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Joss Whedon's 'Dollhouse' w/ Eliza Dushku on FOX - Page 2

post #31 of 2557
Thread Starter 
Joss interview:

From Eonline.com - By Webmaster - 2007-11-1
Joss Whedon - "Dollhouse" Tv Series - Eonline.com Interview
Dollhouse

So, first of all, congratulations!! I’m freaking out. And thanks for thinking of me for this news.

You’re welcome, and thank you. I remember last time I saw you on the Office set, you said, "Come back to TV." So, it was all you. That’s what caused it, so...

Ha! Well, thank you for doing this for me.

Yes, that’s going to be the poster: "Dollhouse: It’s for Kristin."

I love that you are reuniting with Ms. Eliza Dushku.

I know. How ’bout that?

Can you tell me how this all came about?

Through a rather time-honored tradition called "lunch." Eliza had her deal with Fox, and we went to lunch, as we sometimes do, to talk about her career and what her next step should be. Like, do I know writers, and what was the best way to protect herself, and what type of show. Eliza and I do this sometimes, because she’s a friend and a great talent, and that’s easily misused. She was trying to protect herself, and I was trying to get a free lunch. In the middle of lunch, I came up with the idea of this show and the title by accident.

Tell me this isn’t that easy for you...that it just came to you in between bites.

I went to the bathroom and came back and said, "I figured it out." So, there it is. It took longer than between bites. It came so organically through our conversation, and what I know she is capable of, and what she was talking about and what people were expecting of her. It just kinda happened, and when it happens like that and it has a title. That’s a big deal—if it has a title, you can’t just turn your back on it. So, I told her, and she freaked out, and I told her I was busy with these films I am trying to set up, but Fox is interested, and Fox said let’s do seven episodes instead of a pilot, and here I am.

So, you have a seven-episode commitment?

Yeah.

In your own words, how would you describe Dollhouse?

The idea is those with the money or connections can access this secret highly illegal facility where they can basically fulfill their greatest fantasies. Most people assume that means sex—and on an occasion it does, because that is a lot of people’s fantasies—but it’s basically scenarios. They can basically reenact scenarios of romance, adventure or anything perfectly, because they become the person that you want them to be—they become that person. They don’t act like that person, they are not a robot pretending, they become that person, and then they forget all about it. The problem is the character of Echo, Eliza Dushku’s character, stops forgetting. She doesn’t completely remember, but she does realize she is a person, and that she might have been a person before she did this, and she doesn’t know what that is.

Do you feel like this is a very different role for Eliza, or are there some commonalities with her Buffy or Tru Calling roles?

Every now and then she will be called upon to kick ass because one of the many personalities she can get downloaded with is sort of a Femme Nikita—she can be the best of whatever she does, and that includes sweat work—and whatever she is hired for and she isn’t harmed, and the company isn’t exposed, they don’t really care what it is. Some of her jobs are sweet and uplifting, but yeah, sometimes she’ll be a sweet girl, others she will be that down-home Eliza thing—go Sox—and sometimes she will be completely elegant, completely naive, completely helpless. She could be a neuroscientist, she could be ballroom dancing, she could be doing absolutely anything.

The thing about Eliza is that she has a lot of colors to play like most good actresses, but Eliza has kinda gotten pigeonholed. I see those big eyes, and I see the innocence they can play, the decency that is in them and the way that we can refer, and that isn’t just hey, I’m the tough girl. There’s much more there.

Why the decision to return to television now? Do you feel like you are finally ready to dig back in?

I have to say, when they told me seven, part of me was like tired, scared...basically because I haven’t been in that world, and I have children, and I don’t like to not be around them, which is problematic. But the fact is, it was also somebody saying we trust that you can tell this story, and we love this story, so go and tell it. That’s a damn boat of confidence. That’s a grown-up license fee, it was a big commitment, and they weren’t afraid at any point. My experience with the movies hasn’t gone quite as well. It isn’t terrible to hear yes, instead of the other thing.

In terms of TV, I have tried to be very clear that there’s nothing about TV that I don’t love. I mean, I’ve always loved movies, and I still want to make movies—movies are cool, but TV has things that movies never have. The ability to really just delve into something and take it apart endlessly, which I adore. It’s very organic.

I went home to my wife, and we’ve been talking about doing lower-budget movies and not being beholden by these tent-pole things that I couldn’t get off the ground, and I said, "Honey, I accidentally created this Fox show," and she said great. She completely got it because it was completely organic. It was the next thing—you couldn’t deny it. When an idea comes that fast and that fully, you don’t ever say no.

The bathroom trip that changed Joss Whedon’s life.

[Laughs.] I hate to say it, but occasionally there have been some inspirational bathroom trips. Or if I am at a restaurant with the writers, and they go, and when they come back and have figured it out. I think it’s just getting a moment to yourself. Though, we have to stress it’s not the act of going to the bathroom...that’s not good! That’s not what it is.

I wanted to ask about the timing of this. This is being announced a day or two before the writers’ strike. How will this affect the show?

All of this happened before the strike. They had to make my deal, and you can’t say anything until the deal is done. Eliza has been sitting on this for a month, and it all happened in a week. We had lunch, and a few days later I wrote a treatment, and then I wrote an episode guide, a pilot outline and even a poster. I Photoshopped a poster one night. A couple days after that I went to Fox, and a couple days later they gave us the seven. Eliza and I were dying to get onto the Internet or do something, and everyone was like, there’s no deal yet so you can’t say anything. So...now, when they finally close the deal, there is no more writing involved.

Wait, what? You mean all seven scripts have been written?

No, no—are you kidding? I didn’t spend that much time in the bathroom. All seven scripts have been pitched, all stories have been pitched.

So, if the strike were to take place, it would delay the project...

This would delay everything. This is certainly no exception to anything. The strike has to happen. I wish it didn’t, but it has to, and it has to go on for as long as it has to. When that is done, this will start and a few months after that, we will be filming. If there were no strike, we would be looking at something like February.

So, you support the strike?

I will be busy picketing. I support the guild, and I think what we are doing is unfortunate, but necessary. And that means I don’t get to have my fun, but that isn’t the point. It is classic for me, by the way, to be going, "Yes! New show! With Eliza!" But...Strike.

This will give your fans a light at the end of the tunnel in the event of a strike.

If they feel they are getting comfortable with their routine of reality television, let them know about this. It’s going to be really cool. It is freaking nuts to be doing a show with Eliza, but it just feels great.

Do you think any Buffy people might come on the show, or do you think you are going to try to separate?

I think it’s important to separate, but if you have somebody who can do the job, that is the person you should hire. When it comes to the first flush, I think it’s important to be a step forward, and not a reunion. We aren’t playing games. I never rule anybody out, but my first instinct is to try out new people because it is me and Eliza.

I have to tell you this is like Christmas for Buffy fans. They have been waiting for you to come back to television—so, we have this news tonight, and we have your Office episode tomorrow night...it’s like this perfect storm of a Whedonverse holiday.

If it was six more things, it would be Hanukkah. I’ll work on that.
post #32 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

I'm placing the over/under at Episode 3 for the first episode that she gets the "promiscuous hot chick with a taste for skimpy clothes" personality.

Hahaha!

*fingers crossed*
post #33 of 2557
Am I the only person who finds that some of this repeats themes that were probably going to be explored in the broader River Tam story arc from Firefly had it survived into a season two and three? Maybe even part of the utterly unexplored Inara story arc.

I certainly hope it does, because the alternative is that Whedon has surrendered and is giving in to the type of exploitation he so roundly condemns all the time.

Also, can't someone convince Whedon to get Tim Minear away from him? Minear has a looong history of dead shows. Decent enough writer and show runner, but Minear really just can't shake the bad vibes.

I cannot believe that Minear, even more than Whedon, is coming back to Fox after Drive was pretty much thrown under the bus after a few episodes. Drive wasn't a great show, but for the amount of hoopla Fox churned out, one might have thought Drive could have made it to eight episodes or so.

We'll see. I'm not hedging my bets, especially with Fox on board.
post #34 of 2557
Brad Penny? Geesh, I gotta start watching more E!
post #35 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeowMeow View Post

Also, can't someone convince Whedon to get Tim Minear away from him? Minear has a looong history of dead shows. Decent enough writer and show runner, but Minear really just can't shake the bad vibes.

Whedon & Minear & Fox. What could possibly go wrong?
post #36 of 2557
Hmmm, Whedons comments add some depth to the show. I thought it was some sort of Alias/Bionic Woman deal where the "echo" is used as some sort of deep cover operative. If it is more of a "act out your fantasies" show then I can see it hitting lots of themes such as loss, regret, love, and anger in more direct ways than Whedons usual subtle touch (i.e. buried under sarcastic humor and flying stuntmen).

I can plots where a man uses Echo to apologize for a rape, a kid wants to spend time with his dead mother, and maybe even terrorists who need a killed scientist to finish their master plan I guess it depends on how they play off the memory thing (I bet it involves a Clockwork Orange style forced video montage viewing!) and how much behind the scenes stuff they show.

Whedon is typically action oriented, but this could be more along the lines of Quantam Leap/Touched by an Angel in themes (the more classic "help a stranger every week" shows I can remember) than A-team or Buffy.

At any rate, should be a chance for Elisa to showcase her acting skills. Hopefully she is paired with some good character actors.
post #37 of 2557
Fox does tend to cancel anything interesting but I am still very much looking forward to the first (half?) season of this show.

- Tom (very much an Eliza fan)
post #38 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregF View Post

Sorry, Mr Whedon is not allowed to do any new projects unless and until he makes a Wonder Woman movie that doesn't suck!

Whedon was dropped from the Wonder Woman project. The studio is "going in another direction".
post #39 of 2557
Thread Starter 
the Wonder Woman movie is on indefinite hold now, we'll next see WW onscreen in the JLA movie, due to start filming fairly soon.
post #40 of 2557
I will look forward to this...but Fox can't do anything right, from news to some great shows they've cancelled early.
To bad Fox is in control of this show, it could spell an early doom for what might be a great show that's just to smart for Fox.
post #41 of 2557
I'm an eternal optimist, so I believe Fox will promote and program this show well, and it will be a huge hit. Oh, who am I kidding, you're right, look at the folks involved with the show, and their Fox track records, Joss Whedon's "Firefly", Eliza Dushku's "Tru Calling" and Tim Minear's "Drive" and "Wonderfalls." (At least, I think he worked on Wonderfalls, I could be wrong about that, I know it was really Bryan Fuller's baby.)

EDIT: Okay, just jumped over to IMDB, Tim Minear also exec-produced two more failed Fox shows "The Inside" and "Standoff"
post #42 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyF View Post

I'm an eternal optimist, so I believe Fox will promote and program this show well, and it will be a huge hit. Oh, who am I kidding, you're right, look at the folks involved with the show, and their Fox track records, Joss Whedon's "Firefly", Eliza Dushku's "Tru Calling" and Tim Minear's "Drive" and "Wonderfalls." (At least, I think he worked on Wonderfalls, I could be wrong about that, I know it was really Bryan Fuller's baby.)

EDIT: Okay, just jumped over to IMDB, Tim Minear also exec-produced two more failed Fox shows "The Inside" and "Standoff"

Yeah, but none of them had anything to do with "Vivi Laughlin", "Emily's Reasons Why Not" or "The Chevy Chase Show" so they're still a bit ahead of the curve...
post #43 of 2557
Now that the writer's strike is over, does anyone know when Dollhouse will premiere?
post #44 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by R11 View Post

Hmm, this sounds like an interesting premise for a show but one thing I wonder about. Generally people like to follow shows because they get to know the characters and become vested in them. If the lead character is essentially a "different" person every week (or for each story line anyway), it would seem to take that away from them. Will be interesting to see how they work around that.


ron

easy flahsbacks or cuts to side plots involving people who know about her but obviously won't reveal too much all at one.

this has me excited.
post #45 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywoodjoe View Post

Now that the writer's strike is over, does anyone know when Dollhouse will premiere?

TV Guide's Michael Ausiello addressed this question in his latest column:
Question: So now that the strike is over, what's the status of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse? Spill! Jen
Ausiello: The status is Joss is pounding out a pilot script at this very moment. Barring any major hiccups, the show could be on the air as early as fall.
post #46 of 2557
If Sarah Connor tanks, they can hopefully add Summer Glau to this show. She and Eliza would be great together.
post #47 of 2557
Joss, Eliza...high hopes.

Fox...hopes tempered.
post #48 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Lococco View Post

the Wonder Woman movie is on indefinite hold now, we'll next see WW onscreen in the JLA movie, due to start filming fairly soon.

JLA was indefintely put on hold due to the WGA strike and all the cast was let go so it will be a while.
post #49 of 2557
all I needed to read was Eliza Dushku. I'd watch her paint a wall in HD.
post #50 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by chad473 View Post

all I needed to read was Eliza Dushku. I'd watch her paint a wall in HD.

Go watch "after the sunset" Salma Hayek paints a deck in overalls. Amazing.
post #51 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalnoise View Post

Go watch "after the sunset" Salma Hayek paints a deck in overalls. Amazing.

Just overalls? That would be amazing!
post #52 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalnoise View Post

Go watch "after the sunset" Salma Hayek paints a deck in overalls. Amazing.

Why would a deck be wearing overalls? And what was Salma wearing?
post #53 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Just overalls? That would be amazing!

the movie is full of beauty shots of salma but no frontal nudity for that go watch frida.
post #54 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalnoise View Post

the movie is full of beauty shots of salma but no frontal nudity for that go watch frida.

Or 'Desperado'.
post #55 of 2557
She played Satanico Pandemonium in From Dusk 'Till Dawn and her dance number was rather stimulating.
post #56 of 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalnoise View Post

the movie is full of beauty shots of salma but no frontal nudity for that go watch frida.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Or 'Desperado'.

I thought the only nude scene (where any naughty bits were actually exposed) she had done was in "Ask the Dust". But those two flicks as well, huh? Good to know.
post #57 of 2557
new trailer for the show:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=GqkPGZpkBws
I think the submitter added some titles because the opening looks really bad production wise but there is a lot of authentic footage there.

there was a full scene posted on friday but the server hosting it went down(i'll try ad find a mirror). Fox also annouced that this show along with jj Abrams new series "fringe" will have only 5 minutes of paid commercials when they air. They haven't said if that means more actual show content or what.
post #58 of 2557
looks good, but again...if fox's is expecting 10 million viewers per episode, this will be gone after the initial order. If this were on CBS it would have a better shot of commanding more viewers - People just don't take Fox seriously because of all their reality crap
post #59 of 2557
FOX had the number one new drama this past season (Sara Conners) and HOUSE is a top ten show as well. FOX is doing just fine and CBS viewers are out of the demographic for Dollhouse.
post #60 of 2557
Actually Fox management has said it will add six to eight minutes of programming to each episode.

One reason Fox is leaving commercials out is to increase the amount of program material. The other major reason is to make the remaining commercials stand out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalnoise View Post

...Fox also annouced that this show along with jj Abrams new series "fringe" will have only 5 minutes of paid commercials when they air. They haven't said if that means more actual show content or what.
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