Interview with Wonder Woman’s Gail Simone: Part 1

 
 

AE: Do you think we’ll ever get a [live action] Wonder Woman movie? When Joss Whedon’s
script was rejected and he left the project he said that the lack of studio
support was overwhelming, but WB said as late as last summer that the project
is active. Why are they so reluctant to put their weight behind a WW movie? And
what kind of story could a Wonder Woman movie tell that would make it better
than the Elektra and Catwoman debacles?
GS:
Wonder Woman could have a movie where she sits in a
chair eating peanut butter and it’d still be better than Catwoman and Elektra.

I honestly don’t worry about this stuff that much. But a good Wonder
Woman movie could be a massive hit. A little bit Top Gun, a
little bit Xena, a little bit 300 — and it’s not imitation.
Wonder Woman was doing all this stuff decades ago. It’s in the source material.

I spoke with Joss at a Warner Brothers party, and our key cards for the
hotel all had pictures of Wonder Woman on them. He said that every time he saw
his key card, it made him sad.

I got to work some on the Wonder Woman animated film and had a great time.
It’s a fine template for where a film about Diana could go, the spectacle that
it could be. There’s endless material there. A gorgeous, ass-kicking warrior
fighting hydras and dragons in downtown Washington DC? That’s eye-popping stuff,
potentially.

And then you have the themes of power and tolerance in there — that stuff isn’t corny to me, not at all.

AE: How do you think the animated Wonder Woman movie turned out, and
what do you think the movie says about feminism? My
take on it was that the movie really reflected very well
America‘s
current conflicted feelings towards feminism, but I’d love to hear your
perspective.

GS:
First, I have to compliment you, as the way you
phrased this question made me do an enormous spin on my perception of the
gender issues in the film, so thank you for that.

All right, here’s how I see it. I did the first two drafts of this film’s
screenplay and the basic plot and characters still reflect that. But as I’ve
said, I don’t write Wonder Woman as Man Vs. Woman. I just feel that Wonder
Woman would have settled that debate in her mind long ago with the universal
truth: that there’s good and bad in every group.

Seeing a woman as powerful as Wonder Woman debating things like guys opening
doors for women seems a little like it’s lowering her, that she’s stooping.

In short, the gender issue stuff in my drafts was more subtle and a little
more about miscommunication than outright hostility.

So when I finally saw the finished product, which I enjoyed tremendously,
the one sour note for me was the insertion of all this gender politics stuff.
At this point, I don’t feel it’s right or fair or even interesting for Diana to
mistrust men as a gender, in toto.

The feminist discussions they’re having felt very early 70′s to me, very
first wave. I think for most of America, that discussion is past. So I was a bit taken aback by that.

I’m friends with and a huge fan of animation genius Bruce Timm, and the
writer who did the final draft, Michael Jelenic, is just this extremely
talented, sincere, humble guy. I hadn’t met the director, Lauren Montgomery,
but she seems pretty wonderful, too.

They really wanted to do right by
Wonder Woman and I think they succeeded beautifully. It’s a cracking good
action story. But the man vs. woman stuff really baffled me on first showing.

Until I read your note, in fact. Now I’ve quite been rethinking the
gender stuff in the film.

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