At SXSW this week promoting his horror-comedy film The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon dropped the obligatory hints as to the timeframe of his sequel to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. The follow-up to his smash internet musical has basically been in development since the original went live online in 2008, but each time Whedon and stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day don’t have more than platitudes to share, with an eye to a nearly unattainable future date.
But there was something different about what Whedon said earlier this week. Everything’s more certain and concrete, even if we still have to wait a while. As opposed to prior updates where he assured us that he and Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon had some songs sketched out, now there’s a bonafide outline. Plus, he wants to start working on it this summer! Here’s what he said:
“We’re stuck, basically, at this one part in the process. All of us are looking at this summer as the time when we can go, ‘Hey, you know what? We’ve got a little free time, let’s get unstuck.’ Neil has been like, ‘How long?’ We’re all sort of just waiting, but the waiting will stop.”
Ironically, it was a wealth of free time, brought on by the 2007-08 writers’ strike, that led Whedon and co. to create and shoot Dr. Horrible in a matter of weeks. The musical’s success obviously influenced Whedon’s next television deal Dollhouse, though that ultimately fell through after two seasons. There was a bit of a lull, and then suddenly we learned that he was writing and directing the hugest superhero movie of the decade, The Avengers.
I have to believe that in some counterintuitive way, Whedon being up to his ears in new projects — including The Cabin in the Woods and Much Ado About Nothing, another self-financed film made during what normal people call “breaks” — is what got him reinvigorated with Dr. Horrible. What he said seems to match my guess:
“We are hard on it. It’s been a really tough year — couple of years — partially, I’m happy to say, because of work.”
Without hesitation, the fans are behind Whedon and can’t wait to see the Dr. Horrible sequel in whatever form it takes.