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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"It's not enough to bash in heads you’ve got to bash in minds"
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October 26 2010

"Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman was killed by Studio Guys, no, really." Short blog piece about Joss and the author's lack of love for "studio guys."

I figured our resident Hollywood experts (i.e. Gossi et al) could debunk (or agree with) the author's fairly simple premise that the studios regularly overstep their job of providing money on film projects.

My takes;

1) Not sure I'm a Hollywood expert. I work for a company that makes corned beef. (It's tasty, though). (For corned beef).

2) Dr Horrible a disappointment? I'm pretty sure it's still the most financially successful (in terms of revenue) Internet thing ever. It also won the gals and guys an Emmy.

3) No studio will give you bags of money for free - the saying 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' definitely applies in LA. 'Buffy' absolutely put Joss on the map. 'Firefly' got cancelled - a real shame - but Joss got to make a $40mish motion picture. That doesn't happen. 'Dollhouse' got renewed despite having (at the time) the lowest big-4 Broadcast ratings ever. Then he landed the biggest budget superhero movie ever (to be) made. Yeah, he's had heartbreak. But Joss built his own spaceship on somebody elses wallet. Twice.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-10-26 21:32 ]
I disagree with a lot of this article. Or, not necessarily disagree. I think it takes the wrong tone, though. See gossi's point #3 above, for one. Also, I don't think it's fair to disregard superhero flicks completely. I think Dark Knight showed that a director can leave a definite mark on a superhero action movie--hell, so did HULK, though with less stellar results.

And finally: First, Whedon’s script for Alien Resurrection, was disembowelled by its director Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

I really need to see this movie. I'm just so interested how my favorite writer combined with a fantastic director could go so wrong.
This entire article consists of the unfounded assertions of some blogger. I'm not impressed.

(The thesis hangs entirely on "We never [wanted] to make the same movie; none of us knew that." This hardly equates to "it's the studio guys.")
I do agree that Warner Bro.s wasted Joss' time, too much of his time IMO, but I don't think that those were necessarily the best years of his life; I don't think that Wonder Woman would have necessarily been the break through movie that Joss' career needed. I do think that Avengers could be.... I also think that Joss has had a very successful career even with the disappointments! He has made more memorable things than most people ever get to.
To chime in with Alien love, Jobo, both Jeunet and Whedon apparently hated the movie. It's my favorite in the series (right ahead of the first one). Watching it (particularly post-Firefly) it really does mix elements of both of their respective styles. How well can be argued until the end of time, but I'd recommend it.

Re: Wonder Woman, the Avengers seems a better fit for Mr. Whedon anyway, plus it dying led to Dollhouse, so you'll hear no complaints from me!
I have an early Alien Resurrection draft, if anybody is interested. They roast the Alien at the end from memory.

Of course, Wonder Woman was a waste of everybody's time. That movie has been in development hell for, what, 15 years now? If they couldn't agree on a Joss pitch, it's probably going to sit in somebodies draw for a while longer.
Can anyone else not access this entry? I couldn't earlier which is why I didn't post the link.
But Whedon’s biggest disappointment was losing the “Woman Woman” movie.

I'm pretty sure that was Firefly.
Actually Gossi I thought he was saying that Dr Horrible wasn't a disappointment, but that it was disappointing it was the one post-Buffy success Whedon definitively had according to his thesis.

As fun as it is to blame studios though, this isn't exactly the best support. There seem to be other creators around that manage to do what they want within the studio system. (And also he doesn't exactly pick the best examples of "art" winning out over studio interference. I mean when you have the SW prequel trilogy, a biopic in two parts which I've heard isn't even the best retelling of the Che story, and Avatar?) Also Linklater did Waking Life way before School of Rock.

Also I barely understood the vampire movie analogy. I'm assuming there was a Buffy tie and yeah there were vampires in all those films-- but I thought they were all agreed to stay honest to their source material even in face of studio interference. Like despite all the qualms about Twilight as whole, they seem to be churning out movies akin to the books rather than turning it into an action flick like they reputedly wanted to. (Though I am still curious where that Asian-American FBI agent subplot was supposed to come from.)
Post-Avengers, I don't want Wonder Woman. I want Goners.

(And, corned beef? I thought it was tuna?)
I cannot access it, Simon.
Post-Avengers, I don't want Wonder Woman. I want Goners.

Me too. I want Goners a lot.
Yeah, somehow I too thought it was a Fish Factory (the notion of which I loved).

I wants my precious Gonerssss, too.

"Steven Sodenberg" conjures up the image of a rain-soaked auteur.

ETF: typo

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2010-10-26 22:41 ]
What's Goners?
Among other things, a dead piece of your past and a resurrected and thriving odd little backwater Whedony community.

And history (months of development hell and a locked-up script.)

Free Goners! Dudes.

Talk about yer Studio Guys.
If the author had given any details on precisely how studio guys killed Wonder Woman, this article might have been of interest.

Waste of pixels.
1. What a terrible article.

2. That Wonder Woman cover is really creepy. I can't believe some off the covers to WW they have done.

3. I want to read Joss' WW script. Someone leak it already please. Joss? You know you want to. :p

4. Free Goners!
Saw the post heading out of the corner of my eye and thought it read "...Wonder Woman was killed by Shaido Guys..."
Boy - talk about crossed universes...
I wasn't aware Joss's career was on life support from the multiple death imagery-related incidents of the past, but every now and then the internet explains to me that it is so.
Maybe after The Avengers breaks the box office record, Joss will have enough to clout to go to Universal and say, "Serenity 2. Next year. That's all." Then walk out of the office.
This whole situation around Wonder Woman and them "not wanting to make the same movie" reminds me of Kevin Smith's take on what happened to Superman Lives and how it became Wild Wild West instead. There are so many elements at play surrounding how and when a movie gets made that I think it's not easy to point a finger at one person or decision and say "that, that right there, that's what killed my project."
Sorry - School of Rock came out two years AFTER Waking Life.

Also, this article gives only VERY weak circumstantial evidence that mostly has nothing at all to do with Joss. It was a waste of space article, in my opinion.
Wrong thread - sorry.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2010-10-27 05:47 ]
(And, corned beef? I thought it was tuna?)

Tuna is the corned beef of the sea.

Fluff, hyperbole and not much else (I did like the way he says "lately" then goes on to talk about a 13 year old film, an 8 years cancelled TV show, a five year old film etc. Yep, breaking news alright, stop the presses ;). Still, he got at least our ad eyeballs so fair play to him.

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