Oct 4 2010 2:47pm

Weekend Movie Items: Mary-Jane is Stone, Tim Burton Hunts & Wonder Woman is Dead

As you may or may not have heard, from this past weekend:

—In July, the new Spider-Man movie has found its Peter Parker in Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go) and now it has reportedly found its Mary-Jane Watson, too. Emma Stone (Superbad, Zombieland, Easy A) will be officially offered the part soon.

The role of Gwen Stacy, Parker’s other notable love interest, is still up for grabs; as with Garfield and Stone, the producers and director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) are looking for soon-to-be stars rather than established names. The reboot of the Spider-Man franchise begins production this December.

Since, more than any number of other notable comics franchises, Spider-Man is a tale featuring young characters, now that the ancient (35 years old!) Tobey Maguire has now been replaced, it stands to reason that the similarly rickety (28!) Kirsten Dunst be replaced as well. While Stone, the new Mary-Jane, has a few more years of youth remaining at 21, the clock is ticking on Garfield (who is only a year younger than the antiquated Dunst).

—The book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, from author Seth Grahame-Smith (author of the similarly inspired Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), has been acquired by 20th Century Fox for a film adaptation, to be produced by the estimable Tim Burton, and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted). The novel’s plot concerns president Lincoln’s bloody quest for vengeance against the slave-owning vampires who killed his mother. Burton and Bekmambetov intend to make the movie in 3D, so we have that to look forward to.

—And, last, some news that sadly hammers the final nail in the already-dead Joss Whedon big-screen adaptation of Wonder Woman, it was reported last Friday that TV producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal) is working on an episodic version of the beloved comic. While Whedon had abandoned the attempt to make his own movie some time ago, the fact of a television version of the tale surely obviates a Whedon Wonder Woman completely. Alas.

Danny Bowes is a playwright, filmmaker and blogger. He is also a contributor to and

1 comment
Michael S. Schiffer
1. Michael S. Schiffer
There's arguably a problem with a Wonder Woman movie, at least in the context of the current formula for good superhero movies: it's a lot harder to pin down the iconic elements of the character than it is for Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Superman, etc. The basic look, accessories, and origin, sure. But taking the character to her roots runs into potentially controversial elements of William Moulton Marston's original. (The domination and bondage were easily-missed subtext in the 1940s, but wouldn't be so today, and would be hard to use with the original's light touch without becoming self-parody.)

The best-known version, the Lynda Carter TV series, is too campy to support a big action movie. (A problem Batman once had, but by the time Tim Burton revived him on the big screen things like Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" had some public recognition.) And the most critically successful version of the character, the 80s Perez revamp, is more dramatic than iconic.

Which suggests that a TV series might be the best option for the last, actually. Themiscyran princess Diana as ambassador to Man's World would probably benefit from the long form, and Wonder Woman's powers mostly don't demand huge budgets except when you're doing the season-ending blowout against Ares or something. (An emphasis on the Greek mythology end of things might also be a good way to attract Percy Jackson's YA audience.)

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