March 18, 2005

How to (and not) make a great superhero flick


Six months ago, I assumed that The Fantastic Four movie could rank up there with the Spider-Man series and X2, while Wonder Woman would obviously have more in common with the post-Burton, pre-Nolan Batmans.

After this and now — holy shit — this, I'm confidently predicting exactly the opposite.

Of course, a lot depends on getting the right star. The names being thrown around are:
Charisma Carpenter — I doubt Joss wants to work with her again so soon.
Sarah Michelle Gellar —I doubt Joss wants to work with her again ever.
Michelle Rodriguez — I suspect the studio will want bigger star power for this one. I know the trend right now is to use B-listers or unknowns and let the character/effects/story carry the film, but I think that works better for ensembles and male leads. They're gonna want a famous (or at least recognizable) face on the WW posters.
Kim Basinger — ...but not your mom's face.
Jessica Biel — See Michelle Rodriguez, though I think Biel might be better for the role.
Sandra Bullock — Not seriously in the running anymore, but it's worth noting that if she was ever America's Sweetheart, that was largely Joss's doing.

Despite my suspicions about star power, I would be surprised if Joss doesn't at least make a spirited attempt to sell the studio on either of two Buffy alumnae who he definitely wants to work with again, and who'd be perfect for the role: Eliza Dushku or, better yet, Emma Caulfield.

Update: Matt (in the comments) is right. I missed the perfect Joss contract player for the role: Firefly's Morena Baccarin.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


In terms of looks (though it's uncertain if she can carry through the ass-kicking), the logical Whedonverse pick would be Morena Baccarin, who, IMHO, looks far more "Wonder Woman"-y than do Caulfield and Dushku.

Ooh. Good point. I like that Caulfield is not in the physical mold of what we expect Wonder Woman to look like, yet can do equal parts ass-kicking, vulnerable and funny. But yet, Morena is pretty perfect.

Out of that list, I'd definitely go with Biel. Michelle Rodriguez strikes me as a little too tough for the role.

As for Fantastic Four, why have someone as hot as Jessica Alba play a character who's invisible most of the time? Plus, The Incredibles did such a good job at ripping off the Fantastic Four chracters (substitute super-speed for flame) that this will have to pale in comparison.

Um, wouldn't the best outcome here be the studio orders Whedon to set the movie underwater, with monkeys or insists upon the casting of Angelina Jolie, and he quits in disgust and spends his time on something that's not Wonderwoman?

Maybe I'll be proved wrong, but I'm not a believe that any combination of talent can make a Wonderwoman movie that's good. I don't hate superheroes in general, but it's Wonderwoman.


(substitute super-speed for flame)

Jesse - get the Incredibles DVD and watch the short "Jack-Jack Attack." Nuff said.

I think Charisma Carpenter was actually fired from Angel for a drug problem. That was one of the rumors she denied, at any rate.

How about Halle Berry? Doesn't anyone want a black Wonder Woman?

As Warren Ellis said, casting will be a long, difficult process.


I loved the Fantastic Four when I was a kid, but god, that trailer makes the movie look AWFUL.

I would be psyched if Eliza Dushku got tapped to play Wonder Woman, but I guess she's a long shot...

"I think Charisma Carpenter was actually fired from Angel for a drug problem. That was one of the rumors she denied, at any rate."

Kinda doubt it. I think it was basically the nature of Angel's character, can't bone anyone he loves, etc., that once they'd gone with the arc of putting Cordelia and him together, they didn't have anywhere to go with it.

Rehashing them trying to not be together/be together was pretty much done to death on Buffy and was the whole reason Angel got his own show. She stayed around for quite awhile after that point with the whole season 4 plotline for someone who had to be shoved out the door because she was a smackheap.

If that was the case, I think they'd have killed her off suddenly, for the shock value, re: Doyle in Season 1. That dude did apparently have a problem with pharmacueticals, but who knows if that's why his character was killed off.


Because I'm a geek, I listened to the Whedom commentary on the Angel premier episode (or maybe I read an interview? anyway...) and he said that Doyle had been planned to only be in the show for the first nine episodes, and that by putting him in the opening credits as a regular, it really shocked the audience when he died. No one, apparently, expects people whose faces & real names are in the credit sequence to get killed ...

Snay -- interesting, except that with Joss, that's now exactly what we expect, as it's becoming a well-known gimmick of his. He wanted to do it with Jesse in the 1st ep. of Buffy and then he did add Tara on the ep where she gets killed (I'm pretty sure that's right. Might have been some other character?)

yeah, tara sucked though.

she was ugly and most likely the daughter of some Jewish producer.

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