Geek god Joss Whedon’s day has come. He’s trading TV slayage and vampires, for filmic mayhem with his horror writing endeavor The Cabin in the Woods, which hits theaters this Friday — the 13th, for added spooky cred. It’s a spoof of sorts on the horror genre, but not in the vein of goofy films like Scary Movie. Think Whedon’s clever brand of humor set in a remote cabin where friends gather for a getaway. The movie also has its share of scares — and hey, Ebert liked it, so that’s something. (Beware of spoilers.)
Whedon’s witticisms have always wooed us, and thanks to an early career as a television writer (Roseanne and Parenthood being his inaugural projects), the filmmaker was able to smoothly segue into a movie career — first with Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1992 and Toy Story in 1995 — both writing credits. From there, Whedon would flip back and forth from TV and film directing/writing/producing, bringing us gems like Firefly and Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along, the beloved Buffy television series, and most recently the highly anticipated Avengers movie — which hits theaters on May 4.
What other filmmakers have danced between TV and cinema, and vice versa? We look at a few multitasking creatives past the break. With increases in technology and more elaborate production values on display, TV no longer feels like a nasty two-letter word filmmakers see as beneath them. More and more accomplished moviemakers are spending time on the small screen, and many got their start there like Whedon. Check out our list below, and share any TV/film geniuses we missed in the comments.
Creator of all things mind-bending, director J.J. Abrams was born into the television industry, thanks to his producer parents. His first big gig was in cinema, however, on the 1998 disaster spectacle Armageddon as a co-writer. From there, he created one of ’90s most popular shows that played during an angst-ridden young adult hour — Felicity. (Abrams even wrote the opening tune.) In-between his current day career with the Star Trek reboot, Super 8, two of the Mission Impossible films, and more — all of which he’s garnered various credits for — Abrams changed television with creations like Lost. He managed all this while still delivering other originals such as Alias and Fringe. The filmmaker has proven himself versatile, winning praise from mainstream and cult audiences alike, while dishing up solid TV/film genre efforts like Cloverfield. Even if you’re one of the folks that counts him as completely overrated — or a geek who has totally sold out — he still richer than all of us combined.