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Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon - "Wonder Woman" Movie - No insistence on high-profile actress

Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith

Thursday 8 December 2005, by isa

Whedon won’t rush Wonder Woman search Although names including Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lopez have been bandied about in recent years to star in the long-anticipated big-screen "Wonder Woman," writer-producer Joss Whedon doubts he’ll use a big name for the part. The man who created the TV world of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel," among other accomplishments, tells us he’s wrapping up a draft of his "Wonder" script and expects to have it in early next year. But there will be no rushing of the project into production, no insistence on a high-profile actress.

"That was one of my stipulations," he says. "This is Wonder Woman we’re talking about here. Those are big booties to fill. You don’t do Wonder Woman because someone’s schedule has a free block." He adds, "That’s not to say I’m against famous people. Some of my best friends are famous people."

First on Whedon’s agenda is the Dec. 20 release of his "Serenity" feature on DVD. That’s the movie that picks up where his "Firefly" Fox TV series left off - and which fans are hoping will become a franchise. "Firefly," you may recall, was canceled before it completed a season, but DVD sales of the episodes were so big that the movie got the go-ahead. The special features on the "Serenity" DVD capture the behind-the-scenes drama. "This isn’t like a ’how-we-did-the-stunts’ feature. There’s a real story to the making of the movie," says Whedon.

FALL FROM GRACE: Scott Glenn admits he nearly turned down the chance to star as the late, famous Army football coach Earl "Red" Blaik in ESPN’s Saturday-premiering "Codebreakers: The West Point Scandal," about the 1951 Army football team cribbing disgrace. Glenn had just finished his run of Arthur Miller’s "Finishing the Picture" in Chicago, and "I was just going to take it easy. They kept pursuing me, making the deal sweeter, and then I read it and became fascinated with the character and the story."

Blaik, widely regarded as among the greatest college football coaches, really did believe, as he said, that "football is war," recounts Glenn. "He knew that as soon as these guys graduated, combat was going to be their next experience - guaranteed. They were going to go lead troops in Korea - and he believed he was preparing them for that ... the quarterback (Bob Blaik) was his son, and he had major high dreams for him." Bob Blaik was among more than 80 students forced to resign in the wake of the scandal.

Glenn says he asked about meeting Blaik’s son, "but he absolutely didn’t want to have anything to do with it. He didn’t try to block it or anything like that. He just apparently didn’t want to revisit a part of his life filled with so much pain."

NICE ICE, BABY: That was smart of Nicole Richie - to build into her book title the prospect of doing cross-promotional activities with a diamond jewelry designer. Not that that’s the reason her book is called "The Truth About Diamonds," but it does happen to work very well for Beverly Hills designer Judith Ripka to be hosting an exclusive party Tuesday for Richie at her boutique, where Ripka will also be showing off her new "18k Couture" collection of rare diamonds. On the invite list are such Nicole pals as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lindsay Lohan, Mischa Barton, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Kirsten Dunst, Selma Blair and other celebrities who can afford diamonds (but not ex-best friend Paris Hilton). Nicole is wearing an $18,000 Judith Ripka luxe ring with 18k gold and diamonds and a diamond tiara on her book’s cover.

WHOOPS: We misspelled Petrine Mitchum’s name earlier this week in our item about her book, "Hollywood Hoofbeats: Trails Blazed Across the Silver Screen."