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Joss Whedon on Adapting Comics

Wizard Entertainment has posted an interview with Joss Whedom, in which the writer discusses his aborted tenure adapting DC’s Wonder Woman for the big screen.

Whedon also dismisses rumors that he is in line to direct X-MEN 4 and tells us he is more interested in writing his own original scripts, such as GONERS, a “supernatural thriller” that he plans to direct.

If you’re into comic book adaptations, the interview is worth reading all the way through. Whedom seems to know his stuff, offering a good explanation for why Marvel comic book characters (Spider-Man, X-Men) have had an easier time translating to the big screen than DC comic characters (although BATMAN BEGINS was a success, SUPERMAN RETURNS was a disappointment, and both Wonder Woman and the Flash remain in development limbo):

  • Batman will always have a huge resonance. With Wonder Woman, you have to create [the resonance], and quite frankly, with Superman, you kind of have to create it, too. Superman’s not a young guy, and no matter who you cast, he is not a young person. That’s not who he is, so it’s a different story, and it’s harder to get juiced [more] than this patented angst at Marvel, which basically gets a response [more than] the stodgier, grown-up DC world. Marvel’s characters really do lend themselves to adolescent identification in a way the DC characters have to reach for.

Of course, the thought I could not surpress while reading the interview was this: After the mediocre SERENITY (which Whedom wrote and directed, based on his cancelled FIREFLY TV show), why should we be particularly eager to see him write and direct a Wonder Woman movie?”

In a post inspired by the Whedon interview, Erik Davis fails to provide an answer, admitting, “I’ve never found myself attracted to his FIREFLY/SERENITY/BUFFY stuff.”

Which raises the question: Why is Davis shedding tears on Whedon’s behalf, over his wasted effort on the Wonder Woman project? The answer: “Whedon’s original voice has landed him a pretty massive fanbase. You can sense he’s passionate about the stories he wants to tell, if only someone, somewhere finally gives him the opportunity.”

Interesting standard of quality: It may not be good, but his fans seem to like it. I don’t want to come down in favor of the decision-making process by the suits at Warner Brothers (the studio in charge of the Wonder Woman project), but I can understand why they might have wanted a little something more.