Before Joss Whedon secured the financial futures of Disney executives for the next two centuries with the success of The Avengers, he was contracted by Warner Bros. to write and direct a Wonder Woman movie in the mid-aughts. Logically, the movie would have dealt with the character’s complex, and somewhat antiquated, origin story, as well as her romance with Steve Trevor. No actress was cast in the role, but Whedon has said in recent years that Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) was towards the top of his list to play the tiara-twirling heroine.
As enthusiastic as Whedon was about the movie, though, the suits at WB soon cooled on the idea, despite a script treatment being in place. The studio always had reservations about how much money an action movie starring a female lead could make, and despite her name recognition, Wonder Woman just couldn’t get over that hurdle.