The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a cult following so powerful that it has helped him sign a major movie deal. Adele Hartley talks to JOSS WHEDON.

've just woken CX-RUM’tUl/It’ staff writer Joss

Whedon as he recuperates the morning after

knee surgery. to talk about his featttre directorial debut .S'erenitv. which will screen at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. 1 have the best timing.

[may the Vampire Slayer. which became a seven-season TV series. started life as Whedon's first movie script when Buffy was Kristy Swanson. the ditn valley girl whose destiny lay as the Slayer. Protected by Donald Sutherland. she survives a luscious Rutger llauer as Lothos and his sidekick. Paul Reubens. eventually riding off into the sunset with a not-ugly Luke Perry.

The series chronicles Buffy and her band of merry chums as they foil a succession of demons trying to suck denial-blinded folk from the Midwestern town of Sunnydale into the Hellmouth. And they would have got away with it if it hadn‘t been for those pesky kids.

And pesky kids is what Whedon does best. creating environments in which even the tnost implausible characters evolve. From teeny ginger werewolves to unstable telepaths. his work on Bally has attracted devotees who have taken as their champion a man who is the patron


lady-'1 "ossible


saint of anyone ever picked last for sport.

As well as adding his writing talents to the disparate likes of Titan xiii. 'Iirv Story and the doubtless well intentioned but totally contrived Alien: Resarreetimt. he created a Bally spin-off. Angel and later Firefly. which got vaporised alter 12 episodes.

Strangely. fans of Whedon's shows mostly seem nice and stable. valuing strong story-and- charactcr-driven telly. It seems unlikely they will ever turn out like 'l‘rekkies. dressing in Federation unifortn and studying Klingon. which is even a (ioogle language option. Instead. Whedon receives as tnuch if not more adulation than his creations. (‘learly uncomfortable. he tries to laugh it off. commenting that ‘it‘s nice for a writer to be in the spotlight - unusual. but very welcome‘. It‘s a typically modest response. bttt curious newcomers wanting to gattge the extent of this idolatry can visit the likes of whedonesque.com and risk total immersion in the Whedonverse.

He acknowledges that his visibility and accessibility are major contributing factors to the

38 THE LIST FESTIVAL MAGAZINE 1e, 1/5, Ant; eats.