AJ Mendez is already a New York Times bestselling author for her 2017 memoir Crazy Is My Superpower. The woman WWE fans knew as Raw General Manager & Divas champion AJ Lee has parlayed that success into a larger megaphone for her work as a mental health & animal adoption advocate, and work scripting licensed comic books like GLOW and Dungeon & Dragons for IDW Publishing with her writing partner Aimee Garcia.
Recently, Mendez has landed two high-profile gigs that should continue to make her an even bigger name in writing circles.
It was revealed last month that AJ is one of the many creators helping DC Comics celebrate Wonder Woman’s 80th Anniversary. Mendez will team with artist Ming Doyle for a story in the first issue of a Wonder Woman: Black & Gold anthology mini-series. DC says the duo’s tale will “travel to Themyscira for a tense family reunion”.
The $4.99 comic hits shelves on June 22.
Yesterday (April 20), an even bigger project was announced. Hollywood likes to hype things in well advance of confirmation they’ll ever actually happed – a planned television show about AJ’s book has been in development for more than three years now, for example – but this is still pretty freaking exciting.
47 Ronin is an eight year old flick that starred Keanu Reeves. A fictionalized version of a real 18th century story about a group of dishonored samurai who avenge their master, the movie lost money for Universal. Variety called it one of “Hollywood’s biggest box office bombs of 2013”.
But since then Reeves’ career was rejuvenated by the John Wick franchise, and two of 47 Ronin’s creators (Chris Morgan and Walter Hamada) have helped shepherd the Fast & Furious movies to even greater heights since it came out…, well, in 2021, content and corporate intellectual property are both valued above all else. So 47 Ronin is being given another chance – and Mendez & Garcia are among the beneficiaries.
Veteran TV director and stunt choreographies Ron Yuan is attached to direct what sounds like a bit of a departure from the first film, since Garcia mentions it includes “cyber-punk” elements in her quote to Deadline. AJ indicates that won’t be the only change to the sequel:
“As creators of color, we’re honored to be part of a modern, multicultural story with powerful female leads.”
I’m down for a gender-swapped 47 Ronin remix set in a Blade Runner-esque future.
Let us know if you are, and if you think Mendez will eventually be known primarily as a writer as opposed to a former wrestler (or some Punk’s wife), in the comments below.