Dark Horse Comics introduced Joss Whedon to the crowd. Joss joked that it was his first time and to be gentle. He announced that he has been working on Cabin in the Woods and that it was almost ready for production. Joss also, of course, mentioned his new TV show, Dollhouse and that he would talk about that at Saturday’s panel. Now, it was time to introduce the rest of the panel starting with his family, brothers, Jed and Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen (Jed’s fiance) and then his extended family, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, and new family members, Neil Patrick Harris, and Simon Helberg.
As the panel sat down the fans lined up for the Q&A. The first question had to do with James Marsters going to Torchwood with the suggestion that Joss team up for a Torchwood version of "Once More With Feeling." Joss commented that Torchwood is doing just fine without him, even though they "stole his James". He thought a Torchwood musical would be great.
The next fan asked if Joss is ever tempted to write a happy ending, Joss jokingly replies how do we know he didn’t have one (happy ending). Felicia commented that she thought the ending was awesome, that she was glad to do it and that she got to die with her eyes open. She was glad to be the sacrificial girl.
The third fan announced that her 18th birthday was coming up and that she had been told her brain was deteriorating and wanted to know what you do to be happy when you are devastated. Nathan joked that when his brain is deteriating he feels pretty happy! He said that you have to take the bitter with the sweet and went into a whole list of coined phrases. Joss took a more serious approach and said that he would take comfort in the people around him and the stories that he loved.
Next, Whedonopolis’ fearless leader, Marsia Powers, reminded the crowd of our upcoming screening of "Once More with Feeling" on Sunday. Her question concerned the fact that Dr. Horrible was out of costume in his final scene and wondered why that was. Neil answered that it has multiple interpretations and that Billy having succeeded in all his tasks felt gutted and empty, the harsh reality of what took place had settled in. Nathan then added that while Dr. Horrible got want he wanted, Billy lost everything.
The next fan wanted to know that if Fox Studios would allow webisodes set in the "verse" would any of the actors be willing. Joss looked at Nathan and told him that he would actually make more than he did with Dr. Horrible. Nathan stated that Joss had already killed off all the guys he didn’t like working with and the crowd roared.
The panel was asked their most memorable moments in the "Jossverse". Joss and Nathan jokingly asked Simon for his memory, noting the fact that he has only had one role, so his answer was the role of "Moist." Nathan answered that the last thing he did was usually his most memorable and that "the hammer is his penis" and slowly stood up as the crowd roared. Neil Patrick Harris commented that learning the song "Brand New Day" was tough. He learned it by listening to his iPod for six hours and demonstrated for the crowd how he messed up the lyrics over and over again ending with expletives. He later apologized for his profanities.
When it was Felicia’s turn to answer, she said she had forgotten the question because she was "twittering". Many hilarious comments followed from the panel, implying that "twittering" referred to something else, prompting her to keep her hands visible on the table. Felicia then answered that the scene at the homeless shelter when she was singing was her most memorable. She had a great pair of shoes on and she kept falling off of them. Joss joked that they just thought she was drunk. Maurissa said that her favorite memory was watching Joss act out Captain Hammer on the Universal backlot and joked that she has it on tape. NPH then described how hard it was to film the scene of him as a giant. He had to move in slow motion while singing at a fast speed like a chipmunk…..it was painful!
Joss was then asked about his favorite death scene. He answered that it was the death of Joyce Summers (actress Katherine Sutherland, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Another fan suggested that a future season of Dr. Horrible should be filmed in the orient. Joss stated that they never talked about an overseas location, but have definitely talked about another webisode!
Another fan commented that all of Joss’ shows get canceled. Joss then joked about the length of some of his successful shows and how he learned to do just one show at a time, like with Firefly. But now there is the INTERNET!! Joss is an "advocate of evolution of a revolution" but that he is thankful for working with the studios and will continue to work with them.
A little boy asked on behalf of his mom, who wanted to know whose idea it was to do the shoulder dance. NPH had been trying to do an MTV cribs style video blog as a gag for outtakes, but the takes were so good they used them.
Nathan and Joss continued to joke about the "hammer" and added that Groupie #1 (Maurissa) would have a larger role in the next webisode.
The next fan asked if it was supposed to be Xander (actor Nicholas Brendan, BtVS) that was to be outed instead of Willow. Joss said there was never a plan to out Xander. Willow was in college and with the sudden exit of Oz, it was thought she should experiment. Her experimenting turned into a beautiful romance.
Joss was asked if there was anything he does not like done during the screenings of "Once More with feeling". He answered that he does not like the "Shut up Dawn" comments, he thinks it is mean. He does like the poppers used during "Under Your Spell."
The writers were then asked if the music was something that was burning inside their souls. After they had heard the first song, they started plugging away and tried to match different melodies to different people. The last song was thought to be harsh to a lot of people but it was written from
an emotional place when something bad happens. Joss felt it was a torturous joy.
The panel was asked as to their favorite musicals. Joss answered that his favorite was "Sweeney Todd." Felicia enjoys "Into the Woods" and for Nathan it was "Little Shop of Horrors." NPH enjoys "Les Miserable" and "Rent."
As the Q&A came to an end, Joss added that they are working on the DVD and will soon announce a contest concerning it. Nathan mentioned that his friend did the design for the remote control on the iPhone that Dr. Horrible used — which you can find here — and demonstrated it for the crowd.
Joss pronounced that the time was over and thanked everyone. We hope to see him again next year!