Joss Whedon On Parting From Marvel Studios: ‘We Can Still Be Friends’

The Marvel universe is about to change in a drastic way. Joss Whedon has had a big impact on Marvel in the past few years, molding comic book legends into live-action superheroes that have thrilled millions of fans. Sadly, that is to be no more. Whedon’s departure has left many wondering why he’s so willing to abandon his relationship with Marvel Studios when it would seem to have been as beneficial to him as it was for Marvel. Joss has taken the time to provide a thorough answer during a Q&A with the Oxford Union.

Joss Whedon Was Seduced By The Dark Side Of Marvel

Joss says that his relationship with the studio was difficult to manage because he often felt used and put in an unsavory position. While he might have taken objection long ago, the Avengers: Age of Ultron director says he was seduced by the thrill of making the comic book adaptations. He adds that had Marvel given more consideration to his opinions, he might not have resigned, even though the workload of managing so many franchises was, in itself, overwhelming.

“I was a script doctor for a long time, and the part where they listen to you was very rare; so it was very important for my own self to go ‘we can still be friends,’ but…”

Joss admits that bringing these specific characters to life and being able to put his own unique spin on their stories has been something that really motivated him to stay with Marvel. Having free reign and a valued opinion is important to everyone, so it’s easy to see why Mr. Whedon has been frustrated with the studio in the recent past. Many of his fans would add that Joss Whedon hardly needs Marvel, or any one studio, to create compelling films or television.

In the beginning, Joss says Marvel handed him hundreds of millions of dollars to indulge his talents and bring their films to life. He understands how truly fortunate he’s been, but he says that kind of success can also be incredibly limiting.

“At the same time, it’s important for me not just to have my own thing and do something smaller, but also to create a new challenge for myself because I will start to repeat myself.”

Joss Whedon Had Proven His Creative Genius Long Before Marvel Came Along

good morning! what time is it at yours? 8am here {#buffythevampireslayer}

A photo posted by Buffy the Vampire Slayer (@buffythevampireslayer) on

Whedon is more than a success. To many, he’s a living legend, and that kind of hero worship reaches far beyond the Marvel universe, stemming from his ingenious contributions to television and film. He started out writing episodes for the sitcoms Roseanna (1988) and Parenthood (1990) before moving on to pen his first feature films, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and Toy Story (1995).

Mr. Whedon is perhaps best known for the short-lived Firefly (2002) and the long-running 1997 television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Additionally, Joss created a successful spinoff, Angel (1999), which fans of the Buffy universe equally adore. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe has become a beast of its own, inspiring comic book series for both Buffy and Angel, as well as fan fiction and fan video edits, which have essentially created unique new stories in themselves.

It wasn’t until those successful franchises ended their television runs that Marvel drew Joss in with the promise of riches and free-reign creativity, a promise that proved partly false and entirely too controlling. Now, free of his obligations to Marvel, it will be interesting to see what new projects Mr. Whedon tackles next. Could there be a Buffy or Firefly reboot or return in the future? Or something entirely new, but just as addicting?

[Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images]