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14 Things Most People Didn't Realize Joss Whedon Worked On

List RulesVote up the projects that you were most surprised involved Joss Whedon.

Joss Whedon is a filmmaker and creative voice who has gained such a following with his retinue of excellent movies and TV shows that his name has become a verb. To “Whedonize” something is an action with a few possible definitions, and although some of them are negative, all connotations revolve around something that makes for good entertainment. Joss Whedon has a reputation for providing devastating plot twists, savagely burning other creative works, and torturing both his fictional creations and the fans that love them. Despite a seeming desire to drive his fanbase mad, people keep coming back to Whedon and asking for more, and he’s certainly delivered.

But most fans probably don't know about the surprising things Joss Whedon has done. His career has been incredibly diverse. He’s primarily known for his most prominent productions, like Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Avengers, but he’s been involved in a lot more than that. A scan of Whedon’s IMDb page quickly reveals that the man has his fingerprints all over Hollywood, and has played a part in some truly unexpected productions. The sheer number of Joss Whedon projects out there is impressive, but the breadth that he’s covered in a relatively short career is even more astonishing.

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  • Photo: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

    While it eventually ended up as one of animation’s greatest success stories, at one point Toy Story was once stuck in development hell. The original story needed some drastic changes, and it was up to a young Joss Whedon to produce the final screenplay. The final result was very different from the original vision, which included Woody as a near-antagonist and a overall had a much less heartfelt theme. Toy Story was the first indication of the sheer emotional breadth that Whedon could cover in his productions, and set the stage for later ensembles pieces like The Avengers.

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    He Wrote Astonishing X-Men For Marvel

    Joss Whedon doesn’t just get involved in adaptations of comic books. He has plenty of experience with writing them in their intended medium, too. Whedon was the writer of an acclaimed the X-Men run Astonishing X-Men.

    The arc was responsible for bringing the merry mutants back into the fold of superheroics, after their movie-fueled leather-wearing days had run their course. Astonishing X-Men featured countless Whedon-esque plot twists, including the return of popular mutant Colossus from the dead, and he flexed his feminist muscles by furthering the evolution of Kitty Pryde as a team leader.

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  • Photo: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

    Youtube isn’t exactly the forum you’d expect a famous filmmaker like Joss Whedon to be working in, but that’s exactly where he went to release Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. This goofy feature starred frequent collaborators Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, and allowed all parties involved to make a geeky parody of a subject near and dear to their hearts, the world of superheroes. Whedon wrote and directed the entire thing, which allowed him to showcase his musical talents once again.

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  • Photo: Speed

    Early on in his career, Joss Whedon gained a reputation for being able to craft a good story, whether it was his own or someone else’s that he was fixing up. He was called in to do some script doctoring for Speed, the 1994 Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bollock action flick that infamously starred a bus that couldn’t slow down.

    Speed made the most of a pretty ridiculous concept, but it’s hard to know how much of that is because of Whedon. He was not officially credited for his role.

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