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September 10 2006

"Buffy's brains...Serenity's brawn. All on the big screen." Best selling author/comic book writer Brad Meltzer gets all excited for Joss' Wonder Woman.

Those with good memories will recall that Joss did the introduction for Brad Metlzer's Identity Crisis hardcover.

And for those who like to play "The Six Degrees of Joss Whedon", Buffy Animated artist Eric Wight drew a couple of pages for Brad Metlzer's JLA #0.

Or those with the 'Identity Crisis' hardcover ;).

Nice little interview-let. Meltzer shows he's got good taste as well as talent (tiny bone to pick though, was 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind' really overlooked ? I thought it did pretty good business - over here anyway - and it was certainly well received critically as it deserved, IMO).
Has anyone sussed out whether the Big Bad facing Wonder Woman will be female? IIRC, Joss said the villain is from mythology of the classical kind (i.e., older than DC, Marvel and perhaps Sophocles) and if it's a female . . . well, the part could be even cooler than that of the Amazin' Amazon herself.

Just wishin' and hopin' and prayin' and speculatin' . . .
I saw "Eternal Sunshine..." four times in the theater. *Four times*. I never do that. I loved that movie so much. At first, I went because of Jim Carrey, because I like him, and it seemed somewhat unique.

But then, oh my god. He was fantastic; he disappeared into Joel Barrish. And Kate Winslet was even more fantastic. I'd never thought much of her before this (Titanic was the last thing I saw her in), but she brought Clementine to life.

The B-plot with Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Wilkinson was just as well done. It was the actors, the way it looked, the story, the music...everything. It was funny, heartbreaking, and it was really clever and poignant. They sold the bit of sci fi so well, too. You bought it, like it was an everyday thing.

It sucked me in and I couldn't shake it for a long time.

Sorry, I just have to praise ESOTSM when I see it mentioned.
I don't blame you. It is a COOL movie, and I should pick up the DVD sometime.
I'm not betting any money, but my guess is that he would have a male villain, to underscore the feminist themes that I'm sure our dear Joss would be sneaking into the minds of adolescent boys. :)

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2006-09-10 20:30 ]
Maybe, Ronald_SF, or he could openly explore feminist themes in the culture clash between a princess from a matriarchal society and some of the American men she encounters.

Suppose the reason she leaves Paradise Island for our shores is that some monstrous Graeco-Roman Goddess (GRC) is rampaging through America, and the Amazons realize that human men are simply too weak to deal with such power. They deck her out in red, white and blue (and gold) to diplomatically align her with the victims and send her off to the front lines, where the Special Forces are getting pummeled by the GRC. Does the petite princess approach the soldiers and tell them, don't worry, I'll save you? Or something much funnier . . .
Or suppose that there is some enchantment on Lesbian Fantasy Paradise Island that frees its inhabitants from any, erm, need for the company of men, but once you catch an invisible jet out of the charmed circle, well, it's like instant adolescence. Does there come a moment when Diana realizes that men, while really quite defenseless, are nonetheless . . . ravishing?

Perhaps the first time she meets the head of the Special Forces, Steve Trevor, after the initial skirmish with the GRC, which has messed up his shirt, so he simply must strip to the waist and empty a bottle of water over his head. In slow motion. So the sun glistens off his highly ripped torso. And her jaw kind of drops.

IOW, it could be funny and feminist if she is even more sexist than American men. It could illuminate the nature of sexism by presenting a mirror image/parody of it. Really, really blatantly. It'd be like shooting fish out of water!

(And the romantic arc for the two of them could be that she has to learn respect for him and he has to overcome her all-too-understandably condescending view of men, along with crushed, tattered, gasping remnants of his own chauvinism.)

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-09-10 22:05 ]
Last week's printed version of TV Guide had a little blurb on Brad Meltzer's new novel The Book of Fate, about how the main character, Wes Holloway, was named for Josh Holloway of Lost. It went on to say, "Also getting winks are Lost cocreator Damon Lindelof and Buffy guru Joss Whedon." Anybody want to buy the book, read it, and let me know what the wink is?!
Perhaps the first time she meets the head of the Special Forces, Steve Trevor, after the initial skirmish with the GRC, which has messed up his shirt, so he simply must strip to the waist and empty a bottle of water over his head. In slow motion. So the sun glistens off his highly ripped torso. And her jaw kind of drops.

Yes, Pointy, this is definintely Whedonesque's weekend to be extra sex-ay, lol! Considering all the "whoo-hoo" comments on the Mereceds McNab in Playboy thread (as well as all the very thoughtful discussions in that thread of why healthy people enjoy seeing the healthy, nude human form, and the political, social, emotional and physical meanings of that), I think your post has the best timing ever. We are nothing if not, er, equal-opportunity appreciaters of the human body here on The Black! ;-)
Thanks for pointing that out, billz, I hadn't noticed it was Whedonesque's Wild Weighty Wacky Weekend.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-09-11 03:42 ]
Hey Pat, just wanted to jump aboard your Eternal Sunshine lovewagon. One of my favorite films. It's in my Top 25 of all time I think.

Just sayin's all. Carry on.
If I had a top 25, it'd go on mine as well, Haunt. Without question.
Just returned, billz, from the thread you directed me to, and want to make some points similar, but not identical, to yours.

1. I'm glad the arts celebrate the beauty of sex and the human body. 2. I think it's inevitable that movie stars, male and female, are going to be valued in part for their physical beauty. 3. The physically beautiful male movie stars generally get to play heroes, but the physically beautiful female movie stars often, as you pointed out, play victims, trophies or other passive types. 4. I love it when the actresses get to play heroes, as in the various 'verses of Whedon.

His artistic choices don't seem to play down the physical beauty aspect as much as play up the humanity of the female characters.

Wonder Woman provides plenty of opportunities for sex role reveral. The only equality issue an Amazon princess may be ready to deal with in America is her innate physical superiority. Since she can defeat any mortal in battle, she may find it hard to take our strongest warriors seriously, but she may still think they're kind of cute. Steve Trevor may wonder if she really respects him, or is just saying she does to be diplomatic or to get a chance to more closely examine his abs.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-09-11 08:34 ]
Hard to blame all the speculation surrounding how Mr.Whedon's going to approach WW... but it's hard to think of anyone else who could mix all the right elements together to make this concept fly. ('scuse the the bad pun)

The great thing about each of his series, to me, anyways, is that not only does Mr.Whedon know what's fun about the superhero (and I use that term loosely, I consider "Buffy" and "Angel" to be superheroes) and adventure genres and deliver the goods on that front, but that he also finds ways to create psychological levels and substance beyond what's on the surface in his stories as well. (Which I think make his stories so enduring even past the humor that his shows are infused with, too).

One thing I worry about is that Whedon fans may expect WW to be 'exactly like' Buffy and I might throw a word of caution on that.

"Angel", to me, was significantly different than "Buffy" which was different than "Firefly", even though each had high standards of quality- each show was pretty different from one another...even though from the same mind... and "Wonder Woman" I'm sure is going to be probably a different creation in many ways from either of these three as well.

I'm pretty confident it'll be great, but it could be as different from "Buffy" as "Angel" is different from "Firefly".

Will "Wonder Woman" be on the lighter side or the darker side of Mr.Whedon's creative choices? Will be interesting to see.

In addition to themes of feminism, will the film touch upon philosophies of survival (what is the price of creating a 'paradise' island that Queen Hypolyta had to pay and maybe still pays?) and how that contrasts with philosophies of survival in 'the real world'? (In the early comics, and the revamps, WW interacting with the US military is a big part of it. Would be interesting to see how 'real' the US military and its philosophies are portrayed in this comic book movie... ) The political ramifications of having a 'paradise island' that may or may not have weapons of mass destruction (what country wouldn't want an invisible plane?) and how other countries will react to that?

Not that everyone wants (or needs) the film to be all social (or political) commentary, but I'd be greatly suprised if there isn't some aspect of the film that doesn't touch on how the Amazon would perceive parts of the 'real world', warts and all.

But- one thing I can assume, that, like with all of the Whedonverse series, that the supporting cast is going to be sharply defined ((I'm already anticipating that his characterization of Queen Hypollyta may be just as interesting a character as Diana, if not moreso, given the prices she's had to pay to keep the island in one piece, if that part of the mythos stays the same)) and that it's going to be a great villain...whoever he or she or it is...

And- with an 'origin' story (I assume it is), it seems like there's going to be a LOT of ground that has to be covered and hopefully he'll be able to get a running time long enough to do it justice.

But... ah... wait, wasn't this a post about Brad Meltzer in the first place? Oh yeah--- Cool article, I must say. (Identity Crisis rocks)
;)
1. I'm glad the arts celebrate the beauty of sex and the human body. 2. I think it's inevitable that movie stars, male and female, are going to be valued in part for their physical beauty. 3. The physically beautiful male movie stars generally get to play heroes, but the physically beautiful female movie stars often, as you pointed out, play victims, trophies or other passive types. 4. I love it when the actresses get to play heroes, as in the various 'verses of Whedon.

His artistic choices don't seem to play down the physical beauty aspect as much as play up the humanity of the female characters.


True, and well said, Pointy. It's a particularly good observation (and unfortunate that it's true) that pretty boys become heroes and pretty girls (outside the Whedonverse) become victims. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to the other thread! :-)

Steve Trevor may wonder if she really respects him, or is just saying she does to be diplomatic or to get a chance to more closely examine his abs.

Also true, Pointy, but here's a thought -- would Steve Trevor object to having his body contemplated? Long-term objectification or "commodification," as QuoterGal had put it on that other thread, has understandably left a lot of women a might tetchy about being subjected to what I believe is called "the male gaze" (coincidentally, I think I heard this term used in relation to the Storyteller ep of Buffy, which FX is running tomorrow morning). But, would Steve, all-American military-ish hero-type, be bothered by such an inspection, or would all his buds elbow him and snicker, "Lucky guy"? Will it provide Steve and his buds an eye-opening experience to be made objects of "the female gaze"? I believe Joss will come up with a creative and humanistic (and funny!) answer to these questions, exactly because (as harvey chin put it) "he also finds ways to create psychological levels and substance beyond what's on the surface in his stories." :-)
Me too. Unnecessary elaboration follows:

Wait, the horse isn't quite dead yet: My theory is that what really bugs women is not the attention paid to their sexual power, but the exclusivity of that attention. All else equal, women find sexual power kind of . . . empowering. But if that's the only power men acknowledge on women's part, if the focus on their physical beauty is done at the exclusion of their strengths of intellect or character, then the acknowledgement/celebration of their sexual power becomes a way to deny them other kinds of power -- their sexual power becomes, paradoxically (ooo, I love that word) disempowering.

So it would be cool and rare to see a guy who's physically strong and beautiful, ordinarily also given high social status because of his prowess at war as well as his looks, finding out what it's like not to be taken seriously in any way by an incredibly attractive woman who commands his respect, but sees him as, at best, a dude in distress with a hot bod.

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-09-11 18:58 ]
I hope Wonder Woman will be four hours of fiendishly attractive men dumping water, champagne and/or suntan lotion over their heads (in slow motion) alternating with scenes of Wonder Woman mercilessly beating the crap out of bad guys.

The fight scenes should feature a lot of Matrix-style camera rotations and moodily-lit (yet more) slow motion shots of blood, sweat and teeth flying after each hit.

And after the initial 10 minutes of boring necessary story setup, I want the only dialogue to be catchphrases and one-liners. Things like "This is gonna be a two-hit fight; me hitting you and you hitting the ground" and "I'm gonna hit you so hard your dog will hurt"

The last 45 minutes will be the climactic battle against the big bad featuring a 15 minute slow motion (too much is never enough) multi-angle montage of Wonder Woman punching ENTIRELY through the villains skull and chest simultaneously while the live version of 'Free Bird' by Lynyrd Skynyrd plays on the soundtrack.
Good stuff!
I dunno about that. Do we really need 10 minutes of story setup ?
Hoping for some comments on my theory of "what really bugs women" from Whedonesque's wise and wonderful hot chicks with supermodems.
So it would be cool and rare to see a guy who's physically strong and beautiful, ordinarily also given high social status because of his prowess at war as well as his looks, finding out what it's like not to be taken seriously in any way by an incredibly attractive woman who commands his respect, but sees him as, at best, a dude in distress with a hot bod.


Pointy, funny stuff! - if going in THAT direction, I'd say if these movies are going to be a trilogy, would also be fresh to see mr.strong and beautiful get comfortable in a relationship w/Diana, then let his body slowly go to pot because he feels she should love him for his mind, and not his toned abs.

Diana: Steve, put down those extra chicken wings, honey. A soulmate for an Amazon from Paradise Island doesn't gain love handles.

Steve: But Diana, I've found that I have an appetite for life that transcends the salad bar. Besides, if you really loved me
(*munches on another chicken wing with one hand*)
how I look (*stuffs peanuts in his mouth with another*) shouldn't matter to you. (beat) By, the way, are you going to finish those croutons?

To Wouldestous:
The last 45 minutes will be the climactic battle against the big bad featuring a 15 minute slow motion (too much is never enough) multi-angle montage of Wonder Woman punching ENTIRELY through the villains skull and chest simultaneously while the live version of 'Free Bird' by Lynyrd Skynyrd plays on the soundtrack.


Clever--- but as Saje reccomends, why do we need 10 minutes of story setup?

Conceivably, one could take that slow motion sequence, and slow it down enough even further and stretch it to two hours, shaving off TONS from the budget.

Now that it's thought about, actually one could slow down that one sequence to 6 hours, enough to have a trilogy, and with clever editing, a spinoff series with whoever else is in the scene.

Ok, I'm done. ;)
But if that's the only power men acknowledge on women's part, if the focus on their physical beauty is done at the exclusion of their strengths of intellect or character, then the acknowledgement/celebration of their sexual power becomes a way to deny them other kinds of power -- their sexual power becomes, paradoxically (ooo, I love that word) disempowering.

Holy Insight, Pointy! This is a very powerful observation. Being on the outside looking in (i.e., guy), it sounds like a great deal of truthiness here. I'd expand it and say that anybody with a particularly outstanding quality -- piano prodigy, attractive man or woman, computer genius (got a few of 'em here!), etc. -- who is focused upon and admired for that one talent might feel like they are only seen as a vehicle for delivering that particular quality, and the rest of who they are goes by the wayside. Dance, Monkey, Dance! ;-)

So it would be cool and rare to see a guy who's physically strong and beautiful, ordinarily also given high social status because of his prowess at war as well as his looks, finding out what it's like not to be taken seriously in any way by an incredibly attractive woman who commands his respect, but sees him as, at best, a dude in distress with a hot bod.

"Turnabout is fair play"! This would *rock*! ;-)
I thank you large, billz, and I laugh my Late-Mid-Afternoon snack (or “Foursies”) up my nose, harvey chin.
Well, this was different -- an all-male discussion of female empowerment. Maybe I should try that hygiene thing too.

Nah.

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