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)

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

    • aint it similar to wonder woman animated movie

  1. Angie Harmon from Rizzoli and Isles has the Wonder Woman look. Kathryn Bigelow, Sophia Coppolla, Lisa Cholodenko, or some other female director should helm this movie.

    • I’m not really a big fan of Angie Harmon. How about Lindsay Hartley or Maria Menounos? I mean if they want to do a Wonder Woman film with an origin story, they might as well go with somebody a little bit younger. And out of grecian american actresses, I felt that these two young women fit the part the most.

      • My wife watches Rizzoli and Isles, and every time I see Angie Harmon on screen, she reminds me of Wonder Woman for some reason. I can’t say anything about her acting ability or voice since I don’t actually watch the show. I’ll just glimpse it in passing by. But you are right about her age, I googled the two actresses you mentioned, they both would work for a younger Diana, but they don’t have that same effect Angie Harmon does…for me at least. It would be a tough character to cast because you want an attractive yet tough warrior without her looking like a beauty queen or body builder. It would be hard to find that perfect actress in the middle for the job, and then hope she has an opening in her schedule.

        • Indeed. But my dream choice would have to be Lucy Lawless for Wonder Woman. Or at least give her a part as one of the amazons! But thats my personal opinion

  2. The article refers to Nicolas Refn’s “non-traditional (and, frankly, refreshing) approach to the character”, but doesn’t tell us what that is. Does anyone know what he had in mind?

    • The part that says “expressing his desire” is a link.

      • Thanks, Zipper. I missed that.

  3. I think Bridget Regan would be good pick for Wonder Woman, or they will most likely go with a younger actress to save on cost. They will probably go the route that Marvel did with Thor pick an unknown who looks the part, and surround them with an A-list supporting cast. Oh and DC don’t get someone like Martin Campbell to direct, get someone who cares about the characters and will try their best to make an amazing movie. Kenneth Branaugh is free now and he did great things with Thor. Oh that reminds me Jamie Alexander would be great if Marvel would let her play for the competetion.

  4. I can only laugh at people’s continued confusion at there being no Wonder Women movie. In this day and age, film makers are accused of stealing and copying from everyone else. How many times have we heard anger expressed on this very site about a remake of some beloved movie be made. Then the subsequent moans about how Hollywood is out of ideas. So a Wonder Woman development team would be in a catch 22. If you stick to her origin story people would just call it Xena 2.0, if you drastically change her story then there would fans saying it isn’t Wonder Woman anymore.

    I think someone is just going to have to bite the bullet and give Wonder Woman a modern story. Just give her a bunch of her Greek foes that has somehow entered the modern world for her to fight. Yes it will be a modern Xena but at least the setting is different.

  5. Until I read this article, I hadn’t even considered Gina Carano for the WW role. Now that I’ve seen the trailer for Haywire all I can say is that would be ideal casting.

    • head over to the “Haywire” thread. It’s all over there!

  6. Wonder Woman could come to reality. Director:Bryan Singer. Actress to play Wonder Woman:Megan Fox

    • Russ,

      Please tell me you’re joking. Megan Fox?


        • Singer really doesn’t strike me as the director to do a film with a female character as the main focus. His portrayals of the females in the X-Men films have been lacking, to say the least.

          As for Megan Fox, she griped about gaining weight for Transformers, so I doubt she could look healthy and athletic enough to play an Amazon Warrior.

          In all fairness though Wonder Woman has to be one of the hardest characters to cast since they need an actress who can act and has the right look for the part.

          And the costume issue, well that television pilot kind of sums it up. Comic fans need to consider embracing the idea that spandex really does not look good on most living people. Outside of professional wrestling and the circus it looks ridiculous in most cases.

          • LoL on the costume comment.

      • If God could only grant us the chance to have a young lucy lawless once again

    • hahaha megan fox haha

  7. I think the question we need to ask ourselves is do we want WW with her powers or without?
    And then decide from there on where to go with the story.

    • With.

  8. Best person i can think for the role of Wonder Woman would be Catherine Zeta-Jones, but how old is she now?

    • Jones is dirt old in Movie years!

    • @ Tra8

      I agree that they can’t be milking Batman/Superman franchises while theres plenty of DC heroes to make a film about. Atleast they tried with Green Lantern & hopefully learn from mistakes “hopefully”.

      Nothing would please me more to see Bruce Timm & Co at the helm w/ a great budget to turn things around make great live-action DC films. Especially films that share the same continuenity such as Justice League & solo films to it.

  9. How about Jordana Brewster for WW?

  10. A few actress’ that I think would make this movie sell & is great for the part: Eliza Dushku, maybe Angelina Jolie, ***Summer Glau***, Gina Torres, Kate Beckinsale, Morena Baccarin, ***Charisma Carpenter… Just to name a few:)

  11. I believed long ago, when I first saw her on American Gladiators, and also stated months ago on this very site that Gina Carano would be the perfect Wonder Woman. I don’t know if others already felt this way or if my opinion finally actually meant something but I’m certainly very glad that I’m not alone. She’s very beautiful and very kickass that brings a certain believability to the roll. I’m tired of movie executives and producers, unfamiliar with the genera, choosing these frail, physically unintimidating, and un-athletic starlets to play heroines simply based on their current popularity.

    • Darrin,

      I agree with you 100%. Wait! 200%!

  12. I like a lot of Amy’s choices. Eliza Dushku does badass so well. Summer Glau and Kate Beckinsale do, too. All three are great actresses and look amazing. Charisma Carpenter and Morena Baccarin also are great actresses, great looking, and it would be cool to see them play badasses in a more physical way. As for directing, I’d love to see Joss’ interpretation. He’s an amazing writer and director. He writes awesome, strong female characters. Not to mention, he’s a comic book geek. I would trust him at the helm.

    • Bah! That’s like asking Brad Pitt to play Iron Fist when you have Scott Adkins

  13. Yeah, Kate Beckingsale, great choice.

  14. I say Gina is perfect for the role. No need to “train” for a few months so a few moves look convincing. She’s a real life banger. I imagine her and Cheetah going at it and the fight being like a real MMA or street fight. Brutal knees, elbows, headbutts and grappling.
    In order for it to be “gritty” it will need a sense of realism and athletics.

    • … not to mention she’s easy on the eyes and already has the body

      • Wrong Gina, the one the poster was talking about is Gina Torres from Firefly. Gina Carano is the MMA fighter, and while she has the look I am not sure about her acting ability. She has been trying to act since that Brazilian fighter whipped her so bad she decided to stop fighting.

        Allot of the other women mentioned like Dushku, Glau, Beckinsale and Baccarin have a history in comic book/sci-fi fare, but most of them appear too petite for a character who one would imagine to be more robust.

        • Hey Slayer,

          Which poster were you correcting about the wrong Gina?

          • I thought you were referring to another post where someone mentioned Gina Torres. I didn’t even see the Carano posts until after I replied. Sorry for the confusion.

            • LOL.. you almost got cut!
              No worries man.

              • Yeah the Gina Torres thing had thrown me because she is like 5’10″ and athletic, but she is not young and the whole color thing would start a war with some fans.

                Carano looks the part for sure, but I don’t know if her acting is up to it. Not that Wonder Woman is playing Queen Elizabeth, but there would be pressure from the studio and fans considering the way the television show bombed.

                Oh to anyone who hasn’t found it yet, the Wonder Woman pilot is floating around. It’s just, bad……

                • hahah. “Color thing” um, yah that would cause WWIII! But, wasn’t there a Amazon of “color” in one of the recent toons or books that was her equal??

                  Anyway our Latina Gina is a bit long in the tooth to play her. I think that buy the time they start actually getting around to this, Carano’s acting will have improved a lot! And you are right, playing WW isn’t going to call on her to run around sprouting Shakspearean lines.

                  • Gina Torres could play one of the other Amazons if they do something like they did it that Supergirl cartoon I saw a few years ago. Gina C does have two other films coming up, so maybe your pick could become more of a reality.

                    I have never really followed Wonder Woman, but whatever they do it is going to need a strong villain. Sad fact is that they did a pretty good Wonder Woman back in the 90′s, it was called Xena….

  15. I was never really a big fan of WOnder Woman…I can’t see her getting her own BIG_BUDGET movie…I can see her being part of an ensemble like appearing in a Superman film or a Justice League film but not in a franchise of her own..

  16. I say Alexandria Daddario can make an awesome Wonder Woman on the big screen for the role. Like she did played AnnaBeth Chase from “PE

  17. Alexandra Daddario who played “AnnaBeth” from “PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF” can make an awesome Amazing Amazon role like she did played the first amazon. What do everyone think ?

  18. Kim Kardashian as Wonder Woman to fill out those star spangled shorts and that breast plate. Kris Jenner as Hypolyta, Kendal Jenner as Wonder Girl

    • And of course Uwe Bol is the only director who could do such an amazing cast justice.

      • They could shoot it in all in ancient Greek too, that would sell. Oh yeah and 3D…..

    • Um, Kim Kardashian?

      KK is such a bad actress, she makes MEGAN FOX look like Oscar-winner Meryl Streep!

      And of COURSE, we can’t have “WW” on the breastplate…nooooooooooooo; gotta change it to a KK, to promote the Kardashian Kollection.

  19. I guess Wonder Woman is a trickier character to get into. If Lucy Lawless is a decade or more younger, she would be a perfect choice for Diana. I don’t know any current crop of actresses that can pull the looks of an Amazon Warrior,look the part alone already intimidating, not to mention can act the part… well, we have Angie as to go to action heroine, but she is already everywhere, & she is a decade away older if you want to portray younger WW , unless if she is to portray Hipollyta (Diana mother). Everybody keep mentioning Christina Hendriks, but i see her more leaning to Power Girl/Kara Zor-El, that with her lighter skin complexion & obviously well endowed body.
    Well, the best choice is to go to the great unknown. Just like when Christopher Reeves, Hugh Jackman or even Lynda Carter first discovered.

    • @ Bernard G

      I like the idea of unknowns being cast for Justice League & solo films.

  20. Christina Hendricks? Nope. Skin’s too pale and boobs too big.

  21. Agree with Bridget Regan – she kicked it in Legend of the Seeker – Serious intensity, can fight and oh yeah she can act! BONUS!

  22. @Tim, …and, what’s wrong with that?:) Yes, Kim Kardashian would definitely fill out the costume but other than that, no way. Bridget Regan? Too mousey, unintimidating …not Amazonian enough. I could never suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the movie.

  23. Here are 2 more names to “throw into the Fire” for Wonder Woman.
    Amanda Righetti, who stands at 5’9″ but looks taller and at 28 is
    a pretty solid young choice. The other possibility is Jaime Alexander, who
    also at 5’9″ and 27, is from Texas and was on her high school’s wrestling team. Also, she handled physical acting well as Sif in “Thor”. Both have played tough women roles and both fill out an outfit just fine. Just a thought..

  24. The overall picture is this: Marvel has it together, and DC now only has Batman and GL to make movies with. Avengers will come out, and Justice League is still a gleam in the writers eyes. I say do a reversal Marvel move, Make the JLA movie, and if it is a success, make movies about the heroes in the first movie.

  25. Id actually like to see DC do what Marvel did with solo films before having a Justice League film come out. Mostly because of the fact of how Green Lantern turned out. I feel they would rush a Justice League film. Doubtful it would make a differance if solo films came afterwards i guess.