When we first heard that Joss Whedon would be at the helm of Hollywood blockbuster The Avengers, we were (in equal parts) excited and smug. To us, Whedon’s body of work (notably Buffy The Vampire SlayerAngel and Firefly) is impeccable, but the Whedonverse remains somewhat of a cult as opposed to a fan base of the household name variety. That is, hopefully, until now. With not only The Avengers but also The Cabin In The Woods due for release before spring is up, we think it’s safe to rename 2012 Jossthousand and twelve. Or something else equally dotingly cheesy.

While we sit open mouthed in awe at images of the one above featuring the legendary Whedon directing the sightly-less-legendary-but-still-really-fucking-legendary Samuel L. Jackson, The A.V. Club did a brilliant interview with the maestro himself. You can read the whole thing here, but in the meantime we’ve gone to the trouble of pulling out some of the best quotes for you if you’re on the run…

On The Cabin In The Woods:I have two ways [of talking about the film]: “If you love horror, then you’ll love Cabin In The Woods!” And: “If you don’t love horror, you still might love Cabin In The Woods!” It’s designed for hardcore horror fans, but it’s also designed for everybody else. There’s enough thought and care and love and great craft that went into doing it, that the fact that it has some thrills and some hideous gore is—well, it’s either the cake or the icing. I’m not sure which. There’s cake. All I know is, you see it and you get cake.

On “self-aware” characters in “outlandish circumstances”: We wanted to make sure we never went so far with our awareness of popular culture and horror movies and the kids’ awareness that things were not as they should be—we never wanted to go so far that you would step outside…  Like the end of Blazing Saddles, where they walk out of the Western onto the lot, which to me screams “Copout!” I’m a Blazing Saddles fan, but you never want to go that far. You want the integrity of the world. We live in the world.

On killing horror:We definitely put our own stamp on it—and it’s a big red stamp—but you don’t kill horror.

On spoilers: You see people on the Internet like, “We don’t want to tell you, we don’t want to tell you,” and it’s like, “Wow, they didn’t just enjoy it, they cared.” It’s another level. Some people will have read the script, some people will have studied every frame of the trailer, and some people will go [puts fingers in ears], “La la la la la” during the trailer, like I used to with movies I really cared about. But I feel like it’s a movie that’s designed to be viewed more than once, so if people want their first viewing to be their second viewing, well, that’s fine too. I’ve had most of the great movies spoiled for me my whole life. It’s human nature. Those who want to avoid it will always try. I’m still going to make stories with plots.

On the Giles spin-off, Ripper: No, the thing about Ripper—the essence of it—is that the BBC came to me at one point like, “It doesn’t have to be Ripper. It can just be [Anthony Stewart Head], and there’s magic, and he’s Tony, cuz he’s awesome.” And that’s the thing: For some reason, he keeps getting sexier every year. That’s not happening to me! I’m like, “What are you doing?” And that story was always about a mature guy who’s lived, and about the choices he’s made. So you could make that now, or you could make it 10 years from now.

On staying true to The Avengers comics: It’s a puzzle. You spend months solving it. But it’s also a bunch of useful guidelines. The puzzle DOES fit together.

On returning to television: I want to return to television. I don’t have anything in mind right now, and I sort of need to learn the landscape a little bit, since the last time I was in television… But it is maybe my favorite form of storytelling, and I definitely want to go back.

On staying true to characters and fans vs. merchandising: “Spectacle and character are not inherent enemies.”

[via The A.V. Club]