The event, sponsored by Entertainment Weekly, isn’t really a first meeting between the two. They have worked under the same network, the WB. J.J. had Felicity while Joss had Buffy and Angel. Still, they said they look at their jobs differently.
Joss calls himself a storyteller while J.J. says he’s more of a magician who gets excitement from showing his audience illusions.
To no one’s surprise, Joss officially announced he would direct the upcoming Avengers movie. He was later part of that panel on Saturday, where he introduced the cast.
J.J. later recounted how he and Matt Reeves were asked by Kathleen Kennedy, then assistant to Steven Spielberg, to restore some of his Super 8 movies from his early days. They were stunned, but did the job. J.J. also wondered why Spielberg didn’t use resources from Universal. Still, he and Matt were paid 300 dollars. J.J. briefly considered stealing a frame from those movies, but did not.
The two men also discussed the new wave of 3-D movies. Joss was all for it, although J.J. wasn’t as sure, because the picture isn’t as bright as in a regular movie. Joss later said that Cabin in the Woods is still in limbo due to MGM’s financial problems. He hopes it will be released in 3-D soon. A sequel to Dr. Horrible, meanwhile, is in turnaround, as he put it.
They also talked about whether TV is turning away from shows that have long-term plots, such as Lost. J.J. thinks the networks still want those shows, even if they seem to prefer procedurals or other shows easy to repeat. He says his new spy show, Undercovers, looks like a procedural, but there is still an underlying, longer story.
Getting back to the Avengers movie, a fan asked Joss how he will try to combine the story comic book fans know by heart with his own voice. Joss says he relies on his skills as a script doctor to do that, and combine this group of super-heroes into a “family”.
Joss also admitted that he has been obsessed with the Star Trek movie J.J. directed. J.J. shed a tear about that.
Fans of both Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams really enjoyed this rare joint appearance, and look forward to what they have in store in the future.