Sunday, March 4, 2018

Cancelled Superhero Films 5 - Joss Whedon's 2006 Wonder Woman Film


Who knew over a decade later, Joss Whedon would finally get his hands on Wonder Woman after the first film was cancelled. It is no secret that following his success in television with shows like Firefly, Serenity and Buffy, he really wanted to make a superhero film for the big screen. He reportedly received between two to three million dollars to write a script and direct the film However, Warner Brothers executives were unimpressed with his story and Whedon left to join Marvel instead, where he would go on to make the two Avengers films. Famous actresses like Kate Beckinsale and Angelina Jolie were linked to the titular role, but Whedon really wanted Cobie Smulders of How I Met Your Mother fame for the part. He would eventually cast her as Maria Hill in his Marvel films. 

The Story

The biggest difference this script has from the 2017 version that was successfully made is in this version, Diana Prince would not have been the main character. It would have been Steve Trevor. Also, the film is not set during World War 2, but the early 21st century. The film starts with his fighter jet crashing into Themyscira and he meets Diana and the rest of the Amazonian women.

Initially, Diana and Hippolyte battle it out on whether they should let Steve live or not. Hippolyte wins but Diana's passion for wanting to see and help from the world of men convinces Hippolyte change her mind. Diana leaves her island with Steve and their arrive in Gateway City, a place ridden with crime and corruption. Once there, she crosses path with a criminal who she tries to stop. Instead, she is shot point blank. This leads her to hate firearms and she decides to stay in the city to end the injustice that is running rampant.

Diana eventually learns that most of the problems in the city comes from Strife, one of the most powerful men in the city, who in this version is a man even thought he was originally a woman in the comics. Strife has arranged for corrupt officials in the city to build a giant mechanical three-headed bird, Khimaera but nobody is sure what for. Diana confronts Strife but losses her first battle with him when he holds Steve hostage and demands her superhuman powers in return for Steve's release. Diana accepts and she is stripped off her Metahuman abilities. She contacts Hippolyte, who reminds her that her powers come from within and she successfully regains her abilities.

Meanwhile, the Amazonians have repaired Steve's crashed jet and upgraded it into the Invisible Jet which they send to Diana. As Diana rushes to destroy Strife, he has completed Khimaera. Through much hardship and Steve's help, Diana successfully defeats Strife and Khimaera. Before he dies, Strife warns her that her actions have angered his father Ares, the god of war. At the end of the movie, Diana and Steve share a kiss, living happily ever after.


Like many cancelled films, the script can now be read online. The script was not well-received by fans who did not like the idea of Steve Trevor being the lead rather than Wonder Woman herself. Although Whedon has a reputation for writing strong female characters like Buffy, certain dialogues in this scrpit were criticized for being sexist. Also, considering how successful Petty Jenkins' 2017 Wonder Woman is among critics and audiences alike, most fans are thankful this version was never made. It is safe to say that for once, the studio executives got it right. 

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