Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman would have been based on Angelina Jolie?

Illustration for article titled Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman would have been based on Angelina Jolie?

For years, we've been wishing we could have seen Joss Whedon's abortive movie, while Whedon has stayed mum on how he would have handled the Amazon Princess. Now Whedon's explaining his take on Diana... and it's not what we'd expected.

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Apparently the new issue of Entertainment Weekly contains an article about why we haven't gotten a Wonder Woman movie yet, and how different people would have handled the character. And there's a snippet of it up at the EW site focusing on how Whedon would have handled the Amazon. According to EW, Whedon's screenplay modeled the character on "the closest thing he could find to a real Amazon princess." Explains Whedon:

For me, Wonder Woman was basically Angelina Jolie. She spends a lot of time flying around. She works in a lot of different countries. She's very global. And she's appalled by the way people treat each other.

It's entirely possible EW is misinterpreting Whedon, or this is an example of his famous sense of humor — but otherwise, it's sort of appalling. I don't actually have anything against Angelina Jolie, who's a perfectly good actor and I'm sure a lovely human being — but to use her as a model for Wonder Woman seems misguided in the extreme. Wonder Woman is supposed to be something more heroic and inspiring than just a celebrity who flies around the world being appalled at how mean people are. She's on a mission, and while she's compassionate and preaches kindness, she's also a warrior who fights for the helpless. I think one of the reasons why Wonder Woman hasn't really connected with audiences in the past couple of decades is that she's been misrepresented as a celebrity rather than as an adventurer.

In any case, I'm still dying to read the Whedon screenplay, which I'd bet my invisible plane is a lot more interesting and smarter than that quote makes it sound.

Angelina Jolie/Wonder Woman photomanip via Fickle Red Riding Hood. [EW]

DISCUSSION

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Actually, as a WW fan, I think Whedon has the right idea.

The most successful contemporary re-imagining of the character since the Perez-era was Greg Rucka's much acclaimed run, and he made it a point to emphasis Wonder Woman as a superhero who has try to juggle her role as a serious humanitarian/diplomat with the fact that she's also celebrity fodder in the age of popular culture whether she likes it or not. Jolie seems to have been trying to reinvent her public image as such for the past few years.

Obviously you don't want to base the character on Jolie (or any other existing celeb) verbatim. But she does make an appropriate base to draw some inspiration for a cinematic approach to the character.

Honestly, when I re-reading the Wonder Woman catalog a few months ago, it sort of became obvious to me that Jolie would be the most obvious actress for the role simply cause of the celebrity baggage she brings. Kind of like RDJ as Tony Stark.