Numerous DC comics fans have expressed their frustration about how superhero staples like Batman and Superman have long thrived in cinematic form, while classic Amazonian warrior Wonder Woman cannot seem to catch a break – as far as (good) contemporary television or film adaptations go.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon was attached to bring Diana of Themyscira to the big screen back in 2007, but that film project ultimately fell by the wayside. That didn’t exactly hurt Whedon, though, seeing how he would go on to write and direct The Avengers; all the same, a Wonder Woman movie (sadly) still only exists in theoretical form today.
Whedon is no slouch when it comes to creating strong and varied female characters, be it Buffy, Zoë Washburne on Firefly, Adelle DeWitt on Dollhouse, Kitty Pryde in his Astonishing X-Men run – or even Akima in the Whedon-scripted animated (financial) flop, Titan A.E.. So, logically, he seems like just about the perfect choice to bring Wonder Woman to life in film form.
That said, here is what Whedon had to offer Rookie Magazine, with regards to what his take on the powerful (and sexy) superheroine:
“[Wonder Woman] 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 [classic Wonder Woman love interest Steve Trevor] 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.”
Some fans might not be so impressed with the implication that Whedon aimed to portray Diana as somewhat of a lost soul – without the guidance of “her man,” that is. When worded like that, Whedon’s version of the character sounds a bit too similar to the (as our Kofi Outlaw put it) “soapy ‘Smallville’-type character” that Diana had been reduced to in the recent (failed) Wonder Woman television series reboot.
It could be argued that what Whedon is really talking about here is basically a role-reversal of the classic dynamic between Superman and Lois Lane. In other words, Diana would still have been a powerful and self-sufficient warrior; one who simply gains additional insight into the inner workings of humankind through her (intimate) relationship with an everyday human man, Steve Trevor. That dynamic might have also bore a resemblance to that between Buffy and (vampire) Angel on BtVS, as well as Echo/Paul on Dollhouse and even Kitty Pryde/Colossus in Whedon’s X-Men comic work.
That’s all to say: Whedon’s ideas for a Wonder Woman movie sound interesting, but perhaps a bit too similar to what he’s done in the past. So maybe it’s for the best that he’s instead spreading his (artistic) wings more by handling The Avengers.
Drive helmer Nicolas Wending Refn (see above) has been expressing his desire to make a Wonder Woman movie for a while now, but it sounds like he has more of a non-traditional (and, frankly, refreshing) approach to the character in mind than Whedon did. Said the auteur about his version of Wonder Woman:
The whole idea of a woman who is basically more powerful than any man – and who will always be that, and comes from a society of women who are more powerful than men – is an interesting theme that I think can be very contemporary.”
Refn’s hopes of making such a comic book film – possibly, with actress Christina Hendricks - may never be realized either, partially because of his somewhat unorthodox approach. Still, many a fan would definitely support Refn being given the opportunity.
As for the role of Diana: we may now have a perfect real-life, dark-haired, badass candidate for the part, based on early word of mouth about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Gina Carano’s turn in director Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller, Haywire…
Feel free to let us know your own feelings about Whedon’s take on Wonder Woman – and what actress/director pair you would like to see bring the character to life on the big screen – in the comments section below.