Wednesday, 30 March 2005

Superheroes Coming to a Theatre Near You

It seems obvious to me that Hollywood is going through another cycle of superhero movies. Last year saw the release of Hellboy and Spider-Man II. This year will see the release of Batman Begins and The Fantastic Four. Next year will see the release of Superman Returns. And, believe it or not, more superheroes might make it to theatres.

Wonder Woman has been around since 1941, but she never has made it to the big screen. She has apparently held more appeal for the television industry than movie makers. William Dozier (producer of the Sixties Batman TV show) produced a pilot for a comedy featuring the Amazing Amazon. With regards to cartoons, she appeared on the various Superfriends cartoons of the Seventies, as well as a guest appearance on The Brady Kids (don't ask...). More recently she has been a regular on the Cartoon Network's Justice League cartoons. Of course, there was also the Seventies live action TV show featuring Lynda Carter in the role. But there has never been a major motion picture featuring Wonder Woman. Now it seems that there may well be. Warner Brothers has signed Joss Whedon (creator of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly) to write and direct a Wonder Woman feature film. Whedon has yet to determine the setting for the script. There has also been no one cast in the role of Wonder Woman yet. Rumours have had Jessica Biel, Charisma Carpenter, Eliza Dukshu, Rosario Dawson, and even Kim Basinger considered for the part.

My own thoughts on a Wonder Woman movie is that it should be set during World War II and remain somewhat loyal to creator William Moulton Marston's conception of the character. I have always thought Wonder Woman seemed out of place in modern times--she is just too much a product of the World War II era. Indeed, I think the TV show featuring Lynda Carter went way down hill when it moved to CBS and a 1970s setting. As to the casting, I favour either Charisma Carpenter or Eliza Dukshu. Definitely a brunette should be cast in the role. That pretty much leaves Kim Basinger out, who may well be too old for the part anyhow (I always pictured Wonder Woman has being twentyish).

To read more on the story go to Yahoo News.

In other news, it seems The Flash might make it to the big screen, too. Warner Brothers has signed David Goyer to write and direct a Flash feature film. Goyer has written such films as Dark City, the Blade movies and this summer's Batman Begins. Fittingly, he has also written comic books, most notably JSA (the current Justice Society of America title, in which the original Flash is a featured character).

Like Wonder Woman, The Flash is not a new character. The original, Golden Age Flash first appeared in 1939. Unfortunately, superheroes declined in popularity in the late Forties and The Flash's titles were cancelled or changed to different formats (Westerns, funny animals). He would make his last appearance for a nearly a decade in 1951, in the pages of All Star Comics (the original Justice Society of America title). In 1956 National Periodical Publications revived the "Flash" name with a new character, complete with a new costume and new secret identity. The first appearance of this Flash is generally accepted as the beginning of the Silver Age of comic books. And it was in the pages of the Silver Age Flash's magazine that the Golden Age Flash would reappear. The Silver Age Flash died in 1986 saving the world, where upon his sidekick, The Kid Flash, then became the newest Flash.

Also like Wonder Woman, The Flash has never appeared in a major motion picture. He appeared in the later seasons of the Superfriends cartoons. And he has been a regular on Cartoon Network's Justice League cartoons. During the 1990-1991 TV season there was a TV series based on the Silver Age Flash featuring John Wesley Shipp in the role.

For more on this story, go to E Online.

Beyond reading that David Goyer has been signed to direct and write The Flash movie, I have not heard anything else. I don't know which incarnation of The Flash will be featured in the film and I guess its possible that all three could. That having been said, I suspect that it will be based on the Silver Age Flash, who is admittedly the most famous of the three. While I am a fan of the Golden Age Flash, I can't say I would be displeased whichever Flash is featured. I love all of them.

At any rate, provided both movies are well done, I look forward to both of them. I was never a big fan of Wonder Woman (although I hate to admit I watched the Lynda Carter series regularly--hey, I was going through puberty...), but I can see how a feature film done properly could be interesting. As to The Flash, I've been a fan of all three incarnations of the character. A movie featuring any of them would be a movie I would go see. Now if they can only get a Green Lantern movie off the ground...

6 comments:

Pop Culturist said...

Glad to know about another Mayazaki fan.
I like your blog, very cool.
I dont know who the actresses are that you suggested would be great to star as Wonder Woman on the big screen.
Unfortunately, the studios will most likely pick a high profile actress/star to play the part in order to make them feel good about financing it. Names like Kristen Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Duff, Jessica Alba, Anna Paquin, comes to mind.

Pop Culturist said...

Glad to know about another Mayazaki fan.
I like your blog, very cool.
I dont know who the actresses are that you suggested would be great to star as Wonder Woman on the big screen.
Unfortunately, the studios will most likely pick a high profile actress/star to play the part in order to make them feel good about financing it. Names like Kristen Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Duff, Jessica Alba, Anna Paquin, comes to mind.

Pop Culturist said...

Glad to know about another Mayazaki fan.
I like your blog, very cool.
I dont know who the actresses are that you suggested would be great to star as Wonder Woman on the big screen.
Unfortunately, the studios will most likely pick a high profile actress/star to play the part in order to make them feel good about financing it. Names like Kristen Dunst, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Duff, Jessica Alba, Anna Paquin, comes to mind.

Mercurie said...

Thanks for your comments on the blog! anyhow, as to the actress that have been suggested to play Wonder Woman, Charisma Carpenter played Cordelia on both Buffy... and Angel. Eliza Dukshu played Faith on Buffy... and currently stars in Tru Calling on Fox. Both have then worked with Joss Whedon. I suspect you may be right, that soemone like Kirsten Dunst or Sarah Michelle Gellar will be cast in the role, although personally I am wondering if they shouldn't look for an unknown, as they did with the Superman movies in the Seventies (Christopher Reeve not being a big name at the time.)

sirbarrett said...

Speaking of comic book heros that are showing up on the screen. I heard over a year ago that they were making a movie of "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I haven't heard anything since though. It was a great book and I could see it as being an amazing movie but I wonder where it is or why I haven't seen previews.

Mercurie said...

I'd heard about a possible Watchmen movie over a year ago as well. I haven't heard any more on it. I do know that V For Vendetta is supposed to be headed for the big screen.