Joss Whedon Talks about the Story for His Failed WONDER WOMAN Movie

     November 8, 2011


Joss Whedon was attached to write and direct an adaptation of Wonder Woman, but the fell apart in February 2007, which worked out because A) he got to do The Avengers, and B) it sounds like his  Wonder Woman story was terrible.  In a recent interview, Whedon says that his take on the character would have the Amazonian princess be a naive globetrotter who is overwhelmed by man’s inhumanity to man, but thanks to love-interest Steve Trevor, she learns how to deal with it.  I understand Whedon didn’t want to make Flying Buffy, but I’m a little disappointed that a guy who knows how to write strong female characters would plot a script where the female lead can’t find her way without a man telling her to basically grow-up.

Hit the jump for what Whedon had to say about his Wonder Woman movie.

Here’s what Whedon told Rookie [via JoBlo] about his plot for Wonder Woman:

She 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 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. 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.

So the plot is basically Buffy telling Dawn again, “The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it,” but Buffy is now a man and Dawn is a hapless superhero.




  • Tarek

    Anyway, wonder woman is just a cheerleader with tits and butt of steel. It has nothing to do with the strong female.

    You need a strong female ? look at Ripley’s character.

    • Liam_H

      I’m guessing your only exposure to Wonder Woman is looking at some random girl dressed up as her for Halloween. Because that’s the only explanation for what you wrote.

  • Daniel

    I’m guessing the actual script was better than this reductive synopsis makes it sound. Plus, I think a god learning what it’s like to be weak and rising to the challenge is a fairly decent story to base a script on. Worked for “Thor.”

    • puddintain

      Nicely put

  • Joel

    The characters naivety doesn’t stem from her being a woman, it stems from her being a goddess. The fact that she is a woman is just happenstance.

  • FilmVerse

    It sounds like Whedon wanted to make this a strong character story and not just focus on action. Though knowing Whedon, I’m sure the action was there in a major way. The way he describes the plot, it doesn’t sound like he’s making it about a “the female lead can’t find her way without a man telling her to basically grow-up” but rather an innocent person who’s been sheltered from the terrible things humans are capable of doing, but only through a personal relationship can she understand true humanity. To me, that’s a very intriguing story that is much better than simply a beautiful woman in a skimpy star-spangled outfit flying around in an invisible jet lassoing bad guys.

  • Hrothgar

    Matt, I dont think you read (or interpreted) ANYTHING JOss Whedon says correctly. He said she is a Goddess and doesn’t understand humanity and its cruelty. Through LOVE (since she falls in love with Steve) she is able to connect to being human, and better able to understand humanity.

    NOT “Wonder Woman meets man. He shows her how to be awesome.” No. Not what he said.

    • Agent_Black

      He was just making a joke and it is one potential perspective, why so serious dude?

      • Hrothgar

        He was making a joke? What’s the punchline, dude? We both know he wasn’t. Yes, it’s one perspective. There are many others but he makes a weak generalization and real misinterpretation of what Joss was trying to convey.

  • Jesus Christ

    sounds awful

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  • Clarence Thomas

    Jeff Bridges did this movie already in Starman.

  • The Train!

    i have to disagree with some of you here. the vehicle of wonder woman’s “enlightenment” would be a man. gender is not a happenstance, it’s central to the characters. so i do think it’s rather sad to have to have the romantic subplot be so critical to her character.

    furthermore, the idea of a naive clueless wonder woman not understanding the ways of humanity doesn’t work for me because of her connection to classical greek mythology. the gods held a patent on cruelty. if anything, there would be disappointment that in thousands of years, humanity had not gotten any better.

    plus, wonder woman is not a goddess, she’s an amazonian princess. the amazons were female warriors. i don’t know why she’d be so clueless about man’s inhumanity to man when she herself is a trained combatant coming from a long line of warriors.

    • Georgina Quiñones

      I agree. Wonder Woman is not a goddess, she have powers that the Gods granted her, she was made out clay from Gods but she was never the daughter of only Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, Hermes. But in no way the origin story imply that she was a Goddess. In the New 52 revamp story, they made her the daughter of Zeus and this turn of event has divided the WW fans because they manage to turn her into killer driven maniac, and kill Hippolyta by turning her into stone and turn all the amazons into snakes and now Wonder Woman is a demigod. Joss version of WW sound ridiculous, if they fallow the George Perez run could be a good source of data that can definitely be use and adapt into a motion pictures. In my opinion, Wonder Woman shouldn’t have a love story, at least not in her first movie adaptation. They should make her strong and independent, and exited to save humanity, not a wimpy woman who finds patriarch world to be a mystery or a big challenge. I’m glad they didn’t give the ok to Joss, other wise he would have fucked it up!

  • Lance

    The script idea isn’t great, though it certainly could be a lot worse. Not everything Whedon comes up with is gold.

  • T. Van

    In understanding the very basics of the script, I think one probably needs to have an idea as to why Whedon’s Diana is hanging out with US citizens, in the first place. Was she to be banished, conducting some form of cross-cultural research or, maybe, spying on us? Without knowing the answer to this question, it’s rather hard to get the full context of what Whedon is getting at, here.

    Is getting Whedon’s point, from an interview, always such a chore? I ask this not to slam him, but it just seems as if he frequently assembles his words in a manner that makes it difficult to effectively “get” them when reading them in print (as opposed to watching a video clip).

    Whatever the case, thinking a self-professed feminist such as Whedon would *ever* have the power of a female character bound to a male character’s paternalism would be— um— quite a leap.

  • Angel of Death

    Let’s be honest here folks. As imperfect as the concept might sound, between what ended up happening with Green Lantern and Jonah Hex, this would have basically been the best non-Batman or Superman DCU movie.

  • Strong Enough

    It is impossible to direct a female superhero movie. Any way you flip it a woman flying through the air punching crap land saving the guy (love interest) looks cheesy as hell.

  • terry

    I agree with Jesus Christ. The plot sounded like complete tripe.I don’t think this new generation of writers have the same strength or story as the old school folks.
    Take a look at the first Superman. Wow! Mario Puzo was attached to that movie as well as other notable writing talents.
    IMHO, the only one in Hollywood that can do Wonder Woman would be Christopher Nolan.
    WW needs a deep story and complete characters. Not some goddamn General Hospital, Beverly Hills 90210 bull****!
    Last thing I want to see is WW running around for an hour and 45 minutes trying to right the wrongs of man. Pah lease!