And that's a good thing.
If you were wondering what Joss Whedon has been up to lately, well, he's been busy indeed working on a few different projects but more specifically, he's working on his new show that went into production last April called Dollhouse.
"Did I fall asleep?"
"For a little while."
Dollhouse at first sounds a bit like like Paycheck meets Fantasy Island, but goes deeper into the realm of memory control and brutal reality and is scheduled to air on the Fox network. Uniquely, Fox network skipped airing a pilot episode and has already committed to a seven episode run of the show.
It will star Buffy alumini Eliza Dushku (who played Faith, the loose canon slayer from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel).
Dollhouse is about Echo (Eliza Dushku) who is part of a group of people who have their minds imprinted with different personality traits (packages if you will) which includes memories, skills, language and even specific muscle memory for different assignments that they're given, or hired for.
The assignments the "residents" receive range from romantic, to adventurous, to even illegal. When they aren't out on assignment, Echo and the others are mind-wiped and live like children in a dormitory / laboratory called the Dollhouse.
The Dollhouse is for those with the cash or connections who get access to this illegal facility to fulfill various fantasies. While the residents are there, they have no memory of their assignments or anything else for that matter.
The catch (you knew there'd be a catch) is that Echo starts to develop a self-awareness which generates a desire to know who she was before. This gets in the way of her imprinted personalities and puts her in danger - both in the field and in the closely monitored confines of the Dollhouse. This is "spectacularly unacceptable" to those who run the house.
This show sounds like has a ton of potential across the board with a sci-fi action / romance genre and if they pull this off it could be a hit, depending on it's time slot.
Believe it or not, the idea came about while Joss was having lunch with Eliza. They're buds and they were talking about her career and different things she can look at doing, and during lunch, he goes off to hit the head and comes back with the idea for Dollhouse... Dude, we get creative in the oddest of places.
I think this is going to be an awesome platform for both Whedon and Dushku because Echo is going to have different personalities and traits in each episode, and if she pulls it off it's going to stretch her abilities to the limit. Either that or send her straight into a bi-polar spiral... Then again, whatever works to pull this off!
Paycheck, The Matrix and The Island, all wrapped into one big package wrapped in a Whedon-logical approach... Can't get much better than that now, can it?
Besides Dushku, Dollhouse cast will also include Amy Acker (Winifred 'Fred' Burkle from Angel), Enver Gjokaj, Harry J. Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett (Helo from Battlestar Galactica) and Dichen Lachman.
Writer / producer Tim Minear (Angel, Wonderfalls, Firefly, Drive) will be joining Joss for this effort.
In case you're on the bubble still, check out the trailer for the show... and right now I can't wait for the show to start up. Seven episodes will not be enough!! But that's just Bruce's take. Check it out for yourself.:
Dollhouse is slated for January 2009 on Mondays at 8PM, before 24.
Joss's other "things":
His other project, Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is well, just that - a three part musical series for the internet. Each of the three episodes will be approximately ten minutes each and surprisingly, the cast will include Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, Felicia Day as Penny, Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, Richard (Rick) Partlow as Mayor Hankins and Steve Berg.
I was looking over some info about a hopeful supernatural thriller called Goners which has been in various stages of hope since 2005. It WAS going to be produced by Mary Parent and Scott Stuber, but Mary Parent left Universal (The producing studio) and with her being Whedon's biggest supporter, the tides of fortune changed for Goners. Not only for Goners, but it looks like any hope for a Serenity movie sequel went with her.
What I thought was a nice scoop turned into a bit of bad news for Serenity fans. Sorry gang.
Here's an interesting tidbit: Along with Fringe, Dollhouse will be aired with half the normal commercials, adding 6 additional minutes to the run time of the shows. This is part of an initiative called "Remote-Free TV". Sounds nice to me! You can never have too few a commercial! Right?
Sources: E Online, Dr Horrible, Goners movie blog