"The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there."
-- Ralph Wiggum

Were you looking at the woman in the red dress?

So Joss Whedon has been tapped to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie. As long as he doesn’t have Diana Prince spinning in place to change into her costume, it should be all right.

While I’m glad to see that another DC character is making it to the silver screen (I’m ignoring the Halle Berry Catwoman — that wasn’t a DC character), I’m curious as to the strategy. Marvel had an incredible amount of success by getting the X-Men in front of audiences first, and I think DC should do the same with the JLA, especially with the Batman movie coming out this year, and the new Superman movie due in 2006. I’d love to see big-screen incarnations of The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and yes, even Aquaman.

Then again, DC has had a craptacular strategy to date when it comes to movies, so I guess I’m not too surprised…

13 Responses to “Were you looking at the woman in the red dress?”

  1. Hmmm… on the one hand, it’s Joss, on the other hand, it’s, well, Wonder Woman… Not being a comic afficionado, my familiarity with WW extends to a colouring book I had as a kid and the TV show, and so I guess I am unjustly biased by the tacky factor.

    Interestingly enough, I wonder about the look – especially costuming. I’m not sure if WW’s outfit has been updated in the comic, but the bustier that defies gravity is a bit passé by now. And let’s face it, a lasso of truth and bullet repellent arm bands just aren’t, well, cool enough for me.

    That being said, if anyone can drag Wonder Woman kicking and screaming into the 21st century, it’s going to be Joss Whedon. I’ll go see it!

  2. I have to agree with Homewrecker: despite the fact that I thought she was way cool in my impressionable youth (I’m still bitter my mom wouldn’t buy me the WW underoos :) )there is definitely a lot of 70s kitsch to overcome and I also wonder about the outfit. But if anyone could make her more than just a hot chick in star-spangled underpants it’s Joss. He’ll take all the clichés and turn them on their heads just like he always does. I can see it being on par with the Spiderman movies: having the same depth of characterization and exploration of the personal cost of being a superhero. And of course, it’ll be quippy too :) .

  3. I don’t collect WW comics regularly, but I have read a few, and she is in the JLA, which I do collect. I can say with authority that her character is definitely treated with respect in the comics (i.e. it’s not all about the big boobs and long legs). That being said, they have not changed the basic costume, although there have been variants, from skirts and capes to full-body armour, depending on what she’s dressing for.

    However, I know that most people’s opinions will be shaped by the 70s TV show, and Joss will have a challenge in overcoming those preconceptions.

  4. I think that it will be a bigger hurdle to update Wonder Woman that it was to update Spidey – Spidey wasn’t so tacky to begin with, and had a higher cool factor going in.

    It’s funny, this is really taking me back… When I was a kid, I felt I had to like Wonder Woman, because she was a female superhero and there weren’t many of them around when I was little. I think she was the consolation prize whenever I complained about the lack of female action heroes to look up to – “it’s OK, there’s Wonder Woman! She’s tough!” However, it irritated me that she had to walk around in what is effectively a bathing suit with high heeled boots. In truth I always preferred the male heros, and was more inclined to try to emulate them. When we played Star Wars, I was Luke and my friend Lynne was Han Solo, and it was her younger sister that got stuck with the Leah role that nobody wanted. We NEVER played Wonder Woman, and I’m pretty sure that part of the reason was that the booboriffic outfit was so oppressive to me as a young girl – revealing that amount of cleavage and mincing about it heels was just not what this tomboy wanted to grow up to do. Todays, kids, however, have Buffy and a whole host of other tough girls who can do anything, and although they look good, the gets ups are not quite so silly; costuming today is designed to make you look sexy AND badass, feminie and practical, and not just eye candy.

    No question, Joss is the man to update this character. But he really has his work cut out for him to make Wonder Woman relevant. It’s going to take a lot more than just avoiding the spin-change to make this work. The Justice League cartoon on TV (I think that’s it, anyway) has a great Wonder Woman character on it, but the outfit still looks dumb, and clashes with the tough character.

  5. Sorry, Kaveman, I was writing while you posted…

  6. seriously though this should include a list of who should play Wonder Woman :
    so to start things off :
    Tacky : Non Tac
    Pam Anderson Jennifer Garner Oops already a super hero
    Miss piggy ( I think she has experience in the role) Denise Richards (Needs the work?)

    Please add to the list

  7. I’d be interested to see her other outfits in the comics. And hey, if batman can go from the underwear-over-tights outfit in the old TV show to the full-on body armour in the movies (not that I’m crazy about the rubber suit, but it was definitly an improvement) I’m sure they can do something intersting with Wonder Woman. I agree that the whole bathing suit and stilettos thing is just too beauty-pageant/lingerie ad. But again I have faith in Joss. He manages to have incredibly tough female characters in very sexy outfits yet you never feel they are objectified or lose any power because of the way they dress (I’m thinking Faith, that electric girl from Angel, and Ilyria). I’m thinking some sort of skirt could work…

  8. I wouldn’t worry much about the outfit. Some darker hues (both in costume and set design) will do wonders (pardon the pun) to reduce the cheese factor, especially if they ditch the campier elements of her charaterization.

    Jennifer Garner is indeed already a superhero, and not quite imposing enough anyway. Denise Richards has the exact right look IMO but unfortunately isn’t a very good actor (except when she’s being a bitch, ie. herself).

    Q: Would liberal amounts of martial arts be contrary to WW’s whole ish, or would it be a natural update to the character? That’s a good way to make people forget some of the TV-inspired cheese (though Linda Carter was…IS smokin’!)

  9. A big heaping helpful of martial arts please!

    I guess all the costume rambling really comes down to the fact that if left unaltered, it could destroy the image of strength that a superhero needs to have. Darker hues would help. I concur with BirdLady re: the way Joss is able to mix sexy and tough – in his shows, it works.

  10. Heh…Homewrecker, you said Spikey wasn’t so tacky… :-)

  11. Did I say Spikey? ;)

  12. crap, I meant Spidey…and ruined the Spidey being tacky joke because I can’t spell, apparently… :-(

  13. Well, if you’re Spikey, you can be “tacky” too! :D It just wasn’t a pun anymore, more of a non-sequitor.

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