10 Films You Didn’t Know Were On Joss Whedon’s CV
8. Speed (1994)
As a script doctor in Hollywood, it was often Whedon’s job to look at the screenplays that someone else had written, and make them better without getting credited for it. Speed is the first of those scripts that was made into a film with a good chance that you’ve actually heard of it. Although his work wasn’t credited by 20th Century Fox on the final product, it has to be noted that that the writer who was, Graham Yost, freely admitted that “Whedon wrote 98.9 percent of the dialogue”. Perhaps being uncredited isn’t all bad however, as the film led to Yost later being referred to in Hollywood as the “Bus Guy”.
Although it isn’t known as a film he was involved with, Speed is one that everyone remembers fondly. Back in 2001 Whedon himself stated that it was “one of the few movies I’ve made that I actually like”, but if you want praise from a more objective writer/director though, then that comes from Quentin Tarantino. The noted cinephile placed it on his list of top 20 favourite films, which, containing entries from all over the globe, makes Speed’s appearance even more illustrious.
In a world where imitation is the sincerest form of flattery however, perhaps the greatest testament to the film’s legacy is one particularly classic episode of Father Ted, Speed 3.
Whedon hallmark: “Oh Darn” – It has also been acknowledged that Whedon greatly overhauled Alan Ruck’s character of Stephens, who at one point relays messages between Keanu Reeves’ Jack Traven and Jeff Daniels’ Harry. His decision to tone down Jack’s passionate expletive upon finding the 50mph bomb is a great example of Whedon’s comic understatement in the face of adversity.