Was there really that much creative progress between his 1st movie and second? I don't think there was. He made the best MI film with his first film, and made the best Star Trek film with his second, he was already there with the first film, if he had been given Star Trek back when he got MI, I think he could've pulled off the same quality of ST movie. He just had a bigger budget for ST, so the movie was bigger, yes, MI would have given him some practical experience, but the guy had enough behind him with Lost and Alias. Look at the pilot of Lost, it's basically a movie. edit: The real difference is that somneone trusted him with his second movie to give him a bigger budget movie, same as what is happening here with Whedon. and as for the 5yr gap, it's hardly an issue when the guy has been writing, directing and producing a challenging sci-fi show on television in the intervening time. edit: i think folk are being a bit sniffy about tv work, look at James Cameron's sci-fi tv show, I quite liked Dark Angel, but it was not in the same league as Buffy or Angel, a lot of highly regarded film directors would struggle doing the kind of work Whedon has done on tv.