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July 22 2006

Joel Silver talks Wonder Woman. The movie's producer talks about Joss' script, the challenges the movie faces and the intention to cast a young unknown actress. Superhero Hype! has more from Joel on why he picked Joss to write and direct the movie " I love Buffy and he's a great writer". Empire Online has Joel saying that they could be "talking about that movie next year".

Well, there's a 'probably' in there re casting, but it's actually good to hear in a way. I've spoken to many Whedon fans recently about Wonder Woman, and ultimately a lot of them aren't excited about the movie as they don't know why they should be - the project isn't defined for them, and Wonder Woman (the TV series) was all cheese. I think that'll change as the script evolves and a character appears, a character that can draw that potential audience in.
I agree. I'll get excited once the script is done :P
I thought the script WAS done. Joss probably thought it was, but by the sounds of it, Silver is hard to please / a lot of tweaks still have to be tweaked.
Wow. Really? People don't know why they should be excited? This is the first Wonder Woman movie. Even if Joss doesn't come back for a sequel, he's setting the tone for the Wonder Woman franchise. Wonder Woman has never quite worked, but she's still considered one of the biggest super-heroes. There's something iconic about her and Joss gets to show us what that is on the big screen, with the biggest budget he's ever had.

As I've said elsewhere, I'm more excited about Goners. But this is a big deal.
No, CaptainB, the first draft was done. The script won't become the script for a while yet, I bet.
Wonder Woman ROCKS. Joss Whedon ROCKS. The Rockin' Whedon is redefining and recreating the most amazing female superhero of our times and JOSS FANS AREN'T EXCITED????? WHO ARE THESE FANS AND WHY DO THEY CALL THEMSELVES FANS???

Sorry, had to get that out. I'm all for continuation of the Buffyverse and lobbying for a Serenity sequel, but I'm also excited about seeing the Whedon magic spread in other areas, to other audiences. The Wonder Woman name will do just as much to bring Joss to people who don't know his talent yet, as Joss will do to to make the glory of an Amazonian princess more than a cheesy 70s show.

I do find the drawn-out speculation about who will be cast etc. rather tiresome but I'm excited as hell about the movie. The only thing better would be an Illyria movie :P
I'm very excited as well. Wonder Woman will be amazing, and Joss will be a freakin' rock star.

Well, I'm 50% in the group. I know Joss is talented, but Wonder Woman is something which has never interested me in the past. I think the comics were lame. When I think of the TV show, I think of the theme song - which includes a line about fighting for her rights in her tights. Blergh.

Why do I call myself a fan of JW? Because I am. He creates cool, interesting worlds to live in. There's every chance that will happen with Wonder Woman, but until I see evidence of that I won't love it by default. I think that's where many people come from, and they have every right to.

And, to be fair, I seem to recall Joss has hinted about having reservations about taking the project originally too. There's no way you'd make a good movie from WW by sticky completely with the comics and TV show, which is what the hardcore WW fans will want, and there's no way you'll make a WW movie by ditching all the mythology. Because it's an origins story, that makes it even more complex to get right. Of course, if there's anybody who is ideal to have a stab, it's Joss thingy.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-07-22 18:15 ]
"fighting for her rights in her tights"

I am so rooting for Joss to be the one who gets WW out of that image.
I'm with gossi, except that for me WonderWoman doesn't rock cause I've never seen a WonderWoman comic nor heard the theme song.
As far as I am concerned Joss is starting from a blank slate, still I'm eagerly awaiting the result cause of his excellent trackrecord on my DVD shelf.
I hope I'm wrong, but I'm starting to get a whiff of Development Hell off of this. I wouldn't be entirely shocked if Joss ends up walking away after nine drafts.
Wow, how did re-writing a script become nine drafts? This process is the way movies are written. You write a really long script, hand it to your boss for notes, and then rewrite it. And the movie is going to be better for it, trust me.
Well, as a little girl I watched Wonder Woman, Isis and The Incredible Hulk too. I know that the series was pretty cheesy. BUT as a little girl I didn't care. I saw a woman who kicked butt and could do things that men couldn't. She rocked! (I always wanted to have those cool Wonder Woman under roos all the kids had back then....sniff sniff...but I was one of four kids and we couldn't afford such luxuries. *sigh*. One of my childhood I have never read a Wonder Woman comic. But I am looking forward to a movie. But I am sure Joss will come through. I have faith in him that he will bring another strong female figure. And I can't wait to uncover some of the "real" WW mythology.
I'm with jenofthejungle - as a wee small tyke watching a cheesy tv show, I loved Wonder Woman. I even had my own magical golden lasso of truth. (I still have my invisible jet.)

I think Joss's strength lies in that he can make Wonder Woman both human and superhuman, and he can take an Amazonian creature and keep her from being inaccessible. Lots of strong women characters (why does he write those, again? /smug) are ice queens or flawless. I like my strong women to have gotten the strength somewhere besides their big woman muscles or mystical forces. I like them to have strength of spirit, and that comes through living and being broken by life and surviving it. That is what Buffy did so well, it is where Buffy lost me when it didn't do it for a little while, and it is how it won me back once we saw Buffy vulnerable again.

Also I wonder how well Joel Silver knows Batman, because "Batman is a tough guy" is not the statement I'd use to classify him. Batman is a vigilante millionaire playboy. His anger and his money (and consequently, his gadgets) are the things that define him. It's not his muscles or the way he talks, though those help, too.
Kiba nails Batman. I think that's why Batman Begins works, really - it explores why he's a millionaire playboy vigilante.

Don't get me wrong - I'm too young to have see Wonder Woman on it's original TV run, so I've only seen bits and pieces.
Wonder Woman was my hero from the age of five. When I saw the show again as an adult I realized how bad it was, but I still love the idea of her. I cannot wait for Joss to take all of her potential and finally make her the character she's always wanted to be. He's really the only writer I'd trust to do it right.

[ edited by Samantha on 2006-07-22 20:47 ]
Used to watch the series round my Granny's house as a whipper snapper and really enjoyed it (I was way too young to realise how cheesy it was though, strangely, not too young to notice Lynda Carter's, err, finer qualities ;) but of all the major DC characters I think Wonder Woman needs updating more than most.

Batman works fine as he's always been (BTW, i'd say Batman is a vigilante and Bruce Wayne is a playboy millionaire. There's absolutely nothing playboy-ish about the Dark Knight and he'd still do it even without the millions, just with slightly less cool toys, since he's basically driven to it by a kind of mania). And I think as we saw with 'Superman Returns', the whole point about Big Blue is that he shouldn't be updated. He works best as a reminder of a more innocent time, a literal paragon of virtue. The world can move on but Supes never should.

WW though has never really been served well as an icon or a character so she's ripe for it. And if anyone can lend her the gravitas she needs while still keeping her human it's Michael Mann Joss Whedon.
The only way the Wonder Woman project could fail would be if Joss and Joel don't see eye-to-eye on some pre-production detail (ie. the script or casting). Hopefully that won't happen and Mr. Silver will maintain the excitement he exhibited for Joss' involvement way back when he first announced the project.

Joss has a great many fans within the critical establishment. If the WW story is strong, well acted and directed he will have done his part and the critics will trumpet that. It's up to Silver and co. to market the film in a way that is NOT reminiscent of either Catwoman or Elektra. I do believe a female superhero film can be successful on a large scale. Wonder Woman + Joss Whedon + Joel Silver is a damned good way to bring such a success about.

As long as everyone humbly submits to everyone else's area of expertise, WW will be a successful franchise launch. That said, I would LOVE for Joss to have input re: the marketing of the film even though that's not necessarily his area of duty.
I've been very excited for this movie since I read George Perez's origin story for Wondy. I suggest anyone who hasn't, please do so. Its a very exciting arc and I hope Joss rips off gives homage to that story.
I imagine, among the people who care about Wonder Woman, roughly 3 categories:

1) Comic book WW fans
2) Women who are nostalgic about their childhood WW underoos
3) People who liked the 70s show and think Lynda Carter was the ultimate Wonder Woman

The first and last categories deserve some recompense, perhaps, but serving the second will bring people to the theaters in droves. I am incredibly biased, of course, since I belong to that category myself. However, wee little girls wanted Wonder Woman underoos because they craved a superhero in the niche that Woman Woman was poised to fill. That need is still there, and not just for little girls. I agree with Hjermsted that, smartly done, this is a project that everybody involved will benefit from.
Isn't category 2 and 3 the same? If the movie is to be a success, they need to get past 1, 2, and 3, and find 4, the kids born after 1990 that don't know anything about Wonder Woman. Kids=money. You get the kid demographic and you have the whole family forced into the theather. Wonder Woman could be a big family adventure movie, like Pirates was.
Wow, how did re-writing a script become nine drafts? This process is the way movies are written. You write a really long script, hand it to your boss for notes, and then rewrite it. And the movie is going to be better for it, trust me.

Oh, of course that's the way it works. One of the things I admire most about Joss as a writer, actually, is the way he's apparently able to take notes from producers and incorporate them seamlessly into the screenplay, in his own voice. If you watch the deleted scenes on the Serenity DVD, it's obvious how much the constructive criticism from Mary Parent and the other execs at Universal helped shape the movie and vastly improved the finished product.

However, what can sometimes happen is that a movie goes back and forth between screenwriter(s) and producer(s), everyone trying to shape it to their own vision, and it's slowly squeezed into something unwatchable. As one recent example, the Planet Of The Apes remake went through something like four or five directors (including Oliver Stone and James Cameron) and a number of producers before winding up in Tim Burton's hands--and we all know how that turned out.

I really hope that doesn't happen here, and I don't think there's any particular reason to think it's going to yet. But given Silver's track record as a producer and the flavor of his comments, I have a sneaking suspicion that the draft Joss turned in wasn't seen as mainstream and commercial enough, and there's going to be some back and forth on that.

Joss has been very vocal about his appreciation for the way Universal left him free to work on Serenity, particularly after his experience on the Buffy movie. It would be understandable, I think, if he were to get frustrated at attempts to stuff him into a box he doesn't want to fit into.

All wild speculation on my part. I'm looking forward to admitting I was wrong as I sit down with my popcorn and soda on opening night. ;)
Well, I'm so old I actually collected WW comics before the cheesy tv series, so Joss' WW is going to be a must-see for me, plus it'll be a no-brainer to take the kids. Remember, until Tim Burton's first Batman movie, most people thought of Batman as the cheesy tv series. Only a relatively small number of the public are fans of the older incarnations of Batman, from decades of multiple "books" in the DC-verse. Batman Begins is a direct offshoot of the Frank Miller Dark Knight graphic novels.

Joel Silver is quite right that Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are THE triumvirate of the DC Comics pantheon. It will take a lot of work for them to screw up the marketing of this baby. That's certainly not impossible, since, well, look at Catwoman and Elektra. It really doesn't matter if the movie is made by Joe Sweden, it's going to get a major promotional campaign which will give it a decent opening weekend at the very least. Joss, get ready for your closeup!
You know, when the details of what 'Firefly' was going to be about started surfacing, I remember thinking I wasn't going to really like it. But, I tuned in anyway because I love Joss and now I'm obsessed with Firefly/Serenity.

If Joss makes it - I will go and see it whether I think I'll like it or not because he hasn't disappointed me yet and I doubt he ever will.
"Isn't category 2 and 3 the same?"

Well, as jenofthejungle, Kiba and Samantha (and perhaps a few others) have noted, there's a bunch of us who thought WW was a great show until we watched it again as adults. Those are the ones in love with the idea of Wonder Woman, the character of Wonder Woman, without paying much attention to quality of the product (comics or TV show). The other category is of those who think the idea of WW is no more than what has been done with it - that a WW movie would be an extension of the TV show, that WW is supposed to look like Lynda Carter ...

I look forward to Joss redefining WW, without a necessary allegiance to what has been done before. I say "necessary", because some of the basic things like mythology and characterization probably have to be faithful to the story of Wonder Woman. Other than that - she's been written by many people over the years, some better than others.
It would be so cool to cast an unknown and to see a beautiful healthy full figured woman again and ofcourse who can act!
I think all the elements are there, Joss is so creative and with Joel, they make a dynamic is really down to who they cast... to see if it will all work together.
I used to have a poster with Lou Ferigno, Christopher Reeve and Lynda Carter on it, all costumed to the max.

What all these young kids who should totally get off my lawn already don't realise is that before Buffy there was this vast televisual wasteland where people thought Knight Rider was a good idea. True story (and I apologise for shocking anyone).
Oh good they took my advice with using an unknown :-)
Now take my next tip about watching Supergirl and not doing *anything* they did in that movie, lol. Like that's even possible with Joss. Really looking forward to seeing what he does with it.
Joel Silver is involved with Veronica Mars and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - so he would appear to know something about steering creative people without killing a great idea. Also Joss was writing movies for a long while before he got a TV show - so I think it's likely he knows the process. So I'd expect between the two of them they should be able to come up with the goods.

I want Joss to have a huge hit for two reasons. One is that he's more likely to be able to make the movies / TV shows he wants the more marketable his name is. And two, because then I can turn round to lots of people and say told you so!! (Now do you want to watch Buffy with me?)

Will I love it because it's Joss? No not automatically, but I sure will go see it.
By the way, whoever said earlier in the year I should watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang on here - sorry, memory, broken - thank you. It's a fantastically entertaining film.
2) Women who are nostalgic about their childhood WW underoos

Yep, that would be me too, carpeffulent :-). I never read the comics, never really watched the TV show (since my parents were pretty strict with the TV), but I sure loved my WW underoos. It's pretty much the only thing I remember about/connect with WW, actually, to this day. When there was talk about Joss doing the film earlier, I realized I didn't even know about basic things like her invisible ship and lasso of truth - all I really knew was what she looked like and the fact that i always thought she was so great as a kid just because she was the one female superhero I knew about. My brother had the Spiderman underoos; I went with Wonder Woman.

And gossi, glad to hear you liked Kiss kiss, Bang Bang! I was at least one of the people on this board urging people to see it. Such a fun, entertaining film - I never understood why it never found an audience.
Wonder Woman the TV show is to Womder Woman the character and the comics as Batman the sixties TV show is to Batman the character and comic.

Just sayin'. I realize the TV show is the only Wonder Woman most people know, and that's why it's mentioned here so much, but it's only one tiny, ancient part of the mythos.

I'd rather compare what Joss'll do to Greg Rucka's recent run (although Joss is obviously dealing with a much younger Wondy). Now there's potential. :-)
Please guys, disregard the TV show. Even though it's the incarnation most people know about, I just can't see Joss going anyway near what the show was. He's a comics guy and he knows the history of this character. My guess is if he concentrates on elements from any one run of the comics, it'll be George Perez's--considered by many to be the definitive WW.

Although Joss has said the invisible plane will "show up". Hopefully it will be as a throwaway gag.

Like JesterInACast, I'm a little worried about Development Hell as well. If Joss and Silver don't see eye-to-eye after several drafts--Joss might walk out of frustration. If they keep not seeing eye-to-eye and Silver wants to bring in other writers to take passes at it, Joss might walk. Things would have to go very badly in order for that to happen, but this is Hollywood.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this movie isn't greenlit yet, is it?

Btw, IMHO while the show was terrible, Lynda Cater totally looked like Wonder Woman.

I'm looking forward to this movie. I look forward to anything Joss creates. But I'll get excited about it when the cameras start rolling.
Everybody's makin' such a fuss about an invisible plane. Aren't stealth fighters supposed to be invisible (to radar, anyway)? Wondy's plane could be as non-cheesy as that, FFS! ;-)
I love the way WW's invisible jet was handled in the Justice League cartoons. It looks like a regular jet on the inside (cockpit with lit up controls and all of that) and on the outside... not visible... not even the passengers.

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