What’s not to love about Joss Whedon? The man has been a fandom legend since the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He’s behind amazing shows like Dollhouse and Firefly, and movies like The Avengers. And while there were apparently some challenges for him when it came to Avengers: Age of Ultron, the movie was, overall, a success in our opinion. In a recent interview with The Wrap, Whedon was asked if he’d return to Marvel to helm a female-led movie. His answer was, “yeah, of course. Although I tend more towards the Jessica Jones-ey kind of stories than the delightful Supergirl stories that my daughter wants.” That got us thinking about other projects we’d love to see Joss Whedon work on. Here are 12 Joss Whedon Comic Book Movies We’d Love to See.
The A-Force series made its debut in 2015 as a crossover in Marvel’s Secret Wars storyline. The group is a team of all female Avengers. Pretty awesome, right? Whedon has a history of writing complex female characters who are both strong and nuanced. And, since he’s already shown his expertise at capturing the tone of the MCU, he’d be an excellent choice for an A-Force movie. Plus, Carol Danvers is one of the group’s members, and with the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, A-Force would be a natural progression. Medusa is another member of the group, so if Inhumans ever makes its way back onto Marvel’s calendar, there would be plenty of opportunities for fun crossovers and cameos.
Speaking of Inhumans, we’d love to see this movie actually get made. It was super-exciting when Marvel initially announced it, and it’s a shame that the movie has been delayed indefinitely. If it ever gets a new release date, Joss Whedon would be the perfect choice to write the script. He was the initial driving creative force behind Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is going all in with its own Inhumans storyline. If Whedon helmed the movie, there’s a decent chance that we’d get to see some AoS action on the big screen, which is what fans have been wanting for quite a while. It would be amazing to see Coulson and Daisy, for example, alongside Medusa.
10. Birds of Prey
Marvel doesn’t have a monopoly on awesome female superhero groups. The Birds of Prey began as a partnership between Black Canary and Barbara Gordon, and grew to include a number of other female heroes. It looks like the Harley Quinn movie that’s in the works is not going to be a solo movie. Instead, it will likely feature several of DC’s female characters – possibly including Poison Ivy, Katana, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, and Bumblebee. There would be ample opportunity here to set up a Birds of Prey movie. Whedon would be an expert at creating something with a tone similar to that of Suicide Squad.
9. Gotham City Sirens
Another group of all female characters, the Sirens – namely Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman – band together in the wake of Batman: Reborn. Again, both Suicide Squad and the upcoming Harley Quinn movie provide the perfect opportunity to pave the way for a Sirens movie. DC really has the chance here to do something great with its female characters, and we hope they seize the opportunity. And Whedon would be a great choice because of his skill at writing antiheroes. Think of characters like Buffy’s Spike or Dollhouse’s Topher Brink. He does an excellent job of taking characters who have done some ethically questionable things and making us love them. He finds the heart in these characters and makes us see that they’re not just one-dimensional villains – they’re actually complex and, in many ways, sympathetic.
8. Black Widow
This is a bit of a sore subject for some Marvel fans, who have desperately wanted a Black Widow movie for years. But the good news is that, in a recent interview with Deadline, Kevin Feige said, “Of the characters that you’ve just mentioned I would say certainly the one creatively and emotionally that we are most committing to doing is Black Widow… we think she’s an amazing character. We think Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of her is amazing. She’s a lead Avenger and has amazing stories in her own right to tell that we think would be fun to turn into a stand-alone franchise.” While that’s certainly not a confirmation that there definitely will be a movie, it is still an encouraging statement. And if this movie becomes a reality, there would be no one better to write it than Whedon, who did an excellent job of writing Nat in both Avengers movies.
Black Widow isn’t the only Avenger who still needs her own solo movie. It would be awesome to see Clint get a flick of his own, too. We’ve seen a lot of Tony and Steve’s inner struggles, but Clint has his fair share of conflict, too. He feels a duty to the Avengers – which is why he shows up in Civil War after supposedly going into retirement – yet he also has the desire to live a safe, relatively normal life with his family. This kind of conflict is definitely in Whedon’s wheelhouse. Think of all the times Buffy wishes she could just be a normal teenager, going on dates and trying out for the cheerleading squad. Yet she has a duty as a slayer that, in all honesty, she wouldn’t give up if she could (and actually, she could have just peaced out and let Faith take over, but she doesn’t). And we’d love to see Kate Bishop make an appearance. Clint could be a bit of a mentor figure for her and ultimately hand the Hawkeye mantle over to her so he can finally get to live the happy life on the farm. Clint could be the Giles to Kate’s Buffy!
6. Paper Girls
Paper Girls is an amazing new Image Comics series, written by Brian K. Vaughan, with artwork by Jared K. Fletcher, Matthew Wilson, and Cliff Chiang. It’s about a group of 12 newspaper delivery girls who hold their own in some pretty terrifying situations. They definitely don’t just sit around painting their nails and playing with dolls. The dynamic is, in some ways, reminiscent of Buffy’s “Scooby Gang” – it’s a group of young people going up against some pretty scary stuff. It would lend itself well to Whedon’s writing style. After all, writing about characters who care about each other and are facing life-threatening circumstances, while maintaining a sense of humor, is basically Whedon’s bread and butter.
If there’s ever a Saga movie, it would be amazing. It’s written by Brian K. Vaughan, and it’s a story about space fugitives with hearts of gold, similar to Firefly in some ways. It’s quirky; it’s got aliens with computers and TVs for heads, creatures who have just heads and legs, no torsos, and cats that can detect lies. It’s a story that’s wonderfully weird. Its characters have a lot of depth – they grow and change over the course of the story, and their relationships are complex and nuanced. This kind of stuff is what Joss Whedon does best, and exactly what we want to see from comic book movies. If there’s anyone who can do justice to characters like Alana, it’s him.
Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel, so it would be fun to have this movie just for the inevitable one-liner. In The New 52, he becomes Shazam by convincing a wizard that, although he’s not a perfectly good person, perfectly good people don’t really exist, and he’s nonetheless worthy of super powers. Again, the same ability to explore a character’s nuances that would make Whedon a great fit for Gotham City Sirens would also make him an excellent choice to delve into this question of whether there are perfectly good people. Also, Shazam has encounters with the Justice League and Cyborg, so there’s plenty of opportunity to pave the way for a Shazam movie in the DCEU.
3. House of M
In a dream world where Marvel hammers out a deal with Fox like the one it did with Sony that allowed Spidey to appear in Civil War, we’d love to see an Avengers/X-Men crossover movie – and House of M would be the perfect choice. It’s a huge event that rocks the Marvel universe. Because this story involves both the Avengers and the X-Men, there would be a lot of moving parts, and you’d need someone who could make them work together in a cohesive way. Yes, some have criticized Ultron for having too much going on, and Whedon has expressed that writing the script was a pretty draining experience. But overall, he pulled it off, and we think he could do it again with House of M.
2. Squirrel Girl
Squirrel Girl is kind of like the Kimmy Schmidt of superheroes. She’s a little odd, but she’s plucky and cheerful, and you can’t help but love her. At the same time, she can kick ass, and she singlehandedly defeated Doctor Doom. She’s also an ally of S.H.I.E.L.D., so again, in a Whedon-helmed Squirrel Girl movie, there’d hopefully be the chance we’d get to see our favorite agents on the big screen again. It would be easy for a movie to make the mistake of making Squirrel Girl into a caricature of herself. But, as we’ve been saying, Whedon is talented at creating characters who are very real and have depth. He’d be able to write her as a silly, upbeat character who has also been through some pretty challenging experiences and has genuine emotions and motivations.
1. Wonder Woman
Whedon was at one point attached to a Wonder Woman movie that would have been made in 2007, but ultimately fell by the wayside. In an interview with Rookie Magazine, Whedon said about his take on Diana that, “She was very powerful and very naïve about people, and the fact that she was a goddess was how I eventually found my [way] in to her humanity and vulnerability, because she would look at us and the way we kill each other and the way we let people starve and the way the world is run and she’d just be like, ‘None of this makes sense to me. I can’t cope with it, I can’t understand, people are insane.’”
It sounds interesting – he’d want to show her as a very powerful person, but one who also has a sense of vulnerability and humanity. He’d want her to be a genuinely strong character, not just a stereotypical “Strong Female Character.” And in fact, we get a glimpse of this kind of storyline in Ultron when Scarlet Witch shows Thor an Asgard where everyone is doomed and, according to Heimdall, he has some part in it. Thor is a very powerful person, but in this dream sequence – and his reaction to it – we see him in a moment of vulnerability. So the kind of Wonder Woman movie Whedon envisioned is certainly something he could have pulled off, and it would have been pretty exciting to see (not that we aren’t looking forward to the movie set to hit theaters next year).