About Wonder Woman, it really doesn't seem fair to lay all the blame on Whedon.
With Wonder Woman, was it an "agree to disagree" sort of situation?
I honestly don't know. I had a vision and they didn't seem to respond to the vision. I asked what it was that they wanted and Joel Silver said "I don't know." At first it was great, like "hey, they're letting me run with it." But then I figured out it was like "Firefly" – they were letting me run with it because they didn't like any
of it. There was really no feedback because nobody knew what it was I wasn't giving them. I asked them point blank, because I'm always adaptable and collaborative. It seemed like nothing landed with them at all. It was clear that was happening because they said "Instead of your next draft, just give us an outline." Give us an outline means "we don't want your next draft." An outline never reads well. I needed to do it anyway, because the plot was wonky. So I got the plot in shape, all the themes, all the moments, all the things that I knew would work… but they said "This isn't happening."
I deliberately scheduled a Goners
meeting right before talking to them because I knew what was coming. I came out of that Goners
meeting buzzed and it was then I realized that in a year and a half no one had ever asked me what Wonder Woman
was about. I realize that's not how you sell things, but it is how you make them. I think I get what they want, but at the end of the day what I did was commercial and gratifying so I can't really say what went wrong.
I know we'll never know all of the specifics of what went down, but it sure seems like WB is definitely at least partially to blame. They didn't seem to know what they wanted and didn't give him any real feedback.
Main two reasons I'm hopeful about Avengers:
1. Whedon's ability to tell interesting stories with a group/team of diverse characters in a sci-fi/fantasy setting, as well as his many years of experience with directing and special effects/action. While Serenity was definitely a smaller scale kind of movie than Avengers would be, it was an impressive accomplishment considering the relatively low budget and that it was his feature length debut. Over the course of his career his skills have really grown and he could well be ready for the big league now.
2. In contrast to WB during WW development, I think it's fair to say that Marvel Studios seem to have a better idea of what they want with these movies and seem more willing to actually work with Joss. If this situation was even remotely like it was with WB, I can't believe that Joss would have signed on.
There's always a chance that things could go wrong here somehow, but I have good reason to be hopeful.