With SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers still at odds over new-media residuals (among other things), Joss Whedon is ready to see just how viable the Internet is as a business model.
The CAA-repped multihyphenate screened his latest creation, "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," to an invitation-only crowd of cast and industry professionals Thursday night at CAA before Act 1 of 3 officially streams online Tuesday at DrHorrible.com
Whedon conceived the hourlong "supervillian musical" during the 100-day WGA strike and funded the production, which cost in the low-six-figures, with "Girl Scout cookies."
"We didn't think about making money," Whedon said of the project that initially was conceived as a podcast. "I did it as a Web thing because I didn't want something so big that it wouldn't work on the Internet.
"Everything was done above board. We went to all the unions to make sure everyone involved had a waiver, etc.," Whedon said. "The DGA came out to be sure. We knew we had to do everything street legal."
The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" creator wanted to do something original and came up with a "musical for the Internet" and wanted the project to "work as a story. We had the idea of the blog, and this low-rent/underdog feel to it."
The story of Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris, CBS' "How I Met Your Mother") and his nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion, Whedon's "Firefly," "Serenity") and the not-so-good doctor's bid to get into the Evil League of Evil and win the affection of Penny (Felicia Day, "Buffy"), the musical truly illustrates that "everyone's a hero in their own way" and is packed with Whedon's trademark sarcasm and wit as well as clever commentary on how "society is slipping" and changing the establishment.