Joss Whedon is coming under fire on social media for a leaked ‘Wonder Woman’ script he allegedly began writing in late 2005, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The script first appeared on Indieground Films in May and many believe it is genuine because of the Silver Pictures, watermark, 2006 date, and snappy dialogue that matches Whedon’s signature style, The Daily Dot reports. It had drawn vitriol at the time, which died down but resurged this week after a Twitter thread ripping into it went viral.
Raye Sashayed (@_sashayed) shared what she considered the worst parts of the script and summed up that it was "gut-deep bad, angry and depressing," especially in light of how well received Jenkins’s "Wonder Woman" has been.
"To say she is beautiful is almost to miss the point. She is elemental, as natural and wild as the luminous flora surrounding. Her dark hair waterfalls to her shoulders in soft arcs and curls. Her body is curvaceous, but taut as a drawn bow. She wears burnished metal bracelets on both wrists, wide and intricately detailed. Her shift is of another era; we'd call it ancient Greek. She is barefoot," states the script's introduction to the character.
Whedon has admitted in the past he pictured Angelina Jolie while writing his version of "Wonder Woman."
The script also features an awfully racist and stereotypical portrayal of a "gangster"-type villain, has Diana sexy-dance to distract male villains and has multiple characters refer to Diana as a "bitch" and "whore."
It also has Steve deliver this incredibly fun and empowering line, "You’re not a hero, Diana. You’re a fucking tourist." Whee!
For Whedon, a self-proclaimed champion of women in media, the negativity isn't new. He is a polarizing figure with as many critics as he has supporters.
An entire Tumblr blog, Joss Whedon Is Not A Feminist, serves to showcase what it considers examples of the the director’s misogyny. Whedon has also been criticized for his depiction of Marvel’s Black Widow in "Avengers: Age of Ultron," where he seemingly equates being infertile with being a monster, and reduces what was a strong female character to the role of love interest for the Hulk. Others believe he fired actress Charisma Carpenter without warning from his show "Angel" because she dared to become pregnant.
More generally, many of the criticisms levelled at Whedon simply point out that while "Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s" portrayal of women was groundbreaking in the 1990s, Whedon’s feminism is now out of date and one-note, often focusing on thin white women who are physically strong but emotionally weak.
"I wish he hadn’t turned, in 20 years, from the man who wanted to see the blonde girl in the horror movie survive and thrive into the rich bastard who thought it was funny to call Natasha Romanoff a cunt on IMAX and who called her a monster for being the victim of medical abuse," one Tumblr post sums up.
Whedon’s feminism is now seen as out of date and one-note, often focusing on thin white women who are physically strong but emotionally weak.
Patty Jenkin’s 2017 film, meanwhile, isn’t without its own criticisms. Several outlets have complained the film only serves to empower white women and lacks intersectionality. Others have criticized the fact that while it is directed by a woman, it’s written by men, and all of its producers are men except Deborah Snyder — wife of fellow producer Zack.
For Whedon's part, the writer-director has been very supportive of the final "Wonder Woman" film. The "Buffy" creator has described the film as a "goddamn delight" and hit back at critics of several women-only screenings.
The re-emergence of Whedon’s script on the heels of Jenkins’s "Wonder Woman" has served as a reminder of what the blockbuster could have looked like if Warner Brothers hadn’t decided to take a chance on Jenkins.
Many fans have expressed concerns about Whedon, who is signed on to direct a "Batgirl" film for Warner Brothers, which many worry will have similar tones to the leaked script.
Hopefully Whedon finds a way to pull his feminism out of the ‘90s in time for his newest superhero ventures.
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