Joss Whedon's unrealized projects

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The following is a list of unproduced Joss Whedon projects in roughly chronological order. During his long career, American film director Joss Whedon has worked on a number of projects which never progressed beyond the pre-production stage under his direction. Some of these projects, are officially cancelled or fell in development hell.

Many of Whedon's unrealized projects were cancelled spin-offs of Whedon's hit show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so to see a complete list of these, go to Undeveloped Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoffs.



On June 25, 1993, Variety reported that Whedon had sold to Largo Entertainment a spec script entitled Suspension for $750.000, with and additional $250.000 if production had commenced. The film was to be based on the premise of terrorists seizing control of New York City's George Washington Bridge during a traffic jam.[1] However, the script was never produced, along Afterlife. On September 19, 2014, Empire reported that the script was being made, and that Liam Neeson is attached to star in the lead role.[2]


In 1994, Whedon sold to Sony Pictures Entertainment an spec script entitled Afterlife for $1.5 million, with an additional $500.000 if production had commenced. On March 13, 2000, Variety reported that Andy Tennant was in talks to direct and write the film. The film's plot was about Daniel Hoffstetter, a government scientist, who awakes after dying to discover his mind has been imprinted on a mind-wiped body of a serial killer called Snowman.[3] Despite this, the project never progressed after that announcement, implying that it was scrapped or abandoned. However, some themes and ideas of the script were later used in Whedon's TV show Dollhouse, which was released in 2009.[4]


Batman: Year One[edit]

Around 2001, Whedon was hired as writer for Darren Aronofsky's and Frank Miller's Batman: Year One after The Wachowskis' script was rejected by Warner Bros.[5] Whedon's script featured a new, "more of a 'Hannibal Lecter' type" villain, and portrayed Bruce Wayne as "a morbid, death-obsessed kid" whose grief was overcome by protecting a girl from being bullied in an alley similar to where his parents were murdered.[6] However, like The Wachowskis' script, Whedon's script was also rejected, and both Aronofsky and Miller left the project,[7] leading to its cancellation. A reboot of the Batman film series was later released in 2005 as Batman Begins and directed by Christopher Nolan.

Buffy the Animated Series[edit]

In 2001, Whedon and 20th Century Fox started the development of Buffy the Animated Series, an animated spin-off of Whedon's popular TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Whedon and Jeph Loeb were to produce the show while many actor of the original series were attached to reprise their roles. It was initially planned to be aired in Fox Kids, possibly as early in February 2002.[8] However, Fox Kids ceased its operations in September 2002, and no network wanted to pick up the series,[9] which resulted in the abandonment of this project.


In 2001, Whedon planned to make an spin-off miniseries or TV movie of Buffy the Vampire Slayer entitled Ripper, about the character Rupert Giles.[10] Despite this, the project was delayed.[11] On July 28, 2007, Whedon revealed via IGN that a 90 minute-minute Ripper special would be made in 2008.[12] Anthony Stewart Head was slated to reprise his role as Rupert Giles. However, at the end, any movie or series was made and the project was abandoned. Despite this, some elements of the cancelled project were later used in the comic book series Angel & Faith.[13]

Alien 5[edit]

Around 2001 or 2002, Whedon was hired to write Alien 5, the fifth installment of the Alien film series.[14] The film's plot was to focus on Newt and a resurrected Ellen Ripley. Many directors were considered to direct it, like Danny Boyle, Bryan Singer and Peter Jackson. At the end, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who directed Alien: Resurrection, was hired to direct the film. However, Jeunet made many comical changes to Whedon's script, and Sigourney Weaver disliked it, so the film's development was cancelled.[15]


In 2004, Joss Whedon set plans for a Spike movie. The film, if ever greenlit, would star James Marsters, Alyson Hannigan and Amy Acker. At a convention, Acker stated the film was not going ahead due to money issues.[16][17]


After the release of Serenity in 2005, Whedon sold a spec script entitled Goners to Universal Pictures. Whedon was attached to write and direct the film, while Mary Parent and Scott Stuber were attached to produce it.[18] During an interview with Fanboy Radio in 2006, Whedon spoke about the film: "I've been seeing a lot of horror movies that are torture-porn, where kids we don't care about are mutilated for hours, and I just cannot abide them... it's an antidote to that very kind of film, the horror movie with the expendable human beings in it. Because I don't believe any human beings are".[19] The film's plot was described as a mystical fantasy thriller with a female lead named Mia.[15] The project never materialized, however some of its themes were reused for The Cabin in the Woods which Whedon cowrote with Drew Goddard.

Wonder Woman[edit]

On March 17, 2005, Warner Bros. reported that Whedon was hired to write and direct the long time planned Wonder Woman feature film, while Joel Silver was attached to produce it.[20] The film's plot was to focus on Wonder Woman's adventures during the World War II. However, on February 2, 2007, MTV reported that Whedon was no longer attached to the project, leading to its cancellation.[21] Whedon said "We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that's never gonna work. Non-sympatico. It happens all the time".[22]

Dr. Horrible 2[edit]

On May 11, 2009, Nathan Fillion revealed during an interview that Whedon was planning a sequel of his acclaimed miniseries Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.[23] Whedon expressed his interest in make the sequel as another miniseries or as a feature film.[24] On March 15, 2012, it was reported that the script will be written that summer and that the principal photography was to take place in 2013.[25][26] However, the production was delayed and apparently abandoned due Whedon's commitments with Marvel Studios.[27]



On September 23, 2011, it was reported that Whedon had worked with comic book author Warren Ellis to make a webseries entitled Wastelanders, which was a "end-of-the-world" project. However, it was also announced that its production was postponed and apparently cancelled due Whedon's concerns with The Avengers.[28]


  1. ^ John Brodie (1993-06-25). "'Suspension' toll: $ 1 mil from Largo". Variety. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  2. ^ Chris Hewit (2016-01-19). "Liam Neeson Is Up For Suspension | News | Movies - Empire". gb: Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  3. ^ Claude Brodesser,Paul F. Duke (2000-03-13). "Helmer Tennant believes in an 'Afterlife' with Sony". Variety. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  4. ^ Lauren Davis. "The Mind-Transplant Script Whedon Wrote Before Dollhouse". Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  5. ^ "8 Unmade Batman Movies | Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek". Warped Factor. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  6. ^ mtv (2008-08-11). "Joss Whedon Talks About His 'Batman' Movie That Never Was". MTV. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  7. ^ Dana Harris (2002-06-30). "WB: fewer pix, more punch". Variety. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  8. ^ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series! -". Archived from the original on 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  9. ^ Steve Hockensmith. "Dialogue with 'Buffy' creator Joss Whedon". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  10. ^ "Ripper - TV". IGN. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  11. ^ TV (1970-01-01). "TV". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  12. ^ "SDCC 07: Whedon Says Buffy Spinoff Ripper Still Planned". IGN. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  13. ^ 08.02.2012. "TV @ CCI 2012: Andrew Chambliss & Christos Gage Prepare the End of "Buffy Season 9"". CBR. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  14. ^ mtv (2009-02-20). "Will Ripley Rise Again? Sigourney Weaver On 'Alien' Saga: 'I Just Don't Feel That It's Quite Finished'". MTV. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  15. ^ a b Drew Taylor (2016-05-22). "The Lost, Forgotten & Undersung Projects Of Joss Whedon". IndieWire. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  16. ^ "''Wizard Universe'' – Whedon says that "money is standing in the way" of the project". August 5, 2006. Archived from the original on August 5, 2006. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  17. ^ Leigh Christian Ashton. " – Amy Acker confirms that the project will not be going ahead". Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  18. ^ Michael Fleming (2005-09-22). "Whedon's a goner for U". Variety. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures Sign Joss Whedon to Write & Direct DC Comics' Wonder Woman | Time Warner Inc". Time Warner. 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  21. ^ Nisha Gopalan (2007-08-02). "Joss Whedon on life after 'Wonder Woman'". Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  22. ^ mtv (2007-02-02). "Joss Whedon Won't Write, Direct 'Wonder Woman' — Despite Doing 'A Lot Of Legwork'". MTV. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  23. ^ theTVaddict (2009-05-11). "Nathan Fillion Talks – Castle, Dollhouse, & Dr. Horrible". the TV addict. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  24. ^ "Joss & Co. reveal plans for a Dr. Horrible sequel: Maybe a movie? | SyfyWire". Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Gaming (2012-03-15). "Wait Is Almost Over for New Dr. Horrible, Joss Whedon Says". Wired. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  27. ^ Schwartz, Terri (2013-04-17). "Joss Whedon won't have time for 'Dr. Horrible 2' until after 'The Avengers 2' – Screener". Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  28. ^ Anthony Breznican (2011-09-23). "Joss Whedon plots his return to the Web". Retrieved 2017-03-22.