Grateful Avengers Director Joss Whedon Still Remembers the Little Peeps

Somehow, despite the massive worldwide success of The Avengers — it’s at $702 million right now, although that sum doesn’t take into consideration the fact that I might go see it three more times tonight — director/nerd-hero Joss Whedon remains not a jerk. How do we know? Because he posted a roundly endearing message to his longtime fans on his website (found via THR), addressed to all the diehards who elevated Buffy to “classic TV” status through their constant sponsorship, and suffered through the early cancellations of Firefly and Dollhouse, and even sat through that one episode of Glee he directed. The gist: Joss Whedon knows how weird it is that Joss Whedon has now directed an all-time box office smash, and Joss Whedon promises that all that money will not change Joss Whedon. As the man says, “If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here.” And then again: “For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.”

Here’s a big chunk of it. Head over to Whedonesque.com to read the rest:

Dear Friends,

Well, it’s been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can’t wait! But before I become blinded by this “emotion” experience, there’s a few things I’d like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good — change is exciting. I think — not to jinx it — that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of “the Avengers” gross, I can afford to buy … [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] … a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of “Air Bud” that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn’t change is anything that matters. What doesn’t change is that I’ve had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of — I’m not even gonna say fans. I’m going with “peeps” — that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I’ve had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y’all. A lot of stories have come out about my “dark years,” and how I’m “unrecognized” … I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I’m ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I’ve yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I’ve thought, “maybe I’m over; maybe I’ve said my piece”. But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y’all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you’re probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I’m an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You’ve taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow.

Can it really last? Can Whedon stay this grounded even as Avengers mints ever more sweet, sweet cash? Sure, yeah, why not — although we’ll be monitoring the situation just in case. As soon as Joss steps even one foot on the grounds of a Maserati dealership, we will let you know.

Filed Under: Joss Whedon, The Avengers

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Amos Barshad has written for New York magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ AmosBarshad