Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog famously saw Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion take on alter-egos as the nerdy supervillain Dr. Horrible and his archenemy, the arrogant goofball hero Captain Hammer. But if the actors themselves became super, they’d choose different names, as they revealed on the red carpet for the Dr. Horrible reunion at this year’s PaleyFest.
Fillion would be a supervillain named Fully Loaded (“both armed and drunk”) while Harris chose Prestidigitator (“a stage magician torn between saving the world and destroying it”). Creator Joss Whedon, for his part, would be The Procrastinator (“I meant to come up with a better name, but I put it off”), and Felicia Day would be Attacktress, with the ability to give people panic attacks (“because I get them myself, so if I could channel that and give them to someone else and ruin their moment the way I do my own, that’d be advantageous”).
Even though Dr. Horrible is now seven years old, the fan response is still vibrant, indicated by the numerous fans who showed up to the panel in cosplay and sang along with the screening. Each member of the cast revealed that the strong fan reaction continues to surprise them in various ways.
“It seems like one of those weird wonderful things that doesn’t go away,” Harris said. “But not bad like a rash. Like Christmas presents!”
Fillion said he’s just pleased whenever fans enjoy something as much as he does.
“If people like a project I do half as much as I like it, then I’m doing really good,” said Fillion, who’s evidently having the time of his life during Dr. Horrible sequences like “A Man’s Gotta Do.” “It was the only time Joss never had to pull me back. ‘No, farther! Take it farther!'”
Much of the fan adoration probably has to do with the subtle brilliance of the musical numbers. Whedon said that somehow, in the time-rushed production, the songs just came together perfectly.
“For some reason ‘Everyone’s a Hero’ was just a perfect experience for me. The second verse laying out this line to this to this, in a way that never happens to me. That was beautiful,” he said. “That and the last song, which…you know, was different than anything I’d done before.”
The online blog landscape has changed a lot since Dr. Horrible first came out. How would the bad doctor fare on modern platforms like, say, Twitter?
“About the same as I did,” speculated Whedon, who famously quit Twitter after Avengers: Age of Ultron. “I mean, at some point he’d go dark, he’d go really dark.”
“He’d probably be irritated by the character count,” Harris speculated of his character. “He seems bothered by things easily that involve rules and regulations, so he’d probably be anti-Twitter, anti-Vine, more into the Book of Face, where you can just go on.”