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Joss Whedon Explains His Vision for Failed Wonder Woman Movie

One of the great What Might’ve Beens of superhero movies is Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman, the long-gestating Warner Bros. adaptation he was set to write and direct until he walked away from the project in February 2007.

“We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that’s never gonna work. Non-sympatico,” Whedon explained at the time. “It happens all the time. I don’t think any of us expected it to this time, but it did. Everybody knows how long I was taking, what a struggle that script was, and though I felt good about what I was coming up with, it was never gonna be a simple slam-dunk. I like to think it rolled around the rim a little bit, but others may have differing views.”

Nearly five years later, The Avengers director provides an inkling of what those “differing views” may have been, repeating to Rookie that his Diana “was a little bit like Angelina Jolie.”

“She sort of traveled the world,” he continues. “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.”

For fans of Whedon, particularly his Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that take on Wonder Woman probably sounds perfect, if slightly familiar. As for his detractors — they’re probably busy rolling their eyes.

But wait, there’s more! Namely, romance, courtesy of Wonder Woman’s longtime love interest Steve Trevor.

“… 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,” Whedon says. “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.”

(via Vulture)


  • Jon

    Sounds like a good movie to me.

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t sound much like a concept beyond “is like Angelina Jolie” and melts when a tender penis comes near her.

  • Mike

    This guy is a boasting TOOL! And he did not ‘walk away’ – he was asked to GET OUT!

  • Charlie B

    What’s up with the hate? If u guys can do a better WW movie , go ahead . No? Then shut up your face.

  • Sprizmo

    Dude Whedon is one of the most humble, genuine writer/directors out there. Calling him a boasting fool when sooooo many others ahermMichaelBayhrmm* deserve to have that leveled against them. Your stance is weak.

  • kalorama

    Yeahi And if you can’t can’t run the *&^%ing, then don’t criticize the president! And so what if your food is undercooked and you get food poisoning. Unless you can be a chef in a 4-star restaurant, keep your pie hole shut!

  • Albert

    Sounds horrible.  

  • Oy

    Doesn’t sound like a good story to me.  I like my super heroes (heroines) to beat up super powered bad guys!!

  • ThomasC

    “and the way we let people starve”

    No one let’s people starve. What liberal pap.

  • Sano

    Joss Whedon is cool but why is he pretending to grab Wonder Woman’s breasts in that image LOL!

  • Zen Strive

    *rolls eyes*

  • sandwich eater

    Wonder Woman is the most high profile female superhero, but it’s really her costume that’s famous not the character.  She’s best known from a cheesy TV show that aired long before I was even born.  Fortunately, the horrible recent TV series was never greenlit.  The best recent WW incarnation was the Justice League cartoon.

    Wonder Woman really needs a movie that synthesizes the various takes on her in the comics into a cohesive whole.  They should probably ditch her costume too, I’m a fan of the Greek-armored look.  She really needs a big budget movie to shine; Wonder Woman would languish on a TV budget. Maybe when Nolan is done with Batman he can take a shot at WW.  Making a good WW movie would be a more impressive feat than making good Batman movies.

  • Mcbar0321

    Sounds like a reverse pocahontas. 

  • Xsikal

    Sounds like something I would have watched,

  • Pbguyhere

    I’m a fan of Joss beyond belief.  I will still pop in a Buffy (season 2 or 3 preferrably) and fully enjoy it and when I heard he was going to be working on Wonder Woman I thought the stars fanboy stars aligned.  However…the more I read about his take on her, his admitted struggle understand/depicting her I felt it might not be such a great fit.  Reading his interview here really just hammers that point home once again.  He just never really got the fact that Wonder Woman is a superhero.  Plain and simple.  The whole idea of her being a Goddess, not understanding humanity, etc. are FACETS of her but not the overwhelming definitions but when a writer shifts the focus to them they redefine her thus making her a different character.  She’s about strength, truth, equality, etc.  He got lost in the idea she was from Paradise Island.  The fact he wanted to depict her as not knowing her bracelets could deflect bullets was enough for WB to pink slip him.   Sorry Joss, I still love Buffy and Angel but Wonder Woman is better off waiting.  Maybe he could turn this into a comic book?

  • TouchyRogue

    That doesnt say anything about the plot elements, only her as a
    character. And while I think his take on her as a character sounds
    pretty good, he called her a goddess, she’s not a goddess. I doubt the
    studios issues with his script came from his take on her as a character
    and had more to do with the plot and probably even the dialogue, I cant
    see a good WonderWoman quipping the way he’s prone to have his heroines
    do AND if every other character were quipping and she was the straight
    man, I dont think that would work either.

  • demoncat_4

    interesting take given that some of wonder womans baddies are the mystical greek gods not to mention steve having to teach wonder woman about the world and to be more human actully  takes some of the core of wonder woman. though think joss was doing his take as a angelina jolie plays a naive goddness fantasy with his take on wonder woman.

  • Kelly_dambrose

    Sounds like Buffy or one of those other goddess types you see running around in the Buffy/Angel universe.


  • Anonymous

    That’s the only part that annoyed me. I’m sorry but screw Jolie, if you’re (not you) comparing the two than the whole concept is ruined from the beginning. Wonder Woman is suppose to be a Goddess, Angelina is a person. Do I need to go any further? I’m not a Whedon hater, far from it I like the guy but that was lame.

  • Simon DelMonte

    This doesn’t sound that far from other takes on WW.  The naivete was there after the Perez reboot, and the liberal view of things was a huge part of Rucka’s stellar run.  I don’t know what the plot to go with this would have been, but I can see this being a good beginning.

  • Monkeypants2230

    Steve Trevor teaching WW humanity? roll eyes

  • blackphoenix

    Thank god this abomination never saw the light of day. This would have been as horrible as Buffy Season 8 and 9 combined.

  • Michael

    Since when is Wonder Woman a Goddess? Was he adapting John Byrne’s run or something?

    Wonder Woman is an Amazon, not a Goddess.

  • Scott

    I am all about a new Wonder Woman movie, but for me, it is so hard to shake the image in my head of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. She was the perfect Wonder Woman!! I loved watching her as a kid. She was so HOT!!! 

  • Lester Romero

    The animated movie did a great job of telling a damn good WW story. Is it really THAT hard to make a WW movie? I see movies with harder more difficult concepts to pull off yet for some reason an earth bound WW movie seems to cause confusion. 

  • Turok

    Unfortunately making a good WW is not more impressive than making a good Batman.WW is a silly dated concept and doesn’t deserve being made at all.WW was a waste of everybodies time and talent and it’s only a wonder in that Whedon wasted any effort on this stupidity.It may have led to him being to distracted from making Dollhouse work instead of the meandering trainwreck that turned into.

  • Darkhagen33

    I was a fan of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The best seasons, by far, were 2, 3 and 5… And that’s it. The rest were a waste of time. Whedon is talented writing women, but his take on Wonder Woman is just like a pastiche of Buffy. This guy is always copying himself. The Avengers movie will be like a combination of Angel and Firefly (I’m surprised that he didn’t give Alexis Denisoff, Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker or any of his former alumni of his so called “Whedonverse”, a gig in Avengers), and thank God he got away (I don’t care if he was fired ofhe resigned to that job) from the movie project of WW, otherwise he’ll turned that movie into a copy of Buffy.

  • Trey

    20% of American starve every day. I’m hungry right now.

  • Anonymous

    yeah cause there are NOOOOOOOO third world countries currently starving right now ^&(*ing tool

  • Ian33407

     “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.”

  • Roberttroch

    I 100% agree with you. The animated movie would make a great skeleton for a feature length live action film. Come up with a couple of plot twists, and maybe even (if they are really serious about a JLA movie) have Superman show up in Washington DC at the end but unable to participate because of a magical barrier or something that he cannot penetrate instead observing WW going at it with Ares. Maybe Superman even contacts Batman telling him “you need to see this” but of course Batman tells him “I already am”

  • Anonymous

    The writers of DC animated fare consistently write better films than Goyer and company. Sadly, those writers are not permitted to write features due to union rules. Perhaps they ought to make a mega budget animated film. Imagine Bruce Timm and
    Paul Dini with 150 Million!

  • Charlie B


  • Ariel

    Too bad I think Whedon would have turned out a slam dunk WW movie, DC’s loss, Marvel’s gain: His Avengers is one of the best comic book movies ever

  • Rosie

    Give this man a director’s chair and a big budget. Now!