Joss Whedon Dropped from Wonder Woman
by Alex Billington
February 3, 2007
A storm has been brewing over a number of new announcements in regards to the Wonder Woman adaptation initially due sometime in 2008. We'll start with the bad news first - Joss Whedon (of "Firefly" / Serenity fame) is officially off the project. For a while he was set to write and direct the film, which seemed to have a lot of hope (for at least those who like Whedon). However, Warner Brothers, the company with the rights, instead bought a script from Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland.
The news of Whedon's departure came from his official blog Whedonesque.com - where you can read his write up explaining the whole situation. Apparently they just didn't like the version or the idea that his Wonder Woman film would be. Leave it to the media to have blown this out of proportion before it even reached pre-production state. It was The Hollywood Reporter (through ComingSoon.net) that initially broke the news about the other script. I guess it's good news (for Wonder Woman fans) that it's still in production, but the two writers are new-comers and don't have that big of a Hollywood writing history.
Everyone has their own say, but now I'm not that interested in Wonder Woman. I'm not a fan of the comic in any way and was only giving it a chance because of Whedon. Now… I'm just not sure - but that's only my 2¢!
This sucks. It didn't feel right a few days ago when word broke that Warner Bros. had bought the other script, even if the official word was because they didn't want the potential suit should any of Whedon's stuff resemble their stuff. Now we know the truth. Or do we? This project has been in the works for next to forever, and every time something happened, Warners trotted it before the media as if "NOW we're moving forward. No, really, this time it will happen." They made Joss' involvement into a huge media event, and now they've fired him. So they're making a big deal about this script, but will they use it? Or is it just another media event to keep people excited about Wonder Woman even though it's not going anywhere? I'm of the same mindset as Alex, I'm no longer excited about Wonder Woman. I think Warner Bros. is going to find that the biggest chunk of buzz that was going on about this movie was that Joss Whedon was a part of it, because except for the Lynda Carter era, she's never been one of the more beloved comics at DC. And there are a lot of us who feel the best person to keep Wonder Woman from turning into the next Elektra, Catwoman or Supergirl was Joss Whedon, and now he's no longer involved.
Dave on Feb 3, 2007
I was really happy when I heard Joss was involved with the Wonder Woman project. If anyone could write a strong character it was him. Now I'm afraid it's going to end up another Elecktra or Catwoman.
Angela on Feb 3, 2007
Joss Whedon stole the entire Buffy concept and then only wrote a couple of scripts per season. Most of his "work" stems from simply tidying up other people's writing. His departure is the only thing that gives Wonder Woman a slight chance since he was trying to adapt his own take on the established character without the usual gaggle of top writers to bail him out. It would have merely been another "Firefly" exercise in idea theft and box office disaster. That is the track record he has. - Bob
Bob on Feb 3, 2007
May I ask where you believe Joss stole the Buffy concept from? The movie whose screenplay he wrote? Or are you suggesting a more general form of mythos thievery? I can't say as I've ever heard such a claim before, so I'm curious. I assume by 'tidying up other people's work' you are referring to his lucrative work as a script doctor. Yes, Joss is good at making other people's work better. I hope you're aware that this involves more than simply correcting grammar and tossing in a couple pithy punch lines? Of course Joss only wrote a few scripts per season (for any of his shows). That's how television works, by the way. Creators do not write or direct every single script or storyline (or even a majority of such). This does NOT, however, mean he did not have creative control over the direction and feel of the show. This influence is clear to anyone who has paid enough attention to Joss' work. His humor, timing, and storytelling are distinctive. This does not mean you have to like or enjoy his work, but whether you appreciate it or not, he has a style all his own. It would be awfully hard to accomplish that if he were relying solely on the talent of others to carry him through, as you suggest. As for the "Firefly" comment... Clearly you're no Browncoat, so I won't force the issue there. But I will say that you seem to be confusing the incorporation of familiar mythos/archetypes with idea theft. Joss is not the first person to write about Vampires, people living in space, or superheros - he simply takes the conventions associated with those concepts and in some cases goes with them, or more often than not, turns them on their head to show the audience a whole new way of looking at what they thought would just be more of the same. If this isn't what you meant by idea theft, then I have to assume you mean Joss actually stole writing and specific characterizations or plot structures from someone else. THAT accusation doesn't even really merit a response, so I will have already gone on too long about it. And finally... Joss' track record. Two hit television shows, and a third with a wildly devoted cult following. Labeling "Serenity" as a disaster is rather harsh as the reviews and strong DVD sales (a year and a half later) attest. No, its box office revenues certainly didn't meet expectations or hopes, but it was also a very difficult movie to pitch to the uninitiated. This would certainly not be an issue with Wonder Woman. Combining the power of brand recognition associated with Wonder Woman and the power of Joss' loyal admirers, I imagine the results could have been quite impressive. I guess we won't find out. As for me? Like some others here, without Joss attached to the project, I really have little interest in seeing Wonder Woman on the big screen.
Erica on Feb 3, 2007
As you'll hear in this week's show, my interest has also dropped off dramatically. Joss has such a way with words and a talent for character development that his involvement really had my attention. As far as him "stealing" a concept for Buffy, it simply isn't true. It IS true that he's said that he was inspired for the character of Buffy by Kitty Pride, but I think the two characters are VERY different. If he was just stealing a character and transplanting it, his writing of Kitty in his run on Astonishing X-Men would pretty much be Buffy as an X-Man. That clearly is not the case. I won't say anything about Firefly/Serenity either because it's in my top two favorite shows of all time, and while every single person I've made watch the show have become instant fans, not everybody likes the same stuff as me. I'll just leave it alone.
FS Dave on Feb 4, 2007
In reading these comments, You are either Whedon fans, or Wonder Woman fans. No one doubts that Whedon, an established writer. has a huge fan base. This is a given. But why he took this project in the first place is a question. He never was a fan from the start. Sure Whedon can write, but what he was writing about was another story. We wouldn't be talking about his demise, if he stayed in the context of the character. Wonder Woman is Iconic. She is right up there with Superman and Batman. If your writing about her, you better know her history. Making up one, and you have problems. This is where Whedon failed. His vision was of something completely different. After hearing some of Whedon's quotes, I am releived that he is gone. I couldn't imagine Wonder Woman not in her traditional outfit. Or no invisible plane. Anything else is unexceptable. If they don't do it right, even the greatest writer can't save it. The audience is not stupid. There a a lot of you out there that think that this is no big deal. But it is. Keeping it traditional matters. I would hope that Silver does that. Wonder Woman has not been on screen since 1976. When you wait that long for a big screen version, you want it done right. I would hope that all Wonder Woman fans would feel the same about that.
Jack on Feb 8, 2007
This is now Silver's to make or break. We will never know what came about of Whedon's demise. They paid him 2-3million dollars, to write and direct. But now it is squarly on Silver's shoulders. I don't think that it was a tuff decision for Whedon to leave. He wasn't liking what he was doing. He was putting more time in other projects, then his Wonder Woman script. You just get the feeling, that he was never excited to make this work. He was asked to write the script, of a character that he never liked. I am sure that he was not as motivated as he would be as in doing the xmen or firefly. Hopfully Jennison and Strickland will deliver. But please do not use Whedon's treatment. Patching up scripts can be a disaster. Let J and S do their own thing. We waited this long, we can wait longer. I hope that they cast Nadia Bjorlin as Wonder Woman
Jack on Feb 13, 2007
i agree with alot of coments on here. joss is an amazing writer and i think he could write wonder womans character better than anyone. i cant wait til he gets to do somthing like wonder women and shows them how gd he is. GO JOSS!
JEM on Feb 24, 2007
Good. H has a habit of starting up something great and then leaving it in the hands of idiots who then proceed to muck it all up. Plus, he's too self-deprecating in a very insincere way. "I'm saying horrible things about myself to show you how human I am. Aren't I great?" No, Joss, not really.
tracy on Jun 30, 2008
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