SDCC: Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse Panel

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Writer/creator Joss Whedon told attendees of the “Dollhouse” panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday that he is shooting a second pilot to the new Fox drama in order to better introduce viewers into the world he is creating with the show. Whedon said while he is pleased with the pilot that already exists, the new one – planned as a prequel at this stage – is aimed at better setting-up some of the back story to the Dollhouse organization as well as its cast of characters.

Whedon admitted that Fox was a bit weary of the initial pilot and how the viewer would be thrust into the “Dollhouse” world with well-established characters and little introduction. He added that the decision to do the second shoot was in no way a slam against the initial pilot, which he said he believes is great.

Whedon was asked during the Q&A about the string of fan sites that have already popped up asking the populace to ‘Save Dollhouse’ – all of this before any of its episode have aired. He said while he appreciated the fandom aspect, he was weary of the message it might send about the show to the general public. He didn’t want to couch “Dollhouse” as a show in trouble or something that would only appeal to a niche audience before it even hits the small screen.

He added that while the show is different – no vampires or space ships – it is still about people and, more specifically, their souls – a reoccurring theme in most of his work.

Whedon said that he is open to adding more “Buffy”/”Angel”/”Firefly” alumni to the cast joining Eliza Dushku and Amy Acker, but that he was also excited about the current cast he has assembled, which includes “Battlestar Galactica’s” Tahmoh Penikett as FBI Agent Paul Ballard.

Fox has contracted for 13 episodes of “Dollhouse” to air starting in January 2009.