Hitting a note on the not-so-way-back machine this week was a piece of promotional art for Joss Whedon's cancelled [Wonder Woman](movie:45787) movie, which showed fans what could have been if the Buffy creator didn't go on to helm [The Avengers](movie:9040) a few years later.
The concept, originally sketched by Adam Hughes, showed off the silver and gold plating of Wonder Woman's outfit layered on to a leather bodice. The shot reminds me a lot of the glossy film quality of the Lynda Carter-era Wonder Woman, but shows little more of the heroine's onscreen costume design.
But what would it have been like? Over the past few years, eager reporters have poked Whedon for plot details and ideas behind the forgotten flick, and a good deal of the basic plot has been uncovered.
The Alien Goddess Angle Drove the Film
... She sort of traveled the world. She was very powerful and very naïve about people, and the fact that she was a goddess was how I eventually found my in to her humanity and vulnerability, because she would look at us and the way we kill each other and the way we let people starve and the way the world is run and she’d just be like, ‘None of this makes sense to me. I can’t cope with it, I can’t understand, people are insane.’
One of the wonderful things about Diana Prince is that she embodies the essential superhero in her drive to help others. She's well-aware that she has no idea of Earth customs, but cannot stand idly by as humanity continues to destroy itself.
But, instead of trying to keep people in line, Wonder Woman inspires others: even with the worst of murderers, Wonder Woman will make conscious and caring attempts to talk sense into them before handing their butts to them.
The Wonder Woman/Steve Trevor Romance Was Dominant
... ultimately her romance with [classic Wonder Woman love interest Steve Trevor] was about him getting her to see what it’s like not to be a goddess, what it’s like when you are weak, when you do have all these forces controlling you and there’s nothing you can do about it. That was the sort of central concept of the thing. Him teaching her humanity and her saying, 'OK, great, but we can still do better.'
I'm a major fan of Wonder Woman either not being paired at all, or at least not paired with Superman (bo-ring). While Wonder Woman doesn't really need guidance from a man, her willingness to follow when it comes to cultures she knows nothing of is one of my favorite things about her.
So, even though the description seems a little trope-y, I think that Wonder Woman's romance with Steve Trevor is wonderful. In many iterations, Wonder Woman learns about Earth culture while Steve learns about respecting women and treating everyone as an equal. They constantly throw each other for a loop and challenge deeply-ingrained beliefs in one another, and I loved that.
Whedon Was A Bit Miffed, But Supports All Superhero Movies
After the film was canned, Whedon soon began work on The Avengers, and much like scoring a love interest that's much cooler than your ex, he had a few particular feelings about that.
Early on. It’s like grief: there’s a period of anger where you’re like ‘hey, remember all those times when I told you it would’ve worked? THEY believed me, and it did! So now I’m going to get angry about stuff that I had pretty much dealt with.
Any harsh feelings quickly washed away, though, as the director wrote an open letter about his love for superhero films.