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Quote of the day | Stop fussing about Wonder Woman and just do

Why did David E Kelly's Wonder Woman pilot fail?

In his response to ICv2′s question about whether Wonder Woman is a cursed concept, Tom Spurgeon suggests that they — and everyone else — may be overthinking it.

Sure, an invisible airplane could look dopey if you do it one way, but I imagine it could be the coolest thing in the world if you do it another. I’ve said this before, but once you realize that Wonder Woman could absolutely get over if she were to crash that invisible airplane of hers into the front of Wayne Manor and beat the holy guano out of Batman for 15 minutes in the middle of his next movie, just punching him right down long hallways, it becomes clear that there are several ways for a character like that to work. You have just to stop fussing over the character and do one of them.

I agree for a couple of reasons. First of all, though I have a ton of respect for the recent Wonder Woman writers who have spent a lot of time thinking about who the character is and what a story about her should focus on, there comes a time when you have to put that aside and — to paraphrase Gail Simone — just have her fight some talking gorillas on top of a waterfall.

While it’s important to know the character you’re telling a story about, the story itself doesn’t have to be an overt demonstration of how you’ve figured that out. In other words, know who Wonder Woman is and why she came to Man’s World, but you don’t have to make the story about who she is and her mission here.

Related to that, ICv2 is focusing on the wrong part of Robert Greenblatt’s explanation of why NBC passed on the David E Kelley pilot. Rather than his idle musing about Wonder Woman being cursed, the more pertinent comment he made was in an interview with TV Line where he said, “It was tricky for me to step back and take a look at it and see if this was going to be the right take on this show. With this kind of audience, you have to get these things absolutely right; there’s no room for error. At the end of the day, I didn’t think we had done that.”

In other words, they overthought it. Those who followed the development of the pilot know that it was full of tweaks to the Wonder Woman concept in hopes of making her more applicable to modern culture. Joss Whedon’s failed script reportedly did the same thing. When you go down that road, you very much have to worry about “getting these things absolutely right.”

If there’s a curse, it’s the tendency of writers to “figure out” Wonder Woman to death. Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?

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“Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?” – Exactly.

“In other words, know who Wonder Woman is and why she came to Man’s World, but you don’t have to make the story about who she is and her mission here.”

The catch there being, the only kinds of stories DC is interested in doing, with *any* of their characters, are stories about who they are and what their mission is.

Well, I’d like to see a little about her mission because I do think it defines her, but overall I agree and wrote about some of this last week. http://dcwomenkickingass.tumblr.com/post/5483382449/wwew
The problem with them making a Wonder Woman TV show and movie is because the studios don’t focus enough on the wonder and focus too much on the woman. The idea that a woman can be kick ass and get a big audience has been proven over and over. They are too stuck in the details. It baffles me that Thor can get made so easily on the big screen and Warner Bros. has to try and Ally McBeal her to make palatable on the small screen.

“Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?”

Preach it guys!

“Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?”

Because that’s not all WW is. That’s what Jennifer Garner was on Alis, that’s what Magie Q is on Nikita and that’s fine. That’s what Michelle Ryan was on Bionic Woman and that was canceled. But there’s something more to WW and it’s getting that “Something more” to resonate with modern (and male) viewers that’s the tricky part. If you ignore those other parts then what’s the point of calling it Wonder Woman. It’s like saying “Just make a Superman show but don’t make it about him being an alien from another planet.) What’s the point?

It’s real easy to dismissively say “just do it.” Actually just doing it requires some actual thought and planning.

the problem with me is that i cant care about her supporting cast or her enemies so if they can revamp those that would be great.

Simon DelMonte

May 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I refer everyone to Greg Rucka’s run on WW. A strong, confident woman who could beat the crap out of anyone, but who preferred to take another route, changing the world one mind at a time.

kalorama, I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’m not suggesting that Wonder Woman should be interchangeable with any other female hero. Nor would I argue that Sydney Bristow and Nikita are interchangeable. All three are real characters with strong and unique motivations to do what they do. That’s as it should be.

But every story can’t be about that or it gets old. I’d argue that that was the problem with the Bionic Woman reboot. They were so focused on what being bionic Meant and how it Changed Jamie’s Life that they never settled down and just let her go on some cool missions.

As I recall, the original Superman show was almost never about Superman being an alien from another planet. It ran for about seven years, and in syndication for like a billion years.

I like all the Wonder Woman stuff, too. Hell, I like Wonder Tot. I even like I Ching. My point isn’t that you shouldn’t use that stuff — I think you should. Just embrace what you like and streamline past what you don’t, just like any other character in development, rather than think of her as this huge intractable problem to solve. We’d have almost no superhero movies or TV shows if people got caught up on the stuff they’re getting caught up on here.

Wonder Woman’s a really good character, one that resonates with a lot of people, and I’d say no more fundamentally complicated or weird than Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Mr. Moto, James Bond or Tarzan. Her uniqueness isn’t impediment to be figured out; it’s rich source material waiting to be folded in. While I know nothing about making TV shows it seems weird to treat her like she’s uniquely problematic until she’s proven to be uniquely problematic.

Hollywood has become so inept that they can’t even get a remake right anymore. They ran out of original ideas years ago, and started with the remakes. Now they can’t even get that right. Wonder Woman has already been done to perfection. Produced by Douglas Cramer, and starring Lynda Carter the original Wonder Woman tv series was the best show about a superhero ever. Why not just copy the original?

I agree with Alex. Lynda Carter nailed the character and the show was fun. Adrianne Palicki looks like she has the stuff to be able to handle that role as well. At the same time, if you’re not going to do Wonder Woman right, then don’t mess up a chance for a TV show with an inferior product.

Smallville just recently ended an impressive 10 year run, and that show, at the beginning anyway, was all about the “Meteor Freak of the Day” and young Clark trying to fit in with society. It was a very, very simple concept. There were some mythology elements thrown in here and there, but none were as important as that fight-of-the-day.

Wonder Woman fighting gorillas? Yes, I would watch that.

“It was tricky for me to step back and take a look at it and see if this was going to be the right take on this show. With this kind of audience, you have to get these things absolutely right; there’s no room for error. At the end of the day, I didn’t think we had done that.”

I agree with the statement but it contradicts what they have done with Jonah Hex, Superman Returns and most recently with Green Lantern, which looks just silly to me and I’m a Green Lantern fan. For as long as I’ve wanted to see a GL movie, I’m passing on this one if only because I can’t stare at that light-up eyesore of a costume that looks like it belongs in Saturday Night Fever; oops, Sunday Morning Hangover. Even the redesigned lantern looks bad. Why oh why can’t Warner Bros get a superhero movie besides Batman done right?

It’s not exactly contradictory (in the sense I think you mean it) because Greenblatt works for NBC, not Warner Bros. I agree with you though in that I wish WB took more care with their stuff. (Not that I’ve formed an opinion on Green Lantern, but you’re dead on with Jonah Hex.)

I love how Spurgeon’s example was to have her beat up Batman, inadvertently substantiating the assertion that the character can’t stand up on her own.

Look how awesome she is! She can beat up Batman! You like Batman, but Wonder Woman is even more awesome, look!

That Hiketeia cover does the EXACT same thing. Worf Effect in full force.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfEffect

That said, I sort of agree with May. Actually tell some good stories with her, that should be the priority. Make her worthy of her iconic status.

My example was only meant to quickly counter the oft-stated assertion that Wonder Woman could never, ever get over with fans as a serious character, with a quick and clear example of how she almost certainly could. It’s not the only scenario, it’s not the ideal scenario, that’s not how I would ever suggest anyone do the character. It’s just shorthand. Once you realize, “Oh yeah, of course she could be awesome” you’re free to tell good stories with her that aren’t the dopey scenario that I came up with at 3 AM in the morning to make a specific point. I think she’s a fine character and telling really good stories is exactly the point I’m making. I’m suggesting she doesn’t have to be figured out to an excess degree other characters don’t.

Funny, though: Frank Miller’s Dark Knight in DKR easily stood on his own two feet despite part of his displayed awesomeness being taking it hard to Superman, and no one’s ever suggested where I’ve read it that the fact it was Superman rather than Bane diminished Batman. It’s amazing how far people will go to fuss over Wonder Woman and read slights and hidden meanings into every scenario suggested. She really has been smothered.

Answer to the dilemma–GET A WOMAN WRITER TO WRITE A TV OR FILM SCRIPT ON WONDER WOMAN!!! NO GUYS!!!!!

““Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?””

Yeah, why can’t we have a Ms. Marvel series?

Karl of Themyscira....the indescribable lightness of being Wonder Womans number one fan.

May 28, 2011 at 10:07 am

Theres nothing wrong with the basic premise of Wonder Woman…and thats the crux of it right there. The BASIC premise. Tv execs overthink it, all this ‘single ladies’ crap, crying over a guy…no..no…no…no…. keep it to the comic-book persona.
Why they didnt go with the George Perez origin with a dash of Simones modernity as a starting point I just dont know.

AdmiralSpooky

May 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

How about not changing the character completely, maintain her badassery, her magic like background, etc etc.

Wonder Woman as a lawyer would have never worked…however Wonder Woman fighting lawyers who are actually Harpies?

That would have been awesome, because it plays on the viewers sense of humour, maintains her mythos, and is tongue in cheek.

That’s why we love comic books, and why until someone realizes that, WW will never get off the ground.

@Tom Spurgeon:

Re: the original Superman TV show . . . it’s not 1950 anymore. For that matter, it’s not 1975 anymore either. What worked for the Superman TV show or the Lynda Carter WW show won’t necessarily work today because the nature of television has changed, the entertainment industry has changed, and the expectations of audiences have changed.

@Simon DelMonte

Yes, yes, and most of all yes.

Greg Rucka’s run on the book is the trade you give people who don’t understand or “get” Wonder Woman. You summed it up perfectly to what the character is all about in that story.

I feel like they “wasted” the perfect Wonder Woman script on the animated movie. It wasn’t a total waste because it WAS a good movie. But it could have been the live action movie easily. You had her origin, a reasonably threating villain, a few nods to the comics tha the geeks would have gotten, lots of action and a strong characterization of Diana.

A series just won’t work right now. Everyone wants to “modernize” a mythos. It’ll pull i9 nratings but it’ll be mediocre at best (see Smallville as a reference). Part of the appeal of WW was the same as the appeal for Capt. America…. she is a warrior who is out of sync with current culture but still an unparalleled hero(ine).

Theya re overthinking it…give her gladiator gear, drop her in times square, have her spout a few “thou”s and “thee”s about Themyscirian culture, and let her pumel Ares or Circes into submission. It’s NOT that difficult

Maybe I’m a little naive about this, but wouldn’t it be simply a matter of starting a TV series about her ‘en media res’. Hook people with the easy-to-swalllow cool part: her being a woman who kicks ass, while being honorable and merciful. Unfold the more cerebral parts as you go along.

let Christopher Nolan produce WW movie i’ll bet it will be awesome

Its a crime that Elektra or whoever gets a movie before Wonder Woman.

The name alone would make it a box office hit, not to mention all the crazy marketing you could do. Plus it would make a star of whichever actress took the role.

“Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?”

“I’d argue that that was the problem with the Bionic Woman reboot. They were so focused on what being bionic Meant and how it Changed Jamie’s Life that they never settled down and just let her go on some cool missions.”

These two thoughts sum up how I feel about super heroes and hero stories in general. I don’t think that super heroes should only be about going on cool missions and beating up bad guys, but that should be the main driving force. Every story has meaning, but it doesn’t have to be presented in an overt way. When the story becomes all about the Meaning, then it turns dull and boring. The finale of Smallville was 1 hour and 55 minutes of Clark talking about his Destiny and what it all Meant. Then it took him all of five minutes to easily push Apokolips out of the way. The world could have been destroyed, but he spent all that time whining. Boring.

Did the old Greek heroes ever waste time worrying about what their Destiny was? No, they just went out and kicked ass, all the while telling great stories. Wonder Woman has a great backstory, but that’s what it is: a backstory. The main story is her fighting villains and saving the world. Figuring out the Meaning is the reader’s part and frankly, that’s half the fun.

Yes TV has changed. People have a hard time believeing things anymore. Like who would believe a story about a bunch of vampires and werewolves, we are way too mature for that. What about a story about an island and a bunch of people and whisperers and time travel. HA. Bet they would laugh you out of the office with that one. I heard coming in the new season was a story about Alcatraz and how all the inmates dissapear and come back 30 years later to cause havoc.
But for some reason we can’t get behind the idea that anyone would believe, like, or identify with wonder woman.
I do think the costume is a hurdle (the hurdle), but that’s why you get paid the big bucks.Mama let you leave the island, but you have to represent with that costume for a year? It’ll grow on ya I bet.

Other female characters don’t have this problem, Spider-Woman, secret agent, trying to find her place in a world that really doesn’t like her, Miss Marvel, ex military, just trying to be a bloody good superhero, Black Widow, super spy, Jessica Jones piss head PI and so on (there’s probably others at DC but I’m a Marvel guy so that’s were I come from) these characters are all defined by what they do not what they should be.

Take Spider-Woman her history is a triple agent her story is trying to make good after that.

Now Wonder Woman (and I’ve really been trying to get into this character, libraries are a big help) her history is…a convoluted mess with no character defining attribute (no dead parents, no strong moral upbringing, not a ‘fearless’ test pilot etc etc etc) The most that’s been said is ‘She’s a warrior…’ So? all superheroes’ are ‘warriors’ but they all have something that defines them WW never has.

Her story, let’s face it, none existent.

I think WW has difficulties because it has No Audience.

Buffy was about teenage geeks in love and vampires, Nikita or Alias was about hot women and spy-action. Wonder woman is about Superheroes and strong women! who want to watch that?? All those nerds in their 30′s who will NOT WATCH IT ON TV (with the commercial) but on Megavideo the day after!

It’s not wonder TEEN DRAMA, it’s not wonder WITTY MAN, it’s not wonder HOT GUNS, it’s not ENJOY BEING A SLUT woman! it’s Wonder “Superheroes are women now, you can’t even refuge in your man power fantasy, you obese freak!” Woman!

For all her supposedly “iconic” status, the basic problem with WW, in any medium, is that she really doesn’t have much audience attraction. If, after decades of trying, DC still hasn’t managed to come up with a presentation for her that works well enough to convince a critical mass of the small, insular presumably predisposed fan population to buy/care about her story, then what logical reason is there to think that coming up with a presentation that would convince a critical mass of the much larger, much more diverse, much less inclined to give a shit, general movie-going audience would be any easier?

I think the simple premise is to produce the program for SyFy, but use the “Kung Fu” format. Meaning, you have Wonder Woman already active, but have the flashbacks used to show how a young Diana was preparing herself to one day take on the role as an Ambassador to Man’s World.

Most Wonder Woman writers, even the ones I think have done a pretty good job, seem pretty at odds with aspects of WW’s history. I agree: too much time is spent trying to “figure out” the lasso, the invisible plane, even the costume and how to make them work when all you really need is a writer that unabashedly love those things to play with them and show them love.

How many goofy Silver Age elements of their favorite characters did Jeph Loeb and Geoff Johns work back into modern continuity? All you need is a writer with that sort of love of classic WW elements, no matter how goofy they are.

WW the greatest so easy to remake just do the stories of dc like in smallville meets the high adventure of alias season one etc with big 24 type effects etc. but hey its hollywod baby somethings they just dont get right. but check this out a real superhero of real truth and real justice! the planetary patriot is here!

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VL86YZXQ
The Planetary Patriot

free ebook free download :D

why can wonder woman just be a strong confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys. sadly because dc can not figure out to try it that way for fear it would in their minds hurt or change the character too much for them. after all she is suppose to be the female answer to superman. and batman. yet writers seem to want to over think how to do her. thus why wonder woman seems to have trouble when tried for other media.

Glenn Simpson

May 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I think you can keep it simple all right. You have her fall in love with and leave her world behind because she falls in love with the first man she sees, and then decide that America is the best country in the world and stay here to make sure we stop the Nazis.

Yeah, that’ll play.

Has anyone here actually bothered to watch the WONDER WOMAN animated DVD that DC put out 2 years ago? It was everything we know of the classic Wonder Woman and completely modern. It has been done there and can be done live-action.

just put it out there, let the fans decide if it’s good or not.

if it sucks, make a different wonder woman show.

make like 5 or 6 of them. who cares?

let directors and production teams fight over who can make the most successful one.

what’s stopping them from finishing up the pilot they just shot and putting it on hulu or itunes. cause they’re old school. they don’t get it. the whole pilot system is a joke.

If you are really a fan of Wonder Woman, you should show your appreciation. This way the world’s most popular super heroine might get some respect.

http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/fight4wonderwoman

I’d say that WW only has two real problems: the first is that her original mission, to be a messenger of progressive ideas, is no longer as relevant today as it once was (especially with the Amazons being reinvented as primitive warriors instead of the advanced civilization they originally were); and second, none of her supporting characters became iconic on their own right as Lois Lane or The Joker did. People think Superman or Batman and immediately see their whole setting and cast in their minds; that’s not the case with WW. She just needs to get the right writer, and be given enough exposure for her background to ‘stick’ in popular culture. Sure, this can take more than one try, but START trying or it’ll never happen.

Place her within a historical situation and I think she can work better. A WW II tale would be cool. Let her take blood thirsty revenge on some Nazis.

@ Marc:

I did see the WW animated feature. The first act (basically everything leading up to Diana donning the costume) was very good. The rest of it was utter crap. That notwithstanding . . . animation and live action are two very different animals. Just because something works in one doesn’t mean it’ll work in the other (and vice versa).

Honestly, I’m surprised Hollywood has such a hard time making a show or movie about Wonder Woman. I could throw together a premise in 20 min:

The Amazons warriors have spent centuries living on Themyscaria for centuries after conflict with man nearly destroyed them. One the island the Queen’s daughter does a Disney Princess in that she “Wants more!”

Steve Trevor, an Air Force Pilot, crashes on the island in the modern day (or WWII since that would be awesome too). He inadvertently releases an ancient evil power (i.e. Ares or Circe or somethings) in the crash. The evil escapes into the world and the Amazons send a warrior (Diana) to stop the evil. Steve and Diana go back to Man’s world where they fight… I dunno… A hydra or something.

There you go. Easy. That’s the pilot episodes.

The rest of the 1st Season would be easy. Ares or Circe posses as a powerful global figure and is trying to create global conflicts to strengthen their powers. Wonder Woman of course does all she can to stop them. In order to do this, she takes on the identity of Diana Prince. This identity is created for Wondy by Etta Candy, a friend of Steve Trevors who in this version is a genius computer hacker (cliche I know, but it give her a more important role in the series). Diana gets a job that allows her to investigate mysterious events, either in the military with Steve or local police.

Romance-wise, we have the will-they-won’t-they with Diana and Steve, and maybe even have a love triangle with Etta having feelings for Steve as well, while Diana is oblivious to Steve’s feelings or at least denying it.

The second or third season meanwhile would have Paradise Island exposed, Diana dropping the secret identity thing, and instead becoming an ambassador for the Amazons. She has to deal with being a celebrity and hero at the same time, but is something gradual that the audience has to deal with along with Diana, unlike the Kelly script.

“Did the old Greek heroes ever waste time worrying about what their Destiny was? No…”

Yes. Quite a few did. Some even knew what their Destiny was and did their damnedest to avoid it. Yet they were never able to.

As for the Lynda Carter “Wonder Woman,” have you actually WATCHED it lately? If that show hit the airwaves for the first time today, exactly as it was, fans would be decrying it for extreme campiness.

You know, since she’s basically immortal, maybe an interesting TV series would be to portray her showing up at different points in US history. When the stories are set would define how she reacts. Wonder Woman interacting with America during the 1960s and the rise of feminism would be very different from Wonder Woman showing up in 2011. Do stories that span years, decades. Wonder Woman catches a guy in 1967 and the guy is convicted of murder…except her lasso compels him to tell the truth and he says he’s innocent. She swears she’ll find a way to prove him innocent. She’s unable to do so and the guy is executed. Years later (and guided by newly created genetic testing) she finally nails the guy who actually did do it and clears the name of the dead guy, but the guy’s son still blames her, asserting she should have broken the law and busted the father out of prison, leaving her “wondering” if she should have done so. Stuff like that.

PAD

The idea that the best way to tell a WW story is to just have her beating bad guys up without regard to her back story or motivation just shows how weak WW is in those areas which is the problem with WW. Every superhero movie made by Marvel and DC from Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Spider-man, X-men and Thor deals with those things. Without them there is nothing to differentiate WW from any other action hero or heroine other than the costume.

promethean1453

May 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

To Red Robin and Sijo, you are absolutely spot on in terms of your analysis :) As Sijo pointed out, she does indeed stand for progressive ideas that are no longer as alien today as they were in 1940. William Moulton Marston, while well-meaning, put together a very weak foundation for her character that other writers did not improve on due to the fact that A) they had no idea what to do with strong female protagonist and B) thew knew shit about the mythological background that she harkened from. The two artists (well technically three) that really changed this were George Perez and Greg Rucka. These guys really embraced the Greek mythological aspect of the character and her status as an international figure as opposed to simply deflecting bullets for the U.S. And her stories were really incredible as a result. It looks like this show wanted to make her a Buffy/Ally McBeal type character, and that is simply not who she is. And a romantic interest? Why the fuck does she need a romantic interest!?Why can’t Steve Trevor just be an ally? She best plays out as a champion warrior of the Amazon Isle of Themyscira! There are a ton of people out there terrified and mean enough to try and stamp out a female monarchy like that (celestials and demons included). I mean this drives me nuts. Hellenistic Culture is obviously a turn on to audiences (I mean, hell, look at HBO’s ROME, or Clash of the Titans, or even God of War for X-Box). If Warner brother can just realize this, they could really capitalize on her rather than stuff her into a campy mold that just looks as ridiculous as her outfit (I mean seriously, starry panties- yeah they’re great to look at but no sane hero is gonna go fightin’ in them? Make her look like a freakin’ Grecian champion warrior, it’s how she got the whole ambassador to man’s world gig in the first place. Whew…sorry bout the rant but I really needed to get that off my chest.

It’s not really that complicated at all. Just refer back to the Justice League and JL Unlimted cartoons. They wrote a brilliant Wonder Woman in those cartoons. Absolutely perfect. These Hollywood types are just ego maniacs and actually have no respect for comics.

The JL/U version of the character was awful; pretty much totally lacking in the character’s best qualities, and they botched pretty much every attempt to make use of her mythos and villains.

promethean1453

May 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Okay…I’ve got more. Now most people think, “okay, she’s immortal, no real tragedy or event that brought about her being.” And sadly, that is true. Her mother made her out of clay. …Oookay, not the most dramatic entrance, but there is something that can be worked with. The idea that she is almost a Golem-like character. Now in the Modern Age reboot in ’87 the idea was that she was the resurrected soul of the unborn child of a slain cavewoman(who was reincarnated as her mother- Queen Hippolyta, causing the queen to have a sort of empty void feeling and yearning for a child). Under direction and guidance of the Gods, Hippolyta molds a baby girl from clay, and the child is given life and great gifts by the Gods. Yeah… that’s a pretty damn lame intro. But…maybe it could be reworked with a sort of Robocop angle. The idea being that she is actually Queen Hippolyta’s birth child (like she actually squeezed her out the out fashioned way), but when Heracles (Hercules is the Roman name) and his men pass by the Amazons and lay siege to them, Heracles actually kills Diana while the Amazons fight back. The end result has Queen Hippolyta bargaining to the Gods for her daughter to return from Hades and they agree. Diana’s soul will return in an android shell designed by Athena and fashioned by Hesphaestus (since it’s celestially made, it’s almost organic) and she will guard the Amazons on their new sanctuary of Themyscira with her newfound abilities and talents. But…Diana’s service is to the Gods, not to Hippolyta, so the Gods have the right to call on her to perform whatever threat they perceive despite the protestations of the Queen (after all it’s in the bargain). This is how she is called upon to fight Ares when he gets a hold of people who want to trigger a nuclear armageddon. Now, although Diana is technically a celestial android, she still feels, she still remembers her past, she can do everything humans can do but she has super-human strength (on par with Superman’s), speed at Mach-3, flight power, and can survive without oxygen or sustenance or sleep. Okay.. maybe it is kind of out there- but hey, I think it could work.

I never thought WW as a TV series would work because her mythology just fits better on the big screen. I’ll take the big, epic origin story with Gods, Myths, and Monsters and Nazis and whatever, but do it right and do it cinematically like they did with Thor. Sure, Thor wasn’t exactly King f*cking Leer or The Godfather but it worked because instead of trying to “make the character work” they embraced his mythology.

I just have to say this somewhere… why are fanatics of Wonder Woman hating her new outfit so much? That doesn’t really speak well of fanboys/girls in my opinion, they seem to have such an old-fashion, anti-change mentality that I could swear they just don’t want WW taking on a new direction, is it really necessary for her to STILL wear stars on her private parts? I also don’t understand what people have against Diana looking just a bit feminine at least, that doesn’t make her a fucking w$##%.

But it seems most WW fans are pretty conservative, no surprise really since the US has always been a conservative country, regardless of the current head of state, and hating the new costume is undeniable proof of that.

I just hope the team working on the comic doesn’t give into fanboy/girl rage.

it isn’t really the writers who’re fucking it up, it’s the studios more than anything. I refuse to believe that if Fox had let Joss Whedon do his Wonder Woman flick, it would have been anything less than great. Problem is the studio probably want one thing, while everyone else wants something that’s good.

Because she’s a woman. Hollywood has a problem with that. They can’t make it about demeaning things like fashion, cosmetics or gossip over boyfriends so they are stuck. The thought of making something like Clash of the Titans with a female lead doesn’t compute.

Apollokid9000

May 29, 2011 at 11:38 am

Of the DCs’ Big 3, Wonder Woman has THE most relatable fact. I’ll let others ponder what it is but I will point out one thing. Black Panther, Namor, Aquaman, Wonder Woman: all have somewhat royal backgrounds, fierce warriors in battle, and all have been labeled at one point or another as “difficult to write”. Uninteresting many have said.

That baffles me.

The leader of perhaps the most advanced nation on his planet.
He’s not only a king, he’s an Avenger.

The self isolated monarch of of an underwater kingdom who is also a reluctant WW II hero and the 1st visible mutant. A tri racial being that hasn’t fully dealt with who he is as a whole.

The once and future king of the seas in a world that’s one of 52. He has no home: no Metropolis, no Gotham, no Star City, no Coast City. He has something much bigger than that, 75% of Earth is his responablity.

A goddess warrior of peace who travels the land of man, often known to be prone to violence and a disturbance of peace. She stays in Mans’ Land because she sees, like many others, the problems throughout it. She also sees its muted beauty which is reason enough to fight for its’ betterment. Like any citizen living in and looking to improve their adopted home, her loyalty is in a constant state of question from her family and friends back home.
How the he’ll does she juggle her commitment to both places and peoples? Tales of 2 Cities insue.

And these elements with the fact that they all exist in a world ( or worlds) with superhero and uber menaces and the stories basically can write themselves. But they would be too difficult not to write.

Why anyone wouldn’t want to would be baffling to me, and probably many others as well.

Get Alan Moore to write Wonder Woman and it will be the biggest selling monthly book in six months time.

“Why can’t she just be a strong, confident woman who beats the crap out of bad guys?”

Okay, she’s beaten someone up… Whats she going to do for the other 40 minutes of the show? An what about next week? An why is WW beating up random dudes?

Okay, i’ll lay it out for everyone… Why this show did not get the green light
1. Public Disinterest.
2. No possible way to evolve this character without people complaining.
3. No credible story telling potential for a contemporary audience without major smallville level reboots of essentially everything.
4. Public Disinterest.
5. Character has a kinky origin which will inevitably be of more interest to the general public then the actual series.

This character is not cursed, she’s instead just not interesting enough for a TV show on her own. Heck she’s barely interesting enough for her own comic series… Don’t be surprised if thats cancelled in the post flashpoint reboot too.

re: Alan Moore
Well sure, but is Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Wonder Tot sitting around sharing their sexual fantasies with each other and discussing the historical importance and background of each fantasy really good comics?

I disagree with many of the posters. Matthew Lane is chief among them. A Wonder Woman that is well written and presented in a manner that is faithful to the world in which the character resides. I don’t want another Smallville. I’m still shocked that show stayed on as long as it did. I’m still fuming about the final episode, but I digress. People, especially comic geekdom, complain about everything. Webshooters anyone? Let’s look at Geof Johns and how he incorporated all the continuity of the current Green Lantern seamlessly. The same can be done with Wonder Woman. I’m sick of the excuse that a man can’t write a good lead woman role. However, looking over the various comics with female leads, it does appear there could be some truth to it.

Hell, I’ll write the damn series if they read my script.

@boatswain. Disagree all you like mate, but WW has to little contemporary aspects that make a jot of sense. An the ancient gods & magic stuff does not play well with a contemporary audience. WW is a property that cannot be easily translated into TV, as shown by its pretty average sales numbers in comic book format. WW is in the samwe boat as Captain Marvel.

William Morgan

May 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

“Just do” is how we wound up with Batmand & Robin.

@Matthew Lane: How exactly can Wonder Woman not be translated into TV? Its a woman with super-powers, who’s connected to an island of sexy women warriors, who is saving the world?

1. You claim of public disinterest is 100% false. If you look at general opinion for the rejected pilot, no one ever said they didn’t want to see Wonder Woman. In fact, a majority of people REALLY wanted to see a new Wonder Woman. However, no one wanted to see David E. Kelly’s version however because it took an interesting female hero, and turned her into Ally McBeal.
2. Umm… yeah, no. Having Diana come to “Man’s World” and learning about it, as well as progressing as a hero, a woman and an ambassador to her people would most likely be looked at very positively by fans. Yes, people will complain, but they do that regarding EVERYTHING. Just look at the message boards for Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Green Lantern, and EVERYTHING else in geekdom. This point is completely moot since people are ALWAYS going to be complain about something.
3. Umm… what? Yeah, this would only be true if you have lazy writers or people with no imagination. If you have smart writers, you can tell a good story that people will like without having to turn into Dawson’s Creek with superpowers. Just look at shows like Stargate, Xena, the first season of Heroes… Hell, look at the Thor movie. They stuck completely with the original source material and audiences have been enjoying it.
4. See point 1.
5. Seriously? This is a point? Wonder Woman has been around for years. The Linda Carter show was MASSIVELY popular and still is to this day. The fact she had some kinky aspects in her franchise’s history is hardly something anyone is going to give a darn about. And either way, so what?

You’re justification for why the series won’t work, doesn’t hold water.

The problem is that the production companies think like you do and that the series needs to “adjusted” and made more “contemporary” in her personality and portrayal. However, the audience have been saying different for years. They don’t want a “hip” version of the character”. They want a version who honors the source material.

The new pilot for example didn’t’ do well, not because the character was uninteresting, but because the script was badly executed. Instead of Diana being a strong warrior woman, which the audience wanted to see, she was a love-obsessed business woman, who was complaining about her boob size.

Her issue isn’t a lack of being interesting, it’s people not respecting her enough.

@Red Robin

1. No it really isn’t. People don’t really care one way or the other with WW. If its on they’ll watch it, but if its not on, they aren’t going to kick up a fuss. Fact is WW is not overly popular, either in comic book format or in pre release tv show format. Or as i’ve come to call it “Smallville Syndrome.”

2. Nope. Because as soon as you evolve the story you get the purists complaining that she’s no longer iconic & as soon as she gets hit by a guy, or falls in love you’ll get the feminist icon section of the fandom complaining. So the only thing you can do is a smallville level reboot & they didn’t want to do that. But WW has never had a very interesting rogues gallery & she’s never had much of a mission. Its why

3. “lazy writers or people with no imagination” Jos Whedon couldn’t pitch WW as a movie, theres not much chance someone can pitch it as a TV show. There are too few wonder woman tropes from the comics that make a jot of sense in a contemporary comic (hence the constant reboots) & make even less sense in a tv show.

5. So has herpies…. Doesn’t make that popular either. Wish people would stop equating age & icionicness with quality & popularity.

The problem is that no one knows how to give here the day-to-day foibles that make serialized drama work but, again, that’s due to the overthinking. As someone said, start in media res and suddenly you’re not hung up on the following issues:

1. Who she sleeps with. We don’t know she’s from an island of women so we don’t wonder if she’s a lesbian, or if she’s had sex. If we’re not worried (not that anyone SHOULD be worried but…) about that, then the issues of whether she’s a virgin and–then–who she should or shouldn’t sleep with are moot and suddenly you can have romance, which is a huge part of all comics.

2. Greek mythology. If you don’t know she’s from Themyscira, you’re also not worrying aout Greek gods. Now you don’t feel obligated to keeping coming up with bad guys in togas and unpronoucnable names.

So, what’s the hook? She comes to the U.S. to help us see past Big Business, corrupt politicians, and the complicit media. Peaceful, right? (And in keeping with here “truth” angle.) And she’s hot and she makes a big entrance so people are paying attention. So someone in Big Biz creates a bad guy (Cheetah?) who’s woefully unprepared because no one realizes this peacenik kicks a lot of ass. Fight ensues and now the shadowy forces of capitalism realize they REALLY need to take her down. You can have villains of the week, long-reaching plans to destroy her credibility, the ultimate reveal that she’s a –gasp–Amazon, whatevs.

Obviously, the above reveals my super lefty slant, but this kind of stuff gets in the movies every day (see: Matt Damon movies, most sci-fi) and thus could totally be feasible for a mass audience. You’ve freed her up to have a romantic life and she has an actual agenda.

“She comes to the U.S. to help us see past Big Business, corrupt politicians, and the complicit media. Peaceful, right?”

and in the process gets removed from any channel willing to consider hosting it. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. but what you are talking about is smallvilling it, which is where the complaining from the purists start. See, now you are seeing why this franchise does not work on tv.

If they really wanted to make a female superhero for TV, they would be better off building there own, as it wouldn’t come with all the baggage.

This running theme with regards to people saying “If they did it with Thor they can do it with WW!” is rather ludicrous. The “Norse” mythology in Thor is practically non existent. It’s just another comic with a character that has issues with his dad and his brother. These characters just happen to be named after and dressed like Norse gods. If Thor was named Bobby, if Loki was named JR and if Odin was named Jock the movie would have been called Dallas (I mean, if Bobby Ewing was made from clay, it really would be a different show all together). Thor is a blank slate with a hammer and has one chief luxury that WW doesn’t have…he is baggage free.

WW fans keep saying over and over “she’s not complicated! She’s not complicated! Stop making her complicated!!!!” But the fact of the matter is that yes, she is. She is very, very complicated. Thor doesn’t have 70 years of tangled Greek mythology infused with his origin. Thor doesn’t have an angry letter from Gloria Steinem chewing out the writers for taking away his powers (I’m pretty sure she didn’t write to Walt when he turned Thor into a frog but if anyone has evidence to the contrary then I‘m more than willing to retract that statement) Thor doesn’t have a silly 70s tv show with a silly 70s theme song that’s ingrained in the public consciousness and has been made fun of ad nauseam. Well, he does have a silly them song, but even comic book fans barely remember that 60s animated series.

Another thing Thor doesn’t have is an angry, bitter, resentful and hateful fan base that yells “sexist misogynist!” every time something doesn’t go their way with regards to decisions that DC/Warners makes with the character. I leave it to all of you good people to deduce who exactly that group of fans might be.

Shazam has the exact same problem as WW. Captain Marvel was a silly, goofy character as originally conceived just as WW was. Yes, she’s a strong female hero but she’s got a ridiculous history. As does Captain Marvel. Both characters have a silly 70s show that has to be overcome (and yes, I know people will scream “so does Batman!” but Batman has, for the most part, been written and portrayed consistently throughout the years and has a very simple origin story that people can relate to). Both WW and Shazam have iconic status but few know anything about their history. Another thing they have in common is that there’s no rush to adapt either for the big screen or television. DC/Warners is under no pressure to crank out a film as they are with Superman. There are no tangled issues with rights to the character. Or like Spider-Man, where if the studio doesn’t crank out more films then the rights revert back to Disney. Rest assured if WW had Superman’s problems, you’d see DC/Warners fast tracking a freaking WW trilogy. But the fact is, there is no rush. Only in the minds of WW fans.

Shazam has had multiple problems getting to the big screen just like WW. But you know the big difference? You don’t hear Shazam fans screaming sexism and acting like irrational little brats because a movie didn’t get the green light. Well, I did, but no one noticed.

And saying “hey, I saw this WW coloring book! It’s got a really simple explanation for the WW character that even a baby could understand!” Well, unfortunately for the people clinging to that rather insane bit of logic, a multi million dollar, big budget action movie isn’t a coloring book. You know what it is? It’s a multi million dollar, big budget action movie, that’s what. There’s a lot to for studios to consider. And even if WW wasn’t complicated, even if she was straightforward with no baggage to deal with, even if she wasn’t a clay baby with a history of fetish and didn’t have a best pal who liked to spank her, even if she didn’t dress like a porn star, if the studios think she’s complicated, then that’s all that matters isn’t it? And I’m wagering that they have more on the line with such a project than all the screaming WW fans out there combined. So let’s all take a deep breath and just relax. They will eventually make a WW movie. They just have to satisfy all us white male 30 something fans first.

Actually i’d say you’d have an easier time with Shazam. As Shazam post crisis is significantly easier to pitch: 9 year old boy is granted the powers & form of superman when he says a magic word… Then he fights crime in Fawcett City (a city with a 1950′s world view & archetectual style).

Wonder Woman on reflection… She was an amazon & the she wasn’t, she had super powers & then she didn’t, she wore normal clothes an solved mysterious & then she didn’t, she was a feminist icon & then she wasn’t, then she was Hippolata & then she wasn’t.

Consistency has never been WW’s strong point. Not to mention her entire rogues gallery falls into 2 categories
1. People who want to steal something directly from WW
2. Characters who are stand ins for some aspect of the evil white patriarchy & its aggressive warlike tendencies.

Heck i’d say that WW has the second worst rogues gallery of any character in the DC universe… The only way you could make it worse would be by adding the person who has the worst rogues gallery: Aquaman.

@jrvscience She isn’t complicated. She’s no more complicated than Batman or Superman. The coloring book/children’s book is an excellent example of how the essence of her character can be boiled down for a movie pitch. Jeesh, how hard is THAT to get? Wonder Woman has “an angry, bitter, resentful and hateful fan base” Oh really? LOL.

@matthewlane. Your comments on the changes of Wonder Woman? What superheroes doesn’t change? Let’s see … They killed Superman, They revived Superman. He was the last son of Krypton. He’s not the last son of Krypton. He can jump buildings. He can fly. His father is dead. No his father is alive. He’s Electric Blue Superman, he’s regular Superman. He loses his powers, he gains his powers. See. Easy peasy. The essence of Wonder Woman is fairly consistent. Why you could put it in a children’s book.

Have a great day gentlemen!

Glenn Simpson

May 31, 2011 at 8:44 am

I’m going to speculate that one of the main problems with the character is that even people who supposedly like the character can’t agree on what it is that makes her great.

@Sue:

Wow. Pulling out the ol’ “Is not!” argument on me eh? Touche.

And I stand by the comment about WW fans on the net. One need look no further than your own site where different opinions on the subject are met with angry sarcasm, all caps LOL’s (as you display in telling fashion above, the trademark of the angry fan who can’t make their points without dipping it in anger), close mindedness and cries of “sexist” and “misogynist” on a regular basis. Posting pics of cute kids in costumes in between ragey posts can’t dilute that obvious anger. Which is kind of sad because you have some interesting pieces that are getting sucked down in the quagmire of WW fangirl rage. I dare anyone to read your blog for more than 10 minutes and not need prozac by the time they’re finished. Life is too short to be that miserable about a comic book character. Relax. You’ll live longer.

@Glen

Well said.

@matthew

Well, I’m not sure you could sell Talky Tawny and Mind Worm to a general audience (“hey honey, lets go see the movie about the kid who turns into a man, hangs out with a talking tiger and fights a worm with a speaker around his neck!”). It would probably end up being more like the TV show. But the idea of a kid riding around in an old mans camper probably doesn’t do much for the studios. Or me for that matter.

With someone like Batman, fans are all on the same page with what they want for the most part. No one wants to see another Joel Shumacher Batman film. And as much as I love the Brave and the Bold toon, could that really be made into a movie without general audiences all going “huh?” in unison? And Superman is the same way. The silliness in his past is not attatched at the hip to his character like it is with WW. I’ve never seen people agree on any WW story with the possible exception of the Marston era stuff and they sure aren’t going to do a movie of that.

@JRVScience: Dude, Talky Tawny is what really sells the sequel, when we bring in Mary Marvel to the storyline. First movie Captain Marvel fights Black Adam obviously, with some foreshadowing about a scientific villain in the background (Sivana). You could totally sell that movie to a studio. WW, not so much so.

@Sue: I’ve seen your website, its full of knee jerk reactionism where you take something small & sometimes no existant & then blow it up into something huge. Much like you did with the map of Flashpoint where you took the “Africa: Controlled by Apes” marker and then tried to turn it into some huge conspiracy by DC to secretly say racist things about black people. Not to mention your rules that only apply to people who disagree with you, anyone who agress with you can break your rules as much as they like.

Wonder Woman for the 21st century is not very hard to do. One needs think of how this character would be like in the real world. If everyone wants a Wonder Woman story, they need to “shout it out” to the WB brass. Let someone who has a good script (whoever he/she is) use that one to make a block buster hit. If WB is looking to make a JLA movie, they have to include the Amazon too. Also, they need to consider the foundation laid by Nolan and Goyer when they did the Batman movies. These were big hits – Light bulb!! Realism was why these were big hits. Therefore, I say make these folks like real people, take all that “hocus pokus” fantacy out of them. That Green Lantern movie that is coming out looks like a live action cartoon. Now how in the world will his universe team up with the current Batman universe – impossible. I hope folks ain’t doupe enough to see this movie and hope that these two can team up in a JLA movie – impossible. Don’t do it, just don’t do it!!

As for Wonder Woman – keep her as a real life person and she will be big at the box office.

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