An excerpt from our “What Could Have Been” series and script review for Joss Whedon’s Wonder Woman which will be available 06/05/17:
2.) Plot Stability
I’m reminded of a story Kevin Smith tells when he was working on a Superman project that would have starred Nicholas Cage. The producer of that project really wanted The Man of Steel to fight a gigantic spider.
Smith didn’t get the writing job, and the project was stuck in development, but that producer then went on to produce Wild Wild West, and received a steampunk version of his gigantic spider.
Similarly, Mr. Whedon did not get his shot at Wonder Woman, but he sure as shit was able to use his version of the Khimaera in Avengers via the form of giant space worms tearing through buildings.
And ultimately Avengers worked out pretty well for him. Is he upset that his version of Wonder Woman eventually came out? Sure, who wouldn’t be, but he still got to implement ideas and concepts from his WW script in the Marvel Universe.
One of the main questions he sets up in Age of Ultron is the idea that although super heroes are fighting villains, and stopping world devastating plots, innocents are caught in the crosshairs. They’re responsible for that.
(And Civil War did a FANTASTIC job following through with this discussion!)
Whedon presents this same question in his Wonder Woman script, having Steve argue with Diana that she goes out looking for trouble based on her “signs”, and by fighting villains like Strife, men and women of Gateway City are getting hurt or killed.
A deeper idea NOT brought up in the Marvel films, is what happens when these innocents begin to depend on her? She’s playing hero, but can she just walk away when she’s the only force of good able to combat evil?
Forget Spiderman throwing a car at The Rhino, and it smashing into a storefront. Forget Batman crashing the Batmobile through various parked cars.
Collateral damage has been explored, but what about police forces cutting jobs because Superman is there to fight crime? Courts looking the other way on due process of some super villains?
That shit’s a darker layer of the onion.
Although not perfect, especially if Warner Bros. was looking for an origin story, Joss Whedon did present certain ideas for the superhero genre that could have led to worthwhile payoffs with subsequent sequels.
Unfortunately we’ll never know how his Wonder Woman would have turned out, but he still was able to incorporate the questions he asked into later projects, and that’s something to remember should you tackle a fan fiction script.
(Or be paid to write on a certain project that never gets produced. The “good” you incorporated is never truly lost.)
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