The eminently possible return of Dr. Horrible
Back in 2008, during a Hollywood writer’s strike, Joss Whedon set out to prove that filmmakers didn’t need big budgets and big distribution to create something that would resonate with movie fans. So he took Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day, and put them in a… musical. Which is not something one would immediately deem a “good plan with a high probability of success.” Honestly, on the surface, the concept sounds ridiculous – Doogie Howser, M.D. and Captain Malcolm from Serenity, not only together, but singing?
However, we’re talking Joss Whedon here. There’s a reason he has millions of rabid fans – the man’s a genius. “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog“, released exclusively online in three acts, was a resounding success, garnering a server-crashing 2-plus million views in its initial week-long run, not to mention spawning countless fan and tribute videos, sites, and Internet memes. Then, Whedon and Company released a Dr. Horrible DVD with bonus features like singing commentary, to very brisk sales and overwhelmingly positive reviews.
One of the earliest speculations on this instant cult classic – it pretty much started as soon as the first viewers finished watching Act III – was whether there would be a sequel. This now seems very likely. In April of 2010, Zack and Jed Whedon confirmed that Dr. Horrible 2 is a go, and that the writing of the script had begun. Neil Patrick Harris speculated that the Dr. Horrible sequel might make the jump from online phenomenon to feature film, either as a theatrical release or direct to DVD.
Can they make lightning strike twice? Quite possibly with Joss Whedon at the helm. But it’s going to be hard to top the original production, which included amid its brilliance the immortal t-shirt-inspiring line – delivered by Fillion in a remarkable deadpan, and received by an equally somber NPH – “The hammer is my penis.”
How can you argue with that?