Via unsinkable Kevin Melrose at [email protected] we have learned that two long-cherished comics-to-film adaptations have been scuttled.

First, David Goyer reveals at his MySpace blog that his Flash film is as dead as Barry Allen:

Well, I’ve been waiting a few months to relate this news — but I am sad to say that my version of The Flash is dead at WB. The God’s honest truth is that WB and myself simply couldn’t agree on what would make for a cool Flash film. I’m quite proud of the screenplay I turned it. I threw my heart into it and I genuinely think it would’ve been the basis of a ground-breaking film. But as of now, the studio is heading off in a completely different direction. I expect you’ll hear of some new developments on that front shortly.

But in happier news, I’ll soon be able to report on what I’ve been doing INSTEAD of The Flash. Stay tuned.


Out next item is one that we felt in our bones the other day, but now it is revealed by The Man himself: The Joss Whedon Wonder Woman film is…KAPUTSKI:

You (hopefully) heard it here first: I’m no longer slated to make Wonder Woman. What? But how? My chest… so tight! Okay, stay calm and I’ll explain as best I can. It’s pretty complicated, so bear with me. I had a take on the film that, well, nobody liked. Hey, not that complicated.

Let me stress first that everybody at the studio and Silver Pictures were cool and professional. We just saw different movies, and at the price range this kind of movie hangs in, that’s never gonna work. Non-sympatico. It happens all the time. I don’t think any of us expected it to this time, but it did. Everybody knows how long I was taking, what a struggle that script was, and though I felt good about what I was coming up with, it was never gonna be a simple slam-dunk. I like to think it rolled around the rim a little bit, but others may have differing views.

The worst thing that can happen in this scenario is that the studio just keeps hammering out changes and the writer falls into a horrible limbo of development. These guys had the clarity and grace to skip that part. So I’m a free man.


010 Cobiesmulders HowimetWha-but—didn’t he write the cool girl characters? NO! In this final, cathartic post — much akin to a drawing room scene where all the clues are cleared up–Whedon explains all.

Finally and forever: I never had an actress picked out, or even a consistant front-runner. I didn’t have time to waste on casting when I was so busy air-balling on the script.

[snip]ps All right, it was Cobie Smulders. Sorry, Cobes.


As shocked as we are to find out that there really is an actress named Cobie Smulders, we’re more saddened by this never-to-be film, thrown on the scrapheap of what-might-have-beens, along with Terry Gilliam’s Watchmen, Darren Aronofsky’s Dark Knight and Kevin Smith’s Superman.

Good-bye, Joss Whedon Wonder Woman rumors. We had a good run.

PS: Please, please, please Joel Silver, just let the greatest female hero of them all get her due. please. No Akiva. Please. Just this once.

Please.

1 COMMENT

  1. “I genuinely think it would’ve been the basis of a ground-breaking film.”

    That seems… a curious objective for a big-screen adaptation of the Flash. I’m not entirely shocked that the studio might have had a different agenda.

  2. If you don’t know from Cobie Smulders, you have to catch an episode or two of “How I Met Your Mother”…one of our favorite shows on television these days. Netflix the first season (or at least the first disc of the first season) to get into it…(it kind of has a continuing story).

  3. How about getting a WOMAN to head up the Wonder Woman film? Crazy talk, I know.

    I guess as someone who hasn’t watched one milisecond of the Buffy show (or any of his other shows), or read any of Whedon’s comics, I’m not particularly grieved over Whedon’s departure from the Wonder Woman project.

    As for the Flash movie, this quote of Goyer’s really jumped out at me:

    “The God’s honest truth is that WB and myself simply couldn’t agree on what would make for a cool Flash film.”

    Really, guys…it’s about a guy running *insanely fast*!!!! I think this stuff gets over-thought at times and, while differences in the emotional tenor and character development may come up, at its core, it’s a special-effects driven movie that should be all about the thrill of super speed.

    Case in point, as great as the character turns in the old “Rocketeer” movie were, what the movie was sorely missing was more FLYING SCENES. In other words, the very essense of the character. Similarly, a Flash movie should be more a theme park thrill ride than a meditation on Barry Allen’s inner conflict, etc, etc, etc. Not saying that’s what Goyer had in mind, but it just flabbergasts me when I read that he and WB couldn’t agree on what would make a “cool Flash movie”.

    What the hell is there to disagree about?

  4. I think what Mark says is pretty close to true.

    Remember in “The Incredibles” where Dash is running around on the island and he realizes he’s running on water and he has this “Oh cool!” look on his face? THAT moment, THAT feeling, THAT is the core appeal of the Flash.

    I don’t know, but a guy who’s written all 3 Blade movies, “Dark City”, and “Batman Begins” might be coming at it from a different angle. But I wouldn’t worry. According to IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0333060/), Goyer’s hard at work on the “Captain America” and “Thor” screenplays.

  5. I don’t think we are going to see a Wonder Woman film for at least another ten years. It is sad I was so looking forward to see Wonder Woman on the big screen, too.

  6. I find it very easy to believe there’s a problem coming up with a unified vision of Wonder Woman when DC won’t even tell what’s reprinted in their upcoming “Greatest Wonder Woman Stories Ever Told” book. (Compare vague villain mentions at http://www.dccomics.com/comics/?cm=6979 with exact issues listed at http://www.dccomics.com/comics/?cm=5554)

    What’s the definitive version of Wonder Woman? The 40s original? The Perez run? The first season of the TV show?

    Honest question, and you need to be able to get to the core of the definitive version before you start making a movie.

    That said, its a little easier to point to 2 or 3 Flash runs as a starting point.

  7. Nat and Bryan are right. If you don’t know Cobie Smulders, you gotta watch some HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.

    As for getting a WOMAN to head up Wonder Woman, hell yeah. And get an ORPHAN to write Batman, and an ALIEN to write Superman, and a TEST PILOT to write Green Lantern…

    Will the woman hire a man to write the Steve Trevor lines and an ancient goddess to write Hera, or can we assume that at some point, being a good writer involves writing people well, rather than just those people with whom you share plumbing?

    Go out and find a good WRITER to write the thing and a good DIRECTOR to direct it, whose interests and abilities suit the material. If there are women who fit that bill, consider them, but why limit the field based on some category other than ability?

    If you’re choosing between Kathleen Kennedy and Ismail Merchant to work on WONDER WOMAN, by all means go with Kennedy. If you’re choosing between Nora Ephron and John McTiernan, though, go with McTiernan. Similarly, Kennedy might be right for Green Lantern, Merchant for Madame Bovary, Ephron for True Story Swear to God and McTiernan for Catwoman. But hire them for what’s in their heads, not their pants.

    Otherwise you’re off on the road to “Sorry, Dwayne McDuffie, but you can’t write FANTASTIC FOUR; we do have Luke Cage right here for you, though. And Gail Simone? We’re reassigning THE ATOM to Jim Lee to write; he’s short enough and has an epicanthic fold, after all.

    “Sadly, the BUGS BUNNY project is in turnaround; we can’t get any rabbits to commit…”

    kdb

  8. Wasn’t Aronosky’s Dark Knight going to have a jive talkin’ mechanic named Al to replace Alfred? and Smith’s script have a droid named rand el? If these are the versions the beat wanted to see then I could see why you hated the ones that were made. sometimes the ‘shoulda beens’ are romanticized because they sound so good together (Whedon on Wonder Woman, Aronosky on Batman), but rarely does it come together. I mean Dune directed by Lynch shoulda been good. right?

    also i’m no handsome magee, but is that the BEST photo of this actress they could find. at that angle it looks like she has a wonky eye. i’m sure she doesnt but y’know.

  9. I personally don’t think he really had Cobie on mind but its just another nod to the HIMYM group and the Whedon camp. (not that I don’t think Cobie’s a great choice cause she is)

    Besides of course Alyson Hannigan, there are Whedon players guest starring all over this show every chance they get. Waiting for both Whedon and Boreanaz to get calls in.

  10. While I think that Whedon would’ve done WW justice, I guess I should be happy that they’re not just trying to rush a movie out there. Then again Silver doesn’t have a history of being the easiest guy to work with. Too bad his movies keep making more money than God, thus ensuring his continued employment.

    As for Goyer, while I like some of his movies, let’s not forget Blade: Trinity.

    Incidentally, whoever mentioned the “running on water” moment of The Incredibles had it right. That’s the first time someone has actually acknowledged, in film, how cool it is to have superpowers (or at least done it well).

  11. Hey, Kurt…good points. I guess I hadn’t considered how silly it all gets if we follow that sentiment out to its logical ends.

    However, in the publicity game that’s big budget tentpost movies, I think a woman writer/director would be something that would bring some outside interest to the project. It’s obvious most “outsiders” don’t pay much attention to the Wonder Woman casting horse race, or which super villain will be chosen…but a woman helming a Wonder Woman film? Entertainment Weekly reporters will eat each others’ young to nab that cover story. Interviews on “The View”, double segments on “Entertainment Tonight”, etc.

    From a purely cynical PR standpoint, it’s worth considering.

  12. Nah, the first film to capture the “oh wow” aspect/moment of super speed would be Mike Jittlov’s Wizard of Speed and Time (OK, so it was sorta metacaptured in that the super-speed scenes are in the movie of which its being made is the overall plot of the actual film, but they’re mostly predated in the short film of the same name anyway).

  13. I usually like Whedon’s work… but if what I read about his scripts getting rid of all the iconic Wonder Woman stuff was true, then I’m glad he’s off it.

  14. “Nah, the first film to capture the “oh wow” aspect/moment of super speed would be Mike Jittlov’s Wizard of Speed and Time…”

    I also recall the (Eric Idol character’s) super-speed scenes in “Baron Munchausen” being pretty cool at the time (long before CGI-assisted effects).

  15. There was even a moment in the Flash TV series where he’s just learning he has super-speed powers and plows into the ocean while he’s trying to catch the bus. THAT was really funny and believable at the same time. Or remember in “The Matrix” when Neo is dodging bullets? That’s a classic Flash moment. And I remember the “Baron Munchausen” scenes too! I was grinning from ear to ear with the superspeed scenes.

  16. For anyone who’s not in on the joke, that “Robin Sparkles” video is not Cobie when she was a teen. That’s her portraying a teen. The video was created for a recent, and hilarious as usual, episode of How I Met Your Mother. That really is Cobie singing, BTW.

  17. “What the hell is there to disagree about?”

    When you’re dealing in hundreds of millions of dollars, everything becomes a potential point of contention. Seriously, it could have been anything where both parties refused to concede.

    “I don’t know, but a guy who’s written all 3 Blade movies, “Dark City”, and “Batman Begins” might be coming at it from a different angle.”

    I see your point, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of writing a movie where people smile occasionally and has sunlight. I love Dark City and Batman Begins, and I liked all 3 Blade movies. Yes, even Blade Trinity.

    “can we assume that at some point, being a good writer involves writing people well, rather than just those people with whom you share plumbing?”

    This is a great argument for that whole MINX debate. Excellent points by Mr. Busiek.

    “Smith’s script have a droid named rand el?”

    Looks like a joke to me. Randal-Rand El

    I enjoyed the Flash TV series.

    I have no interest in a Wonder Woman film. I was only interested in a new Joss Whedon film.

  18. On Friday, ICv2 passed along a Hollywood Reporter story that Silver and Warner Brothers just bought a Wonder Woman spec script from somebody else. Speculation a couple of days ago was that it was just to avoid potential litigation over Whedon’s script. Was that assumption premature?

  19. Phil said: ::I mean Dune directed by Lynch shoulda been good. right?::

    Actually – no. I was amazed Lynch’s DUNE turned out as well as it did since Lynch is, was and always has been a master miniaturist with a bunch of sometimes inspired, sometimes offputting psychosexual tics. While he might have hated the “Novel for Television” version of his movie, I thought it showed a grasp of epic sweep I honestly didn’t think he possessed.

    As for the subject at hand, I have no opinion as whether Whedon would be a great or abysmal choice to write & direct WONDER WOMAN – though honestly, I haven’t got a grip on what I think would be a great WONDER WOMAN movie. All I can think of is SKY CAPTAIN – only without the snarky dislikeable heroes, and with a modern-day answer to Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Make it what we all wanted SKY CAPTAIN to be based on the demo – the biggest, bestest Max Fleischer SUPERMAN cartoon ever, only with the snap of HIS GIRL FRIDAY in the acting and writing.

    Would it be a tentpole hit? Maybe not if you spent the $200 million plus that those movies seem to require these days – and had all the expectations and interference that go with it. But a mid-range major movie in the $40 – $60 million range ala THE MATRIX (the original one, not the two overblown sequels) might very well surpass all expectations and find an appreciative audience.

    Anyway, that’s my two cents,
    Tim Liebe
    Dreaded Spouse-Creature of Tamora Pierce
    – and co-writer of Marvel’s White Tiger comic