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October 20 2005

Producer Joel Silver Talks Wonder Woman Casting and Reinventing. He talks about casting, Joss writing the script, and Serenity.

Hm. Just realized that Joel is executive producer on Veronica Mars.
Thanks, good read.
Just realized that Joel is executive producer on Veronica Mars.

Yes, it's a conspiracy. Joss doesn't really like VM at all...
I wondered what his reaction to Serenity would be.
I hate when interviewers ask questions like "Do you think Joss is too high-brow for the masses?" - especially to the producer. That's the last thing we want the man with all of the money to worry about. Questions like that ENCOURAGE the dumbing down of cinema.
That's the last thing we want the man with all of the money to worry about.

They are the sort of thing the money men worry about without being asked...

Questions like that ENCOURAGE the dumbing down of cinema.

This is Joel Silver we're talking about here. He practically invented the notion.
Is it just me or do his comments about Serenity seem a bit damming with faint praise? He called it "interesting" and said it "did as best as could be hoped".
I love Joss Whedon, and his work has inspired scholars and other "high-brow" types for years, but I really think all of it works on so many levels that that shouldn't be a problem. When people asked me about Serenity, I told them that even if they liked nothing else about it, it's a great action movie. And it is. Buffy, Angel, and Firefly all had elements to appeal to those looking for profundity and those who just want to have a good time. Is it as passively consumable as reality tv? No, not really. But I think any Average Joe can scrape enough brain cells together to appreciate a well-placed kick or a parade of gorgeous people, and those are both features of all of Joss's recent TV/film work.
Those were good, bold questions, just the ones that need answering for. Glad to know Joel Silver has got it right.
“I’ll help him make a great movie out of Wonder Woman.”

Why does that sentence seem so ominous? Sort of like ‘Universal helped you make your heart’s desire with minimal interference but now you’re gonna have to bite the bullet and make one of those Hollywood blockbusters’. I know the movie business is not a charity (although I really wish it was less about the business and shockingly untalented actors getting paid $20 million and more about movies as an art form) but I don’t want to witness Joss having to compromise because so many ticket buyers are used to watching crap or needing a big star to get them to go to a theater that when something unique like Serenity comes along it confuses them. I’m sure they wouldn’t be working together if there wasn’t a level of trust but when someone says something was “interesting” I’m not sure how much understanding is involved. Oh well, if Wonder Woman is a commercial success, that means more opportunities for Joss and the possibility that people will want to check out his earlier work. Then they’ll kick themselves for ignoring Serenity.
Joss has repeatedly said that Universal helped a lot in making the movie as good as it was. He's been a script writer for years and he has produced and directed TV for years but Serenity was his first Motion Picture and of course he has to learn that too, no matter how much of a g_n__s he is. (I know he doesn't like that word!) So perhaps Joel Silver is looking forward to helping Joss get even better. But yeah, sounded like faint praise about Serenity to me too.
“Joss has repeatedly said that Universal helped a lot in making the movie as good as it was.”

I don’t think I expressed my self very well with the ‘minimal interference’ bit. I know he’s said how much he learned about the making of a motion picture from the folks at Universal, I just got the impression that they allowed him more breathing room on the artistic side in realizing his vision, which is kind of amazing if that’s the way it went. Serenity was refreshingly free of any of those cookie cutter movie moments you know may be the idea of a nervous studio or producer. And I guess we can be thankful of the (relatively) small budget that didn’t force Joss to work out product placement for Coca Cola of the future. Strange, now I have a hankerin’ for fruity oaty bars…
Some of the people at Universal helped him with things like music placement and scene selection, and such, I believe. I think they taught Joss a lot about what people pick up from his work via test screenings.
I agree with the majority of you. There's just something slightly off about Joel Silver's remarks...

On the surface, they seem fine answers. But taken in a different light, they're like a Beatles record that says, "SELL YOUR SOUL TO SATAN!" when played in reverse. Joel's comments aren't really too bad, but the comments about Serenity suggest that he didn't think much of it, but was glad Joss got to do what he wanted, because now it's all over...

At least that's what I'm picking up from the interview. Joel Silver is not the kind of creative mind I want helping Joss out on Wonder Woman, but here's to hoping he manages to make it as great as it should be...I mean, Bryan Singer, Sam Raimi, Ang Lee, and Christopher Nolan were all rather small-time directors (not including critical praise or awards, and excepting Crouching Tiger for Ang) before their superhero blockbusters, and they got to make them how they wanted them to be...
I think if it wasn't for Joel, Joss wouldn't have got the job. Well that's my theory anyhow.
I could have sworn that Joel went looking for Joss, and not the other way round. Joel clearly thought enough of him to have given him the job.

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