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Joss Whedon on the Future for Spike, Buffy & why Anya had to...

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Joss Whedon on the Future for Spike, Buffy & why Anya had to...

Old 05-23-03, 02:38 PM
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Joss Whedon on the Future for Spike, Buffy & why Anya had to...

After reading his reasoning for Anya's death, I don't like it even more...
[From TVGuideOnline.com]

Buffy Postmortem: Is Spike Dead?
by Michael Ausiello

As far as series finales go, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's was a doozy. We laughed, we cried, we hurled large objects at the TV in utter despair. But darnit if the show's creator, Joss Whedon, didn't leave us wanting more... closure, that is. For example, why of all the Scoobies did Anya (Emma Caulfield) have to die? And what's the deal with Spike (James Marsters), who bit the dust just days after making a date with Angel this fall? For answers to those questions and more, read on...

TV Guide Online: I have a bone to pick with you: When last we spoke, you claimed that "no decision" had been made about bringing Spike over to Angel next season. Then, days later, the WB announced that, well, Spike would be making his way to Angel next season. Why did you lie to me, man?
Joss Whedon: It wasn't until the last minute that it was actually decided that he was going to be a regular on the show. When I spoke to you, a) it was true that we didn't know his status, and b) he was about to die on Buffy, so the less about him being on Angel in the press beforehand, the better.

TVGO: Fair enough. But couldn't the WB hold off on announcing it?
Whedon: There was no f---ing way. They were very excited about James. They have a shiny blond thing to show people, and they're gonna do it.

TVGO: So, how do you plan to resurrect Spike?
Whedon: That's a conversation I'm going to be having with the Angel writers very soon.

TVGO: There's always Shanshu (the ancient prophecy introduced during Angel's first season that says once a soulful vampire fulfills his destiny, he becomes human).
Whedon: It's not quite that simple, although a lot of people have been making reference to that. But that's an interpretation, and ultimately could become the interpretation if we decide to go that way. I have some other ideas. The trick is how to bring him back without losing the integrity of what he did... the sacrifice. If it's just, "Hey, I'm back!" then that whole moment at the end of Buffy is kind of lame now. Like Buffy returning from the dead, it's going to be something that we're going to have to earn and play the ramifications of, possibly without making it so depressing.

TVGO: Will you pair him with a new special someone?
Whedon: I'm still trying to figure out how to bring him back to life. I don't think he's the kind of guy that would be like, "Well, that was a fun time with Buffy... " I don't think he feels a sense of resolve or resolution about the relationship. I think he feels that he was ready to sacrifice himself for her, and it was a beautiful thing, but... it wasn't like he's cured of loving Buffy any more than Angel is.

TVGO: Now that Buffy is free to do whatever she likes, how will you explain why she doesn't make a beeline for Angel?
Whedon: Well, I think I did in the episode. She said very specifically she doesn't want to go and find a boyfriend. She wants to go and find herself spend some time becoming a grown-up and finding out who she is, and then she can stop to find out who fits with that. That was the point of the whole cookie dough speech. Her internal search isn't for a boyfriend, it's for herself. And then if true love fits into that, that would be the best thing ever. But if she instantly went off and attached herself to Angel, she'd be throwing away everything she'd just been given, which is her freedom. It would be the last thing she would do. Well, not the last thing. She wouldn't do it until sweeps.

TVGO: November sweeps?
Whedon: I don't know if necessarily it will be November, but she has stated time and again that she's perfectly willing to come on and make an appearance, assuming schedules work out. Nothing's definite, but it's as sure a shot as one could hope for.

TVGO: Why was Anya marked for death?
Whedon: I wanted to kill somebody, and I wanted to do it brutally and suddenly and never really pay it off. I wanted a death that was a real middle-of-the-battle death the opposite of the Spike death, [which was] perfect, noble. And Emma had made it clear that she really was not interested in coming back. I think things with Fox weren't great and she felt ill-used not by the show. She had a good time making the show, I think. But she was ready to move on. But it was tough [killing her off]. The last shot before we wrapped her was that shot where she gets sliced. And it's very weird to play your death and go, "Okay, I'm done."

TVGO: No one seemed to be too broken up about it.
Whedon: I had a lot to wrap up, so I let Xander (Nicholas Brendon) have a moment of closure about her, just enough to get him to the point where he could rejoin the group for a moment of, well, "We won." You have to get yourself to a good place if you want the show to go out on an uplifting moment, which I did. So I used shorthand.

TVGO: Had you known that Eliza Dushku was going to pass on the spinoff, would you have killed off Faith?
Whedon: No, I doubt it. There's a certain element where the loss becomes unacceptable for a happy ending, and the idea that she's been the primary Slayer behind Buffy, it felt like she should be in that mix.

TVGO: Given Eliza's decision, do you regret not making Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) a Slayer?
Whedon: No, I don't think Dawn was meant to be a Slayer both mythologically and emotionally. Dawn plays a different part than that. I don't think we necessarily got to explore all the aspects of Dawn's character that I would have liked to have, because she kind of got swept up in the larger story. But being a Slayer was never one of them. That's not to say you couldn't build a spinoff around Michelle she's an interesting actress, and the same goes for a lot of the players. But I wouldn't just necessarily take someone and make them a Slayer. I don't think that would really fly.

TVGO: Today is the first day of life after Buffy. How are you holding up?
Whedon: I'm doing just fine, because it's like Day 13 of trying to get my 5-month-old to sleep, so I just go from one problem to the next. (Pauses) Your sense of closure never comes when you think it's going to. It'll happen two weeks from Monday. I'll suddenly go, "Good Lord. My entire life has changed."
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Old 05-23-03, 02:59 PM
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I figured that was the point of Anya's death, and I'm fine with it. I was actually hoping more characters (not the major 4) would go out that way ... quick and without fanfare.

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Old 05-23-03, 03:11 PM
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But why Amanda and not Andrew? Why?
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Old 05-23-03, 03:37 PM
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Haha, Andrew's the only character I didn't want to die. I think most of the characters had a good run on the show and I didn't like any of the characters introduced this season. So I think Andrew has the most potential for character development whether it's on Angel, a movie, or a spinoff.
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Old 05-23-03, 05:19 PM
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On Tuesday the second half is suppose to run and Joss is supposed to answer what's up with Charisma. I've read the reduced role might not have been her decision.
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Old 05-23-03, 06:36 PM
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I like when when writers say, we'll I had to get to the happy ending so I skimped on the real emotion of the situation.
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Old 05-23-03, 10:31 PM
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I just hope Emma can find some better work than crap like Darkness Falls, but I doubt it.
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Old 05-24-03, 12:01 AM
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The future careers of most involved in genre shows are usually very dim, even those with such a vocal cult audience.

For my money, Allyson Hannagan would seem to be the one who would most likely be able to break out.
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Old 05-26-03, 01:45 AM
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Emma had been saying this was her last season since before it started. I knew she was going to die eventually.
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Old 05-26-03, 02:00 AM
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Originally posted by clemente
The future careers of most involved in genre shows are usually very dim, even those with such a vocal cult audience.

For my money, Allyson Hannagan would seem to be the one who would most likely be able to break out.
After Bring it On came out, I thought Eliza was a lock to be a star. But it didn't happen. Emma is a long shot. If she really has ability, she should do something with great material and actors for less money and fire the agent who told her Darkness Falls was something she should read.

Alyson is making bank on American Wedding, but she's no lock either. The Michelle character is really another version of Willow. She doesn't have the Hollywood look and hasn't shown much range and she can't keep playing so much younger as she has, cause age is creeping up on her. I want to root for SMG, but after Freddie, Scooby and all the bad press about her not being nice to the rest of the cast, it's hard. But she was so good as Buffy and not just because I liked the show. She was worthy of an Emmy several times over and I'm not sure anyone else on the show was that good. Sure have been impressed with James Marsters. He always says nice things about the people on the show and the show itself, never seemed to get a big head, and his going over to Angel shows he enjoys doing what he's doing and feels no need to push it. Seth Green won't be a star like Tom Cruise or Hanks, but he'll be a great character and supporting actor for the rest of his life. And congrats to him for getting to work with Charlize. Way to go, Oz! (whenever I say, think, or write Oz, I hear Alyson/Willow's voice)

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Old 05-26-03, 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by madcougar
Emma had been saying this was her last season since before it started. I knew she was going to die eventually.
I remember reading that somewhere too..

Each ep leading to the series finale I was like "here's where Anya leaves..". In fact, I think the brilliant marketing people at UPN came up with a promo that alluded to someone leaving [I think it was one of the last 5 or 6 eps..of course, it was TOTALLY misleading...duh, whodathunkit?].

Imagine my surprise when she made it to the final ep only to be hacked in half because Joss "wanted to kill somebody". What i'm wondering though..he goes on further to explain that "Emma made it clear that she really wasn't interested in coming back." Umm...coming back to what? It was the final ep, right? And if it's a contractual thing..would the death of her character really null/void her contract?
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Old 05-26-03, 02:36 AM
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Originally posted by Rogue588
[BWhat i'm wondering though..he goes on further to explain that "Emma made it clear that she really wasn't interested in coming back." Umm...coming back to what? It was the final ep, right? And if it's a contractual thing..would the death of her character really null/void her contract? [/B]
She had been saying she was done before the decision had been made that this was the last season and I think Joss might have meant any future Buffy projects. If he kills her off now he doesn't have to spend time explaining where Anya is if they do a spinoff or a movie.
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Old 05-26-03, 09:28 AM
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Emma might just have been tired of all the teen-ish shows for good, and wanted to not have the question out there for future Buffy shows (not like they haven't brought people back from the dead before if they really wanted to, though )

She was on 90210, right? Memory is foggy, but I think that is right.
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Old 05-26-03, 11:34 AM
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Actually, I think that Alysson Hannigan has shown some good range for being within the confines of Buffy. Season six, while a weak season overall, really gave her time to shine and several episodes this year did the same.
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Old 05-27-03, 10:10 AM
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Here's the second part of the interview talking about the future of Cordelia

Now that Angelus and Co. have assumed control of Wolfram & Hart on Angel, we suggest they use their new seat of power to solve the show's biggest mystery: What the heck happened to Charisma Carpenter and her alter ego Cordelia? Carpenter a former Buffy cast member who, like David Boreanaz, has been with the show since its inception went off to have a baby last season and hasn't been heard from since. (Cordy remains in a coma on the show.) Making matters more murky, a new Angel cast list makes no mention of the actress. The WB and 20th Century Fox have been cagey about the omission, and numerous attempts to make contact with Carpenter's agent have proven unsuccessful. So, what's a journalist to do? Go straight to the big boss himself, Joss Whedon.


TV Guide Online: Why was Charisma's name removed from next season's cast list?
Joss Whedon: Mainly because we felt like we had taken that story just like Buffy for seven years about as far as it could go. The Angel/Cordelia [love story] had gone pretty much as far as we wanted to take it. Their romance was definitely not a popular move on our part, and I think with most fans. It just seemed like it was time because we were revamping the show, and then paring it down... it just seemed like a good time for certain people to move on. Not completely, obviously. I'm hoping that we'll get Charisma to do some episodes as Cordelia sometime during the year. She's a new mother, so, like Sarah [Michelle Gellar], I'm waiting to hear what her schedule is like. But it just seemed creatively like... I once said that I finally got to tell the story of Buffy that I tried to tell in the movie, and I did it with Cordelia. Which was the story of someone who was completely ditzy and self-involved becoming kind of heroic. But the way the series was different from the movie was that I didn't know where you go from there. So, I felt like we spent seven years playing that very arc, and it had played. Like Buffy itself, it's time to look at something new.

TVGO: Isn't that a disservice to fans who invested all those years in the character and her redemption? It seems an odd thing to do to the show's leading lady.
Whedon: That's a fluctuating concept, the leading lady thing. And it is a little odd. Some choices are ultimately kind of controversial about who stays and who goes and who we focus on. But obviously, we had to have her out of a bunch of episodes toward the end of the year because she was having a baby... so what we had [leading] up to it wasn't a dynamic I wanted to play out that much. The fact is, this is not the end unless Charisma herself says, "You know what? I don't feel like doing any recurring episodes." But when you have an increasingly large ensemble week-by-week, and you come in in your [fifth] year kind of having to revamp the show and trim the budget and also think creatively, "How am I going to service all of these people?," sometimes the people who have been around the longest, you've done the most with them.

TVGO: Some are speculating that she was a casualty of James Marsters's cross over as Spike next season. Like, there wasn't enough money in the budget to pay for them both, so she got the boot.
Whedon: That's a hell of a thing to lay on James. It was a creative decision that we made before Spike came over to the show, and like I said, I don't intend to leave Cordelia in a coma for the rest of the Buffyverse. But the creative decision to have the character step down happened long before negotiations with James [started]. It should not be laid at his feet.

TVGO: Were things left on good terms with Charisma?
Whedon: Yeah, but that's also stuff between us and not stuff that I would talk about in an interview.
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Old 05-27-03, 10:27 AM
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I'll miss Cordy's rack, but that's about it.

They will need to add another female to the cast, or it's going get too male-dominated. Maybe Gwen will come up to fill in and give Gunn and run for his money.
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Old 05-27-03, 10:54 AM
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and you come in in your [fifth] year kind of having to revamp the show and trim the budget
Sounds like the show is going to get worse next year. If they are "revamping" it means they know they jumped the shark already. They already have no interesting characters on it anymore. Spike won't change that because he's been so developed on Buffy already there isn't a lot more to him.
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Old 05-27-03, 02:34 PM
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Okay. On which planet is Cordelia's story done being told? The poor girl was just used as a vessal for the semi-Ultimate not-quite-Evil. I was actually looking forward to seeing her return to form, and some coping with all that had gone on (Maybe moving back to her apartment, since I miss Phantom Dennis.) Cordelia's sole purpose in the story was not to serve as a romantic interest for Angel. The failure of the C/A romance had to do with ME misjudging the audience reactions (Instead of "They make the perfect couple!" a lot of it was "Ew, they're practically brother and sister!"), not with the natural end of the Cordelia arc. Seven years of growth ends with comatose Cordelia? That's not heroic. That's depressing.

Plus, they're bringing in Spike. Spike, for Pete's sake. Who just went up in a blaze of special effects while performing a world-saving completely selfless act. His arc had a resolution. Cordelia's is somewhere out flapping in the wind.

There's pretty obviously some stuff going on that he's not talking about. He doesn't say anything complimentary, at all, about Charisma Carpenter, which is weird, and I don't see how he seriously expects people to buy into the whole "Her story's done being told, really!" thing.
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Old 05-27-03, 08:28 PM
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I don't think anybody does buy it, but that's the way you do thing in the public eye.
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Old 05-28-03, 12:42 AM
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Originally posted by C Roberts
Sounds like the show is going to get worse next year. If they are "revamping" it means they know they jumped the shark already. They already have no interesting characters on it anymore. Spike won't change that because he's been so developed on Buffy already there isn't a lot more to him.
nice of you to write the show off before there series even opens up its 5th year.
I for one like the idea they are setting up for next year and I think Wesley is a fasinating character and the dynamic with Lilah was the one believable romance the show had going for it. Cordy has done little for me since the end of season two and the romance with Angel was forced in the extreme. While I don't think her character arc is done, I'm not feeling a sense of loss if she isn't going to be around every week.
Spike could be interesting. Especially if he comes back as a human.
I think ME knows that the stakes for next season have been raised with Buffy gone and another Buffyverse show at least a year off. Angel is it and I'm willing to bet it is going to be pretty interesting.
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Old 05-28-03, 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by Jlbkwrm
There's pretty obviously some stuff going on that he's not talking about. He doesn't say anything complimentary, at all, about Charisma Carpenter, which is weird, and I don't see how he seriously expects people to buy into the whole "Her story's done being told, really!" thing.
I agree with you. I feel "cheated" with Cordy out of the show.
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Old 05-28-03, 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by C Roberts
Sounds like the show is going to get worse next year. If they are "revamping" it means they know they jumped the shark already. They already have no interesting characters on it anymore. Spike won't change that because he's been so developed on Buffy already there isn't a lot more to him.
Given the way that the fourth season went, trimming the budget and reworking the concept is not a bad idea at all. The main problem with the fourth season was that it was bloated. The show became more about concept than about character. "Hey, we've got a lot of money to work with. Let's send Angel to an alien dimension ruled by crab monsters and have him climb a mountain to a monestary where he can find out Jasmine's true name! And then when he gets back let's stage a big apocalyptic showdown!"

Making the show leaner and tighter will probably be a good thing.
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Old 05-28-03, 05:15 PM
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The show definitely needs an overhaul. Last season was atrocious. So far, next season's looking pretty good. Adding Spike will be awesome. David and James work well off of each other. Losing Cordy doesn't bother me at all. I liked "BtVS Cordy" and "Angel S1 Cordy", but since then, the writers completely screwed up the character imo. I'd rather see her gone then see another incestuous-type scene with her and Angel.

Hopefully Conner's gone for good. And hopefully, hopefully, hopefully Fred's next!

I'd like to see electro girl much more often. And if the writers wanna get all luveyduvey they have her and Gunn to write for. Those two worked well together.
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Old 05-28-03, 06:42 PM
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I personally thought the last two seasons of Angel were better than the last two seasons of Buffy.

That said, I'm not THAT upset about losing Cordy. The Angel/Cordy thing always had a lot of things going against it logically and mythologically with the Buffyverse's history.

I do think Gwen could be interesting, but I'm not sure how Gunn makes sense. I thought the Angel/Gwenn chemistry was pretty good, too.
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Old 05-28-03, 07:17 PM
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I really liked last season. It was the first time I felt like Angel was really a show entirely seperate from Buffy. The story was big, epic, and I actually understood why the characters were in crisis-mode for so long. There was some decent character development for everyone except Cordelia (since she was all possessed), and the show actually advanced new concepts. A lot of this seems to be because the Angel team was pretty much left alone to do whatever they wanted. They could take the story new places, and let it evolve and grow and change as needed, which was cool.

Also, I found Jasmine far more worrying than the First Evil.

My worries for next season come in because it looks like a lot of the leeway is being taken away. Spike isn't coming to the show because the story needs him; he's coming to the show because there was no spinoff to move him to, and the WB thought he'd be good for ratings. The WB will probably want him to be a focal point of the show, and I don't want to see Spike slowly take over another show.

Cordelia isn't leaving because her story is done, she's leaving for shady behind-the-scenes reasons. This is not good storytelling. This is not getting me psyched for a relaunch. This is mostly making me want to see the eventual E! True Story thing.

The writing on this show has been good, and Jeff Bell is still showrunner, so I'm still hopeful for a good fifth season. I'd just really like some news that doesn't revolve around network-forced changes.

At least RRK wasn't invited to join the writing staff.
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