The current trend in Hollywood is superheroes and that doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. Major studios release these films on a regular basis, particularly in the summer months. Beginning with Captain America: The Winter Solider, summer 2014 will also bring us The Amazing Spiderman 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a great time to be a Disney exec. because all of these films are properties of Marvel. With Warner Bros. pushing the Man of Steel sequel to a 2016 release date, they want to fit as many eggs into a single basket as possible by introducing characters to a potential DC cinematic universe. They’re doing so by casting the likes of Lex Luthor, Batman and — most importantly– Wonder Woman.
I personally believe that this is a great idea as it’s the most ideal way of testing the waters with Warner Bros. vision of the super heroine before giving her a 2-3 hour feature film. Wonder Woman has long been a character stuck in the deepest part of development hell. Even Joss Whedon, a writer prolific in writing strong leading females failed bringing her to the big screen. Therefore, it only makes sense that the studio execs. would want to be given the chance to shape the character further to viewers’ tastes before pumping millions into her own undoubtedly very expensive adventure.
This blog entry has little to do with her appearance in the tentatively titled film “Batman vs. Superman”. I have little doubt that her appearance will be only a minor impact on the plot and story of the film. What it really has to do with is the direction I believe the film should take to make a superb film that would make Wonder Woman and actress Gal Gadot stand tall against the male-dominated superhero movie scene.
Plain and simple, I believe the film should follow (not adapt, follow) George Perez’s 1985 reboot of Wonder Woman titled “Gods and Mortals”. His reboot of the character stands tall amongst other necessary DC reboots, behind Frank Miller’s Batman and on par with Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern. In it, he removed the misogynistic and otherwise ridiculous aspects that plagued the character such as being frequently bonded, dominated and spanked by her opponents. Even better, he removed her ridiculous position as secretary to the Justice Society of America which she had been appointed simply because she was the only female member of the team. He replaced these unappealing aesthetics with a deeper, more fleshed-out origin story.
This origin story was further steeped in Greek mythology. In it, we see the young daughter of Hippolyta rise to become champion of Themyscira, home to the Amazons, a race of mighty female warriors. Instead of fighting the Nazi regime she instead tries to counteract the corrupting influence of the God of War, Ares. Her role in the world outside of Themyscira is a mission of peace. In the meantime, she must wrestle with being a servant to the gods and their nefarious ways as well as being a celebrity in an imperfect world that is in stark contrast to the one she is from.
There are many ways that a Wonder Woman film can go, but this path has several things going for it. Ever since Peter Jackson brought Tolkein’s world of Middle-Earth to life, fantasy has become a genre that can be enjoyed on the big screen and on television. Game of Thrones is making headlines with every episode, the third Hobbit film is due for release this Winter and major film studios are making desperate attempts to make successful franchises out of the genre with the likes of 300: Rise of an Empire and Percy Jackson. A comic book film starring one of the most famous super heroines of all time as she fights an evil Greek god beside her Amazonian sisters wearing shields & swords while adjusting to an imperfect world where Superman lives? That sounds like a cash cow to me, one that Warner Bros. can certainly milk several times over.
Additionally, and not just for the reasons outlined above, this film will stand out amongst the other major comic book film releases. Contrasting Wondy’s classical heritage with the modern world underlines the most unique aspect of her character. She is an emissary of peace, a socially-conscious diplomat who doesn’t just fight evil like any and all of the Avengers or even her Justice League allies. She tries to stop it from happening in the first place. I think that could send out a great message to today’s disillusioned moviegoers.
While this is just my opinion on where I believe Warner Bros. and the creative team should take Wonder Woman in terms of story, I’d like one careful consideration put into thought. Wonder Woman is not just a fictional character. She is also a poster woman for feminism, a leader who stands strong in a male-dominated medium. Black Widow is the only other character of each company’s roster who looks like she might get her own feature film. By making Wonder Woman a smash hit critically and commercially, we might see more female-driven action films where Katniss Everdeen isn’t one of the only leading heroines girls can look up to.
Thanks for reading, please leave your thoughts in the comments and I’ll reply ASAP!