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Date Posted: 13:03:17 08/02/05 Tue
Author: Christian
Author Host/IP: 209.240.205.62
Subject: O/T Joss Whedon interview for Wonder Woman has me doubting him. AGAIN!


This is from "In-Focus" a Magazine I think but I got this from the website.


Did you tell Warner Bros. you weren't keen to deal with it until "Serenity" enters release?
Not release. It's not that I haven't been working on it.
You have been working on it?
The way I work, I'm like a vulture. I circle and circle and then I dive. I usually don't actually write anything until I know exactly how it's going to turn out. I don't "let the computer take me away." I'm an absolute Nazi about structure. I make outlines. I make charts and graphs with colors.
You've done that for "Wonder Woman"?
Not for "Wonder Woman," because I'm still working out the plot. But I'm finding the moments that matter; I'm finding the things that make the story really resonate; the things that I just can't wait to film. I have great big questions to answer, but I'm in that beautiful, free-form poetical place where you just get to think up moments and see if they fit in your movie. And that's almost more fun than anything. And that work, which is a vital part of what got me interested in doing the job in the first place, is being done.
But I do have to see "Serenity" through. I'll be finished with the movie within a month but I have to make sure it gets taken care of all the way through release. I have, in the past, found that I was able to do more than one thing at a time.
Will Diana be able to fly under her own power, or will an invisible plane be involved?
I do not believe she will be flying. I think we have a guy who flies. I don't see her flying. She might jump. There could be some hopping. And there may in fact be an invisible plane. But if there is, it will be because it came out really cool. And I have theories about how to make that work.
You've said there will be "no star-spangled panties" like the ones Lynda Carter wore in the old TV series. Are you ruling out star-spangled miniskirts?
Not exactly. The look that she's sporting in DC Comics right now is closer to where I'd have her than the TV series, or the old look. The color scheme and the silhouette have to remain because they're her. But the American flag is not what she's going to be wearing.
So you're not ruling out minis?
No. She's still going to look like Wonder Woman. She's not going to look like Trinity. She's going to look like Wonder Woman, but she's just not going to be hokey.
In the teaser poster the eagle remains on her chestplate.
The eagle is OK with me. Because it's not like we invented them. It's a lot less to swallow than the fact that Jor-El wears a big "S." That bugged me.
As you go about casting Diana, do you set a height requirement? How important is it that the Amazon princess be tall?
It's important. I'm looking for somebody statuesque, regal, beautiful, who can really act and do a lot of stunts with no elbow or knee pads. I'm asking a lot. So if I happen to find all those qualities in somebody who does not quite meet my height requirement, I will be casting some really short love interest. The height is definitely a part of the package. But the most important part? No. And the fact of the matter is, a woman stands as tall as she makes you think she is. For example, I always thought ["Buffy" writer-producer] Marti Noxon was four inches taller than she actually was. I just found that out last week.
"Wonder Woman" producer Joel Silver prides himself on his casting acumen. Has he yet offered any suggestions?
No. You know, we talked specifically about that. And the idea was always, "Write the part, and then we'll figure it out."
You've also talked about her being very young. Are you thinking college-age? Teen-ager?
I'd say that's a pretty flexible thing because it's her first time setting foot in the world of men. But that doesn't necessarily mean she has to be a teen-ager. So, yes, they are thinking of a young woman. They're thinking, I expect, of something franchise-able.
Will it be appropriate to describe the "Wonder Woman" movie as a fish-out-of-water tale?
I would say very much so.
Will this be one of the key ways it distinguishes itself from other superhero movies?
Yes, I think so. Ultimately, structurally, yes, that's a big distinguishing factor, but I think there will be other elements that are specific to her. But then again, I haven't seen the new "Batman" and I haven't seen the script for "Supes" [Warner Bros.' upcoming "Superman Returns" feature].
Will Diana contend with a print-derived supervillain?
At this point I'm looking at creating something a little different. I don't think her rogues gallery necessarily offers me what I need. But that's not a final decision, that's just my instinct

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Replies:

[> Well I think i'm over-reacting....The man DID give us "Hush" and "OMWF" -- Christian, 14:11:23 08/02/05 Tue [1] (209.240.205.62)

And regardless of my feelings of seasons 6- and some of 7, he gave us 5 seasons of greatness! I just need to stop panicking.


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[> Re: O/T Joss Whedon interview for Wonder Woman has me doubting him. AGAIN! -- John, 16:17:38 08/02/05 Tue [1] (64.19.85.53)

It all depends on whether (like with Willow) Joss will box and kneel to the politically correct. Unfortunately, thats what he is sounding like. SO much for artistic integrity.


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[> My take -- silveragent, 16:46:13 08/02/05 Tue [1] (63.199.111.93)

First off, good for Joss for thinking about structure, plot, and other framework elements of the movie, which matter a lot. Good for him. Denny O'Neil has quoted William Goldman as saying every Movie, comic, and TV show has a "story spine" and all elements within it should reflect that and stuff that doesn't should be dumped. So, good for Joss for thinking structure first.

[Hey, this is what I've said from the beginning].

However, I really think Whedon needs a collaborator. His strengths are dialogue and characterization, not plot. I am a bit shocked he hasn't gone backwards from the ending first, but then every writer has their own method. Perhaps he simply didn't want to talk about the ending and already has it mind. But a collaborator such as Greenwalt, or someone similarly very strong on plot and structure could IMHO only help Whedon, as long as he can put ego aside and work as co-equals. Something very hard for some writers. Buffy at it's best reflected this co-operative dynamic IMHO.

All that praise being said ...

It's not the job of the Writer to cast. THAT is the job of the executive producer along with the casting director. It's not the job of the Writer to develop a costume. Costume designers with often decades of experience do that job, they have the expertise and experience to know what works and what doesn't, which Joss frankly doesn't. I see creeping ego there, the idea that Joss can do the jobs of other talented professionals better than they can, which is hopefully an artifact of the interview and not what he intended. Regardless IMHO Joss should not be concerned at all about who gets cast, or what the costume looks like, because movies being collaborative he has to trust that Silver will get the best people possible and work collaboratively to get the best actor and costume on screen.

Powers, costume, and actors all start from the script. Buffy isn't Buffy because she has superpowers for example, but because she is an ordinary girl in most regards thrust into superpowerdom. I am a bit dissapointed that Joss focused on things that don't really matter for his job at hand (which hopefully is just the interviewer wandering into irrelevant tangents) instead of the central character's emotional attributes.

The big danger for Joss as a writer is that time may have passed him by. His quotes about he's all about the pain, and couldn't handle a character group like say Fantastic Four, should be a red flag. IMHO audiences are not in the 1990's anymore, and want feel-good entertainment in very uncertain and unhappy times. If he can respond to that need and produce a feel-good, happy script for Wonder Woman I think he'll find success (he certainly has that ability). If he tries to morph the character into ultimate angst (WW IMHO is an optimistic not angsty pain-ridden character) set against a go-go 90's bubble mentality, I think it will flop like the films Dark Water or the Island even if the script is good in and of itself.

What I think would help Joss immensely is just wandering around Santa Monica or Venice and talking to people who have no idea who he is (avoid the worshipful cons and such) about what they like in entertainment, and what they don't.


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[> [> Joss is also the director . . . -- MTsFan, 17:05:09 08/02/05 Tue [1] (205.175.225.24)

which gives him a wider scope and view than just a writer would have. His contract is reputed to give him even greater control, perhaps encroaching on Joel Silver's position as producer. It remains to be seen who has greater influence on casting and costumes or if indeed they collaborate.


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[> [> [> Re: Joss is also the director . . . -- silveragent, 18:36:17 08/03/05 Wed [1] (63.199.111.93)

Hmmm ... AFAIK he was just the writer. Still, script first. Worrying about costumes or casting is something else.

Joel Silver is the big boss, if Joss pushes the envelope too much he'll end up like the first Director on Bourne Identity.

Canned from the sequel because he didn't get along with the producer and exec producer. Silver brought him onto the project is my understanding.

Regardless, it all starts from the script, costume and casting can be worked on collaboratively. It'll have to be. There's just no way Joss has those skills to those who've been in those professions for decades. Silver will get the best, he just has to trust him.


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[> [> [> [> Nope, the press release said write *and* direct -- Eurydice, 20:11:06 08/03/05 Wed [1] (141.154.23.82)

And since the director is the guy in charge of the artistic side of the project, he'll be involved in all those aspects of the film, as he should be.

There's no doubt that Joel Silver will have a strong hand in the project, he does on all his projects, and it is Joss's first big feature - but that doesn't mean that Joss will be sitting in a corner, pounding out a script like a good little monkey. If Silver only wanted him for his writing skills, that's all he would have hired him for - clearly, he thinks that Joss has got the ability. And Joss might not have ever directed a big budget feature before, but he's not some kid out of film school, either. He's been in the business for a long time and has been involved in the artistic design of all his projects.


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[> [> [> [> [> Well I just hope he does Wonder Woman justice. Cuz let's face writers/directors can goof up. -- Christian, 20:16:40 08/03/05 Wed [1] (209.240.205.62)


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[> [> [> [> [> [> Sure they can, but there's not reason to think he will, especially this early. -- Eurydice, 20:38:02 08/03/05 Wed [1] (141.154.23.82)


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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah you are right, Watching some episodes of S.5 Today makes me have faith in him (no pun intended) -- Christian, 22:18:36 08/03/05 Wed [1] (209.240.205.62)


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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I hope for your sake that he does a great job. -- Eurydice, 23:09:12 08/03/05 Wed [1] (141.154.23.82)

But you know, it's been years since I followed WW other than taking a peek at the current artwork. What is it about WW that fascinates you? And what would you consider "doing justice"?


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[> Re: O/T Joss Whedon interview for Wonder Woman has me doubting him. AGAIN! -- Stacia, 17:21:17 08/02/05 Tue [1] (66.125.32.100)

I just wonder if WW will ever get made if Joss does what he wants, insists on doing everything his way and creates his version of WW.

There have been so many movies like this, especially at Warner Bros, that have been waiting for years to be made. Look at how long it took for the latest Superman and Batman Begins to finally get made. Or look how Warner Bros has been treating the Ender's Game movie. They've had a script and a director for 5 years now and every year they hire a new set of writers to re-write the script since the execs at Warner Bros don't like it. They want all sorts of demands about changing the story to make it more box office friendly.

The studio isn't going to put $80M+ in a WW movie if it isn't guaranteed to be a hit. The fanboys on AICN and Superherohype are all complaining about Joss and his comments about WW. Warner Bros could easily make some fanboy favorite WW with some cleavagy slutbomb playing WW that critics would hate, but would still make $150M at the box office, like Fantastic Four.

Unless the new Superman movie does huge and Serenity does huge, will Joss have the freedom to make the kind of movie he wants to make. I have hunch that this WW will be in development for years with nothing ever happening with it.


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[> There could be some hopping! wee......LOL, thanks Christian -- toothy, 17:43:35 08/02/05 Tue [1] (4.137.17.28)


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[> [> I see hopping, I see jumping. What, no skipping? -- Eurydice (outraged on behalf of all those who skip), 23:35:07 08/02/05 Tue [1] (141.154.25.163)


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[> Why? -- Eurydice, 20:45:23 08/02/05 Tue [1] (141.154.25.163)

He sounded very rational to me. He's an experienced writer, he understands the process and he understands how his own mind works. From what I can see, he's telling us that right now he has nothing to say about WW except to give us some insight into how he writes a screenplay.

And to tell the truth, I'd be happy if he changed everything about WW - I've always thought she was the weakest of all the comic book characters, hokey and poorly drawn - and although I loved the TV show, it was also hokey and poorly written. But that's just my opinion, I know lots of people love her.

Did you read the rest of the interview? I thought he had some interesting things to say about the other films he's worked on and some good points about the world of the script doctor.


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[> I see no problem with this. -- FlyingDeliveryBoy, 22:40:10 08/02/05 Tue [1] (24.115.130.126)


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[> i'm quite encouraged by this..esp the lack of flag bundies -- spiritus, 15:22:37 08/03/05 Wed [1] (4.252.147.87)

kidding... sort of. but no, i'm really excited about the structure thing. i'm very pleased that he is looking for someone primarily staturesque, but not to the exclusion of all others. i think joss has shown already that the talent comes hand in hand with the look. after all, smg did not fit the original image for buffy--she tried her ass off to get that part. and she was great for the character.
my favorite part: "And the fact of the matter is, a woman stands as tall as she makes you think she is." LOVE HIM.

i see no reason to worry, quite the opposite. this is still in the prelims, anyway.


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[> Re: O/T Joss Whedon interview for Wonder Woman has me doubting him. AGAIN! -- Dandy, 17:43:32 08/05/05 Fri [1] (162.83.253.145)

This material is tailor made for Joss, in my humble opinion. He writes women characters so well and he gets really good performances out of actresses.

As for costumes, sets, Joss will have the main say in this. Casting will also be,in large part, his decision. Casting people only present viable choices of actors to fill the roles. The final decision on casting is not theirs. Same with wardrobe people (I know-I did this)How much the producer cares to have daily input varies, usually it is a kind of consensus of director and designers, production people, etc. I would expect Joel Silver and the moneymen to step in only if they think something is amiss.

Joss has a hell of a lot more experience directing than a lotof the other young guns who get handed these projects and 127% more originality. Personally,I always favor writer/directors. They are able to put a unique vision on the screen-examples of this being Woody Allen, Christopher Nolan with Memento, Joe Carnahan's Narc, Charlie Chaplin, etc.

I too have a twinge of anxiety about an all too angsty Wonder Woman, but I remind myself that the powers that hold the purse strings won't let that happen, and nobody writes witty like Joss.


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