Joss Whedon On Failed ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie: ‘It Would’ve Worked’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2014 at 6:51 pm,

Joss Whedon Wonder Woman Movie Could Work Joss Whedon On Failed Wonder Woman Movie: It Wouldve Worked

It’s a fact that DC Comics buffs will be forced to accept, and one that will forever haunt Warner Bros.: before Joss Whedon signed on the dotted line with Marvel and made The Avengers (2012) a household name (and billion-dollar property), he tried to make a Wonder Woman movie.

Warner Bros. ultimately turned him down, and the rest is history. But even if six years and unrivaled success have softened the blow for the writer/director, Whedon recently admitted that there was a time when he himself succumbed to the desire to rub his success in the faces of those who doubted him and Wonder Woman‘s potential.

When asked by Crave Online if the writer/director of one of the biggest superhero movies of all time ever feels like rubbing it in to the studio that turned him away, Whedon admitted that he still has a sore spot over not being able to do Diana justice on the big screen, at least when he first proved the skeptics wrong:

Joss Whedon Talks Marvel Consultant Role Joss Whedon On Failed Wonder Woman Movie: It Wouldve Worked

“Early on. It’s like grief: there’s a period of anger where you’re like ‘hey, remember all those times when I told you it would’ve worked? THEY believed me, and it did! So now I’m going to get angry about stuff that I had pretty much dealt with.’

“So yeah, you do sort of want to have a ‘slap line’ of everybody you’ve ever worked for. But I’ve been luckier than most people so you get over that.”

It’s important to remember that hindsight is 20/20 – and even some fans of Whedon’s small screen work on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and the feature film Serenity (2005) feared The Avengers would prove too large a task (at least for mass audiences, beyond Whedon’s core fan base). He had a history of writing strong female characters from the very beginning, but even today, it’s hard to see Whedon’s vision fitting with that of Warner Bros., if Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder’s style is what the studio is looking for.

Before anyone takes Whedon’s sense of humor as general resentment towards WB, it’s worth re-reading his open letter to fans promoting every superhero movie, not just his own, or those now under his supervision. And given that his interest in female superheroes of any kind, we’d be willing to bet that the director would simply like to see Wonder Woman done justice on film, no matter who ends up with the task of doing it.

wonder woman series fails to find home Joss Whedon On Failed Wonder Woman Movie: It Wouldve Worked

Any director, regardless of success, will always wish they’d had a chance to bring a project to fruition – just look at the many directors who tried to reboot Superman prior to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. Unfortunately, fans can only wonder what might have been if Whedon had landed the job, succeeded, and adopted a similar role with Warner Bros. For what it’s worth, Whedon himself isn’t dwelling on it; he’s got more than enough Marvel biz to worry about.

How do you feel about the Wonder Woman movie that almost was? Think it could have worked as well as The Avengers, or would the film have been more challenging than an action-packed team-up? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: Crave Online

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. I think the biggest reason why DC or to be precise WB didn’t accept his script, is probably because they didn’t have ANY intention of doing a DC Universe at that time.

    Things changes after Marvel had the guts to go with The Avengers. Not saying that Marvel is better, or WB is copying their moves… but I figure, if Joss handed the script post-Man of Steel, I’m fairly certain that WB will consider his plan with more deep thoughts. WB was too busy focusing on Nolan’s Batuniverse that time, hence they feel that they don’t need a Wonder Woman movie… or to put it worst, they need a Wonder Woman with a tone of Nolan’s Dark Knight, and sorry to say, that wouldn’t have worked.

    WB is a great movie maker, but honestly… sometimes (if not most of the times), they don’t have good long-range vision and/or commitment and/or guts to do it. Proof to that, was the sudden cancellation of Green Lantern 2 (just compare it to Spiderman, Xmen or Marvel Cinematic Universe). After they boasted about making sequel, they tanked it all out without notice, just because the first movie didn’t meet their and/or fan’s expectation.

    Had they a long-term vision, dare I say, a DC Movie Universe from way back in 2008, I’m quite sure Nolan’s Batman Trilogy wouldn’t have come to light considering how it chopped off plenty of un-realistic treatment needed in the Justice League universe. It’s not that hard to observe really, at that time they were focusing too much with Nolan Bat Trilogy, add the failure of GL, hence the concept of WW would not be appealing to them.

    • Agreed with the Green Lantern fiasco. They got scared off, I don’t really blame them though, the movie really didn’t perform well at all. I would prefer a soft reboot similar to the Incredible Hulk instead of a sequel though.

      • I agree about the “soft reboot” in the style of the Hulk, not re-doing the origin story and re-casting the parts, especially Ryan Reynolds. (Although in the case of the Hulk, I actually love the first one and find the second one dreadfully dull…but GL would benefit more.) But frankly, I would rather see GL eventually developed as a standalone franchise.

        A darker, very mythological Wonder Woman film could work fantastically. There is great interest in that, and even Snyder has done it (300)…the question is how do they dovetail that with MoS.

        • The origin can be done in the first 2 minutes or something. I would honestly love another origin story done better, but I’m definitely in the minority so it wouldn’t be a good move for the studio.

          To each their own, I watched The Hulk and never went back to it. I watched the Incredible Hulk multiple times but this is coming from someone who enjoyed Ghost Rider aha. It was a bad film but I still found it at least enjoyable.

          Agree with you on the solo franchise. Green Lantern has an intense amount of story that can for sure hold it’s own for several films. One reason being, it’s not limited to just Earth, a good chuck of the comic book stories have several other planets as their premise.

          Exactly! While I’ve only really read one Wonder Woman story arc, I have to say I really enjoyed it and find people underestimate this character.

    • Marvel was known to taken risks starting off with Ironman all the way to The Avengers as all bets were off imo since that’s what the solo films were building up to. It payed off well because I only know Whedon because of the Buffy series & I didn’t know what to expect from The Avengers film as it was something that never been done. For Whedon or any director, that’s big project to take on. And Marvel is still taken the same kind of risks by trying to think ahead.

      WB/DC on the otherhand wait to see how well each film of theirs performs before moving on or green light a sequel before a film has had a good run in theaters. They don’t really think ahead that well. How long ago was it they said they wanted a Justice League to be coming out? Imo it sounded like they were trying to rush it but they were waiting to see how The Avengers payed off possibly. I have to say their first idea for their Justice League film was crap imo.

      • Whedon made a pretty good transition from small scale filmmaking to one of the biggest scaled filmmaking. Gotta give him props for that.

        That’s one thing that annoys me about WB, they wait and don’t have plans. Or maybe they do and are just keeping it under wraps. Let’s hope Man of Steel pushes them to announce a couple of release dates or something. Also, what was the first idea for Justice League you were referring to?

  2. Joss Whedon does a good job of creating likable characters and interesting universes. However, I’m not sold on his storytelling abilities, at least in a feature film. The characters made “The Avengers” worth watching, but the story itself was generic and predictable.

    • ^This,though I found the characters to be too comical.

    • You’re so right I enjoyed the movie but I wasn’t surprised by any of it. The comedy is great in movies like this but someone needs to make a movie between Marvel’s usual attitude and DC/WB’s usual attitude.

  3. Whedon’s Wonder Woman…no thanks…100+ minutes of Wonder Woman talking like an awkward rambling nerd with corny one liners that make her look dated 10 years from.No, no, no.Not to mention, he does not know how to do a stunt double right.You have anorexic Sarah throwing her little fists and kicking her boney legs.She can’t even throw a fake fist hit without blinking like she’s shooting a gun.Sophia was the best thing about Buffy.Not the annoying characters.

    • well i am a expert and gifted martial artist who thinks the fights scenes in Buffy, firefly and avengers was well executed, all four actress who did fight scenes(Sarah,Eliza, summer and Scarlett really impressed and i don`t ever get impressed some please don`t comment on a subject you know nothing about.

      • You come off as such a tool. I’ve worked with “expert” martial artists before who sound like you. Even had one try to prove a point with me only to end up getting embarrassed. “I’m an expert and gifted martial artist…” LOL! What true martial artist or warrior talks like that about himself? Anyway, do you have any experience with fight choreography or stage fighting?

    • Buffy’s power is magical not based in the real world, so her “little fists” and “bony legs” have nothing to do with her physical power. Her fighting ability is exactly as it should be for a teenage high school student learning to be a slayer. If you watched the show you would notice that Buffy’s fighting ability progresses throughout the series.

      • What he means is that The stunt double was too obvious.. Sarah’s Buffy never did the good fights (it was through the magic of TV video editing) … Even angel’s or spike’s stunt double were notorious as the hairstyle was different some times.

        I’m not telling it was bad as he does…

  4. ‘Whedon’ getting dropped from WB only to go on to make “The Avengers” one of the biggest box office hits of all time, will always be one of those stories of legend that will only continue to grow in time. Especially if ‘Whedon’ continues to make smash hits for Marvel which I fully expect and WB continues to struggle to get a ‘WW’ film of the ground. WB dropped the ball letting ‘Whedon’ go, now maybe ‘Nolan’ and WB did have a different idea of what they wanted to see in ‘WW’, that being said I think ‘Whedon’ knows a hell lot more about bringing female action to the big screen than they do. In any case it turned out to be a huge win for Marvel and help change the whole landscape of CBM’s. Andrew “The Avengers” is not one of the biggest superheroes films, it is the biggest superhero film of all time so far,.

    • Biggest is not always (and in this case is NOT) best.

    • Why are you quoting everything. It sounds sarcastic.

  5. Some of you seriously need to find something outside to do, anytime you watch a marvel or dc movie you have to understand its all fantasy. Anyone think batman
    Can last 24 hours in somalia or hawkeye with a bow and arrow in colombia. Its obvious some of you cats like nolan and synder have no real life experience and live in pure fantasy. Just fantasy movies people, not based on real life characters.

    • We really don’t need you telling us that. It has no point. But if it makes you feel all smug and superior inside go ahead.

      Just ignore his post everyone. Just some person trying to boost their ego at our expense. Same ol’ same ‘ol.

      • +1

    • Yep, it’s called escapism my friend. Some do take it far more serious than others, it just depends on the individual.

    • troll

  6. I love Joss Whedon’s work. As a girl I think Joss has done a great job making female characters feel real, deep thinkers, and strong. His story plots and humor are spot on. I still can enjoy watching reruns of Buffy and Firefly whenever they come on TV. He would have done great things for the Wonder Woman movie! In fact Joss or a woman needs to tell her story. Many movie guys think they understand women and just don’t. They do the same old stuff. We watch the films and roll our eyes. Like the new Superman movie, same old sterotypes, looks, and lines from women actors.

    • Yes, clearly, no one wanted a strong, strong-willed, thoughtful, non-spandex-wearing, stable woman like both Lois and Martha are in MOS…you’re right: What HORRIBLE stereotypes!

      Oh, wait…

    • Joss has done some great work especially with making the female actors equal to any other. Something Scarlet Johansson said in an interview when working with Whedon. I highly disagree with everything else you say though. Man of Steel portrayed Faora incredibly well, paying absolutely no attention to her gender, only to the fact that she was a soldier of Zod. Martha? She cared for her son like any other mother would, went to Clark’s aid when he needed her. Louis? She was a strong willed reporter doing what she does best. If I’m wrong, prove me otherwise. What exactly were the lines, looks and stereotypes?

      Just saw the Fast and the Furious today, there was absolutely no gap between the males’ and females’ capabilities. Several ‘movie guys’ couldn’t care less if the person was a female or male, it’s not about understanding what makes them a woman or a man, it’s what makes them the character they are.

  7. HOLY CRAP, COMIC BOOK MOVIES AREN’T BASED ON TRUE LIFE EXPERIENCES? And here I thought aliens invaded New York. Oh well, at least I can take solace in the fact that santa and the Easter bunny are watching over me

    • They are real. The government just covers it up. All those disasters like storms floods and the like we’ve had lately. All super powered battles. Don’t tell anyone though or you might have an accident. I’ve said too much. Shhhh.

      • ILY for that

    • Lmfao

    • Guess they won’t be getting an Academy Award for documentaries at any point….

  8. Two questions: Did Joss actually write a Wonder Woman script for Warners? And if so, couldn’t Warner Bros. still film Joss’ script (albeit without Joss’ involvement)?

    • Ya know, I was just wondering something similar. They may actually not have rights to it though unless they told him to write it. If he wrote it on his own and brought it to them then the story would be his intellectual property while the character remained the property of WB. I may be wrong on the legalities but that’s how it would seem to me. Also, I can’t really say whether I’m for or against this movie since no plot details or concept art or anything has been published. I mean, Avengers was great and all, but I’d still like a little more to go on than Whedon’s stamp of approval on his own work. It’s very, “If I do say so myself…” of him.

    • That sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. The last thing WB needs right now is a marvel/disney-backed Joss Whedon taking them to the cleaners.

      • Not really, he was commissioned to write a script based on a property Warner owns. What they do or don’t do with it is up to them.

  9. Whedon really need to stop bringing this up.

    • People really need to stop asking him about it.

  10. Got an idea for the WW movie….if they go the greek mythology route, have Poseidon be Aquaman

  11. Its not about trying to be superior. I am merely pointing out how asisine it is for nolan to be guarding his darknight series along with his fanatical followers who take a great series way to seriously. Warners just need to manup and quit being
    afraid and take risks and get out another dc universe film in production rather
    then overthink these movies too much.

    • Well, I agree mostly< but WB can't afford another Green Lantern, which is what sometimes happens when you don't overthink it.

  12. A WW movie could work but WB must not rush their schedule.I think they need a Batman/superman movie next before introducing other Dc characters without a standalone movie (WW,Martian manhunter,flash).

  13. Alexandra Daddario can make an awesome Wonder Woman like she is still playing the Amazon AnnaBeth Chase from PERCY JACKSON: THE SEA OF MONSTERS. I think she will be a perfect role playing “The Amazing Amazon” in the WW Movie and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. I think Joss Whedon can cast her to play “The Amazing Amazon” cause, she did played the AnnaBeth Chase from the PERCY JACKSON sequels.

    • She would probably be one of my choices,but my top choice would be Amanda Righetti.I think she’s very attractive,but can pull off that tough as nails look to go with it.

      Ultimately,one of the most crucial element in making a WW movie is proper casting.If you screw up the main character,it’s over,and I think this might be part of WB’s hesitation.

  14. They probably rejected it because he’s a TV-level writer and TV-level director. Avengers was a bloated, structureless, boring mess with no directorial style – just a pure product with the occasional hint of novelty sprinkled throughout.

    • @CB – Oh yeah, that TV-level writer and director is the same one that helped take the bloated, structureless, boring mess with no so called directorial style as you so claim to 623 million domestic and 1.52 billion worldwide and a 92% RT rating. Yep you genius, sounds like a recipe for disaster. Can’t wait to hear you hating on “Avengers 2″ after it tops 2 billion worldwide.

      • What do I care if it made a ton of money? It was a surprisingly forgettable and unfulfilling experience.

      • lol just because something makes a lot of money doesn’t make it awesome I liked the movie so im not hating on it.

  15. And besides, he didn’t take this film – if anything, he pushed over the dominoes that had been brilliantly set up by a very cautious and intelligent studio. His number one job in Avengers was to do no harm, and in that respect, he succeeded wildly. But he didn’t innovate, nor was his directing in any way accomplished. It was perfectly competent, which is exactly the house style of Marvel movies.

    • @CB – And that’s cool for you, you thought it was forgettable and I thought it was unforgettable, simply two different opinions my friend. The studio has been pretty flawless in setting their films up, i’ll agree with you there. Now as great as I thought “The Avengers” was in my opinion, I believe “Avengers 2″ has the potential to be much better.

      • I hope you’re right. I wouldn’t have seen Avengers if I hadn’t wanted to enjoy it.

  16. Here is the Casting Call:

    Alexandra Daddario as Wonder Woman/Princess Diana/Diana Prince
    Chris Pine as Maj.Steve Trevor
    Cate Blanchett as Queen Hippolyte
    Kirsten Dunst as Etta Candy
    Viggo Mortensen as Ares (God of War)
    Georgie Henley as Young Diana (Wonder Girl)
    Kate Hudson as Antiope
    Gabrielle Union as Nubia
    Fairuza Balk as Artemis
    Emma Thompson as Julia Kapaetelis
    J.K. Simmons as General Phil Darnell


  17. Wonder woman should be attached to clash of the titans series as a far future of it. the movie should also include donna troy, circe and few female greek deities. if this happens this would be lovely to watch. beware they must give wonderwoman a good reason in their script to travel to men’s world. since man of steel was monsterously epic fighting movie. superman should have one or two cameos. what do u guys think?

  18. I think a lot of people would definitely watch Wonder Woman as a movie… Its just the bros think it wont kuz they’re being sexist.. Of course they made many superman movies and iron man movies which of course were t bad(iron man/the avengers are great! Fave)but we need female characters, the avenegers only had the black widow.. I asure you MAYBE men/guys/boys wont see much of it but they will make a minority, i could be wrong! It all the depends on the factors! A lot of woman/girls would definitely go watch it! Wonder Woman is a female role model! Someone should write a petition to bring A Wonder Woman movie to the big screen.. In other words have Megan Fox or Adrianne Palicki to play wonder woman(men will love!)add amazing effects to the movie(like they did with the avengers) and presto! The movie will be a hit! The origin cant be change thats how wonder woman started and like someone said in the comments make the origin 10minutes into the movie. Everything else should be a breeze! Finally, yes the movie should of gone on the screen!

  19. A Wonder Woman film can work if the script is tight, meaning well researched material, insight into who the character really is her essence.

  20. I am so over all of this nonsense going on in the DC Universe with the Nu 52 and it’s revamping of the JLA. Five years ago I would have been falling off my seat excited for this Man of Steel film with Batman and Wonder Woman. However the direction DC & Warner have chosen to take almost makes me feel like a back handed slap has been delivered after waiting years for Wonder Woman to get her chance. I’m sure whatever Josh Whedon would have came up with at the time would have been much better then what’s about to surface. I dread seeing MOS2 . The casting is terrible beyond anything I would ever have imagined and this darker style that Warner has chosen to go with makes me feel like the Super Heroes I grew up with are dead and gone. Why can’t origins remain true to how the charactor’s were created and why oh why can’t a costume be simply updated without being distorted? At least Batman and Superman will always remain close to their original look but when it comes to Wonder Woman they always mess with her original costume completely. Or at least try to and change everything about her. It’s either Wonder Woman or it’s not. That simple. I again am not excited for this film and I expect dissapoint when Gal Gadot surfaces in whatever costume they are planning on dumping on the fans. Deep down I know it will be NOTHING like her original red, white and blue star spangled costume that everyone knows and Wonder Woman. This makes me really sad and pissed off to say the least. The 2009 animated Wonder Woman is the perfect template to use for a live action version. It’s updated but still Wonder Woman. Anything from Jim Lee’s Nu 52 forward will NEVER be embraced by me out of pocket book or heart. It simply just doesn’t cut it.

  21. One success doesn’t count. Someone had to be roped in for the all the cast being assembled. Please don’t try to make this look like WB needs to rely on Joss Whedon. We still need to see how Avengers 2 would fare on the domestic and then do the talking after that.