Friday, June 30, 2017

Remember when 'Wonder Woman' remained in development hell? (CCC flashback)

Can you believe that just 10 years ago Warner Bros. called it quits on making a "Wonder Woman" film in favor of a "Justice League" film -- that thankfully never got made? That seems like a lifetime ago, now that director Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman" is the biggest blockbuster of the summer so far! And there will be a "Justice League" film by directors Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon out in mid-November.

My, how the times have changed! Here's a NORWALK REFLECTOR "Cary's Comics Craze" newspaper column from 2007 when I broke down the "Wonder Woman"-"Justice League" situation. (And at the end is a short review of the "Invincible Iron Man" animated movie.) ...

2007 -- Warner Bros. really knows how to kill a buzz. WB announced plans for Green Lantern and The Flash films and on the same day, no less fans learned "Wonder Woman" has been (re)sentenced to eternal development hell.

Who is doing the PR coordination for these bozos? It's a damn shame that "Wonder Woman," which has been in development since 2001, is being put on hold. It might be the last gasp for screenwriters to provide a female action-adventure character who is tough, beautiful, classy, independent and intelligent.

In February (2007), writer/director Joss Whedon was gone from the project because of creative differences. (He discusses the film in this February 2017 interview.)

Joss Whedon
Late last month (in 2007), producer Joel Silver told Sci Fi Wire: "We're kind of pausing on 'Wonder Woman' now," in favor of the "Justice League" (JL) movie.

Silver wasn't the voice of optimism.

"And if that (JL) comes together, Wonder Woman will be a part of that story," he said. "And then we'll see where we go from there."

A fly in the Hollywood ointment is the recent writers' strike, which could kill plans to start filming JL this February.

Could the JL Wonder Woman be Mary Elizabeth Winstead of "Live Free or Die Hard" and "Grindhouse" fame? She told MTV how excited she was about her audition and getting buff. Winstead called it "the biggest honor in the world to play an icon like that."

Apparently, Minka Kelly ("Friday Night Lights") and Australian actress Teresa Palmer also auditioned.

Online fans worried that JL would be the superhero equivalent of a teenage soap opera, since several actors in the mid-October casting cattle call were in their early 20s. An Australian newspaper even reported Palmer had been cast which was picked up by several online civilian journalists.

The favorite to play Wonder Woman might be model/actress Megan Gale. JL is supposed to be filming at Fox Studios in Australia. The DAILY TELEGRAPH reported "certainly" seeing the shapely brunette there "in recent weeks" in October (2006).

Joel Silver
Silver admitted to Sci Fi Wire that WB "struggled with it ('Wonder Woman') for a while."

Finally, the producer threw fans a bone (or a golden lasso?) by adding: "I hope that we can solve it and make it one day."

At least DC fans can look forward to films starring Green Lantern and The Flash we hope. On Oct. 29 (2006), when Sci Fi Wire shared its Silver interview online, VARIETY revealed television writer Greg Berlanti is directing a live-action "Green Lantern." Hal Jordan is expected to be the character with the powerful green ring.

Also that same day, MTV announced "Wedding Crashers" director David Dobkin is making "The Flash," which had been overseen by two directors since 2004. Newsarama revealed Wally West would be the fastest man alive, saying "it will take place in the same universe as the group picture," referring to JL.

Dobkin shared an obvious tagline by telling MTV his tone for the film: "You can't outrun yourself."

* * *


Finally, or at least, close. This is the best straight-to-DVD animated Marvel film I've seen.

But that's not saying much. Like the eye-rolling fiasco "Ultimate Avengers," I recommend only die-hard fans spend money for this PG-13 origin movie.

Marc Worden sounds exactly how I would imagine Tony Stark speaks. It was great having Stark's best friend, James "Rhodey" Rhodes, involved from the beginning of the story.

The slide show about the comics history of Iron Man's various armors was informative, although the script was small and difficult to read. Grade: C

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