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March 15 2005

AICN - 'Two Days!' WONDER WOMAN Producer Joel Silver Tells Herc!! Will there be an announcement soon on Joss and the Wonder Woman movie?

Well I'm not holding my breath on an announcement in two days time but it would be nice to have this matter settled sooner rather than later.
I just wish i could care either way. I mean, it's Wonder Woman! A second string DC comic book character. I have enough trouble caring about DC's big two, Superman and Batman, so the lesser characters just don't rate with me at all.

Now if this were She Hulk, Spider Woman, Ms Marvel or Rogue for example? Then i could get more excited. Those female superheroes i actually do know something about.

Ah well, if Joss wants to do this one and it happens then i'll watch. Me enjoying a DC comic based project, there is a first time for everything i guess!
Yea, I am having a hard time getting excited about this and I read Wonder Woman monthly. It is a great book, with a great team working on it but there is just so little interest. I would disagree that Wonder Woman is a second tier character, she is iconic. There are maybe 10-12 comic characters that are instantly recognizable and she is definitely one of them.
Wonder Woman is second string? Um... she is actually one of DC's Big Three... the only female character to be continuously published for 60-odd years.

And i agree with rockchalkwatcher that the current monthly is OK but not great... but like i said before thats because the character was stripped in the 80s of pretty much everything that made her interesting and relatable. If they bring back that stuff for the movie this could own.
Don't get me wrong, within comic reading circles, particularly DC fans obviously, Wonder Woman is no doubt the third of the Big Three (although i know some who would argue the case for both Green lantern and the Flash too).

I was talking about the bigger picture though. Most people, whether they read comics or not, can tell you a fair amount about the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the Hulk and so on. Powers, origins, arch enemies, secret identities, that kind of thing. To me Wonder Woman doesn't fall into that category though. How many people do you know who don't read comics who can tell you anything about her that doesn't relate to the tv series. Maybe they might mention the wrist bands that could deflect bullets and that she was kinda strong. To be honest i doubt they could tell you her real name (other than Linda Carter of course!). I've been reading comics all my life and i barely know ten facts about the character.

So in that respect, i don't think it is unfair to refer to her as second tier. In the eyes of Joe Public she ain't no Spidey!
Yes, I rather see this matter settled as soon as possible. Rather not see a repeat of the 'X-Men' rumor where we listened to months of speculation even after the fact that Joss himself said he wasn't asked to direct.

Though I believe Joss would write and direct a great Wonder Women movie, I'm also somewhat lukewarm towards the character. Of course I would still watch it because it's a Joss movie and it's very likely he would change my interest in the character. Hopefully, this rumor will be closed in a week or two.
I think that the blank palette is part of the appeal that the character has for Whedon. As has been mentioned, you have an iconic character that has basically gone unexplored -- complete name recognition but without any of the resultant boundaries and limits. For a creator like Joss, that has to be a heady draw.
Which Wonder Woman is iconic? The original version with the invisible plane and supertech Amazon Island? The Goddess of Truth who dresses like a patriotic American dominatrix? The Lynda Carter version that most people recognize? The most recent of the retcons?

Joss does great work but Wonder Woman is a mess. She's not quite Tom Bombadil but they live on the same block.
WAit a minute. Doesn't two days mean today? The museum of radio and television thing was held this past weekend.

And I don't like Wonderwoman but she is hardly a 2nd string character. She is on the top tier with Superman, Batman, The Flash, and Green Lantern.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-03-15 15:33 ]
I would be surprised if Joss took this on. First I think that he would want to wait to see how Serenity does at the Box Office because I am sure if it is a hit Universal would want to get started right away on a sequel. Second he has been working with Marvel on Astonishing X-Men I don't know if Marvel would like him switching over to work on a DC project. If it turns out to be a hit Marvel would look bad here they are with him working on a Comic Book for them they could have offered him one of their Movies. I am sure Marvel would offer him something to keep him in the fold with them.
There have been movie directors who also worked on comics simultaneously. David Goyer for example is involved with all 3 Blade movies, Blade comics(i think...), Batman, and The Flash.

I think the only "issue" was when Bryan Singer jumped ship from a movie that was already in pre-production to do a movie done by a rival studdio, a rival comic character and will be released the same time period as the first movie project(sure you guys know what 2 movies I'm referring to..)

Also Marvel is different in their situation, because they spread out their comic properties over several movie studios to maximize their profit(unfortunately now Kingpin can't be in a Spider-Man movie and Hulk can't team up with the Fantastic Four). On the other hand, D.C. is only dealt with by one studio Warner Bros. Because WB bought out the comic company ages ago.

[ edited by eddy on 2005-03-15 15:44 ]
I presume the timing of any announcement refers to the Wizard con going on next weekend. I am thousands of miles away, know nothing about it, other than what I picked up in these parts but it kind of seems logical. Could be wrong of course. Either way, Iím with Simon in that I hope we know whats going on soon.
Hopefully the comic will pick up sales in the next year with Wonder Woman's increased role in the aftermath of Identity Crisis. Second, on the subject of Joss working for Marvel, many write/have written simultaneously for both properties. Joss will be more involved with Marvel over the next year or two, but he hasn't signed an exclusive deal that I have heard of.
Say it aint so Joss. Please skip this film. It is destined to bomb.
Bring on the speculation. Might as well throw my two cents in. I'm starting to sense some foot dragging here and I mean the movie production side of the house mostly. This movie has been 'on-again/off-again' for the past five years and I wouldn't be a bit surprise to see it slipped to the backburner once again. That case scenario could also be read into Herc's report. I can't help but think they maybe looking over the box office failure of 'Elektra' and they maybe getting cold feet. I could be completely wrong here and, if so, I gladly accept all thrown fruits and various meats.

As for Joss, he has to be hedging his bets towards 'Serenity' and he's right to do so. Though I believe this movie will have a moderate opening, I think it will show some staying power in the theaters. Furthermore, I think the biggest impact will be when the film is released overseas and on DVD. I've a feeling once Universal sees those numbers, they'll approve Joss' sequels. BTW, though a bit off-topic, I wanted to share this tidbit. In this week's 'Entertainment Weekly', a reader inputted an excellent comment. I won't quote directly due to copyright. The person said that people shouldn't worry about the end of SCIFI with the finals of Star Trek or Star Wars. Joss' 'Serenity' would take over. And how!
True, George Lucas said after this episode of Star Wars he isn't doing any more and I don't expect to see any Star Trek movies anytime soon, so that leaves the door open for a series of Serenity films.
The speculation on this has been a lot stonger than any of the speculation for X-MEN. There has been a lot of "wink wink"ing at the people who have been asking about it. So, unless Joel Silver pulls a fast one on all of us, I am pretty sure his anouncement will be about putting Joss in charge. I agree with Herc's assessment of the situation.

And I am not a Wonder Woman fan at all, but I am a Joss fan. I hate to sound all fangirlish and ass-kissy, but the man has not let me down yet. Plus, didn't he tell Silver that he had a new idea for Wonder Woman? That little tidbit alone is enough to pique my interest.

If Joss is at the helm, this will be a great movie. I can almost guarantee it. Get a good cast, and it might even undo the damage done by CATWOMAN and ELECTRA. Then we can stop hearing the obnoxious talk about how the public doesn't want to see female superheroes.
Whether he does the movie or not, it is good publicity to keep his name out there so that when Serenity comes out it's like, "Oh, remember that guy around the Wonder Woman buzz? X-Men 3 buzz?"
I feel like that was the case when Mutant Enemy's TV developement was shut down. Kept Joss's name in the trades.
I've got full faith in Joss Whedon. He understands comic books, he understands movies, he understands characters, and he definitely understands female characters. He gets it all.

If he does Wonder Woman, it won't be ANYWHERE close to Catwoman. Or Batman & Robin. And I SO HOPE he does Wonder Woman!
Case in point...

Buffy movie, kinda lame. Problem? Joss not the boss.
Same concept televised - well you know the drill.

If Joss gets given the same control over WW as he did over the Buffy series (and Joss has the stripes now to make conditions) then its highly likely this is gonna be something special.
Wow, I actually witnessed this exchange! The event was last night (3/14), and I was there to show the love for "Veronica Mars". I didn't hear the first part where Herc introduced himself, but I definitely heard the part about Joss Whedon and two days.

By the way, the event started with an extended clip from "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (where Buffy meets Willow), which got a huge cheer from the fans in attendance.
I'd imagine it would be to his benefit if Joss had some kind of project between the two Firefly films. After Serenity launches in September, either he'll be asked by Universal to start on Serenity two right away or it won't happen. That depends a lot on Serenity's numbers after the first weekend. If it blockbusters, there won't be a question: we'll get a second movie. If the numbers aren't shiny, there'll be a fight. Fans bombing the Studio with postcards and such. Ads in Variety, as someone above said: you know the drill.

But in the meantime, it would behoove Whedon to do something in the interim so critics can't start saying he's just got Firefly going and that's it. However, we the fans of Firefly want his other project to be good, but not so great that it overshadows Firefly.

Personally? I think Wonder Woman would be just what the proverbial doctor ordered. Impressive. Certainly not something to be ashamed of, to be tapped to direct WW, but it's not going to be so fantastic that it blows away any chance of Whedon directing Serenity two... When and if that happens.

Guess in a few days we'll find out if this is more rumor or the real thing.
Just read all of these comments. It seems as though we are split. Half of us want Joss to do it, and half of us would like him to slowly back away. I'm all for this, and I agree with brother_grody. There is so much unexplored territory with this character. Joss would have a field day with possibilities.
Alison, why did a VM event begin with a clip from BUFFY? It's cool that it did, it just seems a little odd.

We can only assume that if Joss directs WW it's because he thinks it's a worthy project. So if he does it I'll look forward to it. If he's not doing it--that's fine too--it means that they really didn't want him or he didn't think it was a good project, or Joss wasn't as serious a candidate as we've been assuming. And it also means he can devote more time to SERENITY sequel(s) or other projects. Either way I can see a positive. The important thing is Joss gets to do what he wants and we get to see it.

As far the reception of the movie goes--unlike TV where viewership only counts if you are Nielsen, individuals can make more of a difference with movies. Of course this is nothing new, but we can vote with our dollars and getting others to spend dollars when SERENITY comes out. So we can have more of direct impact than Save Our Show TV campaigns.
batmarlowe, apparently before each event, they show a clip from an older tv show that they think has elements in common with that night's honoree.

Given all the Nancy Drew comparisons that have been made, some in the audience thought we'd be seeing a clip from that, but we were pleasantly surprised to see Buffy instead (and it looked great on the big screen, too, I might add).
I fit into the category of WW-knowledge Warlock laid out above. I have never read one of the comics. I know virtually nothing of the character beyond Lynda Carter's name (not knowing anything about the pre-television show history until the last year or so), and the outfit.

All I know is that my nana made me the most badass WW costume for Halloween as a little girl. It was my favorite, is still my favorite Halloween memory, and I ran around the house in it all the time, deflecting imaginary attacks with my wristbands.

The fact that people are familiar with the name WW, but have little knowledge beyond that, might be viewed as positive. Instant name recognition, but fewer people to be outraged over the movie not being true to it's history.
Very good points batmarlowe about TV viewership where Nielsens only count versus cinema tickets. Even better, we non-US citizens actually matter too! Itís more than just the opening weekend and the domestic market, what will determine whether we have sequels is how well Serenity does internationally. This is of course assuming she doesnít make squillions in the US, in which case we are just the icing on the cake. Itís nice to have some actual people power for a change.

I am by the way noticing how the registered users on the official Serenity board are rising in quite reasonable increments and pretty consistently. Who knows, September may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Gotta look on the bright side. My only concern is that I am hoping nobody is sick of SciFi by the autumn with all the other stuff coming out before (Star Wars, Hitchhikers Guide, War of the Worlds).
Sick of SciFi? Nah! ;)
Personally i'm much more of a supernatural/fantasy television series fan, things like Buffy, Angel, Highlander and Carnivale. I've been sick of science fiction for a very long time. Star Trek hasn't interested me in years and i never liked Star Wars, especially the latest two. The only science fiction i do like, other than Firefly, is Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis. For whatever reason those two shows seem to rise above the normal sci-fi tedium and keep me entertained, at least partly thanks to my love of ancient mythology i would think.

Firefly has been the only other science fiction concept in a long time that got me hooked, but with writing and acting like that the fact it happens to be a sci-fi show is really neither here nor there is it!
If I was Joss, I'd pass on Wonder Woman. I'm a Marvel fan, so I'm biased, but unless he's doing some update to the character, WW is too lame for a big screen movie. And if Joss updates the character, there will be older fans upset. Female superhero movies have bombed recently (Catwoman, Elektra), so maybe the interest in superhero movies is really waning. And you wonder how much Warner Bros is going to let Joss do anything he wants.

There has got to be better opportunities for Joss than this.
I'll convert you all yet dammit! LOL. I'm working away on a WW fansite which hopefully will show there is a lot more to the character than the frankly crap modern incarnation would lead you to believe. Of course the fact that i have zero website building skills doesn't help. :(
Well, I don't think there is demand for it even though I enjoy the WW book. However, WW is on the front-burner for DC this year and a movie could be part of the reason why. This project has continually stalled for years and with good reason but DC's success with Identity Crisis and the aftermath has refueled them kinda like the Ultimate line did for Marvel a few years ago.
No... i still think WW will be a bad choice (i know Joss would do a great job, but anyways, a bad choice).
Folks hold up dreck like Catwoman and Elektra as an examples of why the movie-going public are tired of female superheroes and that just doesn't fly with me. They were train wrecks to begin with and the bad buzz started long before they reached theaters. I'd hold up Kill Bill as a successful example of a female superhero film (The Bride isn't a comic book character but she did display superhuman abilities). I think people still crave female ass-kickers they're just not too thrilled with the current crop of them and I think Joss can fill that need. No, Wonder Woman is not a sure thing financially but, if Joss does take the gig, it's a safe bet it'll be an artistic success at the very least.

On a related note: Morena Baccarin was born to play Wonder Woman!

[ edited by Barry Woodward on 2005-03-16 05:21 ]
I've gotta concur with Barry Woodward about Catwoman. That movie wasn't doomed from the beginning because it was about a female superhero, it was because it had the worst script ever. I mean, the script was so bad, Ashley Judd backed out of the film. Ashley Judd, the actress who hasn't yet realized she plays the same character in every movie she's in, realized the Catwoman script wasn't salvagable. If the studio had adapted Ed Brubaker's recent run on Catwoman, the movie could've been quite good and successful (and involved a much less ridiculous costume).

I wasn't all that excited about the idea of a Joss-helmed "Wonder Woman" flick initially, but now that X3 officially has its director, my hopes are rising for Joss's vision of Wonder Woman. It has potential, and the studio clearly wants Joss, which I would hope means they'll be minimal studio interference.

Oh, and I've always thought Morena Baccarin was born to play Elektra, not Wonder Woman. I still think Wonder Woman has to be played by an almost entirely unknown actress.
I agree with Barry Woodward... i really don't understand the negativity toward the character here. Wonder Woman is about as close to Buffy as you are gonna get in a superhero. She isn't about fighting lame supervillains like Superman or costumed whackos like Batman... she is about fighting supernatural and mythical beasts and demons the likes of which Buffy dealt with on a weekly basis.
I've been saying for a while now that the character needs a revamp and i always say that if handled right the thing could be an awesome cobimation of Superman, Buffy, Hellboy, Clash Of The Titans and Indiana Jones.
Don't make the mistake of judging Wonder Woman based on the way she is portrayed right now. Everyone knows the current version is a screwed up mess. And don't be dumb enough to say all female superheroes are crap just cos Catwoman and Elektra bombed... thats like saying all vampire stuff is bad just cos Fright Night was awful. Those complaints are just lazy thinking and frankly i kinda expected better from Buffy fans. Joss is most definately the man to do this and IMO he can turn this into a bigger franchise than Spider-Man.
Hey Pimpernel - I liked Fright Night. I haven't seen it in ages but I remember it was funny, and Roddy McDowell was in it.
LOL... its no Buffy or Near Dark tho.
I think what is going against Joss and this movie is the mere fact that Joss Whedon shines when he is able to create for his characters. Not only will DC not allow Wonder Woman to be reinvented but neither will the die hard fans.

It is easy for us Joss fans to say let Joss do his thing. However, with an iconic super hero that has a rich history, Joss won't have that freedom. We have all seen what happens when Joss is invovled in a project with his hands tied.

This movie no matter who deos it will be a bomb. This is one of those super hero characters that doesn't translate well to modern times. I would much rather see Joss take on an original film or revisit the Buffy/Angleverse instead of damaging any headway he makes with Serenity.
I think there will be a certain amount of freedon given to whoever eventually does do Wonder Woman. Even Spider-Man had a few neccessary alterations made to the basic story, things like organic webshooters and Mary Jane taking the place of Gwen Stacy (and then not dying at the end) were done to make the character and his world easier to relate to to a wider audience. The X-Men movies have moved even further away from the comic book's true story. Even the latest Superman and Batman movies seem to have gone in their own unique directions.

If Joss was to get Wonder Woman i would imagine that, beyond the basic elements of the character, he will be allowed to take things in his own direction in a similar fashion.
DarrenG i think you are wrong on a few points.

1) Whedon works just fine with stuff he didn't create... his work on X-Men is getting rave reviews and the fans are lapping it up.

2) All the signs indicate that WB are very much pursuing Whedon for this. If they go after a director in this way it means they trust them with the material. When they trust a director they give them free rein... just look at Singer on Superman and Nolan on Batman. Besides this most fans agree that WW is a total mess right now and would welcome some revisions. Basically Joss will not have his hands tied on this.

3) I think its really dumb and lazy to say this will bomb without knowing who is doing it or what they are doing. WW has been a worldwide success for sixty years... even if this movie is only half-way decent it will be a hit. If z-grade nobodies like Blade can rake in the bucks and make it to a full trilogy then a household name like WW has more than a shot.
Pimpernel, please try to refrain from using terms like "dumb" and "lazy" about other members (or article writers, for that matter). I see that's twice you've done so in this one thread.
I didn't mean to offend anyone. For the record i never referred to other members as "dumb" or "lazy" i referred to certain modes of thinking that way... i don't see anything wrong with that.
Whilst there are no guarantees that Wonder Woman would bomb it has to be said that it is a longshot at best. Comparisons to Catwoman and Elektra may be unfair until we actually see the end product, particularly if it does end up being Joss behind it, but then we are already worshipping at the altar of Whedon. It's preaching to the choir, y'know?

The general public, for the most part, will not care about the name Joss Whedon, nor will they particularly care about the name Wonder Woman. Sure, as an icon she may well be a household name, but then so is Robin and i don't imagine many people would rush out to see a movie based on his character either.

Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, The Hulk, and the X-Men are all characters that are high in the public awareness, well beyond the names. As well as that they are all top selling comic books with a guaranteed audience just from the high number of people that read the books. Wonder Woman just does not share that status. People know the name, not the character, and that is the real difficulty this movie will face.
...But good original movies about characters with no name recognition do just fine when there are good reviews, good word of mouth and good publicity. Genre after genre is dead and is known by everybody to have no chance of attracting an audience until someone comes along and does something different and special with it. Then all of a sudden it is "in." The fun of art is in taking chances, seeing if you can execute your own unique vision in such a way that it will resonate with others.

My take is that if Joss is inspired to take on something - anything - he is going to take it on because he thinks it is something that he can "shoot the moon" with and win. He won't always win, because you can't take the big risks and always win, but I have faith that he will win most of the time and win big, enough of the time. I would not count out anything that he thinks he can bring something special to. My mind boggles at all the impossibly bad ideas that fine artists have made into classics that changed what came after.

(Boy did I get high-fillutin'!!)
pimpernel, first off XMEN is a differnt beast. The characters are not really dated so to speak. Fans were much more forgiving with little changes like uniforms etc. Batman also for the most part did't have major changes except to the look. The overall characters still had the same abilities which didn't appear dated so to speak.

Wonder Woman is a different beast all together. To update the character you have to make major changes. Wonder Women runs around in blue panties with stars, deflects bullets with little bracelets, flys around in an invisble jet, has a laso that makes you tell the truth and is an AMAZON. Most of those things might have made sense during WWII or the the cold war (which ever version you like). However, most of those things don't translate well to modern times. That is reflected by the demise of the WW comics over the years. With things like faster guns, stealth technology, truth serums etc. etc., how could you possibly make the character cool again without reinventing the wheel?

Also, just because a studio gives a director a green light doesn't mean he has total creative control. DC will have a hand in this no doubt. There is no way they let him make so many changes that the character no longer resembles WW. DC will never allow it. So in my opinion that is what I mean by JW hands being tied with this project. The studio could care less what Joss does as long as it makes money and don't care per say about the character. However, DC does.

Is it premature to say this film is a sure fire bomb? Yes but it is not a stretch IMO. I agree with Warlock this is a long shot at best. This will be without a doubt the hardest translation to date of any comic hero and a dated one at that. Even for the mighty Whedon who I think is better suited for an original project like Serenity or another Buffy/Angleverse project.

[ edited by DarenG on 2005-03-17 06:13 ]
There is no way they let him make so many changes that the character no longer resembles WW

I don't see why not. They did it with Constantine.

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