Joss Whedon Discusses His Defunct ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 17th, 2014 at 10:15 am,

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.”

Christina Hendricks Talks Wonder Woman Joss Whedon Discusses His Defunct Wonder Woman Movie

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.

Will Refn be given the chance to make a 'Wonder Woman' movie?

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.

Source: Rookie (via JoBlo)

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  1. i love wonder woman she was my hero growing up i had a wonder woman board that i got for christmas when i was little and i have all seasons of the show. i have a wonder woman barbie doll i recently purchased and i would love to see a wonder woman movie made. one that would do justice to her character. i think that lucy lawless would make a great wonder woman.

    i mean she was great playing the character xena the warrior princess.

    • Kim,

      I really hope you’re a chick…

  2. Hear is someone who you should consider…. she’s perfect she portrays Wonder Woman not only in the comic but on screen as well… Rainfall films did the impossible… even tho it is a short clip. I speak for most of the woman and men that are a huge fan of Wonder Woman!

    • Hear is someone who you should consider…. she’s perfect she portrays Wonder Woman not only in the comic but on screen as well… Rainfall films did the impossible… even tho it is a short clip. I speak for most of the woman and men that are a huge fan of Wonder Woman!

      Visit us at: // @rainfallfilms //

  3. I just hope the movie will reflect on her amazon training. Either her mother give her the boot. Or some dark enemy kills her ban of sisters and mother.
    This movie should not be a love story. It should reflect on a warrior.
    The Actress should be tall. not sexy she’s a goddes. Not a model.
    She doesn’t have sex appeal she shows brutality and strength.

  4. It is possible. Although, I think Wonder woman will be hard to pull off or sell. She’s just going to be an Amazonian fighting crime in modern times, unless a very hard villian is brought in, and that will be hard because her backstory attached to modern times will come off as unrealistic (, unless Joss(as usual)found another brilliant idea to solve the problem. Audience who want to watch fantasy and Sci-fi movies are mostly about visual effects, intelligent story and comedy input, than dramatic content. Not that you won’t regret it if you deny them the drama, but (considering she’s a goddess) there has to be an epic story that can attach her character emotionally(inner childhood)to the target audience and come off as not insulting to their intelligence.

    I’m writing a script for Hawkgirl at the moment. I have some good ideas to make it more acceptable than DC’s original concept of the character. She’s filled with rage she battles on her journey to being a real hero. I think a “modern day world” movie can be made for her character than the Amazonian champion idea. I may be wrong though.

  5. With all do respect to some of you guys, Diana should be played by someone refreshing. You guys have a pretty good I idea but we shouldn’t completely get rid of her original essence. Diana is a demi Goddess, gifted by multiple Gods and Goddesses. Diana is Beautiful, she is strong, she is powerful. Yes I agree as far as beauty goes she should not have a cliche beauty that is measured by today’s standards. I don’t think she should be portrayed as sexy because She’s not strutting around trying to attract attention. Wonder Woman these days is always portrayed either as a mindless warrior with a scowl on her face, or a somewhat mannish woman without. Wonder Woman isn’t a savage. Wonder woman isn’t that hard to sell if you have the right head space. you can recreate old characters and villains as well. invent some new ones. It’s not like there are movies with superheroes that are realistic anyway. But you can make it believable. And yes it definitely should’t be a love story but include a love interest somehwere in there to give her some humananity. I’ve been working on her character for years now, and I have a lot of really cool ideas that stick to tradition yet help make it seem real and relevant including old and new characters.

  6. I would like to see any attempt actually. I have been waiting for years and hunting around for it to happen. The actor from Haywire is a great choice along with Noomi Rapace from the Girl with the dragon Tattoo series is also a good candidate in my opinion. Angelina Jolie is too cliche. I would love to see Linda Carter have a cameo in the movie, maybe play the mother. As far as the plot, WW can fight terrorist or a kingpin into modern day slave trading. It can be done. I have confidence in Whedon to get back to the story, the story that will work for us die hard fans. If there is a need for a creative panel to help develop a story please count me in. My mind works in mysterious ways. Good luck to anyone who puts the movie out first.