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December 14 2004

Joss Whedon to write and direct Wonder Woman movie? Fox still want him to direct X-Men 3? Read the latest (bizarre to say the least) rumours at AICN.

If this is even remotely true, then I allready know who's gonna be playing Wonder Woman...

None other then the beautiful Charisma Carpenter herself. Joss owes it to her for season five of Angel. That and she would be great.
Actually I would think Eliza Dushku would be Joss's choice for Wonder Woman if that happened, not Charisma.
Well, we all know it's Charisma's life ambition to play Wonder Woman. So if Joss makes the film, and doesn't hire her, then we'll know who'll be pissy. Though maybe she's too old?
5 words: Charisma Carpenter as Wonder Woman.

There's no better choice.

And she deserves it after she was mercilessly dumped from Angel, after giving birth no less!

[ edited by Rion on 2004-12-14 22:25 ]
I don't think Joss owes CC anything. She made her bed but enough of that. I am not sure I want JW to do WW. It is no coincidence that they have not been able to get this movie off of the ground. This is one of those rare super hero characters that would be hard to do without making it CAMPY.

I just don't see them doing this movie without it being CAMPY and possibly very bad. I would prefer JW to stick to the darker type characters. I think the entire XMEN 3 gig would be a great fit. Besides does anybody else really want to see an XMEN 3 movie based on a script from a guy who actually admits to working on Charlies Angel Full Throttle or Catwoman???? The script is already screaming rewrite if that guy has touched it!!!!!!!

[ edited by DarenG on 2004-12-14 22:27 ]
I don't know if I could deal with a Wonder Woman who punches a bad guy and then says, "What is with your medicated psychodrama??? Get a grip or I'll Will your Grace, 'mkay?"

Actually, I think Whedon's gonna need to draw on new talent rather than pick a BuffyVerse alumnus. I'd rather he do X-Men 3 though. Whedon's stronger with team interaction.
If she's too old, Charisma can play Hippolyta, Wonder Woman's mother, who was actually the original Wonder Woman. !!
Personally I'd like to see him direct the Magneto spinoff that's being talked about.

And can we tone it down on the CC Angel speculation please, I don't want to start editing people's threads.
Well, whether it is true or not, I love having all this buzz about Joss! It seems to indicate that everyone thinks that 'Serenity' will do well and Joss will be a hot new director. He has said that he would never direct someone else's screen play...and he has said he is currently working on a screen I figure X-men3 is out unless they let him write his own script, and all in all he'll wait to do his current work (because that is what he would be most excited about).

BUT if it is true: I think Joss would do a great job of adding some depth and layers to Wonder Woman...and I'm w/RavenU - ED is way more likely than CC (who still looks lovely but was never one for the fight scenes...).
However personally I would be interested in seeing someone new.

But I'm kind of doubting any of it, Joss still has two more Firefly movies to write/direct!
This is one of those rare super hero characters that would be hard to do without making it CAMPY.

Hey, if Joss can do 'spoiled valley girl kills vampires' without camp, I'm confident he can do anything!
I agree. Don't want to see any BUFFY alumn. The last thing the movie studio would want is fans going look that's Cordy....errrr...Wonder Woman or looks its Faith...err Wonder Woman. Just don't think this movie can be done without UBER CAMPNESS.

X3 (minus the genius writing the current script) would be a great fit.

PS RogueSlayer, I am confused. Buffy is CAMP. That was the ultmiate thing JW tried to do. Show that a Valley Girl could save the world. WW is a different beast. The die hard fans of WW would never except CAMP of any sort with this character.

[ edited by DarenG on 2004-12-14 22:44 ]
I personaly think both Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku would be great Wonder Women. I don not think Carpenter is too old. She does have a mediteranian look and that would be a perfect fit.

As for Joss on Magneto. That would be brilliant. Mr. Whedon has a great skill in dealing with "bad guys" and really make them stand out. I allways saw magneto as some one struggling for redemption. I really enjoyed X-Men in the 80's when Magneto became the head of the Xavier academy. Mr. Whedon could really bring that to the big screen in a fantastic way. marvel trying to do with the X-men movie what they did with the comic...create spin-off's of the spin-off's :-)
DarenG, Joss doesn't think Buffy is camp. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth in a New York Times 2002 article about Joss called "Must-See Metaphysics": "I hate it when people talk about 'Buffy' as being campy. I hate camp. I don't enjoy dumb TV."

Of course it could be that people have different conceptions of what "camp" is.
Hey, if Joss can do 'spoiled valley girl kills vampires' without camp, I'm confident he can do anything!

Good point. But still, I find it very hard to believe I live in a universe in which it is possible to make a Wonder Woman movie that isn't just really bad. Such a universe would be a strange and frightening place indeed.

I'd prefer he made X-Men. That would be much less disconcerting to me.
Buffy was campy. Any time you have valley girl speak in a horror genre that is camp. He thinks camp is dumb TV. I don't. Campy really just means silly.

The definition: providing sophisticated amusement by virtue of having artificially (mannered or banal or sentimental qualities; "they played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect";

At times they played to the silliness of the life or death situations on both shows. There are several episodes that did that for both shows. Smiletime anyone? That doesn't mean bad in anyway. CAMP may not be how he would describe it but the shows had that element. They had it in a good way. Not a bad way. That is what made both shows so brilliant.

[ edited by DarenG on 2004-12-14 23:03 ]
DarenG, that is certainly one way to look at camp. I think others might approach it as Susan Sontag does:" Sontag also distinguishes between "pure camp," which amounts to a kitsch that takes itself so seriously that we can now see it as hilarious (in other words, the camp sensibility is on the side of the audience not the author of the work), and "Camp which knows itself to be camp" and is, therefore, already making fun of itself." Joss is too smart to do it the first way and I hope, would have no interest in doing it the second way. And no, I don't see Buffy as camp.
I think Lioness is correct: camp is something that is inadvertently funny (because it is so lame and badly done) like 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes', something that KNOWS it is camp is something that is intentionally self mocking, like the TV show Batman (w/Adam West) was. BtVS was never either of those was funny in a smart clever way, and it took itself seriously in terms of the suspense, horror, and drama.

Of course the movie version of Buffy was campy, but that was a perversion of Joss' script that doesn't bare thinking about
To weigh in here: I think Buffy might have appeared superficially camp to the casual observer because of the way, as DarrenG pointed out, that it could switch rapidly between tragedy and comedy, life and death, serious and farcical. However, I don't believe it was ever camp, whether that means just silly or the Sontag definitions, because whatever tone it was projecting, that tone was deep and pure. (Excuse me for sounding pretentious for a second).

What I mean is, when Buffy did tragedy, it was all tragedy. And when it did funny, it was just funny - there was no undermining of the tragic elements, except in the all-too-natural reactions of people undergoing tremendous pain or anxiety to joke or make light of their situation. I don't think BtVS ever illegitimately mixed these opposites together, to make us laugh when we should be crying, or vice versa. That to me is why the show was never camp. It wasn't stupid, and it wasn't winking at us. It was just this incredible blend of different tones and emotions.
Campiness, the theory.

I think something is (intentionally) campy if it takes a look at the stereotypical weaknesses of a genre - those things that take us out of the story - and accentuates those weaknesses as though they were strengths, in order to take us even farther out of the story. When we've been taken out of the story, that's when we can look at it and see how unrealistic and silly the whole thing is. Unrealistic silliness is campy.

Something like Smile Time, which by all rights should be camp (take a cartoony superhero and accentuate his cartooniness), ends up not being campy because it doesn't take us out of the story - it draws us further into it. Because it's not Angel's 'simplicity' that makes him like a puppet - it's his complexity that makes him feel like there are other forces that are pulling his strings. As funny as the wee little puppet man is, he's never silly. As a puppet he becomes more realistic - in the sense that we can relate to him more on some levels - rather than less.

That's it. Done now.
I agree that the Buffy movie came out campy, and I think that's a big reason Joss wasn't happy with it. It didn't take the concept seriously enough.

I suppose there are different ideas of campy, but I for one don't enjoy campiness unless it's a blatant parody/attempt at camp.

And as for Wonder Woman, I don't know enough about her comic character, which I have a feeling is very different from the tv version! But I'd love to see Joss doing anything high profile in the movie world, because that just ups the chance that he can do a Serenity trilogy, or other Buffyverse projects, or something entirely new that the world can enjoy.
Wonder Woman can be done without over-the-top camp, as evidenced in her current incarnation, on Justice League Unlimited, a very fun series that also manages to take itself seriously and avoid campiness. In fact, IMO, it's the only show currently on TV whose writing almost equals Joss in brilliance. Wonder Woman in this series is a complex, three-dimensional character whose boldness and strength manages to make her seem completely legitimate, and cause the viewer to ignore any potential silliness. The closest parallel I can think of is Kill Bill, a film that could have been incredibly campy but wasn't thanks to Uma Thurman's incredible performance. There are ways to do Wonder Woman without it being campy a la the old series, just as all of the best later versions of Batman after the 60's series were not campy (let's just forget Batman Forever and Batman and Robin ever happened, 'kay? ;-) )
"Buffy is CAMP. That was the ultmiate thing JW tried to do."

Well, that's just plain incorrect. Joss has stated repeatedly that he hates it when people call Buffy 'campy'. So it certainly wasn't the 'ultimate' thing he was 'trying' to do.

And yes, to me, campy is really camp when it's unintentionally bad. Sometimes, in the case of the later Batman movies or the Avengers, it's a deliberate attempt that simply comes out 'bad' on all fronts and is not even fun in that campy way. I'd say that Van Helsing was campy because it wasn't really intentional. They meant it to be cool, but I was cringing in my seat.

Personally I rarely enjoy camp. I'd prefer to watch something that's good and intended that way.

But Buffy was never intended to be camp. And it wasn't badly and embarrassingly done either, so it's just isn't campy. (The movie certainly was but then Joss hated it) Just because a valley girl is in a horror flic, doesn't make it camp. It's all in the execution, not in the core elements.

As for Wonder Woman, hey, I'll watch it if Joss makes it, but she has to be at the sheer bottom of list of characters I wish to see on the silver screen, let alone the list of characters I want to see Joss take on. I know she's an 'icon', but I've just never been able to find the character interesting.

And any problems with making THAT movie not campy are almost all rooted in that dated and silly costume. She's wearing star-spangled hotpants for frag's sake.
For those looking for a non-campy take on Wonder Woman, that anyone making a WW movie would do well to look into, check out celebrated crime novelist Greg Rucka's current run. His first issues were collected in the Trade Paperback Down to Earth. The second trade, Bitter Rivals, is being released next month. I highly recommend them.
"And any problems with making THAT movie not campy are almost all rooted in that dated and silly costume. She's wearing star-spangled hotpants for frag's sake." EdDantes

Yes, they'd definitely have to update that look! As for CC getting the role, well, personally, and please no rock throwing, but I don't think she's that great of an actress. Loved her as Cordy, more in the earlier version than the later, and I think she's good in the comedic stuff but that seems to be her limit.

I do like the idea of ED doing the role though. But, I doubt it would be an actress from the Buffyverse if this tends to really be true. I can't see Joss casting someone that is already that much connected to him and that well known to the Buffyverse fanbase in this movie.

Now, I'd still be thrilled if somehow he ends up doing X-men 3!
I think we are arguing symantics here. The first problem I see is that the term CAMPY is one of the most misused terms in Hollywood. Because of that people have associated CAMPY with bad. Fans of campy movies would disagree with calling BAD movies like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes campy. When in fact they are just bad.

The very definition of campy uses the word "sophisticated". There is nothing sophisticated about bad movies. However, JW writing IS IN FACT sophisticated in that he can have silly moments (which is the true meaning of CAMP) in the middle of life or death struggles without missing a beat. That type of writing is purely brilliant.

Like the person above pointed out, often is was superficial but it was definitely there. What I meant by "his ultimate goal" was just that he took two things you would never associate together (Cheerleader and Hero) and brilliantly added a level of humor (CAMPY HUMOR) and drama that most writers couldn't do.

So if JW or anyone else doesn't want to call it camp then that's OK with me. However, both shows in my opinion were campy by definition. So I guess we can agree to disagree.

[ edited by DarenG on 2004-12-15 01:03 ]
"I don't think she's that great of an actress. Loved her as Cordy, more in the earlier version than the later, and I think she's good in the comedic stuff but that seems to be her limit."

Yeah I liked her fine as Cordy, but I tend to agree with you.

Thing is with either SMG or ED, they're both these tiny, tiny girls. Wonder Woman is supposed to be this tall, impressive, athletic amazon goddess. SMG is 5'3"....I mean... Catherine Zeta Jones maybe, or Lucy Lawless could pull that off, but SMG and ED are just not the types.

"I think we are arguing symantics here. The first problem I see is that the term CAMPY is one of the most misused terms in Hollywood. Because of that people have associated CAMPY with bad. Fans of campy movies would disagree with calling BAD movies like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes campy. When in fact they are just bad."

Well I agree many terms are misused. "Deus ex machina' or 'jumping the shark' jump to mind. 'Campy' is one too, and to me you're another example of the misuse. I don't know of course, where you got your definition of camp, but the dictionary I'm reading gives this:

"An affectation or appreciation of manners and tastes commonly thought to be artificial, vulgar, or banal.
Banality, vulgarity, or artificiality when deliberately affected or when appreciated for its humor:"

That pretty much fits my feeling with the word. And it would be enough grounds for most people to have a bad association with the word 'camp'. And which of those aspects would you say applies to Buffy and Angel? When exactly did Joss deliberatedly make things artificial, banal and vulgar?

""they played up the silliness of their roles for camp effect";"

So when exactly did they play up the 'silliness' of their roles? I don't see the application of humor in Buffy as everyone deliberatedly playing their roles as silly because that's how they saw their characters. The humor was off-beat, dry and a tad tongue-in-cheeck at times, and some episodes had more emphasis on humor, but that does not make it camp or deliberatedly silly.

One of the key elements that have prevented Buffy and Angel from becoming 'camp' is the way the writers and the actors take the story and their characters seriously, humor or not.
EdDantes and others who've written on Buffy-as-not-camp, I agree. I won't enter the dictionary wars but none of my various dictionaries define "camp" as anything resembling what I see on Buffy/Angel.

To me, Buffy/Angel had at their cores profound themes of sacrifice, redemption, love, death, betrayal, friendship, family, loss, etc. Humor suffuses both shows but the characters and these core themes are treated - at their heart - with the utmost seriousness.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2004-12-15 01:53 ]
Yeah, I can't seem to find 'sophisticated' in any definition of camp/campy, and I've checked 3 different dictionaries. So I'm not sure I can agree campy has anything to do with sophistication, as has been claimed here. Of course, just because I can't find it doesn't mean it's not there. What I find:

An affectation or appreciation of manners and tastes commonly thought to be artificial, vulgar, or banal.

Banality, vulgarity, or artificiality when deliberately affected or when appreciated for its humor

Something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing

Something self-consciously exaggerated or theatrical

And finally one I'm not certain is quite pc: (from Websters)

Exaggerated effeminate mannerisms exhibited especially by homosexuals


[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2004-12-15 02:03 ]
ditto to phlebotinin, EdDantes, SNT, et al. And I'll go further and say I sometimes even LIKE camp Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, for instance (which fits my definition), or many John Waters films. Occasionally, camp (deliberate or unintentional) can be fun, if you're in the right mood. I did *not* enjoy Buffy the movie - the camp factor there just didn't work for me. And what I loved about BtVS is everything that, to me, disqualifies it from being camp. The deep tragedy, the very real emotions, the metaphors that illustrate the realities of friendship, family, love, etc (basically, actually, the list that phlebotinin has above :-) ). Whatever BtVS is - horror, drama, humor, etc it's almost never silly, and never subverts its own drama with a self-conscious silliness or cleverness.
In fact, I think the main thing that turns many would-be viewers off to BtVS - people that I'm sure would adore the show if they would only give it a chance - is the misonception in their mind that a show with its title *must* be campy. That it must be deliberately silly and simply playing the cheerleader-as-hero thing for laughs - a preconceived notion that is so totally not what Buffy is. So whenever I can, I try my hardest to explain to people that it's not campy, and, in many ways, isn't even fantastic (in the "fantasy" definition of that word) in the sense that all the bizarre world creations only serve to illustrate a kind of hyper-reality - allowing unreal beings and situations lets very real human emotions play in a way that they never could in a "real-life" show. If that makes sense.
Anyhow, to sum up: No, Buffy is most definitely NOT campy.

My initial reaction to the wonder woman rumors: ho hum. But still, I suppose the potential always exists that someone like Joss could come along and rescue the character from her current comic book lore, and create a story that's only very loosely based on the Wonder Woman we've all grown up with. A much darker, more realistic, costume-less Wonder Woman with an interesting backstory: that could be intriguing. But honestly, i'd rather see Joss create his own mythologies.
OMG, I LOVE Priscilla!!

that is all
Oooh, well done, acp. Beautifully explained. And your hyper-reality theory makes a lot of sense to me. It's actually very similar to what Joss said on an NPR interview he did in 2000 (?) - that the fantasy genre in which Buffy is made allows him to put the characters through the kinds of intense emotional paces that would seem ludicrous in a "real-world" drama. If you haven't heard this 20 minute interview, it's pretty interesting. I believe it's still on the NPR site in their audio archives....just check and do a search in the archives for Joss Whdedon. Should come up.
And "Strictly Ballroom" is one of my most favorite movies, and I think that rather qualifies as camp too. So, yeah, it's not a question of liking or not-liking camp. It's just that I know it when I see it, and BtVS isn't it.
I agree with EdDantes, and disagree with DarenG.

The only time I rememebr anything from the slayerverse being 'camp' was certain moments with Angelus in AtS. That doesn't mean the show was campy or that Angel was campy, it's just that Angelus would often put on this overblown 'nice-guy' impression to mock his goody two-shoes alter-ego. It was, as the definition goes, artificial.

EDIT: Camp can be good sometimes. I'd say the Austin Powers movies were knowingly camp in their parody and spoofing of spy films.

Oh, and while I loved CC as Cordy, I concur that she's perhaps not right for Wonder Woman. I just can't see her doing action scenes.

[ edited by Gonnas on 2004-12-15 02:23 ]
Wonder Woman? No God! It doesn`t look appealing for me.

But yes, CC is perfect for the role.
That idea of Joss doing Magneto is great!
Is anyone else REALLY tired of the word "CAMP?"

I feel like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction... "Say CAMP again!"
I don't believe this for a second.

So when exactly did they play up the 'silliness' of their roles?

The B/A scene in The Zeppo comes to mind. Or "we are as gods" in Storyteller. Or Angel's fantasy dance in She.

[ edited by eddy on 2004-12-15 04:15 ]
Xander and Harmony's "fight" scene? But to me that was pure humor and not playing up the "silliness" as were the other scenes mentioned! Love the humor as much as the drama!
"Is anyone else REALLY tired of the word "CAMP?""

Lord, yes, especially in its all-caps form.
"Say CAMP again!" - Willowy. he he he

I'm on board with those arguing against Buffy or Angel being campy, for all the reasons already listed, so I won't go there. As with acp, When talking about the shows to potential converts, I'm constantly squashing this notion that many have.

On the WW front: My most favorite Halloween memory is my Wonder Woman costume as a young girl. I was so cute! I just loved her, and I've been kind of keeping up on the rumors of this film. Joss being attached would be great news for me personally. CC's name has been tossed around for some time now (though that may have originated on her fansite), and I think physically, she fits the role perfectly. EdDantes mentioned Catherine Zeta Jones, and I've heard her name associated with it for quite a while. She fits well also.

I see someone like CC having a good shot at the role, if they want a "relative unknown", as with the actor who will portray Superman. Depending on the tone of the film, CC might to well.
I think if the film is, and here it comes, campy, CC would be good at it! If they are going for a more mature, or darker film, definitely not, I'm still having nightmares of Evil Cordy and not in the way the show would've intended!

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