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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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August 30 2012

Warner Bros. must be kicking themselves that they let Joss Whedon get away. io9 essay describes how Warner Bros. is now playing catch up trying to mimic Avenger's success with Justice League, after letting Joss go from Wonder Woman.

Well, at least they have Paul Dini.
Oh, right, they're too compartmentalized to ever think of using him for a live action project.
I think he has a point about the lack of origin stories hampering the movie. especially since Batman would probably need a reboot in order to work in the same universe as aliens, magic rings, and Amazon goddesses (?) I don't remember what Wonder Woman's origin story was
I think Wonder Woman has had a couple different origin stories, but she's generally some kind of magically powered meta-human from a faraway imaginary island without men. Think Thor in Captain America's underpants.

[ edited by GreatMuppetyOdin on 2012-08-30 17:56 ]
If it's not too cruel, I'd say "kicking themselves" suits me just fine. Never getting Joss' take on Wonder Woman was a sad loss, so I'm fine if they want to self-flagellate on repeat.

Perhaps if they'd taken some of the advice they'd received over the years they could've shared in the Superhero Movie Glory that is Joss? Ya know?

Feeling the told-ya-sos. A bit.

Tant pis, as my people would say, if they were more French-y and less mongrel-y.
Think Thor in Captain America's underpants.

I think that gets the award for the most awesomely inadvertent slash of the day.
I know this is probably wrong of me as a fan, but I really wish Anders would curb the tendency to work Joss into everything. I like Joss. Joss is great. When I see him in every other article it feels... well lazy. Go a month without, that's all I'm asking. Go fishing. Experience the work of Moore again. I like reading about Joss everywhere else. On IO9 it's very much: oh... this again.

And to be fair, anyone "I told you so-ing" WB needs to consider that Joss was following many beats Marvel already had on the table. WB essentially veto'd Joss's vision for WW which I assume because the story seems to suggest they just wouldn't get excited or communicate what they didn't like. I have faith in Joss, but it's a fallacy to believe because Joss hit a home run with what Marvel gave him, it logically follows that WW would have been a massive success. I believe in Joss as a storyteller, but I can also say he doesn't always write stories with universal appeal. And I don't mean that as a defect in the slightest. Unfortunately, THAT'S usually what the studios are thinking about.

I think if WB is truly kicking themselves, it's not about Joss. It's about who they gave Green Lantern to and that they didn't give SOMEONE Wonder Woman to do. Marvel seems diligent about putting stuff out there. DC seems to like to sit there and receive pitches until someone goes "yea!" Essentially, Marvel seems like they have a business plan with a schedule and DC is like the artistic guy I knew in college.

[ edited by azzers on 2012-08-30 18:34 ]
Warner Bros. must be kicking themselves really desperate to hire proven talent because that they let Joss Whedon get away.
Was going to post with words like "tools" and "deserve" but QuoterGal already said it very well

+1 to her post.
I cringe when I read articles like this, especially when they skip over key facts. Warners had a Justice League script and cast years ago but the project crashed due to the very same writers' strike that led to Joss' Dr. Horrible. The current script has been in development for more than a year--hardly playing catch up with Avengers, no? Also, Warners' plan has never been to emulate Marvel's with solo films leading up to the team movie. Warners is purposely starting with the team film first, and spin off solo films from that. Again, hardly playing catch up. The reason is a simple one: most everybody already knows the Justice League's key members (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman). Not so with the Avengers; Marvel had to start with solo films for lack of character recognition. The strategies between the two companies has never been the same, or of one trying to copy the other.
I'm still not convinced Wonder Woman can be succesfully pulled off in any other vehicle than comic books in this day and age. It'd be very hard to find a way to get an audience to take her seriously.

Azzers, I'm kind of with you on the io9 mentioning Joss constantly and in the weirdest places. I remember reading a list of things not to do when writing science fiction. One of them was "don't try to speak like Joss Whedon". As much as I love Joss, let's not pretend that he's the dude everyone takes their cues from. Maybe moreso now than before Avengers, but at the time, it felt like they were assuming everyone in the world had seen Buffy and Firefly and loved them so much they would immediately start copying his style. Any good writer should already know it's never a good idea to immitate someone's style. If Whedonesque dialogue comes naturally to them, a good writer is going to write in a similar style. If it doesn't, they won't. It was kind of pointless to drag Joss into it, and it seemed as though they were just trying to mention Joss in some capacity. Not to fan-hate on them or anything, it's just that I feel like continuously mentioning him will just make non-fans feel like they never want to hear his name again. You know, the Community syndrome, where fans keep saying how amazing the show is to the point where it can never be as good as new viewers expect it to be.
^^ It does come off as overtly fannish, doesn't it? And not in a good way.
Warner Bros. seems to be taking the opposite direction from Marvel where Marvel had solo films lead into the Avengers.Warner Bros looks to do Justice League and then spin out solo films including the rebooted Batman.The wild cards seem to be Superman and Green Lantern.Will Man of Steel be a part of the DC Cinematic Universe?

You would think but back in 2008 they tried to do a Justice League film which would of had two different actors playing Superman and Batman seperate from the solo films with Brandon Ruth still attached to a Superman Returns sequel at the time and Christin Bale and Nolan still in the middle of their Batman trilogy.Plus you still had Tom Welling playing Clark Kent on T.V. on Smallville.

So you would have three different live action Supermen at the same time and two different Batmen.

Then there is the Green Lantern question.Since Green Lantern bombed,will they use Justice League to reboot or bring Ryan Reynolds back?They could also use the John Stewart Green Lantern as they were going to do back in 2008.
Well personally I felt that Warner Brothers wasted Joss' time by putting him through two years of development hell with Wonder Woman rewrites, so I hope they are kicking themselves, they should be. I would have loved to have seen Joss' vision for Wonder Woman brought to live.

But I'm just glad he has found a home with Marvel where his work is valued. I'm sure he'll have fun developing S.H.I.E.L.D. with JMo, and he'll come up with all kinds of fun new ways to torture the Avengers.
Screw WB, if they don't recognize real talent and can't get their feces together, then they shouldn't expect the beaucoup bucks.
If it's not too cruel, I'd say "kicking themselves" suits me just fine. Never getting Joss' take on Wonder Woman was a sad loss.

To be fair, Warner/DC wanted a movie about Wonder Woman. What Joss gave them was a movie about his interpretation of Wonder Woman. Not the same thing, and the two never reached a meeting of minds. I seriously doubt Warners is kicking itself for not going ahead with an end product they didn't want. Now with the Avengers, it's a very different story. Joss stayed true to the source material; with Wonder Woman he did not.

[ edited by Dean on 2012-08-30 23:24 ]
Now with the Avengers, it's a very different story. Joss stayed true to the source material; with Wonder Woman he did not.

Really? How do we know? Is Joss's Wonder Woman script available somewhere?

I'm also a little skeptical about what "true to the source material" means in the context of superhero movies. It seems like most of the characters have multiple origin stories, multiple timelines, multiple different interpretations. Was what Joss was proposing for WW really so radically different from any of the various "canonical" comic versions out there?
Well, in Avengers #1 the team battled Loki and Joss followed right along with that, and his characters were recognizably steeped in Marvel comic book history. By Joss' own interviews regarding Wonder Woman, he found it a challenge to make her relevent in today's world. What he described as a result sounded heavily influenced by his work on Buffy.
Well, in Avengers #1 the team battled Loki and Joss followed right along with that

Well, ye-sss. But that seems a pretty long way from "staying true to the source material." There's no Ant-Man in Joss's film, there's no Wasp. The tesseract isn't from Avengers #1. Hulk's characterization is radically different--etc. etc. etc.

I'm not really seeing why any of that is any less "failing to stay true to the source material" than Joss's treatment of the character of WW. After all, character is pretty malleable in the superhero world (beyond who is a "goody" and who is a "baddy" and certain key traits like Spiderman's quippiness and so forth). Look at the radically different interpretations we've had of Batman's character over the years--and all of those can find some precedent in the "canon."
Batman's on-screen characterization has always remained true to what was happening in the comics at the time, hence "staying true to the source material". In the 1940s the Batman comics and movie serials were influenced by crime noir. By the 1960s the Adam West series acurately reflected the campiness that had become the norm in Batman comics since the '50s. In the 1980s both the comics and new group of films were dark again. My point is, Batman on-screen and off-screen has been in sync. (Not surprisingly, the films that veered away from the comics' tone were critical failures.) Joss' Avengers movie is very much in sync with the comics, with the source material. His Wonder Woman was not. I'n not saying his interpretation was wrong; it simply was not what Warner/DC wanted. Warners can hardly been seen as the bad guy here, though that belief has become commonplace in fandom.

[ edited by Dean on 2012-08-31 00:15 ]
The current script has been in development for more than a year--hardly playing catch up with Avengers, no? Also, Warners' plan has never been to emulate Marvel's with solo films leading up to the team movie. Warners is purposely starting with the team film first, and spin off solo films from that

They've said it started scripting last summer (during the Avengers shoot ;) ) and it's certainly no coincidence that WB announced their plans weeks after Avengers smashed records, if it had failed JL wouldn't have seen the light of day for a while. It's also true they were on the verge of going for JL:Mortal in 2007-2008 but that movie was cancelled for more than just the writers strike and during that time MS have put them on the defensive in everything except Batman (pretty huge except but still).

They did try and capture the "Marvel formula" for solo movies with Green Lantern and script orders for Flash etc but had to rethink those plans when GL flopped. And Superman has done from being separate to probably being the "kickoff movie" for JL.

For the record I was never particularly enthused by what I read about Joss's WW, but I do think he had one of the best shots at the time of doing a successful movie. The less said about that failed TV pilot the better. I hope happens one day, I did quite enjoy the 2009 animated movie (with bonus Nathan voice). Regardless you *know* there were a few peaks at the treatments and drafts from 2006 after opening weekend.
I have always been a much bigger fan of the DC universe than Marvel's, but I gotta say that Marvel has done a damn sight better job of translating their comics to film. At one point a few years ago, the impression I got was that Warner's head of the comic division at the time was going out of his way to greenlight the worst possible adaptations he could find.
Like Rowan I have always been a bigger fan of DC than Marvel.

Well, that isn't quite right. I have a schizo reaction. I like Marvel live action movies much, much more than the DC versions. I like DC cartoon shows more than Marvel (the very recent Wolverine series made in Japan has to be the worst superhero rendition I've ever seen, instead of being 5'3, 280, he looks to be 6'6 and 190).

On the other hand, while I subscribe to about 20 DC comics each month, I get only two Marvel comics (Mark Waid's Daredevil and the new The Age of Apocalypse - I did get Uncanny X-Force until recently). But I buy rather few DC book versions of events, while my bookcase is overflowing with Marvel collections. The two labels seem to do things very differently. I won't buy Marvel individual issues partly because they will tell an 8 issue arc in four different comic lines, and I can never manage to subscribe to all the right ones.

All that said, the Justice League movie just seems like a preposterous idea. Marvel spent several years building up to The Avengers. If DC were to do the same, then it might be a different matter. but I don't see then wanting to take the time and patience and dedication to do that.

So my main connection to DC will be Wednesday comic book day, while Marvel will be collected editions of their books (I did, for instance, just order a used copy of Ed Brubaker's Captain America Omnibus, something I'd been intending to get for ages, and I spent the afternoon rereading Frank Miller's Daredevil Born Again on the beach). But I can't see myself getting excited about DC superhero movies any more than I can see myself increasing the number of Marvel issues I subscribe to.
After a horrible day, I laugh it all away.

Think Thor in Captain America's underpants.
Really? How do we know? Is Joss's Wonder Woman script available somewhere?

It can't be, because he never finished a script. In his own words (this is sourced on Wikipedia) he completed an outline, but never had a first draft of a full script. Given that he worked on this for two years, that would be red flag #1 for me.

He also said that he was going to use an original villain, rather than one from the comics. That would be red flag #2 for me, and a huge one. I think that completely misses the point of doing a comic adaptation. The adaptations that have tended to do the best are the ones that capture what made the characters successful in the comics in the first place. Going with an original villain is pretty risky in that context.

(And before someone says WW has a crappy rogues' gallery, her's really isn't any worse than most superheroes. The ones that have a great one, like Batman and Spider-Man, are very much the exception. I think Circe, Cheetah, or Ares would have made fine movie villains. I also like Dr. Psycho and Giganta, but they might have looked weird in a movie.)

None of this means that he wouldn't have made a good WW movie, but I have my doubts and I'm not surprised WB had some too.

[ edited by Mad Axe on 2012-08-31 23:56 ]
As far as I know there was a script, which WB didn't like, so he did an outline and exited the project.
I'm going off this AV Club interview from 2007, which seems to say otherwise, though I suppose what he says is a bit open to interpretation.,14136/
I still love his story on how she would have come to deflect bullets.
From that AV Club article:
I don't know (what they did or did not like), because when I asked Joel Silver, point blank, "Well, if they don't want what I'm doing, what do they want?" he said, "They don't know."

That's a huge difference compared to the Avengers. Marvel gave Joss structure (a few points that he had to hit) and at the same time gave him a lot of freedom. (He wanted Thanos; he got Thanos.) Is there anything to indicate that WB has a vision, beyond "put out something"? The recent Batman movies were good because Nolan had that vision. The last Superman movie, and X-Men 3, failed in large part because the scripts were rushed and incoherent.

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