Lost, Fringe, Cloverfield, Mission: Impossible 3, and Star Trek. (And that’s not counting his screenplays for Regarding Henry and Forever Young.) They are producers, directors, writers, musicians, even actors — remarkable well-rounded artists — but they are also known for being fans who retain a strong link to the stories that fired their imaginations when they were kids.Over the 20 years that Entertainment Weekly has been covering movies, television, music, books, comic books, digital entertainment and more, Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams have produced some of the best, most-beloved, and certainly most-obsessed-about stories that pop culture has given us in any medium. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog – and that’s just Joss. (And that’s not even including a few other things, like that Oscar nomination he earned for co-writing Toy Story.) The J.J. resume? Felicity, Alias,
With the annual summit meeting of wild pop culture fandom (aka Comic-Con) upon us this weekend, we at EW thought it would be kinda cool if we brought Abrams and Whedon together for an hour to talk about the past, present, and future of their creative lives. They agreed, and the whole thing is going down this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. PT, in a room that can hold a few thousand of their most admiring fans at the San Diego Convention Center. Wish you could be there? No worries: We’ll try our best to bring as much of the experience to you via posts and video over the next day or so here at EW.com.
There’s a lot I want to ask J.J. and Joss. My list of questions is pretty extensive, and my guess is that I won’t have time for all of them. But I do intend to inquire about their new projects. Abrams is developing Star Trek 2, putting the finishing touches on a romantic comedy entitled Morning Glory starring Harrison Ford, and launching a new spy drama for NBC called Undercovers. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also making the movie Super-8, which he is directing from an original script he’s written, about which he has said very little. He’s producing the movie with one of his idols, Steven Spielberg. I’m hoping Abrams will talk about what it’s been like collaborating with him. I’m also hoping he’ll answer this burning question: How the heck can he juggle all this work at once?
Joss Whedon is always working on bunches of things, too. He’s currently overseeing the final leg of his best-selling and widely acclaimed comic book continuation of Buffy for Dark Horse, putting the final touches on the 3-D conversion of his much-anticipated horror movie Cabin In The Woods, and preparing his next big screen directing project, a film that just may be the biggest superhero movie of all time: The Avengers, based on the Marvel Comics super-group comprised of characters that are either currently movie stars (see: Iron Man, Hulk, Nick Fury) or about to be (see: Thor and Captain America). I’m hoping Whedon will talk about his passion for superhero comics and a little bit about his vision for The Avengers.
I have so many other questions, too. I want to ask them about the 3-D phenomenon. Do they like it? Is 3-D re-wiring a new generation of moviegoers to expect a different kind of cinematic experience? I want to ask them about making content for the Internet. Will Joss be doing more Dr. Horribles? Will “the Web series” eventually replace “the TV series”? I want to ask them about the current state of TV. Now that Lost is off the air, are networks interested in the kind of serialized storytelling that Joss and JJ have done so well in the past?
And of course, I want to ask them the question I know that many of you want me to ask:
Will they ever team up and make something together?
Maybe I can cajole the Comic-Con crowd to cheer them — or at least bully them — into saying yes. Regardless, I’ll bring you their answer — and their thoughts on all these other questions — in posts to come. In the meantime, PopWatchers, share your admiration for Joss and J.J. in the comments below.
Also, I mentioned that both have acted. I tried in vain this morning to find the clip of Whedon’s funny Veronica Mars cameo from a few years ago. But have you ever seen Abrams’ brief turn in the film Six Degrees of Separation? Here you go…
Editor’s note: Do you have questions you’d like to ask J.J. or Joss? Tweet them (like, now!) to @EWDocJensen, and, if there’s room, include the #ComicConEW hashtag. Jeff will do his best to work them into the discussion! Update: Check out a recap of the panel here.