It's no secret that superhero movies are everywhere. With three shared universes currently producing massive blockbusters, there is a new comic book adaptation every month or so. Director/Joss Whedon has had plenty of experience with the genre, helping to shape the first two phases of the MCU while also directing The Avengers and recently working on DC's Justice League. Before dipping his toes into those waters, he actually wrote a proposed script for a Wonder Woman movie back in 2006. A draft of Whedon's script was recently leaked, where critics accused it of being misogynistic. Whedon has now opened up about this response and the script itself, saying:
I don't know which parts people didn't like, but I went and reread the script after I heard there was a backlash. I think it's great. And people say that it's not woke enough. I think they're not looking at the big picture. It's easy to take one phrase out of context.
The phrase in question was regarding the leaked script's early scenes, which made it seem like Diana Prince was more of a supporting character. Quite a bit of emphasis was put on the role of Steve Trevor, which seems to be one of its biggest criticisms. Plus, Diana was portrayed as far less caring and somewhat arrogant, which is in stark juxtaposition to her typical characterization.
The timing of Joss Whedon's script leak couldn't have been worse, as it directly followed Patty Jenkins' triumphant go with the DCEU's Wonder Woman. Jenkins made her protagonist kind, strong, and complex, and Whedon's script paled in comparison to the cultural moment that surrounded Jenkins' blockbuster.
In his same conversation with Variety, Joss Whedon addressed criticisms that his script wasn't as empowering as the one used in Wonder Woman. As he tells it,
Not that I was the most woke individual who ever lived 10 years ago; but I was in there swinging. And the movie has integrity.
Of course, the entire concept of being "woke" wasn't one that was even present in the pop culture lexicon back in 2006. The last few years have seen major steps forward in the industry revolving around inclusion and diversity, and therefore it may be unfair to compare Joss Whedon's script with the one written by Allan Heinberg for the DCEU.
While Joss Whedon's script for Wonder Woman might not have been up to snuff, he's certainly a director who has written for strong female characters before. Whedon is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and he also created female-centric stories in his shows Firefly and Dollhouse. The Avengers finally allowed Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow to take center stage as well. These reasons are why he seemed like the perfect person to direct the DCEU's Batgirl movie, although he's since departed the project.
The next installment in the DCEU is James Wan's Aquaman on December 21, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.