SHELVED! Joss Whedon’s ‘Wonder Woman’

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

In 2005, Joss Whedon was hired to take the reins on a Wonder Woman feature film. In 2007, he left the project. What happened? Find out in this edition of SHELVED!

The Origin

Joss Whedon is one of the most notorious names in fandom with his collection of unforgettable characters, witty dialogue, and extreme character development. His Buffy The Vampire Slayer television series put a footprint in television history and defined a generation of geekdom. Whedon has always been known for writing strong woman characters, in fact, Buffy could be considered one of the most empowering female characters in popular media. It would seem only logical to have him direct the feature film of one of the most iconic woman characters in the DC Universe (if not the entire comics universe), Wonder Woman.


Beginnings and Endings

As Whedon was finishing up Serenity, the follow up film to his space western television series Firefly, it was announced by Warner Brothers that he would be writing and directing a film based on Wonder Woman. For two years Whedon was hard at work writing the script for the film and he wasn’t getting the best of feedback. When he would bring his script to the studio they would claim that really wasn’t what they were looking for and he would go rewrite it. He and the studio also seemed to see two very different films. In February of 2007 Whedon announced  that he was no longer involved with the project.

Later in an interview with Maxim, Joss argued that DC Characters with the exception of Batman, seemed very removed from humanity, and when they were created, they were creating gods. Could this somehow be related to his Wonder Woman project? This comment could really be taken in a couple of ways. The first could be that he might have been trying to ground Wonder Woman and not have the film feel overly fantastical. Another reason for this comment could be the frustration that resulted in trying to actually create a movie out of this god-like character that would resonate with an audience.

What We Know

Unlike Kevin Smith’s script for Tim Burton’s Superman Lives, none of the writing was ever leaked for the film. The little bit we know is that Whedon stated that his Wonder Woman was somewhat reminiscent of Angelina Jolie claiming “She spends a lot of time flying around. She works in a lot of different countries. She’s very global. And she’s appalled by the way people treat each other.” He has also claimed that the bracelets would be in the film and the Steve Trevor relationship would be explored.

In 2010, concept artwork from the film was leaked on what Wonder Woman might have looked like. The costume remained more or less reminiscent to the original design of the character with a few changes here and there. For one, they ditched the swimsuit bottoms and traded it in for pants and a skirt. The addition of pants is an idea which DC Comics recently implemented into the Wonder Woman books. In one of the concepts our lasso wielding heroine seems to be sporting a black trench coat. While this is just concept art without a script we still have no idea whether Wonder Woman would’ve appeared in one of these costumes or multiple of them.


How This Could Have Changed the Game

This Wonder Woman film not getting made was a huge turning point in DC films. When the movie was announced by Warner Brothers it was on the eve of their revival of Batman in Batman Begins. Before their Batman blockbusters DC really didn’t have much as far as movies go. The fan resented Halle Berry Catwoman had been released a year prior in 2004, and before that in 1997 Batman and Robin and Steel came out. Having a quality name that is so beloved by fanboys couldn’t have been a better move for DC movies.

What would a Wonder Woman movie mean for the entire DC Universe films. If the Wonder Woman movie was a success could we have gotten a Justice League movie sooner? It’s entirely possible. It seemed Warner Bros. was trying to reboot the big three characters of DC, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

George Miller’s cancelled Justice League: Mortal in 2007 was slated to come out, but with an entirely fresh cast not involved in any previous films. With Joss’ Wonder Woman could we have gotten a JLA film with Christian Bale, Brandon Routh, and the uncast Wonder Woman? Would Chris Nolan have been open to the idea?

A Wonder Woman movie this early could have possibly unlocked the doors for DC Comics ushering in a Flash and Green Lantern movie even earlier. It seems though that Whedon has moved onto another universe where he’ll be directing…well…everyone!

Would you have liked to see this? What did you think of the costume? What would you have liked from the story? Discuss!

-Reid Ackerman

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  1. AwesomeRococo
    February 17, 2011 at 5:46 am
  2. Anestis
    February 17, 2011 at 6:02 am
    • February 17, 2011 at 10:04 am
  3. SharlzG
    February 17, 2011 at 6:14 am
  4. February 17, 2011 at 10:10 am
    • Matt Smith
      February 17, 2011 at 10:16 am
    • ocdavenger
      February 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm
  5. Matt Smith
    February 17, 2011 at 10:22 am
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    February 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm
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    February 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm
  8. LadyUranus
    February 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm
    • Dan S
      February 18, 2011 at 12:12 am
  9. Steve
    February 18, 2011 at 1:32 am
  10. Andrew N.
    February 18, 2011 at 1:47 am