The Hollywood Reporter today brings word of two major shifts in direction for upcoming Warner Bros. feature films based on DC Comics properties. Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, has left Wonder Woman, while Night at the Museum helmer Shawn Levy has taken over for David S. Goyer as director of The Flash.
Writing on fan website www.whedonesque.com, Whedon says nobody at Warner Bros. or Silver Pictures liked his take on Wonder Woman. ‘Everybody knows how long I was taking, what a struggle that script was, and though I felt good about what I was coming up with, it was never gonna be a simple slam-dunk,’ he says. ‘I like to think it rolled around the rim a little bit, but others may have differing views.”
Whedon was reportedly paid between $2 million and $3 million to develop a screenplay for the film, which he was also supposed to direct. Last week, Warner Bros. execs bought a different Wonder Woman spec script from newcomers Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland, claiming they just wanted to get it off the market. Unlike Whedon’s treatment, which takes place in the present-day, Jennison and Strickland kept the story in the WWII context it was created in.
Though he’s through with the Amazon warrior, Whedon is still heavily involved with comics. He has taken over the writing of Marvel Comics’s teen superhero series Runaways and is overseeing new issues of Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He’s also writing and directing a thriller titled Goners for Universal Pictures.
With his Night at the Museum raking in more than $225 million domestically, Shawn Levy will cash in with his own superhero tentpole, taking on The Flash for producers Charles Roven and Alex Gartner. David S. Goyer, who directed Blade: Trinity and co-wrote Batman Begins, announced his departure from the project on Friday, noting that he, too, had trouble seeing eye-to-eye with Warner Bros. Like Batman Begins and Superman Returns, Goyer’s take on The Flash was apparently on the dark side and the studio wanted something a bit lighter, like 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four. Levy, who also directed the comedies Cheaper By the Dozen and the latest Pink Panther, plans to bring some levity to the new script.