11:00 am EDT, May 10, 2015

What Joss Whedon should do next: A superfan’s wishlist

Completely unsolicited advice for the man who just directed Avengers 2, and thought he could do something as silly as 'relax' now.

Now for the more fun, off-beat suggestions! Starting, of course, with the one you’re all going to leave angry comments about…

3. That looming ‘Buffy’ reboot movie

Buffy Movie

Naaaahhh I’m just kidding… sort of.

Real talk, though: Whether we want it or not, a Buffy: The Vampire Slayer movie is eventually going to happen. A reboot this time, not a reunion; a vampire slayer for a new generation.

And honestly, this is terrifying. In a post-Twilight, post-Vampire Diaries media landscape, imagine what some numbers-crunching network exec trying to find the formula for the next big teen hit might do to Joss Whedon’s quirky, perfectly imperfect, gritty heroine, who feels more like a real person than the entire cast of most contemporary TV shows combined?

If Buffy the Vampire Slayer is getting a movie reboot in our lifetime, well, call me selfish, but I’d want Joss Whedon to drop everything and steer that sinking ship safely into its steampunk harbor, making sure the new Buffy and her new friends were every bit as relatable and “strong” (read: layered and realistic) as their original counterparts.

With Joss at the helm of Hollywood’s second attempt at a Buffy movie, we might just get one of those great female-led superhero films he’s been bemoaning the lack of.

2. Disney’s live-action ‘Mulan’

Mulan Joss Whedon

This one might seem a little out of left field, but hear me out: Disney’s Mulan is a perfect fit for Joss Whedon. Mulan is, arguably, the closest the Disney Classics collection has to a female superhero, and is one of the studio’s most anticipated live-action remakes in development.

Here’s another perfect chance for Whedon to do something about the lack of female superhero movies Hollywood, without getting back into the Marvel/DC grind.

And Disney’s Mulan is, ultimately, a very Whedonesque heroine: she’s willful, clumsy, compassionate, sassy, independent, and self-sacrificing. She is a woman trying to live in a man’s world, challenging the traditional gender boundaries and perceptions as she rises up to not only be as good as her peers, but better. The chosen one. The one who saves the world China from the vampires the Huns.

There are plenty of quirky side-characters for Whedon to play with (Mushu, the three soldiers, the cricket), there’s singing and dancing (we know he likes his musicals), there’s a ballsy heroine who saves herself and her country, and a non-traditional love story. This movie’s got Whedon written all over it.

1. An original TV series


Let’s face it, this is the only thing we all really, really want Joss Whedon to do.

Whedon might play at being a movie director (and he’s doing a damn fine job of it, haters gonna hate), but in my heart, he’ll always be a TV auteur. And I would love to see another original idea conceived and curated by Whedon because whatever else you might say he is, this man is a master of dreaming up new universes.

Joss Whedon has created three standalone, completely original shows from scratch: Buffy (including its spinoff Angel), Firefly and Dollhouse. All three featured spectacular character ensembles (almost every single one of Whedon’s characters has his or her own cult following), all built up unique, quirky worlds around their heroes, and at their core, they all ultimately served to explore the concept of human morality (good vs evil, and every shade of grey in between).

I grew up with Buffy and I adored Firefly, but Dollhouse will always have a special place in my heart. There was so much depth there, so much potential, and the more the network broke down the show’s creative vision (damn it, Fox), the more I was rooting for it. There’s beauty in missed opportunities, and in that elusive could-have-been.

Imagine a Dollhouse on a cable channel, or on Netflix. Or a Firefly which had been allowed to run for five years. That’s the type of show Joss Whedon could do now because he’s got both the agency and the potential platforms. Forget the network model: A limited series online or on HBO would allow him the freedom he needs, and we’d be able to lose ourselves in a brand new part of the Whedonverse.

What project would you like to see Joss Whedon embark on next?

Bonus suggestion: How about throwing a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel Joss Whedon’s way?

I have no real reason for wanting this, except to have a movie written by J.K. Rowling and directed by Joss Whedon would pretty much be the epitome of everything I’ve ever loved.

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