Sunday, February 04, 2007

On Whedon and Wonder Woman

That wiley Newscoma had the story late Friday, which kinda surprised me: news that writer Joss Whedon was booted off/walked off the Wonder Woman movie project from Warner Bros. I had just read on Friday morning that WB bought a spec script of WW from two first-time writers "just to get it off the market." Yet by Friday night, Joss says he's off the project completely.

I honestly had small hopes for a Wonder Woman movie. A character walking around in big blue star-covered panties seems out-of-date at best, unless she is a stripper with tats and piercings and performs as part of The Suicide Girls or something.

Why is Hollywood spending so much time and money for comics? That's for another post - my thought today was that Whedon, a third-generation writer for TV and movies, with many successful projects under his belt, stacks of awards and legions of fan, can still get ill treatment from movie producers and the major studios. He is hardly the first and will not be the last writer and creator to get screwed over by those who eye profits ahead of quality products.

I can more than relate. Being a consistently good writer is hardly a guarantee of employment.

Often it means facing compromises, wildly fluctuating lifestyles, and quizzical looks from family and friends. They are puzzled why you just don't have a "real job". The oft-used phrase "have something to fall back on" is loaded with the idea that success is not to be yours, and always reminded me of the phrase "fall on your own sword." Final outcomes are grisly.

Writing has it's own measures of success, and it's own reasons to hard-wire itself into your bones and blood. I often think that's the reason writers and artists are held at arm's length - how can they ever be trusted if there is something murky and unknown in the writing process?

The needs of business and those of the creative arts make uncomfortable bedfellows.

In the meantime, Whedon will get to play on an upcoming episode of "The Office," has Season 8 of Buffy headed to comic stores via Dark Horse Comics, is working with Universal on a project called "Goners" and has fans, like me, happy to wait for more, no matter how long it might take.

I wait years to read new books by Thomas Pynchon too. I'm wading through "Against The Day," but I've learned not to devour his books, but to take my time, enjoying each page. The epigraph in "Against The Day" is a reminder for writers and readers alike:

"It's always night, or we wouldn't need light."

3 comments:

  1. Cinemonkey10:34 PM

    Well, that bites. The chances of the Wonder Woman movie being any good just went way down, which is a damned shame.
    Whether the entire notion is out of date remains to be seen. Personally, I think heroes are always in fashion, regardless of their choice in undies, but that's just me.

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  2. Anonymous5:39 PM

    btw, the failed series was firefly. buffy and angel were the two moderate franchises.

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  3. Firefly got yanked off the air after network execs had no idea how to promote or or support the show. it was never given a chance to "fail" a ratings test. The Serenity movie wasn't a billion dollar hit, but it was a very good movie with hefty returns a the box office and on DVD.

    And moderate franchises? Given that both shows still remain among the most talked about TV ever, are continuing in books and comics, and are both the center of regular convention meets, I'd bet any TV/film writer would jump at the chance for such success.

    Don't be dissin' Whedon on this page!!

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