Joss Whedon is two weeks into breaking stories for Dollhouse's second season, and we're happy to report that he sounds like a happy man even without that season 1 budget. Whedon wrapped his top-secret horror film The Cabin in the Woods on May 29 and hit the Dollhouse writers' room on June 1. "I just wanted to die of tiredness," he tells EW.com exclusively. "About two hours after starting to talk to the writers about story, I was back with such a vengeance, and so energized and so pumped because we really understand the show now. We understand what works, and what didn't work so well or what we weren't so thrilled about. We don't have the onus of trying to be a big hit sitting on our shoulders. We can just be ourselves. And so the stories we're breaking are pure, and exciting, and everybody's on-board in the room, and it's never flowed better."
What does that mean for Season 2? "I'm really proud of the second half of season 1, and we're just expanding on that in a huge way: Finding out the different things that Eliza Dushku can be, at the same time as extending our mythology," Whedon says. "Really, just every meeting is like, 'What's the most fun we can have with this actor?' about the whole cast. All I can say -- 'cause I'm gonna be Mr. Un-Spoiler -- is that we're having a crazy amount of fun, and usually, that tends to translate onto the screen."
Speaking slightly spoilery, Whedon tells us that season 2 won't pick up right with "We've got to find Alpha!" but a little bit later. Alan Tudyk has a role on ABC's midseason series V, but Whedon hopes he'll be able to use the character sparingly: "Alpha will always be a part of the equation." Whedon's also hoping to work out a similar loan with the producers of ABC's Happy Town, who nabbed Amy Acker, aka Dr. Saunders/Whiskey. For more insider scoops, keep reading after the jump.
More scoop: Whedon says that Echo's last word in the finale, "Caroline," was the beginning of her season 2 quest. "Echo wants to find not just Caroline, but what's going on behind everything. She doesn't have all of the skills. [Laughs] But she does have this weird super power of becoming a different person all the time, so she might start using that more specifically to find out who Caroline was and what happened to her and why this place exists." So she still has all those past imprints in her? "Well, they're supposed to have wiped them out of there. But we'll see how well that went..."
Other burning questions: Summer Glau hasn't signed on for any episodes of Dollhouse yet. "We're still breaking the episodes," Whedon says, "but we didn't honestly go into the season going, 'Now how can we figure out how to service Summer?' when we already have a huge ensemble. I adore Summer and she's phenomenal, but I have to service the cast I have first. If something comes up that's good enough, my God, I'd hound her. But the rumors of her becoming a big part of the show are greatly exaggerated."
And, sorry, but don't hold your breath that Whedon might become involved in the big-screen Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot. "I believe [the producers] did ultimately reach out to my agent after the news broke," Whedon says. "I think that's something better left untouched by me. So, I wish them luck." (They'll need it: In a poll, only three percent of readers planned on seeing the film if Whedon wasn't attached.)
Does hearing Whedon sound so pumped for Dollhouse's second season renew your faith in the series? That season 1 finale was good TV. Catch it here if you missed it.