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The Playlist

12 Great & Not-So-Great Debuts From Screenwriters-Turned-Directors

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • June 6, 2013 4:03 PM
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  • 24 Comments
Screenwriters Turned Directors, Best/Worst
“...but what I really want to do is direct,” goes the hoary old Hollywood refrain. Actors, key grips, wardrobe assistants, the odd ambitious caterer -- sometimes it feels like everyone who’s ever stepped on to a movie set dreams, idly or with calculation, of one day calling the shots. Even the clapper loaders, who technically are the ones who call shots. But of all those jealously eyeing the director’s megaphone (metaphorical sadly, they seem to have gone the way of the plus-four as part of the director’s standard kit) perhaps those with the most reason to be covetous are the screenwriters, the hardy souls who turn in 120-page draft after draft, only to have their baby wrested from their grasp and dressed up, maybe brilliantly but often not, in clothes they might not have chosen themselves.

Review: Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • June 5, 2013 7:35 PM
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  • 4 Comments
How does one follow the biggest superhero film in box office history? Perhaps a better way to phrase it is, how does the man behind some of the most beloved cult TV series and characters in recent pop history follow the biggest superhero film in box office history? If we're talking about the much-loved Joss Whedon – who else? – you decamp to your home, grab a camera, invite over your friends, and create a delightful, DIY, modern-day black-and-white adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Duh.

Joss Whedon Says Without Robert Downey Jr., He Won't Make 'The Avengers 2'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 5, 2013 4:36 PM
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  • 20 Comments
It was about a month ago when something a little bit ugly came out from behind the smiling, mega-successful Marvel -- their talent wasn't quite happy. Specifically, the talent they need for "The Avengers 2" was beginning to bite. With Robert Downey Jr.'s contract up for Marvel, and news that he bagged a cool $50 million from "The Avengers" thanks to a nice little back-end arrangement, the cast members on the superhero sequel have begun to ask for more than the peanuts Marvel usually shells out. What's more, RDJ is supporting his colleagues in getting what's owed to them. And while Kevin Feige has suggested other actors could carry the Iron Man torch, Whedon is not convinced.

From 'Avengers' To Shakespeare: If Joss Whedon Can Do It All, 5 Film Projects We'd Love To See Him Tackle

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • June 4, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Infamously, writer/director Joss Whedon, who had recently been saddled with the task of bringing the Marvel Universe's crown jewel "The Avengers" to cinematic life, took a two-week vacation from editing that monstrous movie and spent it cheaply shooting an adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing," filmed entirely in his Los Angeles home with a bunch of his showbiz friends. What's so shocking, is that for a no-budget black-and-white movie that nobody even knew existed until it was finished, "Much Ado About Nothing" is just as entertaining as "The Avengers" was in a completely different way. Both feel very much like Whedon applying his specific skill set to a preexisting property and coming away with something that's identifiably Whedon-esque but also true to the original material. It got us thinking about other things we'd like to see Whedon tackle.

Discuss: Can Marvel Keep Lowballing Their Actors? 'The Avengers 2' Negotiations Get Heated

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 7, 2013 6:36 PM
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  • 14 Comments
The Avengers
As Marvel enters Phase Two of their cinematic universe, their business universe is also getting a bit of a shake up. No one could have really predicted that Phase One would end with the billion dollar earning "The Avengers," and that really changed the game. Wisely, Robert Downey Jr. had negotiated a deal for a cut of the profits which saw him pocket a cool $50 million. Not bad, right? Well, now imagine you're one of the actors that only got $200,000 for the movie. As you might guess, that is causing some serious friction as Marvel tries to lock everyone in for "The Avengers 2."

Quicksilver & The Scarlet Witch Confirmed For 'The Avengers 2' (For Now)

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 1, 2013 8:09 PM
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  • 2 Comments
So, remember just over a week ago when Joss Whedon not-so-subtly teased that his script for "The Avengers 2" script contained, "two of my favorite characters from the comic book, a brother/sister act"? While he didn't come right out and say it, speculation centered on Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch -- sibling twin superheroes -- that thanks to complicated rights issues, are able to be used by both Marvel and 20th Century Fox. And it looks like the guesswork was spot on.

How Marvel's Movie Risks Paid Off & How The Studio System Could Stand To Pay Attention To Them

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 1, 2013 11:00 AM
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  • 39 Comments
Marvel RIsks, feature
In Steven Soderbergh's state of cinema address earlier this week, he remarked that, "Art is a very elegant problem solving model." He went on to describe his ideal model for a studio: "I think if I were going to run a studio I’d just be gathering the best filmmakers I could find and sort of let them do their thing within certain economic parameters." Now, the point of his impassioned address, which included such other applicable witticisms as "it's about horses, not races," is about what the studios should be doing versus what they are doing. But there is a studio that has followed his exact advice and it's not one you would expect: it's Marvel Studios.

Coulson Lives In Lamest Way Possible In 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 29, 2013 2:50 PM
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  • 17 Comments
There's been a lot of speculation as to how Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) would be brought back for the new ABC series set within the Marvel Universe, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." The series, which is being spearheaded by "Avengers" director Joss Whedon, but has yet to get an official green light from the network, would revive the Coulson character, last seen with a giant fucking spear through his chest in "The Avengers," and focus on the super-spy organization he works for. Well, details on how he will be resurrected have been revealed (supposedly) and a spoiler warning should be issued, along with a "prepared to be incredibly disappointed" warning.

Is Joss Whedon Teasing Quicksilver & The Scarlet Witch For 'The Avengers 2'?

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 25, 2013 1:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments
In case you missed the news earlier this week, Marvel has officially secured the rights to Daredevil after they lapsed at Fox, and with Phase Two now mapped out, could they be ready to unleash a whole new host of characters? We're mostly getting sequels for the next couple of years starting with "Iron Man 3," but the forthcoming "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." series and "Guardians of the Galaxy" certainly opens up the doors to see what other Marvel-verse characters can come out to play, and Joss Whedon is already teasing some new faces that might be appearing.

Watch: New U.K. Trailer For Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 24, 2013 3:14 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Joss Whedon's reputation is largely staked on his genre stuff from "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" to "Firefly" to, of course, "The Avengers" and his continued work in the Marvel universe. But it seems he's eager to prove he can do more than tell the stories of superheroes and the supernatural, and so he got some friends together and literally shot a movie in his backyard. The result? "Much Ado About Nothing."

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