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March 03 2005

Whedon and Wonder Woman - Destiny? This article from the University of Washington's student paper "The Daily", discusses the origins of Wonder Woman, and Joss' suitability as director of the project, and ends "I can think of no one more capable of this endeavor than Whedon. I can also think of no one more worthy." (not "another rumor" piece)

Despite being fed up to the back teeth about rumours of Joss and Wonder Woman, this was a well researched and written article. Nice to read a back story such as this.
Boy, The Daily appears to be better written than when I was at the UW. Certainly more compelling subjects. ("Hey, what's Wonder Woman got to do with football?")
I really really don't want him to do Wonder Woman. If he was to end up on either of the two rumored superhero movies he's rumored for. I'd prefer X-Men 3.
You know, I just want him to do whatever the hell he wants to do. If it's WW, great. If it's not, that's fine too.

That was a good article - thanks for your comment Simon, because I actually was going to skip it altogether, being sick of the rumors myself.
Very nice read! I also wasn't going to read it because I'm sick of the typical rumor articles floating all over the net. But after the praise of those of you who read it I gave it a read and really enjoyed reading the history of both the character and the creator. Loved all the praise for Joss and after reading this article, I would be very excited to see what Joss could do with this character.
This article singlehandedly made me change my position from "No way Joss should ever do Wonder Woman" to "I wonder what he could do with Wonder Woman?" Well written, well researched, insightful article.

[ edited by jabby on 2005-03-03 20:57 ]
Simon - so that others will read - I edited it to add the "not another rumor" comment.

I put this up because, beyond the 1970's show, I knew next to nothing about Wonder Woman. I thought it was very interesting - glad everyone liked it.

[ edited by Znachki on 2005-03-03 21:02 ]
Wow, a very good article. Thanks for the comments everyone, there's no way I would have read it otherwise.
I was apposed to Joss wasting his time on Wonder Woman,
when he needs to focus on his own original writing,
but then I with the Astonishing X-men,
it IS original Joss when he does it.
He brings the fresh eyes and voice to the project.
How would Joss approach Wonder Woman? The character is iconic, but that same instant familiarity also hampers new directions for the character. Do you keep the Paradise Island/Greek Goddess motif? Do you keep the star spangled satin tights? Do you set in WWII? The modern day? Do we want WW as warrior, examplar, diplomat, superhero? All four?

Two possible approaches from Joss' own catalogue:

1. WW as BUFFY in "Chosen": The leader. The chosen one. The one woman who can stop the menace that threatens to destroy both Man's World and her own. (Spike = Steve Trevor.)

2. WW as BUFFY in "Anne": Alienated and lost in Man's World, WW connects with ordinary women in the big city, and leads by example. (Big battle against Carlos Jacott ends the movie.)

Now, about that outfit. I've seen two interpretations of WW on screen--the Lynda Carter version and a Cathy Lee Crosby WW. LC played up the vavavoom big time, while CLC de-sexualized her WW to the point of neuter-dom. I never felt comfortable with either approach. Couldn't Joss give WW a fantastic outfit that relates to the character, somehow? (I know: I want my cheesecake, but I want it have MEANING.)

And another thought: why aren't female movie writers and directors being wooed for WW? Don't you think modern women might have their own interesting spin on this male-created female icon?
And another thought: why aren't female movie writers and directors being wooed for WW? Don't you think modern women might have their own interesting spin on this male-created female icon?

Amen,cjl. No offense, Joss.
I've always found it sexist that only women can write for a female character. You don't have to be the same race, sex, or age as a character to write for them. Only thing about a person I can really see is needed to write a story is cultural history(i.e. writing a story about a young iraqi boy during the current war).

Should women not be allowed near male characters? Or black writers not near white ones?

No offense.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-03-03 23:03 ]
I basically feel that whatever Joss WANTS to do he SHOULD do. He has the talent to really tackle anything. As far as what I want...after reading this article (which was very good), my thoughts have changed somewhat. I believe Joss could bring a lot of depth to this character with whom the mainstream really hasn't seen since Linda Carter. He can shape a whole new identity of this character, sooooo much potential. Just look what he did for a little character we like to call Buffy. The mainstream thinks of Christpher Reeve when they think of Superman, well a lot of people at least. Joss can have a wonderful new opportunity to remake this character into something quite wonderful and powerful. An icon figure perhaps. If he does it, I wonder who they'll cast??? My vote is for Charisma.
No offense at all, eddy, and I somewhat agree with you. I recall the controversy surrounding "Malcolm X" about a decade ago, when Spike Lee claimed that only a black director could properly handle the topic matter. Lee wound up directing the project, but ironically, turned out a solid, but standard Hollywood biopic that almost any quality director (white or black) could have produced. (He kind of shot a hole in his own ideological case.)

But I can't help but feel that we're missing part of the equation with our recent crop of butt-kicking heroines. They're all created by men: Joss/Buffy; JJ Abrams/Sydney Bristow; Rob Tapert&Sam Raimi/Xena. These guys did a terrific job with their heroines, but all these fictional women are still a product of the Male Gaze. Aren't there any female creators out there who can give us an iconic superheroine from a woman's perspective? I'm not saying it should be a woman's province, only--but come on, every once in a while, at least...
Again, I agree with cjl. I would never make the claim that only women could write women characters or write them well. If that were the case, I would not be a fan of Joss and Buffy. It's just that we hear nothing about women directors even being considered for these jobs. And they should. Just as women should also be considered for writing/directing scripts for the male heroes.
Well the director of the upcoming film Aeon Flux is a woman. Aeon Flux isn't exactly a comic, at least I don't think it ever was(should research that) but its definitely in the the female superhero category.

Her only other directing job was for "Girlfight" starring Michelle Rodriguez. It was about a female boxer.
The problem as I see it is, the Hollywood/film production system (and pretty much the rest of the business world, by extension) isn't set up where women can achieve the positions that would make these kinds of projects possible. Yet. For all the talk of women's equality, it's still an old boy's network everywhere you look. Nepotism rules, and girls still aren't really allowed in the club house.

I read an article recently where a woman talked about what it was like being the only female writer working on a popular sitcom staff. Sitting in the writer's room and tossing around ideas for episodes with the men, she had to grow a thick skin because of the kinds of discussion that went on in there. Nothing was off-limits (not that I'm saying there should be -- comedy comes from some off-the-wall places -- but it was such a male-dominated environment that most of the discussion focused on men's attitudes about women).

She learned to even take part in the ribald free-for-all, but there was always a part of her that felt uncomfortable. She felt she was often put in the position of defending against the men's preconceptions of her gender, and being criticized by them for typifying some of the very stereotypes she was protesting against (being considered whiny/bitchy/ manipulative, instead of strong, for standing up for herself), or going along with the men in order to fit in. How much of that attitude prevails in Hollywood? How many creative woman feel shut down and rendered mute by the prevailing mythology of women as the weaker sex, valued only for their looks? Made to feel their minds and ideas don't matter?

It may be that the only way change will begin to happen is for enlightened men to help alter the misperceptions in our culture that strong women are whiny, bitchy and manipulative by giving voice to characters that demonstrate otherwise. Pop culture can percolate into mass consciousness, and before you know it little blond things are kicking ass all over town. Nobody knows that better than Joss. He has some considerable experience in that area, and I think I'd like to see him give WW a shot.

(It's also possible that the idea of "hero" itself is a men's concept, and that women as a whole, or creative women specifically, don't feel drawn to it in the same way to actualize parts of themselves. A hero envisioned by a female creator might look differently, and be motivated by very different things that the heroic male figures we're used to, which is another thing Hollywood might be/is probably afraid of. Or not. I don't know, and it's hard to tell when women-created heroes are in such scarce supply in the first place.)
Wiseblood, your comments convey so beautifully the exact reason Joss is a such a breath of fresh air to women everywhere. Not only does he create characters that women can feel empowered from (Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, Fred, Zoey), but he represents women in the TV/film industry so beautifully when it is clearly a male dominated enviroment. I know times are changing, but they are changing SLOWLY. I'm so glad we have Joss out their fighting with us. Thank you, Joss.
Excellent read. I never realized the full backstory of Wonder Woman, I thought it all stemmed from the 70's TV series. That's what I get with my limited knowledge of comic book lore. Seeing the creative similarities of Marston and Whedon now makes me sure Joss would be the perfect choice in writing and directing WW.
Joss is probably the only one who could make me go see a WW movie, so in that aspect I'm fine with it. As to whether or not a female director could do better, I have to side with eddy. It doesn't matter. Race, gender, whatever. It depends on the creator. Plenty of writers, both male and female, have proven to be able to write either character types just fine. (Just look at the Buffy writers. Anyone want to say Jane Espenson coulnd't write Giles or Spike? Or that David Fury couldn't write Buffy?)

Sure, there are differences. Like with the Spike Lee example, I would concede that a black director could bring a certain perspective to the X biopic, but then a white director could bring a view to it that he wouldn't have in the same way. I'm sure he'd feel that the black viewpoint is most important in this case, but the thing is that no one has a FULL view on anything. Everyone has their own perspective or angle or feelings about any topic. Things like that will differ per person, and gender or race are only a few of the elements that make people differ. But different viewpoints don't mean that there's only one 'valid' one.

As for Joss, I think that if anyone has proven he can do women right, it's him.

Uh, that sounded a lot less sexy in my head......

[ edited by EdDantes on 2005-03-04 22:49 ]
One of my favorite films is about black women in the early 1900's and was directed by jewish Steven Spielberg.(the color purple). Yeah I don't got much else to say, just wanted to point that out :)

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