Originally appearing in 2008, this short web series was created by Joss Whedon as an experiment in independent filmmaking and web-based distribution. It lasted for three episodes that clock in around 42 minutes and cost about $200,000 to make.
Notably, the series won the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Online Sensation,” and the 2009 Hugo Award for “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form,” as well as six Streamy Awards. Its soundtrack, featuring fourteen songs, actually reached the Top 40 when it was released.
Set in a world of superheroes, the story follows Billy/Dr. Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris), a morally confused mad scientist trying to gain admission to the Evil League of Evil while also romancing Penny (Felicia Day), a cute girl he sees at the laundromat. Unfortunately, she winds up dating his nemesis, the bullying superhero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion), whom Dr. Horrible sets out to kill. (Warning: hinted spoilers further in the article!)
There have been rumors of a sequel, but after ten years, hope for it is starting to fade. Nevertheless, Whedon celebrated its decade anniversary by announcing a one-shot comic book is in the works, titled Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever and focusing on the relationship between him and Captain Hammer.
He discussed his joy in getting to write for the cast again, saying “Each member of the Hammerverse—sorry, Doc, that’s what it’s called, he registered it—is a delightful, bigger-than-life character, but more importantly, on a very human level, they’re idiots.” He added that the story was “Based on true events.”
Apparently, the foes will team up to rescue Hourglass, a character only briefly mentioned in the series. (Apparently she knows the future through unspecified means.) Beyond that not much is known about the plot, except that it will apparently take place after the events of the web series, as the cover shows Dr. Horrible in his red costume. It also advertises “The Return of Penny! Not a dream sequence! (It’s a dream sequence.)”
Dr. Horrible: Best Friends Forever will be released by Dark Horse Comics (not to be confused with Bad Horse), which previously released a miniseries based on the franchise.