13 Joss Whedon Hot Takes About Popular Movies And TV Shows

Joss Whedon doesn’t shy away from voicing his own opinions, especially when it comes to movies. On the off-chance you haven’t heard of his name, you may at least have seen the many projects he’s directed, of which include The Avengers, Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also holds an impressive writing resume with credits in works like Toy Story, The Cabin in the Woods, and Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He’s also been a guest director for Glee and So let’s just say the man knows his movies.

Turns out, he’s got a ton of hot takes about some well-acclaimed (and some not-so-well-acclaimed) feature films and TV shows, some of which are even critical of his own works; you’ll see those quite soon. Take a long at some of Joss Whedon’s movie and TV hot takes below!

Marvel Prioritized Raccoons Over Women

Photo: Disney

Even when Whedon was working for a successful company, he had no problem voicing his opinions. After he made comments about the lack of female fronted superhero films – especially at Marvel, who hired him to direct The Avengers – people pointed out to him that the upcoming Captain Marvel film would be starring a woman.

Whedon replied, “Honestly, you know, Guardians [of the Galaxy] might have helped it, just because that was outside what was considered to be their box… Well, let’s put it this way: If a raccoon can carry a movie, then they believe maybe even a woman can.”

Jurassic World Belongs In The ’70s

Photo: Universal Pictures

When the first clips from the Chris Pratt-led Jurassic World were released, feminist blog The Mary Sue tweeted out: “We’re too busy fanning ourselves to talk more about Chris Pratt in this #JurassicWorld clip.” Whedon retweeted with a sassy, “…and I’m too busy wishing this clip wasn’t 70’s [sic] era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life-force – really? Still?”

He later admitted that he regretted coming in hot about Jurassic World, but didn’t say that he was wrong. “I forgot that I don’t do that because I was frustrated. I felt like I was seeing something that was problematic. What I said is pretty clear, but I think it was the wrong venue for me to be saying that. That’s dinner party conversation.”

DC’s Characters Aren’t Relatable

Photo: Warner Bros.

Whedon has an interesting theory for why DC’s superhero movies aren’t connecting with movie audiences the way some other properties are. “DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity,” he said. “Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.”

Weird Science Is Grotesque

Photo: Universal Pictures

A teenage romp about two nerds building their dream girl, Weird Science has its fans, if not quite in the same numbers as other John Hughes titles like Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club. Joss Whedon, though, hates it. He explained why on the GeeksOn podcast: “I hate Weird Science not a little. I find it offensive. The boy fantasy of building a girl… I find it grotesque.”

Twilight Gets The Female-Driven Narrative All Wrong

Photo: Summit Entertainment

It’s no surprise that Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has opinions on the vampire-centric romance Twilight.

He explained the issue in an interview with EW: “The thing about Buffy for me is – on a show-by-show basis – are there female characters who are being empowered, who are driving the narrative? The Twilight thing, and a lot of these franchise attempts coming out, everything rests on what this girl will do, but she’s completely passive or not really knowing what the hell is going on. And that’s incredibly frustrating to me because a lot of what’s taken on the oeuvre of Buffy is actually a reaction against it. Everything is there except for the Buffy. A lot of things aimed at the younger kids is just Choosing Boyfriends: The Movie.”

The Punisher Is Fascist

Photo: Netflix

Whedon would shake up Marvel Comics if he were in charge. “Here’s why I’m not running Marvel,” he said. “If I was, I would kill the Punisher. I don’t believe in what he does. The Punisher just shoots up places. And if you’re telling me he’s never hit an innocent, then I’m telling you, that’s fascist crap.”

The Empire Strikes Back Committed A Cardinal Sin

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Plenty of fans consider The Empire Strikes Back to be the best film in the Star Wars franchise. Whedon thinks those fans are wrong. 

Empire committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending. Which at the time I was appalled by, and I still think it was a terrible idea,” he said. “It’s a come-back-next-week, or in three years. That upsets me. I go to movies expecting to have a whole experience. If I want a movie that doesn’t end, I’ll go to a French movie. A movie has to be complete within itself; it can’t just build off the first one or play variations.”

Prometheus Is Pointless

Photo: 20th Century Fox

When Whedon was asked if he watched Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, a spiritual prequel to Alien he simply replied: “Yes, I did see Pro-meaningless.”

Marvel Movies Are Ruining Marvel TV

Photo: Disney–ABC Domestic Television

According to Whedon, Marvel brass wasn’t too keen with his work on the TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: “I think actually the movie people were a little bit cross about the TV show.  They were sort of like ‘Well you can have this but not this. And this but not that.’ It’s complicated enough as it is without me adding another layer of complication.”

There’s also the issue of the massive universe shared by the movies and the series. “We also created a TV show called S.H.I.E.L.D. right before they made a movie where they destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Whedon added. “So everybody’s having a GREAT time!”

The Temple of Doom Is Stale

Photo: Paramount Pictures

The Indiana Jones sequel The Temple of Doom is plagued by comparisons to the other films in the series.

Whedon noted its tendency to rehash beats from the first movie in an interview: “You know the thing in Temple of Doom where they revisit the shooting trick?… That’s what you don’t want. And I feel like that’s what all of culture is becoming – it’s becoming that moment.”

Daredevil Isn’t Good TV

Photo: Netflix

Apparently, Whedon fought for a film version of Daredevil while he was at Marvel. Instead, the property became a hit Netflix series.

Whedon, who admitted that he hadn’t seen the show, didn’t think that a series could keep the same moody tone that the character requires. “I fought for Daredevil to be a film instead of a TV show. I like [Daredevil] because he’s basically Marvel’s Batman, thanks to Frank Miller basically. So for me I didn’t think they’d be able to sustain that sort of mood on TV.”

Alien: Resurrection Is Sh*tty

Photo: 20th Century Fox

Whedon knows that Alien: Resurrection wasn’t great, but he blames the casting for those mistakes, not his writing (he was credited for the screenplay).

“I wrote two characters for Alien: Resurrection and their arc was that you would not know what way they were going to go,” he said. “One of them turned out to be insane – and what do they do? They call Brad Dourif. So there is no plot twist. Brad is a very good actor but he has been pigeonholed into these roles. Then they cast J.E. Freeman as a thug – and his character was also supposed to be a mystery. So there you go again – the mystery is gone. Those are just a couple of examples because there are thousands of them when it comes to Alien: Resurrection. When you are making a movie you are making something that is going to last forever, especially now with the internet. So there is always going to be a shitty Alien movie out there. A sh*tty Alien movie with my name on it.”

Working On Roseanne Was A Nightmare

Photo: SFM Entertainment

Whedon’s first job in Hollywood was as a staff writer for Roseanne, and he said it was anything but cushy. The show was plagued by tabloid gossip, and Whedon told Entertainment Weekly about an especially tense meeting with the staff:

“[Roseanne Barr’s] preamble was ‘They’re all out to get us,’ she created this cocoon of safety. Then she ended with ‘And if any of you ever talks to the press, I’ll f*cking fire you.’ I was like, ‘Wow! That was like a twist ending! I didn’t see that coming!’ That’s when I realized this is not the Saint Crispin’s Day speech. This was a threat. I was so in her corner because her life was insane and her work was groundbreaking as a feminist. A lot of us would have followed her straight into battle and taken that hill, but she turned us away.”