'Astonishing X-Men' Artist John Cassaday On His 'Dollhouse' Directorial Debut

John CassadayIt's a rare storyteller who can jump between disciplines without much fuss, and equally rare is the raconteur with the connections to make such transitions look easy. Thankfully for John Cassaday fans, the artist's skill set and vision has finally afforded him a place behind the camera of Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse," following the pair's collaboration on Marvel's "Astonishing X-Men."

In an interview with The Beat, Cassaday discussed his decision to transition from comic artist to television director and gave readers a look behind the "Dollhouse" production curtain.

"[Joss Whedon and I] got to know each other a few years before 'Astonishing X-Men' and through that became even better friends," said Cassady. "We found that we had a similar way of telling a story, almost a shorthand language."

"Joss and I talked about directing in terms of just general theory and what it takes," he said. "He knew I had interest in getting behind the camera. We were having dinner in LA about a year and a half ago, when he was still prepping the 'Dollhouse' pilot, the first of a 13-episode order. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when he told me that if they got renewed, he’d like me to direct an episode. I nearly jumped out of my skin! I was thrilled. Very grateful to the guy for thinking of me and having that trust."

After Cassaday was approved by the studio to sit in the director's chair, he prepared by shadowing the show's other directors for several episodes before begging pre-production for his upcoming debut. Whedon's been championing Cassaday's debut for awhile now, meaning he must be picking up plenty from the set visits.

When asked about his favorite characters, Cassaday pointed out his fondness for the show's high concept as well as its character-driven narratives.

"I like the relationship between Echo and Ballard. There’s a strange dynamic there. They’ve grown into something very different than where they started out. Ballard has become part of the machine he swore to take down in order to get the job done. He’s no longer CIA. It’s a personal mission for him and that mission is embodied by Echo. I enjoy the back and forth between all the employees and the actives. I’m fascinated with the trickiness of the technology and how it can be applied to anyone to serve any purpose… The possibilities are endless and mind-boggling," said Cassaday.

Though the specific episode Cassaday will be directing hasn't been made official yet, fans speculate the story will arrive around Episode 10 or so. Stay tuned to Splash Page for details as they develop.

Are you a Cassday fan? Looking forward to his "Dollhouse" episode? Pencil in your thoughts in the comments.