Joss Whedon has tackled ghastly aliens and dastardly vampires. So, why not work on something Wonder-ful?

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind has officially lassoed the writing and directing job on Warner Bros.' big-screen version of Wonder Woman, the studio announced Thursday.

"We are excited about working with Joss," Warner Bros. Pictures President Jeff Robinov said in a statement. "He brings great energy and creativity to the process."

Added Whedon: "Wonder Woman is the most iconic female heroine of our time, but in a way, no one has met her yet. What I love most about icons is finding out what's behind them, exploring the price of their power."

Whedon has a thing for iconic female hero types, considering he dreamed up kick-ass vampire nemesis Buffy and helped write the script for Alien: Resurrection, featuring the E.T.-battling Sigourney Weaver.

The live-action Wonder Woman will be produced by Leonard Goldberg and Joel Silver, the Hollywood mogul responsible for setting up the The Matrix trilogy at Warner Bros.

"When Joel and I began discussing the character, I realized there is a woman behind the legend who is very fascinating, very uncompromising and in her own way almost vulnerable," says Whedon. "She's someone who doesn't belong in this world, and since everyone I know feels that way about themselves, the character clicked for me."

Created by DC Comics' Charles Moulon during World War II, Wonder Woman was the first female super to score her own comic book. Wonder Woman is the alter ego of Amazon princess Diana, who lives on the uncharted Paradise Island. When a pilot named Steve Trevor crashes nearby, Diana rescues him. Upon learning of the battle with the Nazis, Diana returns with Trevor to help topple Hitler.

She derives her superhuman strength from a magic belt, can deflect bullets with her bracelets, uses her tiara like a boomerang and has a golden lariat that forces people to tell the truth. She also flies around in an invisible plane.

The original comic was set in the 1940s, as was the first season of the Lynda Carter-starring TV series in 1976. In the subsequent two season, however, the show was updated to the present day.

Whedon is still trying to work out the details of his script, including the setting and how to make Wonder Woman palatable to movie-going audiences that generally don't dig female superheroes (Catwoman and Elektra, anyone?).

It's not the first time Warner Bros. has attempted to resurrect Wonder Woman. Six years ago, the studio put out a nationwide casting call for a statuesque beauty to fill the spangled bustier in a TV remake, but that project was eventually shelved due to script problems.

No word yet on who'll play Whedon's leading lady Diana, but the Internet rumor mill has been churning out names like Rosario Dawson, Jessica Biel, Buffy vets Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku, and even Kim Basinger, for an older, wiser Wonder Women.

Warners didn't announce a timetable for the new Wonder Woman. Whedon, meanwhile, recently wrapped Serenity, a Universal feature based on his short-lived small-screen series Firefly that's due out in September.

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