The irony wasn’t lost on Joss Whedon as he lobbied for more original content in Hollywood in his anything-goes Comic-Con Q&A Friday evening. The director behind both Marvel’s The Avengers and indie Shakespeare pic Much Ado About Nothing acknowledged his own recent successes with adaptations big and small between answering Whedonverse queries from fans. “I do feel like we are in desperate need of new content,” he said. “Pop culture is eating itself at a rate that is going to be dangerous. Too many narratives are built on the resonance of recognition. That’s going to become really problematic. Even though it’s enormous fun to work on something I read as a child, I think it’s important for us to step back from that and create new universes, new messages, and new icons … so that 10 years from now we can reboot those.”

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Whedon said he’d like to do more with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the indie web series he directed, co-wrote, and produced during the WGA strike. He drew loud cheers with the dream project idea of getting the crew of Serenity back together, but he expressed no interest in returning to other projects he was formerly attached to, like his Wonder Woman script for Warner Bros. and DC. “I don’t like to go back to things,” he said, “and I also feel there’s plenty of room for a new iconic female heroine. So let’s look to the future.”

Earlier in the day the filmmaker previewed his new ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the spin-off of his Marvel blockbuster The Avengers that also features Clark Gregg reprising his role of Agent Phil Coulson. As part of his Avengers deal, Whedon also has a consulting gig advising on the studio’s connected Marvelverse films. During his panel he slipped in a jab at rival comics studio DC Entertainment and its superhero bomb Green Lantern: “I think Martin Campbell kicks ass. I just don’t think Green Lantern was his thing — and it showed.”

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