominated for an Academy Award and starred, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston.
Whedon was considered appropriate for the role due to his involvement and role in previous comic books. Whedon is the author of Dark Horse Comics, Fray and is involved with the Buffy comics (along with many other cast and crew members). Whedon has also wrote material on Serenity, Astonishing X Men and issue #26 of Superman/Batman.
Whedon is set to write and direct Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, a new television show set in the same world as the Avengers, as well as the Avengers 2 due for release in 2015.
Joss Whedon: Personal Life
Whedon has two children, Arden Cole and Squire Cole with producer and co-founder of Bellwether Pictures, Kai Cole.