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. Why is Whedon still talking about this, it’s not like he hasn’t found other work….

    • Whedon was talking about it because he was asked.

      • Because whedon always had a knack with female lead character’s like buffy buffy the vampire slayer ,river in firefly , echo in doll house he would have made wonder woman amazing the action would be amazing he would havve made another cat fight

    • Because his mom taught him to be polite and respond to questions?

      • He could just say no comment. At this point it is equally pointless for interviewers to keep asking about the failed Wonder Woman project as it is for Whedon to keep answering it. He clearly moved on to other things and most of the stories regarding DC movie projects are ginned up speculation done to give people something to talk about at this point.

        • Then they would say he was being an asset (without the et) for not giving a straight answer…

          • People would also probably make something out of the ‘no comment’. The internet is insane, they would turn that no comment into a full blown rumor saying Whedon is still secretly working on a Wonder Woman film.

        • Or maybe you’re just a bitter nitter witter.

        • You must be one of them Butt hurt DC fans, Because that is EXACTLY what it sounds like Slayer!!!!

          WHY would he say no comment? IM positive he wants WB to know that he wants to say I TOLD YA, but he cant just come out and sound like a 5 year old, SO when asked the question he politely answers and say NAH NAH WB you could be making the big bank BUT you shot me down so NOW your rival Co. is banking and you are not!!!

          • @Bruce Banner-I own about 10 DC comics & aside from Batman I never followed their books much. Judging by your name I know what kind of fan you are, so your comments really cannot be taken seriously.

          • I’m getting tired of hearing your anti-DC rants. I don’t care if Joss Whedon is your messiah, we have the right to voice our dislikes. Slayer didn’t troll him, and what you’re doing is thinking your words are at the level of importance as a Marvel executive.

            Guess what? As of right now, or if you ever grow up for that matter, they aren’t and probably never will be. Take your ball, go home, and come back when you’re ready to start having mature discussions.

            Good riddance.

            • People getting worked up online is funny, especially when it is about some rich guy who would step over them if they were laying in the street. These responses are about the same as what Twilight & Hunger Games fan(atics) sound like.

              I got another theory for you guys then. Maybe Joss is trying to pull what Singer & Abrams have done & jump franchises down the road.

              • @Slayer – Jumping from a mega smash franchise like “The Avengers” to “Wonder Woman” doesn’t sound like the smartest career move, or makes much sense wouldn’t you agree. That’s like dropping from level ‘A’ to level ‘C’ if you ask me.

                • Whedon’s run with doing Marvel films could end one day and if Warner pays him A level money I doubt it would phase him.

                  • Oh his run will indeed end one day with Marvel, nothing lasts forever. Even though nothing has be confirmed or made official yet, I would assume ‘Whedon’ will sign on to direct “Avengers 3″ before he finally decides to move on.

              • Because he was answering a question like normal people do thats for anyone though if you are asked a question you might as well answer it no point in trying to skirt around it like you scared.

        • @Slayer – Why say no comment, if you’re asked a fairly reasonable question why not ask it. As long as the question is not personal and it’s a publicly well known fact, why run away and hide from it. Yes ‘Whedon’ has obviously moved on to much bigger and better things.

    • Yeah… my biggest issue with this is, why the hell did the reporters keep asking this question. It’s like they will not be satisfied unless they heard it with their own ear, no matter how plenty of sites had dwelved into this question over and over again with the same answer.

      • If this is a different interview from the last time he commented on Wonder Woman then it makes little sense to keep bringing it up. Unless Whedon still has some interest in the project it just sounds like an attempt to keep the Wonder Woman idea out there even if there is not a line of a script written.

        It is kind of like the questions Bale was getting about Justice League that he had to put an end to. These projects are not anywhere near being reality & anyone can speculate on how they think something might turn out.

  2. I feel like I’ve read this story before…

  3. Has anybody read his script for WW? Is it any good?

    • I don’t know if it’s available, but I imagine it would be excellent. I was just thinking the other day that he would do a wonderful job with WW. An Amazonian who comes from a place where women rule society and doesn’t grasp male-controlled society? I really don’t think anyone would write that correctly and make her a strong character except Whedon…and maybe Kevin Smith. It would be wonderful if he got to do the project one day, but the things he’s currently working on and has been working on are amazing and satiating in the interim. :)

      • +1

      • he may still get his chance. at the rate DC/WB is going, Whedon’s contract w/ marvel will be over before WW ever gets a film going, and they could certainly approach him after.

    • LOL actually it sucked. Im a big fan but it wasnt his best work. There is a reason WB said no thank you.

    • John Campea from AMC THEATRES says it is not good i trust his word on that, which is a shame for every firefly the is a dollhouse and for every avengers there is a aliens 4 sad but true no all genius hit it out of the park everytime

      • You could be right, maybe the script wasn’t good and needed re-writing for all we know. And yes everyone doesn’t always knock it out the park, in any case it definitely looks like ‘Whedon’ has learned from his mistakes with ‘Wonder Woman’ if that’s the case. It’s great that ‘Whedon’ ended up with the “Avengers” franchise, ‘Wonder Woman’ wasn’t going to be anywhere near the massive level of success “The Avengers” was anyway, and I think we all know that. It definitely turned out best for ‘Whedon’ that it didn’t work out with ‘Wonder Woman’.

        • Why do you keep putting Whedon in quotation marks? It’s a dude’s name, not a literary title…

          • @Cave-ish Man – Ha-ha yeah, yeah, I didn’t pay it no mind dude, but I hear you.

  4. I am not sure if he could have done it Justice because his style does not reflect the DC Movieverse. Yet, He is an artist and I believe Artist are like Water and they adapt easily. At the end of the day, if WB had greenlit his Wonder Woman movie, maybe we would not have Avengers from him… It was his Destiny to make The Avengers… So No Regret. :)

  5. I dont think it would work, his comedy that is the staple of his writing doesnt fit the WW character

    • Actually the WW comics aren’t a stranger to comedy — WW herself has a really dry sense of humor which I could definitely see fitting Joss Whedon’s style.

      Besides, the Avengers and Thor/Captain America (the latter two not Whedon’s) aren’t inherently comical teams/heroes but the films definitely had their fair share of comedy. Even Nolan’s TDK trilogy had room for one-liners here and there.

      TL;DR Joss Whedon’s comedy wouldn’t be the major problem (if there are any) with him adapting WW to film.

      • I get your point but black widow was extremely poorly written, her one liners were horid. Whedons comedy only worjs half the time imo

    • @Patrick Bayard – “The Avengers” was destined to be a smash because of the build ups leading to it, so you’re right on that point. It was going to be a big smash hit rather ‘Whedon’ directed it or not, that being said ‘Whedon’ did a fantastic job writing and directing the film.

      • Once again, Super70, you’re getting a bit quotation mark-happy. They aren’t to be thrown around willy nilly ya know.

  6. WB said no for a reason Joss….

    • yet they’ve green lit, Superman Returns, Green Lantern and countless other bad movies for a reason too.

      • I LIKED the Green Lantern movie, mom.

      • +1

        I don’t use the company’s catalogue as a way to judge what a movie may have turned out to be, I use the writer’s.

    • But they said yes to Catwoman and Supergirl. :-/

  7. I was told the problem with Weadons script was “He didn’t have one”. He spent two years with only an outline,no complete script,no cast list,and no budget outline. That’s why WB pulled the plug but Weadon keeps on saying they didn’t like his script. So who’s right and who’s wrong you got me.

    • Whedon, not Weadon.

      • Wheaton? Wiiilll Wheaton???!!!

        • sheldon is coming for his revenge.

          • Bazinga! :-D

        • hWill hWheaton?

          Say “cool whip”.

          • Why? Cool wHip. What’s so special?

  8. If only we had Diana’s lasso of truth….. $-}

  9. Avengers was a good block buster but no matter who directed it or wrote it the movie would have still been a box office success. Nobody saw it cause whedon was behind it. Many superheros in one movie… any director bad or good could have directed it n made a ton of cheese. Not saying it’d be better.

    • It’s true that it would have had a great opening weekend regardless but I saw it more than once and got the DVD because of Whedon– because the script was fun and fast-paced and enjoyable to see again and again.

      • To be honest, I wasn’t even going to watch it in theaters since I was expecting it to blow, even with Whedon at the helm and all the characters in it. After reading the great reviews, I went to see it twice.

        The Avengers was guaranteed a box office hit because of all the characters and the solo movies backing it but if the film itself had not been good, I’m sure it would’ve made a lot less. I give a good chuck of that credit to Whedon.

          • The Avengers was entertaining for what it was, but all the praise Whedon gets for it is a bit much in my opinion. Aside from a few minutes of Thanos and his henchman there was no new villain introduced, all of the key players had already been introduced in the previous films, and the end battle consisted of the heroes mainly fighting nondescript crash test dummies.

            For me without the performance Hiddleston gave as Loki the movie would have been pretty bland and by the numbers. His character was the only one to verbally challenge and interact with all of the protagonists, and it helped move the story along. The fact that the movie did so well though might have something to do with how simple it really was on paper and in it’s execution.

          • Ah my man, his name has become much more well known outside of the geek movie fans today. You need to step away from 2010 and join the rest of us in 2013 homie. As far as you thinking “The Avengers” was chessy, you can say it until you turn blue in the face and i’ll still disagree with you, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

            • I personally felt that Nolan’s Batman trilogy was cheesier. Crazy rich guy in a rubber suit with horns and a cape and NO SUPERPOWERS?… And people take him seriously? I mean.. folks don’t laugh at the psycho dressed like a bat who beats up muggers?

  10. What he did with Wonder Wonder was apparently downright awful. And frankly other than one movie(The Avengers) his career is quite sad.

    • Comments like this are pretty moronic. He’s written what some call one of the greatst shows ever; Firefly. Also written other popular shows like Dollhouse and Buffy. He also wrote what some will call one of the greatest horror films in years; Cabin in the Woods. And he directed Serenity, while not accalaimed like Firefly, it was critically positive(Rotten Tommatoes, IMDB). And then after all that…theres Avengers(critically and finacially acclaimed). Pretty damn good if you ask me. Not sad at all. The best career? No. A very good one? Yes.

    • Quite sad? Really?Buffy was enormously successful, Firefly is a cult classic that has a pretty big following and Dollhouse was actually a really good show.

      • Meet The Spartans was also hugely successful but that too was total crap.

        I guess you can’t account for taste in the entertainment biz because honestly, I agree with the other person, Whedon hasn’t written, produced or directed anything that I’ve enjoyed yet.

        The only Whedon I can say I’ve enjoyed as far as creative output is his brother Jeb (executive producer of the fantastic Spartacus show).

        • @Dazz – Dude that’s you, everybody’s got their own opinions.

          • Super70, the fact is Dazz’s opinions suck.

            • LOL yeah, hey if that’s the way Dazz feels so be it.

      • Buffy and Angel was awesome and is Whedon’s staple. Haven’t watched many other things from him though, other than Toy Story, which I hear is co-written by him. Really want to see Much Ado About Nothing as well. Whedon is really great at establishing whole universes from what I’ve seen in Buffy. I can only imagine what he’d do with Wonder Woman and her backstory.

        Plus, very rarely does he work with established characters, he’s also stated he prefers to work with his own creations. If he was that into a Wonder Woman film, I believe he really did have some great ideas.

        It isn’t a guarantee that the film would’ve been a hit, but what’s saying it wouldn’t have been?

    • @Dave – I can’t speak on if his script for ‘Wonder Woman’ being downright awful, since i’ve never seen it. I wouldn’t say outside of “The Avengers” ‘Whedon’ career has been quite sad, he’s had success with ‘Firefly’, ‘Buffy’, ‘Alias’ and most likely soon to be “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D”, but those are all TV shows obviously. He’s still fairly new to directing big screen films with “Avengers 3″ only being his 3rd film directed on the big screen, so he has a lot of time to add to his mantle and become a potentially legendary director.

      • I would separate the TV shows and movies. There are some writers and directors who can’t make the switch. And for Whedon outside of The Avengers he hasn’t proved anything. Agents of Shield is a complete cash raid and nothing more.

        And I won’t take anything away from what he did with The Avengers however I’ll add that just about anyone of the previous Avengers lead in directors could have done just as good a job on that film.

        • Dave you lost me when you said any director could have done as fine a on job on “The Avengers” as ‘Whedon’, no anybody couldn’t and i’ll explain why. ‘Whedon’ has always been masterful when it comes to working with big ensemble casts, a lot of directors don’t have that ability my friend. The ability to take several lead characters and allow all of them to shine in one way or another without taking away from one another. Plus he’s excellent with dialog, interaction among the actors and bringing kick ass female characters to the screen, regardless of what so call rumors have led you to believe about ‘Wonder Woman’, she would have been bad ass if he was allowed to bring her to the big screen, that’s all i’m going to say on that topic.

          • +1

            Harder than it looks!

            • That’s what she said… :)

        • You’re telling me you didn’t enjoy Cabin In The Woods, Toy Story or Speed? Really?

          • Aha I hated Cabin in the Woods the first time I saw it because I didn’t look too much into it before hand, I was expecting a straight up horror. Second time I loved it though.

    • Looks like some one needs to go do their home work hun , most of his projects do above average to excellent , most of his works including … dollhouse have rather high scores (80s and what not) and his new movie got a 88 on rotten tomatoes and 85 on meta critic so please take a seat and come back when you have more to contribute to the conversation.
      Oh and , Your Welcome.

  11. I think he would’ve done a Wonder Woman film justice. It looks like he was emotionally invested in it too. Although, I’m not sure what the tone of the film would be like, I wonder if it would’ve been similar to Man of Steel or be completely different.

    • It would have been completely different. Whedon’s style and the style that DC has now is completely different. It probably would have been another Green Lantern or Superman Returns. A failed attempt at bringing some of the most amazing superheroes to life on the big screen. So, it’s better that Whedon didn’t create the movie at that time. Everything absolutely happens for a reason.

      • I find Whedon has a pretty good range in his storytelling. His career involves some very comedic work as well as some very serious ones.

  12. Even though it would have been Joss Whedon directing and writing it, it still would have been difficult to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen. “The Avengers” was definitely a much more easy task considering the success of all of the individual movies before it. So, of course we knew that “The Avengers” would be huge. And it was. But, with WB having trouble bringing their heroes to the big screen, it would have been much more difficult even for Whedon to create Wonder Woman in her own movie. His name might have helped draw in audiences, but it’s no telling how well it would have done at the box office. I think DC needs to do the opposite of Marvel and bring a Justice League movie first to the big screen in order to introduce her within the team, and then do an individual movie. I think it’ll be more likely to succeed that way. And then Justice League 2 would probably be just as successful as “The Avengers” was! We’ll see! Only time will tell.

    • Agreed. Or, they could try working her in (much like Black Widow in Iron Man 2) into another Super’s movie. Sad, but it’s probably the only way to go.

  13. As a big Buffy fan, I’m curious what his take on it would have been like. Don’t let the Avengers fool you, Whedon can do “serious/dark” as well. There were dark Buffy episodes with serious tone that still had SOME humor in them. I’d love to read his script if it’s out there anywhere.

    • +1

      Agreed. Whedon is capable of making some very serious films/episodes, as well as comedic. Buffy really broadened Joss’ horizons and pushed him into using several different kinds of storytelling.

  14. if wonderwoman is a thick woman in the film and the first film takes place in a Amazon jungle filled with wild creature and she has to protect some humans from the city then yes that will work.

  15. I wouldn’t mind watching it especially if they used scarlett johansson :D but that’s just me

  16. The Wonder Woman movie would’ve been a string of cliches on top of a piece of cardboard. All Whedon ever makes are infantile movies for kids of 12 to 16 year old. A very thin storyline with a lot of bangs and booms – and let’s not forget the dialogues. Straight out of the worst soap operas of all time.

    It’s the unofficial grandson of George Lucas.

    • I think you have Whedon and Bay confused…

    • that’s why he is making MILLIONS and you are here writing about how BAD he is!!!! LMAO at you

  17. Where can I read the actual script? did they post a link somewhere?

  18. Honestly what Joss Whedon did in The Avengers was nothing short of spectacular. Taking some of the biggest characters and biggest egos and still telling a compelling, heart-felt story on screen. Warner Brothers even with the success of the Batman series still at this point nothing compares to the experience of The Avengers and they were wrong to turn down this very young and ambitious director. Hopefully Warner Brothers will see it through so he can work with Snyder and Nolan to create Wonder Woman, but if you were to throw a movie idea on a table Whedon vs Nolan/Snyder I’m taking Whedon hands down. The man not only knows how to direct, but he knows how to create amazing stories that go far beyond the means of ordinary film-making.

  19. It would have been a great film with Whedon in charge!

  20. Whoah now, where’s all the Whedon hate coming from? He has constraints like everyone else that works for Marvel/Disney. Firefly and Serenity are no where near “infantile”. Dollhouse as well.

    • +1

      • Okay I’m tired of seeing that +1. At the risk of sounding like an internet noob what the hell does that mean exactly?

        • it means (+1) like I agree with your statement! or good statement!

          Wait till you see + 1,000,000now that is when it gets a bit childish!

          • +10000000 =)

        • In internet slang it’s either +1 as inone ‘like’ (for those in Facebook or Cracked or other voter comment threads)

          Or else it’s +1 as in +1 Internet (i.e. “here, that comment was so good that I now award you one internet”). This latter is in the upper echelons of Internet Speak.

          • Posting what someone else has already answered gives you a -1 for the day.

  21. I bet Whedon’s WonderWoman film would of been great. Couldn’t been worse than Supergirl or Catwoman films WB released. Id say WB drop the ball. Their loss, Marvel’s gain.

  22. Judging from some of the darker moments of Firefly/Serenity, I think that Joss could work within the more serious DC aesthetic. But remember, this whole WW deal was before Green Lantern, so who knows what direction it was going then.

    In any event, the challenges inherent in adapting WW are different from those of The Avengers.

  23. I would love to read Whedons WW script.
    Maybe someday.

  24. That’s the problem with DC/WB imo. The dark tone they want in their films. Singaly their films may make $$$ but in a shared universe, it would be more complicated because you can’t make every character darker & realistic as Batman & Superman in a shared universe like Marvel is doin. It’s why Marvel has been moving along well & The Avengers became the biggest CBM yet.

  25. Couldn’t find the script but I did find Whedons description of what he had in mind.

    She was a little bit like Angelina Jolie [laughs]. She sort of traveled the world. She was very powerful and very naïve about people, and the fact that she was a goddess was how I eventually found my 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. And ultimately her romance with Steve was about him getting her to see what it’s like not to be a goddess, what it’s like when you are weak, when you do have all these forces controlling you and there’s nothing you can do about it. That was the sort of central concept of the thing. Him teaching her humanity and her saying, OK, great, but we can still do better.

    • Sounds like wonder woman returns to me if there no good villain to go against for action the cmb movie will always suck

    • I read he had more than one script treatments he handed to WB.

  26. i would have loved to see a ww made by whedon. I don’t think we will ever see a ww movie maybe in another 10 years

  27. Wonder woman sucks as a character. Period. She is one of the weakest ‘main stream’ comic characters out there. I envision no scenario where I would watch a feature length movie with her in it.

    • The only way I can see ‘WW’ on the big screen is in a “Justice League” film, and even that’s still a reach at this point without an official confirmation from WB/DC. Perhaps the SDCC will bring that comfirmation in 2 weeks, we’ll see.

  28. I just wish WB/DC would get off their can, quit talking and put out some quality work other than Batman and Superman. I would like to read about WW, Flash even Aquraman in production.

    • +1

      Make plans, hire writers and put themselves out there. Green Lantern wasn’t good but that was understandable. They hired a great comic book writer, but that wasn’t enough to transfer the character to the big screen. Now they know not to make the same mistake. Get a blend of someone who knows the film industry and someone who knows the characters. Sure they have Snyder, Nolan and Goyer, but I don’t think that’s near enough for a full scale universe.

      They’ve got some great properties, bring them out, not because Marvel is ahead of the game but because the characters themselves have so much potential and deserve a spot in the light.

      • They need to get a core group of writers and directors and make an outline, instead of feeling their way around or making everything a stand alone movie. Come on WB/DC make a plan and stick to it!

        • +1

          One reason and the only I reason I can think of why they won’t make further plans is because both Nolan and Goyer like to fit everything they have into the one movie they’re working on. The whole work on one movie at a time and think about the sequels later. I find it works well to get the movie to be rich and detailed but won’t suffice if they want a DC cinematic universe. Let’s hope they announce something at comic con.

    • +1 as well…