CATEGORIES Action, Warner Brothers, RumorMonger, DIY/Filmmaking, Newsstand, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Movie News, CinematicalLast month, Nicolas Winding Refn teased the world in a BBC interview when he mentioned he'd like to direct Wonder Woman. Was he serious? Was he making some kind of "Oh please, big Hollywood, never!" joke? No one knew. But finally someone was able to ask him. Movieline caught up with Refn, who assured all of geekdom that he was entirely serious, and that he hopes DC Comics will call him. Frankly, so do I.
Refn (Bronson, Valhalla Rising, the Pusher trilogy) is fairly tight-lipped as to what his plot would be (no need to spill all your ideas to who might be listening), and he acknowledges many of the same character problems Joss Whedon did -- Wonder Woman has a great origin story, but not a very good rogue's gallery of villains. Refn's enthusiasm for the project extends to creating a new villain. "You have to create a great counter-villain to her. They tried in Catwoman - with not particularly good results. The trick with Wonder Woman is to find that antagonist who worked so well in the Batman concept - his villains are equally if not more exciting than Batman himself. Here, it's basically coming up with who would be a great counterpart to Wonder Woman. Is it her mother who's the real enemy? Something that's biblical in a sense." Sounds like he's been reading Jodi Picoult's run!
He also thinks the conflict would also be a simple and ancient one: the battle of the sexes. "The whole idea of a woman who is basically more powerful than any man - and who will always be that, and comes from a society of women who are more powerful than men - is an interesting theme that I think can be very contemporary."
It's also one that's bound to be controversial, since Wonder Woman will be required to fight, and possibly suffer an assault herself. Refn is coy as to whether his new villain would be male or female, but he's aware of the fine line Hollywood walks between embracing and denouncing female violence. Perhaps I'm reading too hard between the lines, but I get the impression he's perfectly comfortable with Wonder Woman being a warrior who can roll with the punches. He seems faintly amused by the idea that Wonder Woman should float through a film untouched by a bad guy or girl. This is exactly how Wonder Woman needs to be handled. She's fearless and she's a goddess, but she can't be untouchable just because she's a female. The Amazons don't believe that, and audiences shouldn't either. And if she fights her mother? Well, that would be cool and quite mythological -- and possibly easier for audiences to stomach since she would be fighting another woman. We have to start the mainstream out early on the idea of warrior women.
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros, please give Refn a call. It's the least you can do after losing Joss Whedon. While everyone's namedropping Christopher Nolan's sensibility, Refn actually seems to understand what's at the heart of it.