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Friday, February 02, 2007
Dear Joel Silver,
I want to personally thank you for coming to the smart decision and removing Joss Whedon from the Wonder Woman film project. I'm sure it's terribly obvious in hindsight, but the man was simply never a good fit for the project. In every interview he gave on the subject, he seemed disinterested in the film. Persistent rumors even suggest he never even bothered to finish writing a first draft of the screen-play. And I know I, personally, felt he was wrong for the film when he mentioned that he wouldn't use any of the traditional Wonder Woman villains in the film. I'm sorry, but if you can't think of a good filmic treatment for characters as diverse as the Cheetah, the Silver Swan, Ares, Circe, the Red Panzer, Paula von Gunther or Doctor Psycho, maybe you shouldn't be writing a Wonder Woman movie.
(And I realize I'm in the minority on this point, but I just don't see the cause in citing him as a "good" writer for female characters. Outside of pixie-ish ingenues prone to making contextually inappropriate pop culture jokes, he doesn't seem particularly interested in writing women.)
Now, to address some of the complaints about this decision you're likely to hear, let me take two I spotted right away as examples:
To clarify, Joss Whedon had one movie tank, a moderately successful cult television show, a struggling television show, a quickly cancelled television show, and a second film that tanked. Oh, and a couple of moderately successful comic books, by the current standards of the comic book industry. Not assigning such a person to a summer tent-pole, franchise-launching film is a sign of a studio executive trying to prevent the loss of great amounts of money, to my mind.
There are two phrases I've been known to bandy around; "nerd rage" and "fan entitlement." That excerpt above? It's a near perfect example of both principles in action. An over-identification with a fictional character, to the point where any slight deviations from what the fan thinks should be done is taken as a personal affront, and inappropriate emotional reactions to something of ultimately trivial consequence.
(I mean, I'm a Wildcat fan, and a bit notorious for being one at that, but when Geoff Johns kills Ted Grant off at the end of the current Justice Society story-line, you're not going to see any angry, bitter posts from me on every blog and message-board you can find, nor will I be calling Johns names. My borders might go black for a couple weeks, but that's about it. This is because, while I'm a fan of the character, and care about what happens to him, I'm not fucking nuts.)
Lastly, and if I may be presumptive, there is one tremendous benefit to not having Whedon attached to the project. And that's the possibility that Peter Dinklage could be cast as Doctor Psycho: