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She Has No Head! – The Problem With Wonder Woman

The problem with Wonder Woman?wonder woman full

Let’s cut to the chase, there isn’t one.

Unless it’s lack of balls…and you can take that either way you like. That she can’t catch a break because she doesn’t have literal balls like her male counterparts or because DC/WB/Hollywood/Whoever Is Really In Charge of These Things don’t have the metaphorical balls to simply make her damn movie.

And why not? Frozen and Catching Fire are blowing the doors off at the box office and nobody cares that they have female leads. They just care that they’re damn good movies. Smart movies. Movies that respect their characters and their audiences. And in the case of Catching Fire a movie that is vehemently faithful to its source material.

But we still somehow live in a world where “whoever is in charge of these things” thinks the best way to introduce Wonder Woman to the world is as a bit part in Superman/Batman.

And listen, I’ll grant you that there’s a ton we still don’t know, for example:

Question: How big will Wonder Woman’s part be in Superman/Batman?

General Answer: We have no idea.

My Answer: Anything short of her name being the name of the movie is less than we deserve.

Question: Will it even be called Superman/Batman or Superman vs. Batman or some variation on that?

General Answer: We don’t know, though it seems likely considering the way it was introduced at SDCC 2013.

My Answer: See my previous answer. If it’s not called Wonder Woman it’s not the place for Wonder Woman to debut.

Question: What if this movie turns into Justice League, not Superman/Batman? Is that better?

General Answer: That’s unlikely (let us not forget this image from SDCC 2013 – seems like they just would have broken out the Justice League Logo were that going to be the case). But sure, it could happen and it’s slightly better.

My Answer: See my previous answers. If it’s not called Wonder Woman, it’s not how Wonder Woman should first appear. Is Wonder Woman debuting in Justice League better than her debuting in Superman/Batman? Yes, definitely, but only slightly, it still doesn’t solve any of our problems.

Question: What are our problems?wonder woman med

My Answer: That ultimately the people in charge of these things have no respect for Wonder Woman and no confidence in her power.

Question: But Black Widow debuted this way – and you yourself said how smart that was – building her up – setting her up for a movie. Why is this different?

My Answer: Black Widow isn’t Wonder Woman. Full Stop. Wait, not full stop, I want to elaborate. Black Widow simply isn’t (wasn’t?) known to mainstream audiences the way Wonder Woman is — little girls don’t wear Black Widow underoos. There aren’t tons of cartoons starring her, and birthday party plates with her face plastered on them, toys for every age. Black Widow doesn’t (usually or for long) have her own comic book. Black Widow hasn’t been around for more than 70 years. She needed that slower introduction to the world at large. Wonder Woman needs no such thing, and it’s insulting that those in charge think she does.

It’s doubly insulting that Green Lantern (nothing against the guy but he’s not a part of the DC Trinity) got a movie before Wonder Woman and that Flash probably will too. And that Marvel is managing to get a talking superhero raccoon on screen before Wonder Woman is just like rubbing salt in the wounds.

There’s nothing tricky or problematic about Wonder Woman and neither should there be anything tricky or problematic about getting her story on film, at least not trickier than her male superhero counterparts. Add to all of this that it’s endlessly frustrating that everyone feels like if “whoever is in charge” doesn’t get it right the first time out of the gate with a Wonder Woman movie then not only is Wonder Woman sunk, but superheroines everywhere are sunk.

Bull. Superman and Batman get seemingly infinite tries. So does The Hulk. And Wolverine. Lady superheroes are no different and it would be great if box office successes like Catching Fire and Frozen could help these people understand that the audience cares far less about the gender of the hero they’re watching and far MORE that it’s actually a good film. As I (and many others) have said so many times before – Catwoman and Elektra are failures not because they star women, but because they are shitty movies.

But I’ve said all this before. So have others. Why the post?

Well, last week the world split open and ate itself (or something) with the announcement of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the “sequel to Man of Steel” otherwise known as a movie maybe called Superman vs. Batman (depending on who you ask, it’s possible that nobody really knows, except maybe Batman, because, well, that dude knows everything).

Anyway, like everyone else and their grandmother and three most distant cousins, I wanted to write about this development. But I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to say about it, especially since I knew dozens of better columns would be written well before I got my shot at it.

And then on Thursday I finally got a chance to see Catching Fire and everything I wanted to say snapped into focus. Wonder Woman through the lens of a brave new Catching Fire-world.

Catching Fire - Katniss and Peeta

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. The casting. Personally, I’m fine with it. Is it who I would have ideally cast? No. That list has ranged from Gemma Arterton and Jennifer Lawrence (more on the latter later) to Gina Torres and Morena Baccarin (both probably considered to old to be cast as a Wonder Woman that has to anchor a franchise, and fair enough, time, she is a bitch).

As for the body shaming. Seriously, people? I can’t believe I even have to address this, but since I do let me first shame you in all caps. SHAME. There. This shouldn’t ever even have to be discussed, but since the internet is the WORST. NEIGHBORHOOD. EVER, let’s start with the fact that actors transform for roles all the time. We all know this. Let’s not act like idiots that have never seen movies before (along with douchebags that think it’s okay to shame how women look). I hope they WILL transform Gadot as my personal version of Wonder Woman is super buff (and taller than just about everyone, including Superman) but technically Diana is magically strong so she doesn’t HAVE to be buff. I’ll be super sad if she’s not, I’ll feel “they” have made the wrong decision, but I won’t be terribly surprised.

Also, Gadot is 5’9” if IMDB can be believed, which is reasonably tall for a woman, and more than reasonably tall for an actress (and the same height as Jamie Alexander) so that’s pretty acceptable, it’s not as if they went out and cast someone 5’2”. Besides, if Diana is going to be the tall Amazonian badass she SHOULD be (which I doubt they will bother with, unfortunately) they were going to have to do that with effects anyway. There are VERY few actresses over 6 feet tall out there. And we want a good actress more than we want someone who just “looks the part,” right?

So moving away from ridiculous body shaming, is the concern about Gadot’s experience. I get it. I get why people are freaked out by it. It suggests to many a lack of respect for Diana that she gets someone who has mostly played a sexy ingénue side character in a cotton candy action franchise while other roles are cast with big time stars and sometimes Oscar winners. But there is also a great precedent for  unusual casting choices (Ledger, Keaton) and relative unknowns (Reeve) wowing us on screen. I try my best (though I sometimes fail <cough>Affleck<cough>) not to back-seat drive when it comes to casting. We aren’t in the room. We can’t really know. Maybe she absolutely killed the auditions?

Catching Fire - Finnick Still

Sam Claflin as Finnick in Catching Fire

And this is another place where we can relate casting directly back to “things we have learned from Catching Fire.” Hunger Games fans were LIVID at the casting of Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair. Fans had a point that Jesse Williams would have been a perfect Finnick, and so that felt like a missed opportunity, especially given the race issues surrounding the casting process for Hunger Games. A cast like Williams probably would have gone a long way toward mending the hurt there. But after seeing Catching Fire? Claflin was exceptional as Finnick. He was simply wonderful, he was that character perfectly realized in human form. It’s hard to imagine anyone doing it better.

The moral of the story is, it’s REALLY hard to backseat drive on these things, and better for us all that we don’t, or that we at least try to remain reasonable and somewhat open-minded.

More to the point with Wonder Woman, in my opinion, is it’s pretty hard to cast an Oscar winning or A-List actress for a bit part in a movie headlined by two male superheroes. I’m sure Gadot has been signed on for the potential “3 picture deal” – likely including this movie, a Justice League movie, and a possible Wonder Woman movie – but that’s a whole lot of uncertainty. If I’m an A-list actress I would definitely consider stepping on the landmine that Wonder Woman COULD be if there’s already a great script and director attached. You know how I won’t touch that role? As a supporting character in two big movies in which I am not the star and with a potential movie in five or six (or more!) years that has no script and no director. Yeah, I’m not touching that for ALL the money. Could they have gotten someone “smaller” than say a Jennifer Lawrence and “bigger” than a Gal Gadot, I’m sure they could have, but again, we’re not in the audition. Maybe Gadot really was the best there was at what she did (Wolveriiiinnnnnne!)

So, yeah, if you don’t want Gadot as your Wonder Woman, that’s fair, but you should probably be pissed about more important things than the idea that they “cast the wrong actress” – you should be pissed that Wonder Woman will first be appearing on the silver screen in the hands of Zack Snyder a director not known for his “fine work with female characters” and that they’re tossing her into Superman/Batman as a supporting role, rather than letting Wonder Woman be Wonder Woman in her own film. It’s honestly something that should have happened a couple years ago, but there’s certainly no excuse for that movie not being in the works now, considering the current climate.

When it comes to thinking about directors and what an impact they make, Catching Fire again leads the conversation. Just look at Hunger Games vs. Catching Fire or as I like to call it, “what a difference a director makes!” Hunger Games was an okay movie, I liked it. It was a decent adaptation too. But it’s not a movie I wanted to see multiple times, not one I was going to opt to buy on Blu-ray. I just saw Catching Fire last Thursday and every single day since I have thought about going back to watch it again. It will be an instant buy on Blu-ray.

Jennifer Lawrence - Katniss - Catching Fire

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss in Catching Fire

The big change to this film? New director and since the previous director also wrote the first film, new writers as well. And what a difference it has made. While Gary Ross did a reasonable job with Hunger Games, the biggest lack for me as a reader and viewer was a missing emotional component. Despite Jennifer Lawrence’s very strong acting chops, and a solid performance, the script, and the way the movie eventually came together did not capitalize on those emotions that are so powerful in the book. By contrast, director Francis Lawrence was able to highlight those incredible emotional beats in the second book, turning the movie and its heroine into an incredibly complex and layered woman. I’m not a big crier (though more so now in my 30’s than in my 20’s) and I cried like five times in Catching Fire. Not open sobbing or anything (it’s not that kind of movie) but that kind of “oh my god, there are tears leaking out of my goddman eyes” kind of crying. It happened over and over again because director Lawrence knew just how to pitch the emotional roller coaster that is Catching Fire and he coaxed a particularly magnificent performance out of his actors, most especially, Jennifer Lawrence.

As a writer, I obviously like to think that writers mean a lot, that they make a difference. But in filmmaking, at the end of the day, the director is king. And Zack Snyder has a terrible history with female characters. While I enjoy his Dawn of the Dead remake, everything else of his I’ve seen (300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, and Man of Steel) have problematic female characters that are frequently fetishized and rarely feel remotely real.

That’s a problem in any scenario, but it’s particularly a problem for a character like Wonder Woman that already comes with a fair amount of fetish, and is frequently called things like “too perfect” “unrelatable” and “cold.” There was a time (before I fell in love with her) that I felt some of those things too. There’s a lot of false perception surrounding Wonder Woman, and her best bet to be compelling on film is in the hands of a director who has proven that he can make characters (including women) human and relatable, emotional and real, powerful and heroic. Not one with Snyder’s track record. To be honest, Sucker Punch alone should serve as a instant veto when thinking of putting the words Wonder Woman and Zack Snyder together in a sentence. But I won’t drone on about this, smarter people (and those who know far more about directing/filmaking) than I do have written better pieces. Go forth and read those.

Wonder Woman-Catching Fire

And here we are back where we started. Why isn’t the first movie we’re seeing Wonder Woman in, called WONDER WOMAN? It’s just plain wrongheaded and backwards thinking. There are a ton of people online that are trying to see the glass half full, and I’m glad they can do that, more power to them. But I am WEARY. ALL CAPS WEARY. I’m weary of having to say things like “AT LEAST” when I utter a sentence that refers to Wonder Woman. “Well, at least she’s finally going to be on the big screen.” “At least this means she’ll be in a Justice League movie.” “At least this means maybe someday we’ll get a movie.” (not true!) “At least she’s unlikely to be left on the cutting room floor after such a big deal has been made of all this.”

BULLSHIT. All of it.

There’s not a good goddamn reason we don’t have a Wonder Woman movie in production RIGHT NOW.

Sure there’s risk. There is ALWAYS risk. Movies are incredibly expensive and incredibly complex productions, and producers/studios/everyone loves it when you can minimize that risk. But Wonder Woman flyingputting together a good film that happens to be called Wonder Woman is less risky than ever, and movies like Catching Fire and Frozen just further highlight the BOATLOADS OF CASH that Warners are leaving at the table. They could have gotten there first – since they have one of the most iconic, recognizable, and powerful female protagonists in the world at their fingertips – but they were afraid. They could have blazed new trails and they didn’t. Now the best we’ll be able to get is a great movie that happens because a whole bunch of other people got their first and proved it could be done.

But honestly? I’ll take that. Any Wonder Woman fan will.

But the fans aren’t the problem. We were always going to show up to Wonder Woman. It’s the much larger mainstream audience that is gorging on (and will eventually O.D. on) superhero movies right now. That perfect storm is not going to last (hell, you can make an argument that it’s already peaked). The time for a Wonder Woman movie is now. Not five years down the road, not ten.

NOW.

And it ain’t as a guest star in a movie called Superman/Batman by a director who has a long history of trouble delivering powerful female characters to the screen.

133 Comments

One thing I would very much approve of is if they designed WW’s filmic look very similar to this one done by Anka.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/prev_img.php?pid=2098&disp=ilib&oty=1&oid=49575

The split-kilt thing, the armoured feel, the sandals, the bindings… just speaks of preparation and martial fitness.

And, as to the body shaming thing, although I did (do?) have some concerns as to whether Ms Gadot will be able to embody WW’s raw physicality, as you said, actors bulk up and slim down all the time. In fact they should look at that Anka pic, combined with some female body-building type stuff, to see how toned and powerful LEGS make anyone (though particularly women) seem taller and generally more impressive. So much power comes from the legs after all.

I can agree that there should have been a Wonder Woman movie. Heck, it pissed me off when some moron movie executives made it too difficult for Joss Whedon to do his version, but, what can you do?
Still, I have hope for Gal Godot’s performance. For one, who cares if she’s not a big name star? If superhero movies have shown us anything, you do not need a big name star. The SUPERHERO is the big name, so just get a competent actor in there. Second, I like the fact that they picked an Israeli actress, because I’ve always been of the opinion that Wonder Woman should be played by a foriegn actress. She’s Greek, after all, and probably comes from a country where English is a second language. I’ve heard a rumor that this means the movie company is trying to go for an United Nations kind of feel with the Justice League, but, you know, Wonder Woman being foriegn is fine with me. Finally, can we wait until the movie comes out before we hate it?

I’m getting kinda tired of everyone saying Frozen is doing great despite its female lead.
its a kids movie, they generally do well unless in competition with other kids movies…regardless of plot, characters, or quality.

I suspect another element of Warner’s introducing Wonder Woman in World’s Finest: The Movie (they’re not calling it that, but dagnabbit, that’s what it is) is the fact that they’re trying to run before they can walk with this whole series. They don’t want to spend the time building their universe and their cast the way Marvel did, they just want to skip to the big team-up movie and collect their billion dollars. It’s cargo-cult thinking, which pretty well sums up a lot of the approach to the DC characters these days, across all media.

And yes, also they’re sexist idiots. But we knew that already.

It would be nice if they introduced WW before any team-ups. The obvious answer would for them to go down the Captain America route and have Diana first arriving on the scene during WWII. They could have focused on what makes her tick and not have to worry a bit about conflicting with the larger DC world. But now what will we have? Diana just showing up for the battle. In a way that’s how Justice League comics introduced her to the fans in the New 52.

What are you referring to regarding body shaming? Because hollywood only casting women of a certain body type, even when a role might demand otherwise, is body shaming as well. Everything else in your article is right on.

I got to say I was surprised by the amount of negativity that the casting of WW got. From men and women. Especially all the comments that were basically saying “shes too small,shes not curvy enough” The fanboy criticism isnt that shocking,Its what Fanboys do. But from the Fangirls. Like i said i was surprised.

Well said! Audiences want these kinds of movies outright. The brand recognition Wonder Woman has if done right could blow that wide open easily to dominate too. Only Black Widow, X-23, Ms./Captain Marvel, Black Cat, and a few others have that same strength behind them to do it too.
So right now it’s a question of who will get to it first.
DC/WB, Marvel/Disney, Fox/Marvel, or Sony/Marvel.

Why isn’t the first movie we see Wonder Woman in called WONDER WOMAN?
I think they’re just chickens. They insanely made a bad Green Lantern movie first (thinking it would be Iron Man) when they really should have done WW and now they think anything not starring Batman or Superman won’t sell. I was personally really hoping this summer would see a Wonder Woman movie for 2016 announcement but…
Out of curiousity how would people feel if they called the film Trinity? I know they won’t but is that better or worse than Justice League or World’s Finest?

Having long ago abandoned all hope in regards to cinematic adaptations of the comix, I’ll just say I’m wildly more excited by the upcoming (WHEN!) graphic novel by Morrison and Paquette than I am for Zack Snyder’s next movie. I mean…come on. Focus! In the meantime I’m enjoying the old Moulton comics, which are so weird. They’d be great source material by a filmmaker smart enough to translate for a modern audience. But that’ll never happen.

You make a lot of good points in the article.
I just had a question about “deserving”. Why do we deserve a Wonder Woman movie? You never make this point – though perhaps you have elsewhere and I’m forgetting/missed it.
The argument you make is much more about the reasons why Wonder Woman should warrant her own movie.
But not why we deserve it. Perhaps it was a poor word choice. But it undermines your overall argument. The first part especially, which smacks of entitlement – “X isn’t good enough, we deserve Y”. And I hate to get pedantic, but it takes something away.
Certainly, there should be a Wonder Woman movie. She’s a fantastic character, and in the right hands it could be a brilliant movie. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we deserve it.

Also, I don’t know who the family in the picture next to my name is. If there’s someone else named Steve who posts here regularly and I somehow stole the picture of, my apologies.

This is the strangest thing to be angry about.

Concur with @Steve. Word choice has come up before in your prior comments on a WW movie, and I forget how it was resolved.

It may very well be that Wonder Woman is a fantastic character with a deep back story that could translate very well to a film with the right casting, direction, and writing. You might say that the market is “ripe” for a WW solo film. But there’s nothing “owed.” You can’t, for example, sue DC/Warner with your cause of action being the unjust failure to produce a Wonder Woman film. (Nor do I think you would.)

Look, I get that you’re passionate about seeing a quality WW movie on the big screen, but I think your arguments in here go a bit too far. At this point, I think the only practical solutions are (and I’m being completely serious here):

1) Get into an executive meeting at Warner Brothers’ film department and lay out a practical case for a WW solo movie. This article may have the best argument in the world for a WW movie, but I’d be surprised if anyone important at WB will ever read it.

2) Start buying stock in WB. A lot of it. Convince your friends to do the same. When you reach a majority share, use your sway as a stockholder to push for a WW film. Because WB’s clients are its stockholders, not you or me or anyone else in the public.

3) Accept that despite your passion, Wonder Woman is not owned by you or anyone other than Time/Warner/DC (and I think the Marston estate still has some control over her). Move on. You’ve got your own product in “The Girl Who Would Be King” and you must have had passion for that since you cared enough to publish it. Consider shopping your own story to film studios–how cool would it be to have your own product turned into a film before WW gets one?

As an endnote, I’ll again point out (as I did in some other CBR thread) that WW’s film debut will be in The Lego Movie in February, not in any live action Batman/Superman film. And I’m cool with that, as TLM looks awesome. For pity’s sake, Colbie Smulders is voicing her.

I assume that the simple reason we haven’t had a Wonder Womanfilm is due to market research by the studios. I can’t think of too many people outside of comics that are genuinely interested in WW. If you stick a questionnaire in front of someone with a list of DC heroes on it they’re going to pifk Superman and Batman again over Wonder Woman.
Green Lantern was a costly mistake by the studios, believing that a popular comic book would also be a popular film. It was a disaster of epic proportions
They’re not going to do that again
Seems to me the studios are taking a safe approach and testing the waters with WW, seeing how popular she is inthe new film before pushing for a solo film. That seems like a smart approach.At least she will be up onscreen. It may lead to a solo film.

I have to disagree. While Wonder Woman has brand recognition, she doesn’t have CHARACTER recognition. Introducing her in a Superman/Batman flick is inspired. A Wonder Woman movie can springboard off of that.

Now, I’m not saying a Wonder Woman movie wouldn’t work without this, but it’s a huge risk, and after Green Lantern, it’s understandable why they’d be hesitant.

Anyone looking for a WW movie should go watch the animated one WB did a few years ago. Maybe they should adopt something like that for live-action, but I’d be more likely to see something based on Azzarello’s first arc.

There are three basic problems with a Wonder Woman movie and none of them has anything to do with the character.

First, there is the Baby Boomer problem. Like all of pop culture, the perceptions of comic properties are shaped to an unhealthy degree by folks born between 1945 and 1965. Therefore, comics produced between about 1957 and 1977 form the baseline perception of the industry. Unfortunately, DC Comics had its most creative periods either well before, or well after, that time frame. Wonder Woman, like most of the core DC characters, has her roots in the Golden Age. She was fresh and new in the era of Big Band music and Rosie the Riveter. From the point of view of ’57-’77 era, she is eternally “unhip”. Worse, her best creative period was after the corporately enabled Perez reboot (or the 1980s) and, therefore, not creatively “important”.

Second, is that Wonder Woman headlined a relatively feminist DC Universe at a time when relative feminism was a commercial liability. The early direct market (1972-85) was a boys club and defining titles of that period really hammered the closed nature of early fandom home. I can both enjoy the groovy age of horror comics and realize its limited roles for female characters. The early DM saw a decreasing number of female headlined titles that was capped by WW herself dying at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths. That has resulted in a perceived problem with the “softness” of the DCU that has been over-corrected in the last couple decades.

Third, Wonder Woman has never had a full-blown “back-to-basics” revival, partly because of the Comic Code and the lingering prudishness it has engendered. We no longer live in an era when female bisexuality, or light bondage, are shocking. In the context of basic cable sitcom, they would barely be noteworthy. The in-jokes in the Marston-Peters WW were way ahead of their time. Most Gold and Silver Age characters work best when their original intent is put into a modern framework. Batman as grim avenger of the the night is the most famous example, but Byrne took Superman “back-to-basics” and essentially saved the franchise. Audiences don’t change that much. Characters that become “tricky” are generally not embracing what made them popular in the first place.

My hope with the new DC Entertainment was that folks outside geek culture would audit the DC Comics assets and realize the great (non-Batman) stuff that they own. Wonder Woman as the fifth lead in (essentially) Batman 8 sort of dashes those hopes.

myth about amazon woman, this came too.
” Amazons came to represent barbarous foreigners; indeed depictions of Amazons on pottery in this period are shown actually dressed in Persian costume. Public buildings and their accompanying sculpture were, without doubt, an important method of mass communication and depictions of heroes fighting Amazons reminded ordinary people that the political leaders had successfully defended Greek culture against the threat of foreign, and in Greek eyes less civilized, invaders. ”
Europe was really punitive to woman. they were hardly nice
http://www.ancient.eu.com/amazon/
Black Widow, X-23, Ms./Captain Marvel, Black Cat don’t have popularity enough they are minor characters and will fail like elektra movie(Daredevil)
movie? really? they have no idea how to do it

I wish to holler “emperor’s new clothes” every time somebody talks about the “DC trinity”. This so-called trinity only exists in the minds of DC’s marketing department. DC is Batman and Superman. Wonder Woman doesn’t even come in a distant third — that position currently belongs to Green Lantern.

It would be nice, it would be politically correct, if Wonder Woman had anywhere near the stature and selling power of Batman and Superman, but it ain’t so. Wonder Woman is no more important to DC than Flash or Green Lantern. There is no Trinity.

Regarding the height issue; Gwendoline Christie of Game of Thrones. ‘Nuff said.

@ Jake Earlewine:

You are both right and wrong.

The DC marketing department definitely came up with the “Trinity” idea and it really is more of a “Big Five” with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash forming the core of the JLA and, therefore, the core of the DC superhero line.

With that said, the “trinity” concept is not political correctness. It is a reference to those three characters being continuously published as A-listers from the Golden Age onward. Through all the ups and downs of the comics market, there has always been enough of an audience to keep those three characters going. It is something that is justly celebrated.

Bernard the Poet

December 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Okay, now imagine you are a studio executive at Warner Bros. You have the power to green-light a Wonder Woman movie. It will probably cost around $100m to $200m, and won’t make a profit until ticket sales reach $400m. If it is a flop, you will lose your job. Now be honest, is this really the horse you would back?

Bear in mind, the last two Superman films have underperformed at the box office and Wonder Woman’s story is even quirkier. She is a peaceful warrior, a half-naked feminist and a democracy-loving princess. She is Greek, but wears the Stars and Stripes.

The filmmakers could try and play the film for camp – if they are lucky they might have another Flash Gordon (which flopped) or if they are unlucky and it could turn out to be the next Brenda Starr (which wasn’t even released). If you take the Christopher Nolan route and try and play it straight then the character internal contradictions will have to be jettisoned and you will be left with another warrior woman movie.

Either way, if it was my job on the line. I wouldn’t make a Wonder Woman film.

@Bernard: Well, in my opinion all those figures are off, you can do it for 100m (or even a bit less depending on your script etc – hell Catching Fire is only 130m and that’s an ensemble cast and HUGE worldbuilding) and you don’t need to Box Office gross anywhere near 400m (if MoS is any indication – i.e. 225m est budget and 291m BO Gross US).

But yeah, I think this post (and most other post I’ve written in my life) makes it pretty damn clear Wonder Woman would be the first movie I would make if given that power. I would have NO PROBLEM having that be my legacy, in large part because I would focus on making a GREAT film, not on a lot of the stuff you’re focused on in your post. But I also don’t agree with you that WW’s story is “quirkier” than Superman and I said as much in my post (hell, I said as much in the first two lines).

Righteous article, Kelly Thompson. It did feel a little self-entitled, and I have to agree with Bernard the Poet. Most studio execs aren’t here to pander to the audience – they must devise moneymaking machines for their companies. So each big budgeted film is a risk, even with reliable brand names with built in audiences.

However I also think the problem isn’t the cowards in the studio or the misogyny of the filmmakers. It’s Wonder Woman herself – the character.

In the comics, she has been all over the map, character-wise.
* simple Golden Age heroine that fought the axis forced in WWII
* the silver age WW that tried going “hip” with 60s fashion and fight Chinese agents.
* the Bronze Age WW, exemplified by Lynda Carter
* the post Crisis WW that became an ambassador of the Amazons
* the contemporary WW that’s smack dab in a modern world full of assimilated mythical beings from Greek and Roman mythology.

These fragmented aspects hardly shape up to an unique and interesting individual because they’re at best analogues of Superman or some other male hero.

If they want to make a consistent and original WW they should ignore the superhero trappings and go full bore with the Amazon origins, then drop her in the middle of our current world. She should be a swaggering barbarian who loves life, and cannot imagine being trapped in the limiting roles our patriarchal society puts on women. No lame ass alteregos. None of that. Make her a bigger badder Xena, but with all the amazing abilities of the superheroine character. That will be a fantastic starting block to go with.

Wonder Woman is basically Thor with a lady instead of a dude. Except more popular. She should have at least two movies by now. If I were a Time Warner shareholder, I’d be pissed that they couldn’t shit gold with their DC properties like Disney can with Marvel.

What really weirds me out about the announcement is that Time Warner just wasted their biggest trump, against Marvel Studios: from a purely financial point of view, they need to exploit their opponent’s weak points. and in a world where Iron Man can beat the crap out of both Supes and Bats at the box office, having the world’s most recognizable female superhero was their last trump. From a brand management standpoint, getting a female starring superhero out movie would be the best way to exploit Marvel’s biggest and most commonly cited flaw. And they decide to throw that away and introduce Wonder Woman in a MOS sequel centered on (apparently) Superman fighting Batman.

I’m pretty sure Feige must have greenlit a Carol Danvers (a character with no brand recognition outside the comics realm) starring Captain Marvel movie after hearing this news simply because Time Warner basically dared him to.

oh, and the whole ” Wonder Woman is a tricky character” thingy? “There are no bad characters, only bad writers”

IDK, if she has a problem, I’d say it’s her villains. Pretty much all but one or two are kind of bland to even comic fans, let alone the larger intended film audience that WB would be trying to draw into a possible WOnder Woman film. I think this is more than just my personal taste, too – I mean, name a Wonder Woman villain that either wasn’t on the Super Friends or isn’t Ares. Exactly.

HOWEVER, a lot of this can be made up for in the translation to film. Find a cool visual and narrative angle for Cheetah or Giganta (I think Giganta has some major film potential just for the visual she provides as a 50-stories tall giant smashing the shit out of stuff), and get some of that across in the trailer.

Other than that, the problems I see with her are much more my personal issues. Number one, I think pretty much all of her costumes are bland. Next, I think her origin story doesn’t provide to much to work with for a film and seems kind of hokey no matter how much it gets updated to be more contemporary; Wonder Woman is a character who’s angle in a Hollywood style film should be that she’s a bad-ass butt-kicker (in order to have the widest appeal for an audience and thus have a better chance of getting greenlighted), so you should be doing everything possible to stay away from hokey.

Once again, though, these are problems that a good director and/or screenwriter can overcome, I just think they’re bigger issues for Wonder Woman than they would be for Batman or Superman. While I do think the Flash would be easier to translate to film Wonder Woman (and why I’m not shocked he probably will beat Wonder Woman to the silver screen; he’s got better rogues and his costume has worked for so long that its pretty much never changed since Carmine Infantino designed it, no matter what medium it’s shown up in), the fact that Green Lantern got a movie before either of them is depressing, considering that movie only exists because Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern run was so popular at the time (and WB pretty much admitted to this when they had him write the screenplay).

*easier to translate to film THAN Wonder Woman

@Bernard:

You just described the economics of the first Thor movie and, in terms of a character, that is closest comparable to Wonder Woman.

Let’s be honest, it is pretty clearly a Warner Bros problem at this point. If the DC properties were able to be sold into the open market, the Wonder Woman AND Shazam! would have gone into production, like, 15 minutes after the FIRST Thor film opened. WB owns by far the largest catalog of adaptable superhero/comics properties left unexploited. They just cannot seem to make any of them (other than Batman and kinda Superman) work as movies.

The job of a studio boss to make giant bets on properties that have pre-awareness and goodwill. What unadapted, non-DC owned superhero-ish property is left that you’d rather bet $150 million on than Wonder Woman? Dr. Strange, maybe? Invincible?

While I’m not exactly thrilled with the casting of Godot, I readily admit that my concerns are built mostly on Guilt by Association. However an actor can’t always pick where she breaks in, so I probably shouldn’t hold her current franchise against her.

Of larger concern is the writing/directing, because an actor is at the mercy of whatever words are put in their mouth and how they’re allowed to get those words out of their mouth. To any doubters, look no farther than George Lucas. Under his direction, Natalie Portman looked vapid, Sammy L. banal and Ewan McGregor uninspired. Not even Liam Neeson could escape the event horizon of Lucas’ directions.

As to Snyder, looking over his films, I can’t help but think he’s a little Frank Miller-esque. And I never mean that as a compliment. If you want flashy, action-heavy machismo, Snyder’s your guy. You want nuance and depth, look elsewhere. (As an aside, after hearing and reading so many claims of Sucker Punch being a work of Staggering Feminist Genius, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who thought it was anything but.) That said, a perverse part of me hopes Godot’s Diana shoves some random guy out of her way with a surly, “Outta my way, sperm bank!”

My biggest question is: What point will Wonder Woman serve in this movie? Yes, I get that this is probably little more than a ‘backdoor’ intro to a possible solo movie, which is not only unnecessary but more than slightly insulting, but I mean from a plot perspective. Is Diana just there to play peacemaker for Bats and Supey’s playground brawl? (Are they even fighting to begin with? I just saw the ‘vs.’ in the ‘title’ and presumed.) Is she there to get wailed on by the villain until the stars arrive? Or is she in only because the new WB exec said he wanted more Diana? I just don’t see any impetus for her in this movie. What’s worse, I’m not sure I care why she’s appearing. Sure, I hope Godot does a fantastic job and spins the character out into her own movies, but on the other hand, Diana shouldn’t be put through such paces to get a film to begin with. She has a rare pedigree among comic characters, holding a steady place in the public consciousness since the 40s. Even ignoring all social/feminist issues, why skimp on the blindingly obvious marketing potential? I mean someone was dumb enough to try and cash in on Battleship. And Dukes of Hazard. And Aeon Flux. Yet Diana is left in perpetual limbo?

Whatever the case, until the movie drops, we’re all just stuck Waiting for Godot. (Contrivity is the soul of wit!)

You know, I keep seeing all these criticisms of a Wonder Woman movie not being feasible because the public wouldn’t get it, the character is too difficult, etc., etc.

The funny thing is, you can apply that to ANY superhero/comics-based movie. Including the successful ones. Like BLADE. Or IRON MAN. Or THOR. Or, hell, almost any of the successful Marvel movies. Those films didn’t succeed because people already knew the back story. They succeeded because they were fun movies and people liked them. You know that they can keep what works and jettison the rest, right?

It doesn’t really have very much to do with accurately depicting Wonder Woman as conceived in the comics at all. You just have to give the non-comics people enough that they’ll recognize her, and make a good movie that they’ll enjoy. The AVENGERS movie had very little to do with the Avengers comics– hell, it owed more to the Ultimates than the actual Avengers– but it was close enough that fans were okay with it, and it was fun.

My issue isn’t that WW deserves a movie ‘of her own’ first or that it’s overcrowding a film that’s already crowded to start with… it’s that after seeing MAN OF STEEL, I feel reasonably certain this is not a movie I’m going to like. It’s not just going to be incompatible with what I look for in superheroes, it’ll be incompatible with what I look for in a movie that’s supposed to be fun. I object to this ongoing… I guess you could call it the “Nolan-ification” of the DC characters in the movies. For God’s sake, as far as I’m concerned ARROW is a lighter and more entertaining DC Comics-based film adaptation than MAN OF STEEL, and so that tells me further superhero movies from the team that made Joyless Superman are not going to be for me.

i agree with almost everything you say in this article, but I’m a little bit more hopeful. My idea of a perfect scenario is that Warner is just waiting for the right moment, like maybe one of the cons next year, to announce a Wonder Woman movie, and the casting for the Supes-vs-Bats movie is just going to be a tease for that movie like Marvel has done with their credits scenes. Yes, I realize that if this were the way they chose to go about it they should probably be making sure that the casting wasn’t revealed this far in advance, but until proven otherwise I’m going to pretend that this is the first step in making a movie headlined by Wonder Woman.

Sorry, but there is a problem with Wonder Woman, and I am not sure it is a healable one either. While DC by all means should emphasize their female characters more, the best way of doing that would be by letting go of WW entirely.

She has a lot of problems as a character, most of those being aggravated in the transition to live screen. It worked with Lynda Carter in the 1970s to a limited extent, but those were more innocent times. It would not and IMO will not work now.

As for her perks, none of them quite justifies choosing her as a movie lead either. A few of them I don’t think truly exist either.

– She has been proven an enduring property: this one I challenge outright. Wonder Woman was only truly succesful in the Golden Age, for reasons that are as gone as the Golden Age itself. Ever since the 1950s she seems to be in perpetual lack of purpose, and most of the time of commercial success as well. The character is nearly always either being reinvented or just plain being mediocre. She would probably have been cancelled a long time ago were it not for the huge appeal in merchandise.

– She is the archetypical example of a strong female, a feminist icon even: really? She looks more like the prototype of objetification of females to me, particularly given how often she has been using thongs since the Deodato run in the 1990s. And I am afraid that this is one of the main reasons why she survived for so long, too. Historically, most of WW stories were terrible, but many of those 1950s and 1960s stories under Robert Kanigher were terrible specifically because they had so little respect for women generally and WW specifically. I fear Kelly would be utterly disappointed if she learned how popular WW is for her character as opposed to her cheesecake.

– And on that note, she is all but unworkable in a movie. Batman is challenge enough, but Wonder Woman is in a lose-lose situation. People complain when her costume even has pants, yet her usual costume is that of a male fantasy. A _disrespectful_, or at least very personal, male fantasy. It looks goofy in anyone but a woman with a perfect body, thus reinforcing the idea that a woman is worth the appearance of her naked body and nothing more. It is also very unforgiving, disallowing even a hint of gaining any weight or losing any muscles. It is very objectfying indeed. Great for private parties, not so much for superheroing, and certainly not for live action except in very specific (and short term) situations.

I could go on about her power levels or the plot difficulties of the character, but those end up being less relevant considerations for live action projects.

DC (or Warner) should let go of Wonder Woman, or at least of any live action projects with her, and focus on Batwoman, Big Barda, Batgirl / Oracle (now this is a nice TV series or movie series idea if I ever saw one), Supergirl or even Superwoman instead. I would go with Batwoman, personally. While the character is derivative, so is most of DC these days, and there is enough independency in it to allow for a fresh approach. It is probably best to keep the movies and comics fairly separate anyway.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

December 10, 2013 at 1:55 am

A few thoughts:

– Basically all of the arguments made in the comments here are exactly the same ones people used to make about all the Marvel movies, Thor and Iron Man in particular. Such gigantic flops those turned out to be…

– “Oroboros” claims that Wonder Woman is unfilmable because her character has changed over the years. As opposed to Batman, then?

– The folks at Warner probably are wary of new DC properties because of Green Lantern. However, Green Lantern largely failed because Ryan Reynolds is immensely unlikable as a leading man. (Only partly joking here…)

-Man of Steel was the best movie Zack Snyder ever made. This is not high praise.

I’m with you, Kelly, but you know that. :} I find it curious how people will still argue about WW’s original backstory as though 1. It hasn’t been expanded on, changed, or shifted since then 2. adaptations from one medium to another don’t necessitate alterations that streamline the story for film. There’s actually no reason all the bondage stuff has to be in any movie adaptation, it hasn’t been especially relevant to her current characterization for a long time now. It’s weird that people will insist on WW’s backstory having to include every element or retcon in the comics if made into a film…when no one would suggest that for Bats or Supes. WW has changed as a character, she’s had at least 2 or 3 different creation stories at this point, and she’s actually quite easy to place in a modern setting since she was ahead of her time when her story began.

I just had a conversation with Phil Jimenez about this and basically: someone should hire him to write a WW movie right now. It would be compelling, nuanced, with a great focus on character, none of the “coldness” some people insist she has, and all the respect the character has earned. AND it would be interesting to a wide audience because it would be FUN. All it requires is a writer who cares about the character and a director who knows how to make that work on film. I’m sorry, but so far, Snyder is not that guy. He makes great trailers and very stylish action. His character work is, at best, shallow. Dawn of the Dead is great because James Gunn wrote it and with Snyder’s more restrained style at the time, combined to make a film where you actually care about what’s going on. It’s kind of a perfect example of how to quickly get character across in a minimal amount of time. But Gunn deserves a lot of credit there, and it’s one reason why I’m looking forward to his Guardians film.

At the end of the day, if you don’t make the character the priority, you’ll end up with a hollow film. And there’s this little problem when films with female leads don’t perform well: people leap to the conclusion it’s because of the female lead factor, not the myriad other things that contribute to a film going bust.

I mean, if MoS has tanked no one would have said it’s because male led films are too complicated or the character can’t be portrayed on film. If that was the case, they wouldn’t have rebooted after the Singer version so soon. I know MoS was successful, but I’m just not sure how sustainable that is if what they want is a franchise with multi-tiers, which I’m guessing everyone since Avengers does. Maybe it can do the 3 film thing, maybe it can’t. At this point it’s clear Marvel has made an incredibly expansive universe work and with a lot of characters who are nowhere near as iconic as WW in their own films. Thor is no less “complicated” than WW, complete with mythological elements, and I’d say he was even less recognizable to a general filmgoing audience than WW due to having none of the licensing appeal WW has had for decades. People within comics forget the power of WW being a visible character outside the industry for a long time now. The general audience does not need to know her entire history to watch a movie about her. In fact, your average person doesn’t care. You know who cares about seeing that character on screen in an engaging way? Little girls. And it’s not like we don’t have ample evidence that if girls support something, it can be hugely successful. So, honestly, there’s really no excuse that doesn’t boil down to: they don’t feel like putting in the effort.

Are there any guarantees with film? No. They are all risks. It may seem like MoS was a “safe” bet, but it wasn’t really. Hell, Thor was an enormous risk. Worked out just fine. It’s easy to get too myopic and think the original comics version of WW is the one a mass audience is familiar with. It’s not. So there’s actually a lot of room to make a compelling, engaging, awesome film with her without any baggage. You just have to want to.

Bernard the Poet

December 10, 2013 at 2:28 am

@Kelly “you don’t need to Box Office gross anywhere near 400m (if MoS is any indication – i.e. 225m est budget and 291m BO Gross US)”.

Well as a rule of thumb, movies normally make about half their takings in the US market, so (based on your figures) Man of Steel’s worldwide box office gross will probably be closer to $600m. And, given that it’s normally reckoned that films need to return 2-3 times their full production costs (not including marketing) to break even, it means that Man of Steel may have made a loss.

@Kelly: “I think this post (and most other post I’ve written in my life) makes it pretty damn clear Wonder Woman would be the first movie I would make if given that power”.

Sorry. I didn’t intend to imply that you were being insincere – I am sure you would green-light a Wonder Woman movie. I wouldn’t. It would be expensive to make – and if Superman has underperformed in his two last incarnations, I’d be wary of spending that kind of cash on Wonder Woman.

Alternatives to Wonder Woman? Well handled right, Captain Marvel could be the next Harry Potter, The Flash would be a fairly straightforward box office winner, Batwoman/Batgirl would be the easiest way to cash-in on Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. On a small(ish) budget, Zantanna could make money off the Twilight fans.

Granted, my list is pretty bland, but that is my point. Studio Executives don’t want to risk $100m and two or three years of their time on something that might be successful. They want safe, dull money-making products.

Bernard the Poet

December 10, 2013 at 2:32 am

@ Dean Hacker: “What unadapted, non-DC owned superhero-ish property is left that you’d rather bet $150 million on than Wonder Woman? Dr. Strange, maybe? Invincible?”

Kazar. Kids love dinosaurs. Zabu could be the must-have toy of Christmas 2015.

Bernard the Poet

December 10, 2013 at 2:47 am

@Chris: “What point will Wonder Woman serve in this movie? Yes, I get that this is probably little more than a ‘backdoor’ intro to a possible solo movie, which is not only unnecessary but more than slightly insulting, but I mean from a plot perspective”.

Batman vs Superman seems like a really bad idea to me. Talk about putting all of your eggs in one basket. If the film is a flop, then Warner Bros will have succeeded in damaging three major commodities in one go.

@Smith, Brand recognition matters more than character recognition. It being an eye catching movie in general though trumps all, especially if it garnishes good word of mouth.

Changes are always going to be made in the transition from comic to film, but as long as they keep the essence intact, it can still work to the heart and soul of the characters.

In many instances, character recognition stems from other media appearances too. Animation and previous media helps bolster the exposure. Movies cement it. A general unknown can be a box office smash without a problem just as a known can be a flop.

Blade was a relatively unknown character to the public outside of the Spider-man The animated series appearance, and yet his movie banked well enough to generate 2 sequels and a tv series. Captain America took 3 different movies prior before they got it right this time. Thor had limited exposure due to his one Hulk tv movie(bill bixby, not the animated one), and a few animation appearances prior to his films.
Right now, it’s brand recognition driving the mainstream superhero franchise. Outside of Spider-man(who will always be a constant) others can catch an audience eye based on that.

The difference between GL and Wonder woman though, Wonder Woman has character and brand recognition. She held her own tv series and was a fave among her animation appearances. GL’s animation appearances called most of the general public to cry foul at the movie for “race bending” when it wasn’t(among other issues, the GL had a a lot of problems to deal with that don’t reflect on other properties of the brands).

Black Widow would bank outright, she had a slow build with the MCU, but after avengers she is one of the general audience favorites outright. Black Cat over at sony is building to her own spin off too.
X-23 can easily dominate with Fox (if handled right at least) and Ms./Captain Marvel could as well. This is based on the fact audiences want female protagonists in a mainstream branded concept.

Though the difference between X-23 and the others is that she’s immune to the alleged superhero bubble pop as she’s mostly a plain clothes hero and real world metaphor for real issues. This is why wonder woman, and Black widow work too. They deal heavy in topics that are growing in the public’s eye that are getting louder and louder as each year goes by. In fact, lately it’s growing at an exponential rate as gender bias, equality, and more have been becoming a focal point of discussions after the events of 2013. Films often reflect the nature of the times, and these characters are the ones that have always had a focus on many of these topics.

No one is saying just pump a film out and slap their name on it for instant gold. A film has to be good period before it’s accepted, but these characters are ripe for potential that can carry films audiences want. Hunger Games if anything has proven it with the aspects of being both a recognizable property with a strong following that grew to a hit because of being that well handled on screen.

There are many factors that make a good movie, but brand recognition that DC and Marvel bring are a big factor as it stands right now. It’s not the be all end all factor though. A good script is needed too, and because of how modern audiences are extreme adhd unless it’s shiny, good action scenes that are memorable are key too as well as situational humor to help balance it. Not talking corny, as it can still be serious and hold these qualities. The only thing holding these properties back are the studios themselves, but we’re in an age where they will indeed bank. Ms./Captain Marvel being an exception as her recent name change may dilute that barring her exposure through another property like GOTG or Avengers at a later date.

Wonder Woman, X-23, and Black Widow though, all 3 outright can hold their own at a box office easily, even potentially surpassing their male counterparts with the right scripts, cast, and crew attached. The visuals in the trailer are what’ll sell them, as well as having a strong story. All 3 can be done with a more reined in budget too that’d generate decent returns for the studios initially to build for better box office returns. X-23 and black widow especially could probably be done for near the same amounts as the original Blade movie or Scott Pilgrim movie.

Black Cat might need the slow buildup through Amazing Spider-man due to her only real exposure to the general public was through Spider-man the animated series, and brief cameos in spectacular spider-man. She’s a bit harder of a character to really pull off because of various issues that are dependent upon how she’s handled.

Also, the superhero bubble is a myth. Many comic heroes can be done even after the audiences grow tired of colorful costumes on screen, because their stories are determined by it. In fact, Thor, GOTG, Ironman and many more aren’t costumes so much as other story devices that carry the need for the suits. It’s about finding a balance as to why the essence needs whatever. For Thor, the garb is the culture of his people. Ironman, well it’s his tech, it’s his essence. Black Widow’s suit is about being a spy. GOTG is alien cultures and a uniform. Captain America is about his suit being a rally point, which is also why it’s growing away from the mask(and may eventually grow back to it). These films (outside of spider-man) aren’t about the suits to just be colorful suits. They’re about essence of the character and why it works or is needed. Batman and Superman are icons that need their suits per their own reasons. Flash will too(probably using a story device similar to the original tv series that suggested the suit was because his speed caused anything else to get tattered over long exposure). Wonder Woman has the same kind of story device in place for her suit as it being considered the head warrior garb of her culture. These are the kinds of things filmmakers have to sit and analyze to understand what to keep and why, alongside boiling down to understand the essence of a character as well as finding ways to keep the audience interested.

Strong female protagonists are on the rise though, and it’s high time for comics cinema to jump aboard already. General movie-goer audiences do indeed want it. The question is though, can studios make something that’s thought provoking, flashy and action packed, as well as heart warming and endearing that’ll make general audiences and comic audiences alike cheer and fall in love with these characters and want to come back for more.

Bernard the Poet

December 10, 2013 at 5:53 am

@Greg “You know, I keep seeing all these criticisms of a Wonder Woman movie not being feasible because the public wouldn’t get it, the character is too difficult, etc., etc.

The funny thing is, you can apply that to ANY superhero/comics-based movie. Including the successful ones. Like BLADE. Or IRON MAN. Or THOR. Or, hell, almost any of the successful Marvel movies. Those films didn’t succeed because people already knew the back story. They succeeded because they were fun movies and people liked them. You know that they can keep what works and jettison the rest, right?”

Well, that is true, up to a point. I don’t really agree that there are no such thing as “bad characters, just bad writers”. There was as much talent, energy and money put into the two Hulk films as there was put into Iron Man, Thor et al. But the central character didn’t attract an audience.

And surely there are some things, that can’t be jettisoned. I share Luis Dantas’s view that Wonder Woman’s costume is deeply problematic – but would the money-men let you change it to more practicable clothing? That outfit has sold an awful lot of lunchboxes over the years.

By the way, does anyone know how you block quote on this site?

Like so…

Bernard the Poet

December 10, 2013 at 6:41 am

Thanks Brian

And surely there are some things, that can’t be jettisoned. I share Luis Dantas’s view that Wonder Woman’s costume is deeply problematic – but would the money-men let you change it to more practicable clothing? That outfit has sold an awful lot of lunchboxes over the years.

They’ve changed Batman’s outfit, Robin’s, Captain America’s, and Superman’s for the movies. I don’t think those changes made a lick of difference to the audience watching those films. The movies succeeded or failed because of things far more important than that. Wonder Woman’s outfit doesn’t have to be a perfect re-creation. It has to be recognizable.

I don’t know where everyone gets this idea that when making a Wonder Woman movie, filmmakers are going to be somehow hampered by the need to stay true to the comics. They never have worried about it ever when adapting anything, whether it’s comics or John Grisham novels or Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s kind of a miracle when they bother to look at the source material at all.

And anyway, it really doesn’t matter. It matters if it’s GOOD. Period. Look at the DC superhero adaptations that the fans and the public both embraced. The Christopher Reeve Superman. Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman. Burton’s Batman. Nolan’s Batman. The Bruce Timm cartoons. The CW’s Arrow. None of them treated the original material like a sacred text. They took what was useful and dumped the rest. There is no reason at all that wouldn’t happen with a Wonder Woman movie and it’s very likely that’s exactly what would happen.

Everyone is overthinking it. Same way they did when it was announced that Sam Raimi was doing Spider-Man and Bryan Singer was doing X-Men and so on and so on. Fans litigate these things to death when the announcement is made and then the movie comes out and if it’s good, all that argument is completely forgotten. You would not believe the spit-spraying rage that accompanied the announcement that Raimi’s Spider-Man would have organic webshooters… and then the movies came out and no one cared.

It isn’t that I don’t trust DC/Time-Warner to make an ACCURATE Wonder Woman movie. It’s that I don’t trust them to make a GOOD one. Especially since their entire mission statement the last decade or so in both the comics and the movies seems to be basically, “Copy what Marvel does, but with less humor and an air of desperation.”

It isn’t that I don’t trust DC/Time-Warner to make an ACCURATE Wonder Woman movie. It’s that I don’t trust them to make a GOOD one. Especially since their entire mission statement the last decade or so in both the comics and the movies seems to be basically, “Copy what Marvel does, but with less humor and an air of desperation.”

NAILED IT.

For once the problem isn’t that the movies are adapting the comics poorly. In the case of Warner and DC, the problem is that the movies are capturing the tone of the modern comics TOO well.

A wonder Woman movie could be epic if you think about it. Finally a major Super Heroin movie that could really steal the show from superman and batman; http://bit.ly/NextWonderWoman

Flash and Green Lantern are both more popular than Wonder Woman, easily and would make better movies (green lantern movie aside) Wonder Woman being introduced in this movie doesn’t mean anything who says it’s going to be more than a cameo? Nothing wrong with her being featured in this movie especially since it’s with two characters she’s always been second fiddle to anyway.

OMG you are such a crybaby. “She Has No Sense!” would be a better description of your nonsensical ramblings. Or maybe “She’ll Never Be Happy No Matter What DC Does”. I’m still holding the line at “She’s Still Pretending a Sexual Offender is a Feminist”.

You don’t “deserve” anything. What is wrong with the author? Only child?

I haven’t read any of the responses so this may have been said already. The difference between Wonder Woman and Catching Fire is that the book series is a high selling blockbuster that was going to get attention.

Wonder Woman is my favorite hero at DC. I am not sure how she will translate to film…just as was not sure how Thor was going to translate…so that gives me hope.

Maybe DC should write a series of Wonder Woman books aimed at young adults.

You do realize that Wonder Woman isn’t the only person who is being introduced in a team up movie right? Batman is getting the same treatment so it’s pretty unreasonable to only be angry about WW. Also, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the Hulk suffered the same fate.

Why would you use panels from a comic that you’ve railed against?

I enjoyed your article and thought you made a lot of valid points. Personally, I’ve always believed there is no one single reason a Wonder Woman film hasn’t been made up to this point, but a variety of lesser ones: lack of commitment by DC Comics/Warner Brothers, inability to write even a decent first draft script (and Joss Whedon’s not off the hook for this one, as he was given eighteen months to deliver the goods and gave nothing that was workable), one actress after another turning her nose up at the role, issues with her costume, and on and on and on. The character’s inconsistency over her 70+ years has also been a major stumbling block; it’s hard to make an “accurate” Wonder Woman movie when so many different writers and editors can’t agree as to who exactly Wonder Woman should be: warrior princess, loving ambassador of peace, Bronze Age savage, or wise-cracking half-Amazon/half-goddess. And this doesn’t even take into account Lynda Carter’s take on Wonder Woman during her all-too-brief TV series run.

Given all this turmoil, I think we should consider it a minor miracle the character’s getting any kind of chance on the big screen at all. Would Gal Gadot be my first choice? Probably not, but it’s a done deal, and it’s time to play the ball where it lies. Her lack of acting credentials shouldn’t be considered an impediment; she’s actually got a bigger resume than Lynda Carter had when that worthy got the Wonder Woman job back in 1975. Gadot lacks the build for now, but at 5’9″ she’s an inch taller than Carter, and there’s more than enough time for her to build up sufficient muscle tone for the role. While it seems a given that Gadot will have a much smaller role than Henry Cavill or Ben Affleck in the upcoming movie, that doesn’t mean she won’t get a memorable scene or three–and perhaps that will be enough to make the more casual fans sit up and think, “Wow, I wouldn’t mind seeing this Gal Gadot headline a Wonder Woman movie on her own….”

I would’ve loved to have seen Wonder Woman headline her own film, and that may still happen in my lifetime (though they’d better hurry!). But I acknowledge the fact that for some time now, DC Comics’ “Big Three” has been Batman, Superman, and Batman–Wonder Woman, for all her venerable history, has just been one of the rest of the crowd. If making a limited appearance in some other characters’ movie is the best and only chance to see her break into the mainstream, I’ll mourn the lost opportunities, but I’ll also cheer for Gal Gadot with all my might. Gal, all the world is waiting for you, and the wonders you can do!

@ Luis Dantas:

She has a lot of problems as a character, most of those being aggravated in the transition to live screen. It worked with Lynda Carter in the 1970s to a limited extent, but those were more innocent times ….

That is a remarkably ahistorical statement. When Wonder Woman debuted in 1975 it was a less innocent than now in nearly every way.

The top five films in 1975 were an R-Rated horror film (JAWS), a comedy with a transvestite as the lead (ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW), a drama about a corrupt mental hospital (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST), a heist film with a gay main character (DOG DAY AFTERNOON) and a dramedy about a womanizer (SHAMPOO). The Top 5 films of 2012 were a comic book action movie (AVENGERS), another comic book action movie (DARK KNIGHT RISES), an adaptation of a YA novel (HUNGER GAMES), a James Bond film and a fantasy film (THE HOBBIT).

It isn’t just movies. The best-selling novel of 1975 was RAGTIME by E.L. Doctrow and the best-seller of 2012 was FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Mass culture is pre-occupied with various types of fantasy right now in a way that wasn’t in 1975. The only place fantasy and escapism showed up was on TV with THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and its ilk, but those shows were a contrast to the majority of the more socially realistic fare that dominated the network schedules. The current network Top 30 has nothing even remotely like “Good Times” or “M*A*S*H*”.

The long tail of cable TV and Internet-based media sort of disguises how innocent that we’ve become culturally.

@ Bernard:

Kazar. Kids love dinosaurs. Zabu could be the must-have toy of Christmas 2015.

Let’s just say that our ideas of where the Jungle Adventure genre is in its life cycle differ.

@ Greg Hatcher:

It isn’t that I don’t trust DC/Time-Warner to make an ACCURATE Wonder Woman movie. It’s that I don’t trust them to make a GOOD one. Especially since their entire mission statement the last decade or so in both the comics and the movies seems to be basically, “Copy what Marvel does, but with less humor and an air of desperation.”

Bingo.

The people running DC right now seem to have no idea why anyone would have cared about DC Comics in the first place. That is especially problematic, since DC (unlike Marvel) has never really had the ONE tone. Wonder Woman is a different thing than Batman, who is a different thing than Superman. They own great properties, like Plastic Man that are radically different again.

All Star Wonder Woman.

If DC comics and their movies affiliate were better organized, this would be the road to take. Get serious about Wonder Woman. Get the best writer you can and create the essential Wonder Woman. Cut out all the fluff and stupidity….all the canon that just doesn’t work with the public. Distil the Wonder Woman character to it’s basic premise and then work from there to create the proper world around her.
If they could do that, then the fan community could be united behind the movie and the public would follow. But when you have so many critical fans out there talking about why they are getting her wrong…the public that has a notion of WW from Linda Carter’s days and a little animation won’t be interested.

One thing about Wonder Woman is that there’s a definite difference between a character being recognizable and a character being well known in terms of any real details and the vast majority of moviegoers are NOT comic book readers.

I pretty much guarantee if you did a random poll of just regular people in the street in the target demographic and asked them the following questions–

1. What is the civilian ID of Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman?

2. What is the basic origin of Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman?

3. Name two villains that fight Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman.

4. Name any one or two supporting cast (parents, loved ones, coworkers, etc.) of Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman.

you’re going to get a lot more Bruce Wayne and Clark Kents before Diana Princes; parents being murdered, Krypton, or alien a lot more often than made out of clay or daughter of Zeus or Themiscyra, etc; way more Jokers or Lex Luthors than Cheetahs or Circes; and more Robins, Alfreds, Lois Lanes, etc. than Steve Trevors or Etta Candys.

Those are just basics of the characters and the average person (read = non comic book fans/readers) I bet knows way less about Wonder Woman than the other two, especially because of recent movies and the like. They might know OF her and even be able to pick her out of a lineup, but that’s more than likely as far as it goes for the average person.

That’s not to take away from her importance as an icon or history in the comics, but a simple statement of fact based on observations and just talking to people who know nothing about comics, but have seen Smallville or Batman Begins or whatever when there haven’t been WW equivalents in recent years. The majority of moviegoers are not comic collectors and that’s why the studios are trying to use a provably more popular character(s) to put a spotlight on her and hopefully buck that trend.

Just look at comic book sales for the last month as they pertain to comics that had Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman in the title:

Batman #24: 124,652
Superman/Wonder Woman #1: 94,859
Batman/Superman #4: 82,990
Batman in Detective Comics #24: 59,310
Batman and Robin #24: 52,060
Batman: The Dark Knight #24: 43,382
Superman in Action Comics #24: 39,620
Superman #24: 39,580
Wonder Woman #24: 34,308

That’s not even counting titles where they might appear like Justice League (they haven’t appeared due to a crossover event that’s taken them off the board right now), or in Batgirl, Superboy, Nightwing, Supergirl, etc. or in miniseries like Batman: Black and White or Damian: Son of Batman.

These are just the regular monthlies with their names in the titles.

Now pretend for a minute that no collector gets more than one title, which is completely false–fyi: I bought EVERY issue referenced. Pretend each title has its own fans and no one “double dipped” or more. That would mean that a total of 570,761 people bought these comics, and, again, we know the number is considerably lower because of people who buy more than one title, but I’m doing this to illustrate a point.

Now look at the domestic numbers for Man of Steel. It brought in $662,845,518 in total.

The average ticket price is around $12. Let’s pretend no one in the world saw it in theaters more than once and everyone paid exactly $12, the average price. That would mean approximately 55,237,126 people bought a ticket to the movie.

That further shows that 54,666,365 MORE people bought a ticket to the movie than a comic book featuring any of the three big names in the title, and again, we know they numbers are probably different due to people seeing the movie more than once and people buying more than one series in a month.

THAT’S why DC is doing things this way, because for all the name recognition a character like Wonder Woman may get, the overwhelming majority of the moviegoing public doesn’t know shit about comics or collect them and they’re hoping a movie that I guarantee will bring in more money (and more people) than Man of Steel did would be a great platform to pique interest for a character that comic book fans barely purchase. The average person is someone like my Wife who’s never read a comic but loved Smallville and Batman, et al and who saw those rather than read the comics.

I don’t understand the surprise towards the prospect of Wonder Woman being introduced in the cinematic DC universe in the upcoming Superman movie; much less the apparent, outrage in this column. Wonder Woman is nowhere near as recognisable as she should be for a major studio to feel confident in promoting a movie with her as the protagonist.

She is not even popular enough among comic book fans to be, at least, close to the level of Batman and Superman. No matter the attempts to establish her as part of the Trinity, she just lacks the following. That is why she has one title to her name, while the other two characters have a standard of two at their lowest. Wonder Woman is one of those properties that a lot of creators wish they could turn into something great, because she has that potential, but at the same time no one has done that up to now.

And as far as the general public is concerned things are even worse. Spider-Man, Superman and Batman are the trinity that most people know of. Not even the X-Men are that recognizable as single characters, but as a group that “has that guy with the claws in it.” It is only in recent years that comicbook characters have started to gain recognition among mainstream audiences, and that has been achieved through lots of secrifices; for every Iron Man, a relatively unknown character that managed to become as big a staple as Spider-Man in the cinematic world, there is a Daredevil, the character that passed by and almostnobody noticed, much less remembers. I think that you greatly overestimate the general public’s recognition of super heroes.

Which brings us to the point of investing in an unknown. It is all good for us to say “it’s worth the risk,” but the truth is we don’t get to invest a dime, we are talking about other people’s money; and a lot of money. THis is not about a 20 million dollar-budget movie; we are talking about close, perhaps over 100. And nothing but a vague potential for profit. Just like the Lone Ranger recently; and John Carter some time ago. Remember those? Remember what happened? How potentially huge franchises were buried at the box office; and they were both quite good blockbusters: careful mainstream direction, all the elements of a wide-demographic-covering story, funny bits, amazement bits, flashy action, etc; exercises in, essentially, a scientific way to produce a blockbuster, and they failed. And you can’t understand why Warner would be hesitant to risk losing a ton of money, hurting Wonder Woman, hurting Justice League as a consequence, hurt their cinematic universe at infancy, and so on? I don’t think it’s that hard.

And there is a second point: what did you ever expect out of a Wonder Woman movie? An ode to the amazonian warrior? Have you seen how Wonder Woman looks in the comics? The warrior that dresses in battle gear made of spandex, colourful spandex to look all the more like a circus act. Sword? No. Have a lasso instead. Of truth even. And an invisible car. Because that’s how they rolled in ancient Greece. The character requires extensive work at its core to begin with, just for the comic-books alone. And on the big screen? Take a look at the superhero movies out there. They are mostly Pixar movies with real actors and a slight adult edge. They are in their majority extremely safe. Typical examples of blockbustery filmmaking. And it is actually your hated director, Zack Snyder that has produced two, of the very few in total number, movies that dare to be genuinely edgy. In this environment do you honestly think there would be a director that would make Wonder Woman justice? Miracles don’t happen that often.

A Wonder Woman movie, either now, or in a few years would be, and sadly will most probably be when it comes to fruition, just another typical superhero-based blockbuster to munch pop corn throughout, with a generic story, generic characters, generic action and plot development, generic but-a-bit-flashy-but-not-too-flashy-it’s-should-not-be-mistaken-for-art direction and so on. What it won’t be is the revolutionary movie that you seem to expect. Perhaps in an ideal world. But we don’t live in one. We live in the world were even the most promising of intellectual properties can take a dive to the pits of box-office-flops-graveyard; where studios know and fear that; where it’s rare that a creator can get studios executives to give them funding for obscure projects (go Zack Snyder!); and where, yes, it’s considered wise to test the waters, a lot, with both female and make characters.

Two observations:

1) I feel like everyone is considering the cart WELL before the horse is in sight
2) I believe this is largely Warner Bros fault for saying “Look! A cart!”

I have no idea what kind of role they’re planning for Wonder Woman in “untitled Man of Steel sequel” nor what the intended scope of said film is. Maybe it’s a twenty second end credits cameo to launch her into her own movie. Maybe it’s a larger part and we’ll see her next in “Man of Steel 3: Justice League”. Maybe the movie is really “Wonder Woman, Part 1: With Cameos from Two Dudes in Capes”.

I think that Warner Bros (and Zach Snyder) should take a cue from JJ Abrams’ recent Khan mea culpa and actually give the fans some context for what he’s planning.

i think the most important thing is that wonder woman have a cute little butt, and reasonably large breasts. a women men would like to be with basically, the other stuff dont matter really.

You’re missing the point about Wonder Woman’s look. It’s not that the actress in question is skinny, it’s that she’s not voluptuous, she’s not curvy.

It’s much easier for actors to put on muscle mass because men are generally bigger than woman, they have bigger frames, broader shoulders, they’re taller, the body structure is completely different.

Wonder Woman is portrayed a certain way in comics, there is no point in trying to suggest otherwise and this actress doesn’t have the body shape, no matter how much she works out that’s not going to change. It’s not as if there’s a worldwide shortage of women with curvy figures is there? This comes down to Hollywood’s obsession with the plane Jane, thin model look which, as you can see by the reaction here and elsewhere, isn’t as popular with men as women themselves think.

I totally agree with you on Snyder’s filmography up until MoS, which I REALLY liked, to my surprise, and I really liked Martha Kent and Lois (although maybe just being relieved that Lois wasn’t written as a btich was too low a bar). I think WW’s weird mish mash of mythology and superheroics has (needlessly?) confused everyone. Further, visually, she’s tough. Unless you’re automatically on board for a WW movie (and I don’t think THAT many people are), WW on film, at first blush, can go horribly wrong. I think if she’s handled well in a blockbuster that buys her more goodwill than she might have out of the gate, and that’s a good thing. I also think that establishing her in this world in SvB buys them some storytelling room–you’re not forced to spend an hour on fish-out-of-water BS or establishing Themyscira–they might WANT to spend time on that, but they’ll have an out if they want to get to more relatable stuff (maybe MORE fish-out-of-water, less Themyscira, or, having done FOW in SvB, they can do Themyscira). Basically, I think people are taking too much for granted by saying everyone is ready for WW to headline. Not saying she’s not WORTHY, just saying a general audience may be skeptical (and understandably so).

Whine harder. You’re no better than the Affleck haters.

She was in the military, she will so own this role.

I think theres a lot to fear coming out of a Wonder Woman in a movie. Its not like WW has a really strong take on exactly who she is. Certainly there are some definitive runs, but no overall definitive direction for the character in basically the entire time I’ve been reading comics. Whatever movie WW is like is gonna effectively drive the direction of the character for the next decade or two to come.

I honestly think that outside of being the ultimate ideal of empowered femininity WW is kinda an awful mess of a character, I was listening to the excellent House to Astonish podcast and they were talking about how if you flipped batman or supermans genders, there overall story would still work, but WW’s entire story is basically based on her gender. Her existence makes an important point now and then, but it sort of complicates the character as well. A movie could give a certain amount of clarity to the character, really fix her origin in a lasting modern way, and help her shed some of the odd patriotic baggage that doesn’t do anything for her at this point, but from Snyder that wont be what we get.

If someone submitted a script that blew people away, they would be producing it. Guess what? Nobody has. I love Wonder Woman as much as the next person, but this is still a business. Where’s your script? You seem to know so much, why don;t you write a script and submit it. You went on and on for paragraphs, so apparently you can write. Put up or shut up.

Don’t know why people keep comparing Hunger Games…I have not seen it and have no interest in that series. That is no guarantee WW is going to be a hit. I love WW but the market also made Twilight a success too. And I am not here to criticize Twilight either. You need a good script and to be honest nothing I hear before from Whedon to Kelley sounded right. They sounded terrible. I’d rather not see WW than have a bad one. Hunger Games was a best selling book…an already built in fan base like Harry Potter etc. While I’d love a WW movie, I am sensible enough to know it is a business. Maybe this isn’t such a mad decisions as some think.

“Zack Snyder a director not known for his “fine work with female characters””

I do not share the sarcasm here. Silk Specter and Sucker Punch are meant to be meta-fictional commentaries on the sue of Women in Genre fiction, and I for one Loved them. When he’s not doing that however we have never seen an obsession with gratuitously secularizing characters, Faora and Lara were great in MOS.

Hey you forgot to mention another blockbuster female lead movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock who is one of my favorite actress, and at one point was consider to play Wonder Woman I think back when Whedon was writing a script for a WW movie. I felt the same way you did about the first Hunger Games movie, but Catching Fire was a better movie and a better story. Jennifer Lawrence became automatically one of my favorite actress after seeing this movie. I like Gal Gadot casting, she is tall and beautiful she has a military training promising for fight scenes and agility requirements and I agree, how hard can it be to tone a little? I am one of the exited fans to see Wonder Woman in the big screen even if is a cameo appearance that means possibilities that she might get a solo origin movie before the Justice League!

Frozen and Hunger games success means nothing to Wonder Woman. Frozen is a Disney animated princess movie. They have always been successful. This is nothing new.

Hunger Games is just another young adult novel adpatation that replaced Twi-light are the must see list for teens and tweens. I question whether WW has that much popularity among the age group anymore.

The idea that WW has more toys out there and her face on more plates etc than BW did might betrue…but if it is..its because of Supes and the Bat. Realize, kids know WW because of JLA…which they watch thanks to the Bat and Supes. WW always has an average selling comic and is known thanks to a poorly done TV show…she’s the Hulk. His movie didn’t sustain itself well…and there’s less risk.

Let’s imagine WW gets a movie. Then all the “women in a fridge” folks will rip apart what she wears, if there’s a man, if there’s not a man, what the pose is. So even if she had enough fans to justify a movie…its just asking femenists to rip it apart before it lands. No one will be happy with it.

And who would she fight? Cheetah? C’mon. The movie flops.

Wonder Woman is portrayed a certain way in comics, there is no point in trying to suggest otherwise and this actress doesn’t have the body shape, no matter how much she works out that’s not going to change.

Why do people keep saying that? Wonder Woman is not portrayed any consistent way in the comics outside of having long black hair, being medium height to tall and not being fat. Some people draw her buff, some people draw her curvy, some people draw her with narrow hips and waist and slim, nondefined arms. Do a Google image search for Wonder Woman comics and see what I mean:

I could understand a character like She Hulk or Titania who have consistently been depicted as huge and musclebound, but there has been a huge range depicted on Wonder Woman’s physique. See for example the old Justice League cartoon. She was quite small there. I’d argue smaller than Gal Gadot.

Fear of the female action hero aside (which I believe is very true, doesn’t matter how many female action hero hits come out Hollywood will always be gun shy them)- but the biggest problem Wonder Woman has is lack of story. When she was created SHE was the defender of true, justice and liberty. As the 40’s rolled on, Superman stole her angle. And once Marston stop writing the character, she became forever lost and a weak sell. (DC has all but admitted she was kept in print at times because licensing her image was so profitable).
In the 50’s they turned into a love-lorn adventurer, the 60’s turned her into a spy/ Emma Peel knock-off, the 70’s turned he into a run of the mill superhero, the 80’s turned her into a greek hero, the 90’s tried replacing her, and the 00’s and new 52 has turned her into a spit and blood Xena knock off.

So seriously, which Wonder Woman do you turn into a movie? None of them have been really successful- except the first one (which would make her look too much like a Superman clone). Until some smart writer comes along and matches her origin angle with a modern take she will always be lost.

Kelly Thompson.

I couldn’t add more, except…to say–Well said.

The reality is, DC is really bad at character management. They screwed up Superman, by in essence, doing everything big or moving for Superman (destruction of his city, forced to take a life) in his first film. So, really what kind of a film could they do for Superman in his sequel? I mean, sure you can toss out a new villain, but what kind of emotional growth does he have available to him?

Their only option is to set the film in some kind of dystopian future, where everything the heroes might have wanted to do went horribly horribly wrong, with Batman and Superman left to battle the world they helped to destroy. Wonder Woman is there, because she has to be, and at the end, Superman has to go back in time to correct the mistakes he made that brought them to where they began.

Then they reboot (new 52 style) the whole thing, and the next film is a perhaps a proper Justice League film where he teams with his allies to avert the problems they faced alone that lead to their world’s destruction. It sucks that Wonder Woman has to play second fiddle to the Superman course correction, but really it sucks that Bat Man has to do it too.

“is it’s pretty hard to cast an Oscar winning or A-List actress for a bit part in a movie headlined by two male superheroes.”

Scarlett Johansson is an A list actress. You know, the woman you referenced in your OWN article.

@Vince Hernandez ScarJo is a big name actor but probably not an A-lister (it’s not like she’s Helen Mirren or Sandra Bullock). Additionally, she was never cast in a movie headlined by two male super heroes, nor as a character who should be headlining a film by herself.

@1234 did you seriously just write that? Scarlett Johansson is earning $20 for the next Avengers film–one that is headlined by two male actors (Because contrary to what you and Kelly think, super heroes do not act in films, actors do). And Helen Mirren? Really?

I’m not too thrilled about the news of WW being in the upcoming Superman/Batman movie for many reasons. The body issue isn’t a big deal breaker for me, but Gadot’s acting ability is a major red flag. Being a former beauty pageant winner and starring in the later Fast and the Furious movies does not fill me with hope that she will knock it out of the park. Much like Batfleck, there are other actresses in the field where their acting ability is not questionable. My second big concern is what role will she play in the movie (bit role, cameo leading to JLA or her own movie, supporting actress role, etc.)? If the former two, I could see that but that should definitely lead to a Wonder Woman movie. If the latter, than its only showing just how fucking slap-dashed this production is. DC Entertainment is trying to get into a pissing contest with Marvel but they’re so ill-equipped for this venture that they come off looking like that have a massive prostate problem.

As for your mentioning of DC nutting up and taking a risk… I don’t see that happening at all. Why else are they sticking with the same team that fucked up Man of Steel? Why else are they bringing in Batman to team up with Superman? Because both DC and Warner Brothers don’t want to take a risk. They want a sure money maker and not a crap shoot. Both companies lack the balls to look in the mirror and blame themselves for being failures at this. Both companies lack the brains to stop everything, ask the hard questions, and come up with a better plan that works.

And if they eventually get to that point, I’m afraid it will be too little and too late.

“what is our problem?”

Actually, it’s not “our” problem. It’s your problem. I have no problem with Wonder Woman debuting in the batman/superman movie and neither do most general audiences I’d wager. I’d also wager that Wonder Woman’s “agency” means equally as little to general audiences.

I’d also add that the majority of Wonder Woman merchandising(preemptive strike: I said majority, not ALL merchandising) is targeted to an age group whose parents would probably not even take them to a Wonder Woman movie made by Snyder and Nolan if the pornographic levels of violence in Man Of Steel is any indication of what we’re going to get.

As for “the people in charge”, it really doesn’t matter that people think Wonder Woman isn’t “problematic” or “tricky” or “needs fixing”. It only matters that they, the people in charge, think it matters. I’m just about a thousand percent sure that the studio execs aren’t rubbing their hands together all evil like and saying “hahaha! We are going to purposely destroy Wonder Woman and make sure she never gets her own movie! Because we are evil sexists! Bwahhahahaha!”. That nonsense might fly on twitter or tumblr, where conspiracy theories about DC hating Stephanie Brown, Wonder Woman and Lois Lane are abundant, ridiculous and endless but it’s not even a blip on the radar of movie execs. I have no doubt that studio execs are too worried and overthinking it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they think it, justified or not. So no amount of whining and making comments about studio heads being idiots and sexist and cowards and having no balls really matters to them. Mainly because they are in the movie industry, making millions of dollars and you and all of us in this comment thread are not.

When the studio heads think the time is right, only then will we get a Wonder Woman movie. Not before.

FYI: According to the DC Comics Reference guide 2004 edtion, Wonder Woman’s Height is 6 Feet even.

She’s not a “giant among women,” so any actress who’s 5’9″ or above should really be considered to be within an acceptable range.

Jeez. I can’t believe some people are defending Warner Bros’s defense of stance since Green Lantern. Wonder Woman is not as big as risk as people make it sound. It’s much less of a risk than Iron Man was in 2007. People forget how little name recognition Iron Man had outside comics in 2007. And now, he is the Biggest superhero in the world, or at least, he has the biggest solo superhero film in the world. Can you even imagine making the prediction way back in 2007 that Iron Man was going to have a bigger film than Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man.

The difference between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros isn’t the characters. It’s Marvel’s belief in their characters. Marvel presented Iron Man with a story very true to the source material with a good director that wasnt a name in comic book movies, and a great actor who was waiting for a comeback.

Wonder Woman is a great character with some great stories. It isn’t rocket science. Because if you think Wonder Woman is too risky for Warner Bros to make, then that means you think that the only superhero films WB can make are Batman, Superman, and Justice League. Because those are the only comic book characters above Wonder Woman in the DC hierarchy. And that’s why Marvel Studios is absolutely destroying WB. Because they actually like their characters.

I did not have the time and patience to read all posts, so if some one has not said this is yet, here it goes: Marvel will do a superhero movie with a female lead at least a full two years before Warner does one. It will be CAPTAIN MARVEL (no “Ms.”), it will kick ass and DC will come out looking like Johnny-come-lately when they bring to the screen a much older, much more respected, much better stablished and much more original property. That is the world we live in today. (That’s right, I brought my flame thorwer to this flame-war)

Actually, I think “Frozen” and “Catching FIre” are doing so well BECAUSE they have female leads. There are more women than there are men. They like spending money on entertainment that they can relate to, even when it’s awful (SEE: Lifetime), because it’s so painfully rare. So yeah, if WB were smart, they’d be giving Wonder Woman a solo debut instead. Not because she “deserves” it, or anything (although, for the record, I think she does), but because it would just make good financial sense.

I know that since I disagree with this article, I’m automatically a close-minded misogynist because that’s the only thing that a man who disagrees with an article like this can be, but I still feel compelled to comment anyway.

I don’t think the lack of a Wonder Woman movie has anything to do with a ‘fear’ of strong female characters. I think it’s because Wonder Woman is boring as crap. There are other female superheroes I’d rather see in a starring role than her. I’ve tried, God help me (Pérez’ run was the closest I came to enjoying myself) – but unless I’m missing something, Wonder Woman as a character just doesn’t have a magnum opus like Superman and Batman do. All Star Superman, The Long Halloween, Dark Knight Returns, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow… there’s a ton of great titles I can think of that in some way DEFINES that character perfectly. The coolest I’ve ever seen Wonder Woman is in Kingdom Come (and there, she was pretty darn cool).

Why is it that your articles like this always have to look for someone to blame? A MALE someone? Your entire article works on the premise that everyone should want to see a Wonder Woman movie, and if they don’t, well – it’s not a valid opinion so much as a guy just not being open-minded enough, whether that be the guy at the bottom like me who wouldn’t bother consuming the product, or the guy at the top who’s clearly just too stupid to see the value where you’re obviously so much smarter. Even better, there’s clearly a conspiracy to de-value Wonder Woman by introducing her in an established franchise – it couldn’t POSSIBLY be because they want to see if they can make money off of her while taking a little less risk.

There are a lot of male characters I wouldn’t bother watching, too. I had to be forced to watch Avengers, I still haven’t seen Iron Man 3 or Captain America, I have no interest in the 2nd Thor movie, and I don’t watch Agents of Shield. I didn’t see Expendables 2, I hate the Fast and the Furious movies (sorry). My understanding is all of those have at least some ‘starring’ male characters in it and that doesn’t influence my decision to see them at all. Nor do I avoid movies with starring female roles. I rarely see movies in the theatre but I chose ‘Gravity’ when my girlfriend and I went out last. The gender of the lead literally holds zero effect on what movies I select. None at all.

Does anyone know how the sales on the Wonder Woman animated movie were? I feel like they couldn’t have been that great if we didn’t see any more… sort of how Green Lantern animated movies seemed to stop and make way for Superman / Batman and JL movies. Guess people just weren’t interested.

I really don’t have much to add here, either. I will say that I doubt this picture or any subsequent films will be any good given the current direction of DC. I’m pretty sure that Wonder Woman will show up in a colorless, vaguely blue/red outfit and I’m sure she’ll have a sword. I’m pretty sure she’ll be killing people and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to want any part of this. Maybe she can have a neck-snapping contest with Superman. Ugh, I’m depressed again.

This won’t stop until people aren’t embarrassed by superheroes while making superhero movies.

Kelly, I love your articles. This time, however, I think you’re wrong. You say “there is nothing wrong with Wonder Woman”, but there clearly IS something wrong – the character lacks identity, lacks a rogue’s gallery, lacks defining stories that could work as the framework for her movie. She has been around for 70 years, yes – as the Justice League secretary, as Superman with boobs, as a secret agent, as a princess and as a demigoddess. Those different Wonder Womans are hardly the same character. Her comic book gets rebooted more often than Aquaman’s. Wonder Woman is a powerful symbol, but she is a MESS as a character.
Of course, there are good stories with Wonder Woman. Brian Azzarello is basically solving all of those problems by making her stand on her own in her solo book, giving her strong enemies and the like. But you mentioned little girls yourself – how will little girls accept Wonder Woman as the ruthless warrior Azzarello paints her as?

I’m a big Wonder Woman fan, thanks mainly to Grant Morrison’s JLA run, Kingdom Come and Azarello’s take. Only one of those is actually fit for the movies. I think DC got it right this time.

If you don’t like Wonder Woman as a character, you don’t have to watch the movie. You shouldn’t even bother arguing against a movie starring her because, again, you don’t have to watch that movie. Not liking the character doesn’t mean a movie shouldn’t be made. If there’s a market for it, and there is, the movie should be made. It’s pretty fucking irresponsible of Warner/DC to NOT make this movie. They’re practically throwing money away and basically spitting in the face of half the movie audience.

I just don’t get this.

Personally I loved MAN OF STEEL, it’s one of my favorite movies of the year.

And yet almost everything I’m hearing about the plans for the sequel has me worried.
Shoehorning Batman into the story already? I’m not a big fan of Ben Affleck, but I’m not a hater either despite his terrible miscasting as Daredevil. He can’t be much worse than Bale.
Throwing Wonder Woman in there too? They’re rushing WAYYYY too much to Justice League.
Now we’re hearing Jason Momoa is in as one of many possible villains, like Doomsday, or even maybe Martian Manhunter?

My initial reaction to Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was that she’s too small, but that might just have been a side effect of seeing her next to The Rock. If she’s 5’9 and has military training then she could be just fine. And acting wise she’s still pretty much a blank slate.

As for why we’ve never had a Wonder Woman movie yet…
Wonder Woman is a tricky character? Tricky?
She’s fucking CLASH OF THE TITANS IN THE MODERN WORLD, what’s so damn tricky about that?

Oh, and about Frozen and Catching Fire being an example of highly popular movies with female leads.
I think the difference here -or maybe nuance would be a better word- is that they are popular stories that happen to have female main characters, as opposed to Wonder Woman being a female character’s story.

I don’t have any problem with her being in the same movie as Superman and Batman. I was freaking excited when I found out. And then I looked in the forums where every cynical fanboy and fangirl had begun to freak out as if the end of the world had come.

Maybe I’m just one of a few optimistic fans who can pretty much enjoy anything.

Also I doubt the execs are scheming to ruin WW or are sexist. I don’t know how but anytime I see someone like you complain about a direction that some property has gone in, it always goes straight to claiming people are sexist. Not making a Wonder Woman solo movie yet is not sexist. It’s called being smart and making sure there’s an ACTUAL audience for it, and not just a comic book audience because 1) There’s not enough of us and 2) comic fans tend to pre-hate everything.

@Conner: I defy you to find the word sexist in this piece.

Go ahead and re-read it. I’ll wait.

I’ve got to push back on the “body shaming” angle. I certainly haven’t read all the comments and response to announcement of Gadot as wonder woman, but nothing that I’ve read suggests that Gadot out to be ashamed of being thin, a lot of the comments I’ve seen specifically mention how attractive she is. The objection is that people don’t think her body type suits the role. That’s a HUGE difference. If Gadot had been cast as, say, Zatanna, (virtually) no one would be commenting on her body outside of the usual (and often valid) commentary that hollywood mostly cast actresses that are much thinner than the average woman.

If Michael Cera had been cast as Superman, or Batman, or Hereculus, or Conan there would be similar outcry. Not because Michael Cera should be ashamed of his body, chances are most of the people commenting have bodies much more similar to Michael Cera than Henry Cavill. But those roles have almost always been depicted by tall well muscled men. Superman, similar to Wonder Woman is “magically” strong (by which I mean his strength isn’t a function of the size of his biceps), and you could make the argument that a Clark Kent who wasn’t built like a greek god would perhaps be a more interesting character in certain ways. It would certainly be possible to make an good movie with a skinny Clark Kent. BUT if they cast one, i would understand the consternation, and not attribute it to body shaming skinny people.

Michael Keaton as Batman, is a perfect example, there was a lot pushback because he didn’t “look like Batman”. Now maybe you liked his performance and maybe you didn’t, but I think it would be completely unfair to say he was being “shamed” for looking like an average guy. To further prove the point, there was also pushback when it was announced that Arnold Swarzenegger was cast as Mr. Freeze. Most people don’t picture Mr. Freeze as musclebound. If Arnold had been cast as Bane, a lot of the criticisms would be muted. The issue wasn’t whether or not Arnold should be “ashamed” of his body, but whether his body fit how you envision the character and the role.

You can make an argument that fans need to be less wedded to the usual depictions of characters looks/height/weight/ethnicity and that physical appearance in general should be far less of a factor in casting, but that’s a whole separate argument from “body shaming”

As for why we’ve never had a Wonder Woman movie yet…
Wonder Woman is a tricky character? Tricky?
She’s fucking CLASH OF THE TITANS IN THE MODERN WORLD, what’s so damn tricky about that?

Exactly. WW’s origins can be summed up as: from an ancient island that managed to keep itself hidden from the rest of the world through magic. Done. You can later fill in the blanks if you really want to delve into it but its not necessary to go into the whole made from clay and such. The important thing to figure out is what the conflict is going to be, why is she making herself public now? What is the threat?

You can then easily merge the ambassador that speaks to a world-assembly with the warrior-princess who personally leads the forces (human or not) that eventually overcome the threat. Open with a skirmish that gets the attention of the world, throw her into the united nations halls and back out again (she can either be taken seriously based on the earlier event or be thrown out as a nutjob). The enemy? I’d say Ares broke free and she’s responsible for getting him back. Steve or no is a detail.

You don’t need to specifically address the feminist context of her character. The fact that she’s a woman and solves the problem is all the feminism the movie needs. Though a few scenes that manage to paint her as something other than a male hero with a female body would be cool.

It doesn’t matter that the general audience doesn’t know her history. They know the name and can pick her out of a lineup of costumes. That’s all the recognition a brand needs. You know where Coca Cola comes from? Why it was made? Who invented it? No. You see it on the shelf, you recognize the name and buy it.

I think this article has raised good points but I feel we should be more optimistic that we finally get a Wonder Woman and not criticize every decision before actually experiencing it. Like Affleck’s case, I am remaining neutral till we get to see the movie. We don’t even know her role in the movie, she might be just a cameo like the rumoured Nightwing and Flash cameo. Also, a little contradiction, i might be wrong but i do recall the writer praising Man of Steel’s portrayal of Lois Lane when it first came out and now she’s included the movie as an example to why Snyder shouldn’t be allowed to direct a movie with Wonder Woman?

I basically agree with the uncomfortable feeling that Diana might be put on the background, but I was also uncomfortable with the suggestion that instead of a Man of Steel sequel we may have an it-is-but-it-is-not Justice League movie putting Clark himself on the background. If this is the case that would only mean that DC still hasn’t got a vision.
But, if I have to be confident I may think that the only thing we know is that main characters just got serious casting, and we still don’t know how big their part will be in what is STILL expected to be a Superman movie. If they are going to follow the Smallville paradigm (which worked pretty well), we could expect something different.
Like, Batman showing Superman WWII secret footage of an amazon kicking nazi asses and saying “You thought you were the first, you aren’t”. Then we got to see a still-young Diana maybe in a post credit scene, or similar.

That would be nice, and may open to a REAL JLA movie or a WW movie or both, depending on response.

in the kryptonian ship,one of the cryochambers was open.one female kryptonian blended with humanity.the men of earth was of cruel nature to women.with the responcibility. of her legacy of power. she couldnt let it blend with man.only to blend with woman as the true protectors of peace.for man could not be trusted with greater power.and she programed the the kryptonian dna codex. just for female gender.all man offspring was slayed. that somehow was detekted.(.some of human generation has the small bits of kryptonian dna halted inside of them.that sleeps inside of them). they live on secret island as the protectors of earth.the news of metropolis has come to them, and now they have sent their best amazon warrior to investigate…
is it so hard to see. i have more theories about the pieces of the film..one is the batmobile should be electric driven.super silent that swisches by in high speed.oh and the batvillain should be the penguin leads to the business of reconstruktion of metropolis.metallo and cyborg is victims of the fight beetween zod and superman.

This article is so stupid!

You want a Wonder Woman movie? Fine. So do I. But it’s totally understandable, why the studio doesn’t make a Wonder Woman movie NOW. It’s not because they don’t want to (of course they do!). It’s because, they are not sure if there would be an audience for a Wonder Woman movie. You say, there will definitely be an audience, but the reality is, there have been superhero movies with female leads (like Catwoman and Elektra) and they all bombed. And don’t tell me, these movies bombed, because they were so bad. Yes, these movies were bad, but you don’t know that, untill you saw them. These movies bombed, because nobody was interested in seeing them. So WB has a good reason to believe, that the general movie going audience is not interested in female superheroes.
That is the reason, why WB is going to introduce Wonder Woman as a supporting character with Batman and Superman as the main characters. Because THAT is, what possibly could open the door for a Wonder Woman movie. And that’s not just the best way to do it. It’s the ONLY way to do it.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Yes, I want to see a Wonder Woman stand alone film, but I don’t see, why this movie has to come first. I’m totally fine with Wonder Woman debuting in the Man of Steel sequel and starring her own movie AFTER that. But you (for no good reason at all) keep pointing out, that YOU HAVE to introduce Wonder Woman in her own movie.

But here’s one thing: When it comes to the making of a Wonder Wonder Woman movie, you are not the one who has to take the huge financiel risk.
So keep that in mind and stop behaving like a whiny crybaby!

the enviromental themes of the first goes into this.luthors is drilling oil and puts money into science .wayne enterprise is maybe going for cleaner energy source technology.the meteor will fall.luthor will in later movies construct his suit of kryptonian suit technology and the kryptonite.wich will make him loose his hair.that flipps him into evil.luthor in the beginning is good .he is a perfektionist narcissist pr genius.that has his tentacles everywhere. he is going for mayor election. wonderwoman will be in the background until she reveal herself.has her civililclothes on that rips apart in the rumble.and show a little bit of her suit.i think she will be a enigma for everyone.she will dissapear after.jimmy olson must be introduced. enviromental theme story,about the hippies that lead into habitat. to newgods.all jack kirby stuff.i wish.in the end of this movie.the superman and zod clash has put metropolis in attention and many secret powered beings is investigating.

“Does anyone know how the sales on the Wonder Woman animated movie were?”

It made almost 7 million. I don’t know if that’s good or not.

i hope zack snyder do newgods.all kirby orson welles style mythologic saga with much symbolism jodorowsky style hints..and the conceptdudes shall not deviate from kirby.he is and shall always be king.what i see now with all redesigns and stuff is buuuulllshit.more kirby is canon.no teenage tv game fantasy shiit influences that they made with thor.and all around
wonderwoman is strong in herself and her suit is from her island that has no influence on the outsideworld

batman is all film noir style.

Chaim Mattis Keller

December 11, 2013 at 6:07 am

@Fredll:

The reality is, DC is really bad at character management. They screwed up Superman, by in essence, doing everything big or moving for Superman (destruction of his city, forced to take a life) in his first film. So, really what kind of a film could they do for Superman in his sequel? I mean, sure you can toss out a new villain, but what kind of emotional growth does he have available to him?

Here are two ideas:

1) Brainiac, with bottled Kandor on ship, comes to Earth. First of all, it becomes a battle of brains vs brawn, secondly, a city full of non-villainous Kryptonians has the potential to make him feel less of an outsider, thirdly, structure the plot so that he has to choose whether Earth of Krypton (Kandor) is more important to him in the end.
2) Mongul forces Superman into slavery/gladiator combat on a savage Warworld, Superman finds himself at the bottom of the heap, needing to work himself back up. Use his heroism to inspire a revolution, find a way to overcome Mongul himself (his strength alone wouldn’t do it), and, upon deposing Mongul, how can he avoid becoming a tyrant himself? Possibly work a Maxima romantic sub-plot into it as well.

Plenty of character building, and not a Luthor or Zod (or Richard Pryor) to be seen.

If I were to find a problem with Wonder Woman, it would have to be with her origin. On one hand, there is the complex story of where the mythological world of Paradise Island came from. This doesn’t seem like too big a deal, because the TV show pretty much glossed over it with a ‘It’s right here, just accept it.’ Still, it would be fun to see how the origin of Paradise Island would be shown on film, except it would take screen time away from the star of the movie.
Second, I honestly believe the best origin for her happened during WW II. WW II was a time when the enemy we were fighting was evil with a capital E. Nobody ever argued, ‘Yeah, but they had some good points and weren’t as bad as you think.’ But, in the 70s, when they decided to make it fear of Communism that drove Wonder Woman to Man’s World, that just seems trite in our modern world. I have to give George Perez credit: when he put Wonder Woman in the modern world, he knew saying terrorism drove her to Man’s World would eventually seem trite, so he gave the vague answer that it was war mongers who brought her here.
Maybe her appearing in Superman/Batman is a blessing in disguise. We will see her standing there, doing her thing without much explanation about where she came from. If you want an explanation, you must show so much enthusiasm for that character that the movie executives have no choice but to do a movie about her in order to calm them.

This just boils down to Warner rushing things with a clear, solid plan. When you look at the way Marvel established their cinematic universe, they did it a piece at a time and built things up more naturally to the Avengers. Warner is not operating in the same way here at all. It’s just, “Let’s get to where Marvel is as quick as we can”, and that could be their undoing.

The fact is, Warner and DC have been napping for a long time regarding their comic properties. They could have done this years ago, even decades ago, if they had the faith in their properties as Marvel has shown in theirs. They didn’t have that faith (and they still don’t, if J. Michael Straczynski is to be believed) but they see the success Marvel has had and they’re trying to replicate it. So instead of establishing their cinematic universe piece by piece, they’re shoehorning as much into a shorter process as they can.

I agree with the author — Wonder Woman should have her own film to establish her own cinematic presence the same opportunity as Thor and Captain America were given. But the disaster of that Green Lantern movie (again I agree with the author, why he got a film ahead of Wonder Woman is a mystery) made Warner even more gun-shy to give a stand-alone opportunity to another character outside of Superman or Batman.

Warner and DC need a strong hand at the helm to plot the course for their cinematic universe, much like Kevin Feige has done with Marvel. The problem is, the higher-ups at Warner wouldn’t give the carte blanche necessary to make that happen, because as I said, they just don’t have the faith still in this to work.

Wonder Woman is a failed property. It is no surprise that no one is rushing to make a movie. She was revolutionary when she was created 70 years ago, but there is nothing about her that speaks to contemporary audiences. She is from a misandrist, warrior, pagan cult that is the female equivalent of the Taliban. See Azzarello’s current run where the Amazons abduct and rape men to perpetuate themselves and then kill off the mates and any male babies. How the hell do you peddle that to the masses?

If you want to do a female superheroine movie, there are many better choices that feature strong women that actually speak to modern audiences. Power Girl is a successful businesswomen and superhero and could combine elements of Superman, Iron Man and Batman in one. But the historical record is that superheroine movies bomb hard, from Supergirl through Elektra and Catwoman. If these have all failed, why would Wonder Woman be any better? Just because she is famous doesn’t mean she is worthwhile. See the Kardashians or Paris Hilton.

Her comic book has been a perpetual failure since her creator left, with a brief exception during the Perez run. Even now the book sits in the low 50s on Diamond’s charts. In August there were 4 Deadpool comics ahead of Wonder Woman. Four!!! If anything we should be making a Deadpool movie.

There is no logical reason to believe Wonder Woman would ever succeed. If anything DC is taking a risk that having her in a movie with Batman and Superman will contaminate their existing franchises.

wonder womans colors is kryptonian heritage.the star explain their legacy.were they come from. the eagle is the first sign of life when they decended on earth and maybe the sign of their islands populated of eagles.symbolism.the rope is of kryptonian technology..it kinda blends in if you can see it. look up for my posts theories upon the film, and you can see it. come on shoot on some ideas of mine.read my earlier posts dont scroll past it. youll see. if not come with some better theories.

‘Wonder Woman is a failed property. It is no surprise that no one is rushing to make a movie. ‘

–I agree with Jeff 14. I’m a woman and I’ve been collecting comic books for more than 20 years and I have no interest whatsoever in seeing a Wonder Woman film. She’s too perfect and too pollyanaish. She’s boring as hell and I have no interest in seeing a film or tv show about her. The only treatment of WW I’ve ever been able to finish is Greg Rucka’s run. All the rest I’ve just put down half way through because it was borign.

Further the only way to make her sell to a general female audience is to make her 20+ pounds overweight, wear sloppy clothes or act like a ditz. Your average woman in North America has no interest in seeing any movie about an uber woman who can do anything (and makes her feel insecure). Or more to the point an uber woman who men admire. No ‘Clamazons’ or Bond Girls. Basicaly a beautiful woman with a male psyche.

The notion that WW can do well becase of Katnis in the HG is laughable. Katnis is far from perfect, she’s rough around the edges and doesn’t ‘get everything’. Further the appeal of the HG was far more than about Katniss.

So unless they plan on “Marvelizing” WW like they did with Superman in Man of Steel (giving her flaws/issuses). I frankly can’t see a general audience wanting to see a film with her.

I agree with the poster who said that Captain Marvel will come out at least a year or so before WB gets WW out on the Silver Screen. I’ll add my prediction that Captain Marvel will probably be a better movie, because I don’t trust any non-Nolan WB movie at this point.

correction- non-Nolan WB SUPERHERO movie.

Warner and DC need a strong hand at the helm to plot the course for their cinematic universe, much like Kevin Feige has done with Marvel. The problem is, the higher-ups at Warner wouldn’t give the carte blanche necessary to make that happen, because as I said, they just don’t have the faith still in this to work.

According to Bleeding Cool, Goyer is taking that Fiege role for DC. So yeah, DC movies will continue to suck.

I’m just as happy that we don’t have a WW movie right now. No one in power has a solid idea of who the heck she is, much less who the heck she should be to be put on the big, international screen and capture the imagination/hearts of people. Creatives/fans need to sit down, come up with a powerful, positive image of Wondie (and not one out of thin air), figure out what of her crazed history they want to utilize (and there is a very, VERY strong core that has mostly been consistent through the years, at least up to the nu52. Make that a year before then, when DC killed the real Wondie with the Straczynski run and left her for dead), and concentrate on that. Right now I don’t trust Time-Warner or DC to be able to do that.

You’re tired of this rigamarole? I don’t want to guess your age, Kelly, but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been reading WW longer than you, which means I’m more tired of this than you. So tired I’m getting apathetic. And if I’m getting apathetic waiting, what state is the rest of the world in?

I absolutely agree that it’s painful and insulting that Green Lantern got a film before Wonder Woman, that there isn’t a film in production right now, that we live in a world where executives are so chicken shit and confused about women we end up with the 2004 Catwoman movie.

That said, I am really uneasy about the level of anger and judgement that’s been thrown at this movie because it’s not the movie we *wanted*.

Frequently we hear the argument that Wonder Woman has to be perfect, she can’t screw up in any way or that’ll be it, her one chance gone, nail in the coffin. Because dudebro asshats will dismiss her as an interesting character and Hollywood execs will decide it’s because she was a woman not because it was poorly written. I agree with these arguments. The world is a messed up place.

Honestly, though, I’ve started wondering if all the zero-sum reactions – “if her name’s not in it, it’s unacceptable!” – aren’t just another form of impossible, uncompromising expectation. Her debut hasn’t been handled exactly right, so it’s awful, so it’s worthy of scorn?

It’s *because* of those arguments I believe – that this is her one shot to shine – that I worry about the other set of arguments. It’s not that I think we should be grateful for scraps or support this no matter what because we’re desperate and optionless. What I fear is a strong, interesting introduction for the character, with no one paying attention, because the narrative that this is a misogynistic train wreck has already been written.

I don’t expect others to share my perspective, and as I’ve said, I, too, am upset that it’s taken this long. But until I hear more reasons to be concerned, I’m choosing to view this announcement as an indication that one of WB’s first priorities, in establishing their shared superhero universe, is establishing Wonder Woman. Late to the shared superhero universe party though they may be.

I look forward to Wonder Woman failing in the theaters.

@veronica, Speak for yourself. I want loads of female power fantasies on the screen right now.

If DC/WB had any brains, they’d have started going full bore on a Fourth World/New Gods trilogy the minute Disney bought Star Wars. Then we’d have Big Barda *_____________*

Oh god ! I couldn’t belive what I read in this comment section. Come on, it’s just making a Wonder Woman movie not solving an engineering problem . Every problems mentioned in comments are proved wrong.

” A female character movie can’t work” , it can be works, there was a movie called Resident Evil which fan of the games hate , only plot is an overpowered woman kills monsters over and over but still keeps filming. Okey maybe it’s a bad example a Wonder Woman film should be deeper than this but if Alice can succeed why Diana not.

“Wonder Woman has just one title , Superman and Batman has many books that’s why her movie can’t work” Oh yes and recently Captain America has six titles , Ironman has four different books and Thor family has ten titles :) .

“She hasn’t recognizable villians” This is what I laugh most. For gods sake, Ares the God of war who is more recognizable then him. Even non comic book readers knows some stuffs about greek mythology and Marvel succed Norse mythology even lesser known. And I should mention this I’m more a DC guy , I don’t know Marvel villans well . I can’t count two of Thor villians or two of Ironman villians but I enjoyed their films . Knowing the villians are not important for the movie , the important thing is how movie showed the villian to audiance.

“She isn’t a well known character ” Yes , every marvel movie character is well known and Guardians of Galaxy is most well known super hero team which I know nothing about and Marvel makes their movie. For Gods sake Marvel will makes freaking Antman movie and people still arguing about Wonder Woman.

“Her costume not works bla bla..” Yes, Every movie we see exactly same costumes in comics :) .

And the last thing “Making Wonder Woman movie is tricky” No WB/DC it’s not, your brains are tricky. That’s the biggest problem, WB/DC is not care their character. Nolan’s Batman films badly effected WB/DC. Somehow WB/DC thinks that’s the only way adapting Comicbooks into movie. That’s why MOS has many flaws (No killing is not bothered me , there was another problems bugs me) , that’s why TDKR has ridiculous plot (Yes , it’s sucks I don’t like TDKR) . WB/DC try so hard to make films looks realistic, it’s a problem because Comic books are fantasy books , superheroes are not real , you can write serious stories about them but it doesn’t change the fact they are not real.

And lastly stop making bad comparing , Supergirl,Catwoman and Electra were failures because plots were horrible. You can’t expect a success from a bad story and bad casting. And for Green Lantern movie , it’s a mediocore movie and huge disappointment. Stupid plot and bad casting made it a failure. Choosing Ryan Reynold for Hal is biggest mistake , every super hero movie is he in really bad, I start to think it’s his fault and Blake Lively for Carol is bad choise too. If your two main characters miscast you can’t expect a good film, it’s really a shame Mark Strong was really a good Sinestro and Angela Bassets was fitting Amanda Waller. And script, if you try a rushed Geoff Jonns’s runs cash in , use a story based on his plot. Secret Origin is best story for an adaption , I know script finished before Secret origin but just change it , is it that hard? Everybody read exellent story arcs and watched laughable script, of course nobody satisfied.

in the kryptonian ship,one of the cryochambers was open.one female kryptonian blended with humanity.the men of earth was of cruel nature to women.with the responcibility. of her legacy of power. she couldnt let it blend with man.only to blend with woman as the true protectors of peace.for man could not be trusted with greater power.and she programed the the kryptonian dna codex. just for female gender.all man offspring was slayed. that somehow was detekted.(.some of human generation has the small bits of kryptonian dna halted inside of them.that sleeps inside of them). they live on secret island as the protectors of earth.the news of metropolis has come to them, and now they have sent their best amazon warrior to investigate…
is it so hard to see. i have more theories about the pieces of the film..one is the batmobile should be electric driven.super silent that swisches by in high speed.oh and the batvillain should be the penguin leads to the business of reconstruktion of metropolis.metallo and cyborg is victims of the fight beetween zod and superman.
the enviromental themes of the first goes into this.luthors is drilling oil and puts money into science .wayne enterprise is maybe going for cleaner energy source technology.the meteor will fall.luthor will in later movies construct his suit of kryptonian suit technology and the kryptonite.wich will make him loose his hair.that flipps him into evil.luthor in the beginning is good .he is a perfektionist narcissist pr genius.that has his tentacles everywhere. he is going for mayor election. wonderwoman will be in the background until she reveal herself.has her civililclothes on that rips apart in the rumble.and show a little bit of her suit.i think she will be a enigma for everyone.she will dissapear after.jimmy olson must be introduced. enviromental theme story,about the hippies that lead into habitat. to newgods.all jack kirby stuff.i wish.in the end of this movie.the superman and zod clash has put metropolis in attention and many secret powered beings is investigating.
i hope zack snyder do newgods.all kirby orson welles style mythologic saga with much symbolism jodorowsky style hints..and the conceptdudes shall not deviate from kirby.he is and shall always be king.what i see now with all redesigns and stuff is buuuulllshit.more kirby is canon.no teenage tv game fantasy shiit influences that they made with thor.and all around
wonderwoman is strong in herself and her suit is from her island that has no influence on the outsideworld
wonder womans colors is kryptonian heritage.the star explain their legacy.were they come from. the eagle is the first sign of life when they decended on earth and maybe the sign of their islands populated of eagles.symbolism.the rope is of kryptonian technology..it kinda blends in if you can see it. look up for my posts theories upon the film, and you can see it. come on shoot on some ideas of mine.read my earlier posts dont scroll past it. youll see. if not come with some better theories.

when the destruction of metropolis.from the rumble two victims was saved with the newest technology.from lexcorp and the other from starlabs.metallo and cyborg.luthor who is in rebuilding metropolis from the rumble with his oilmoney.(he has his tentacles everywhere.)he is going for president.he is the savior of metropolis in its depression.at the same time the hippies from the habitat that jimmy olson is following protesting of seedy corporation of lexcorp.clark kent and loise lane a reporting of the businessman the penguin that has come to metropolis to invest.withalso news of wayne industries also investing with new green technolgy.a strong female is working in the background.(wonderwoman has been sent from her amazonians.(decendents of kryptonian kryochamber that was open.)in the mix a black knight emerges.that uses green electric silent vehicle thatt swiisches by. A meteor chrashing that sparks new interest in the new technology race of investors.metropolis has the eyes of the world on whats happening.superman is helping rebuilding.that makes some powered beings come to investigate.lois lane is reporting.and jimmy olson thinks he has the biggest scoop of a story.

I have this pipe dream that they will dust of Whedon’s Wonder Woman script and let the movie be made.

Inserting WW into the new Supes/Bats movie I think is another example of DC trying to unnecessarily emulate Marvel…get the ball rolling on League without all the extra time and buildup that Marvel took to culminate in The Avengers. It is monumental enough that Kal-El and Bruce are finally going to be in a live action movie together…and to throw in WW last minute seems to throw off (in my mind) the landmark move already made…and certainly diminishes Wonder Woman’s first live action portrayal since the 70’s…not counting the recent attempt. I agree, she does deserve her own movie…but I can see WB/DC playing money chess…wanting to see fan response first.
As for Gal Gadot…I think she will do great…and her physicality will have little effect on how she will play out in the action roles…Zack Snyder did an awesome job turning Malin Akerman into Silk Spectre…IMO, that film was great and she was a wonderful character…great script, believable action…and I think Gadot will translate just as well. Sucker Punch DID lack in a quality story (written by Snyder and Shibuya) but the visuals and action are promising as it relates to how WW can look. Bat/Sup not written by Snyder…and the same will be for Wonder Woman.

Hello Steve.

Brian from Canada

December 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm

@Kelly:

Your argument fails the moment you include Hunger Games. Hunger Games and its young adult cousins present an ordinary teen girl with the unique combination to defeat the bad guy and keep good in the world — a message of girl-power presented over twenty-five years ago in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. (And, judging by what I’ve seen of the young adult authors, they were most likely the target audience of Buffy when it was on.)

Wonder Woman HAS unique problems that prevent her getting a solo movie.

First and foremost, the animated OAV failed commercially. There is no demand for solo animated features, and that tells you something about potential audience reception. If it can’t make money that way, how will it make money at the box office?

Second – and equally important – is the fact that the David E. Kelly pilot failed to get positive response from the networks. I’ve seen that pilot. While there are certainly elements of the Wonder Woman story that are missing, the biggest issue is how to integrate Wonder Woman into modern society — and modern DC.

The most memorable scene of the pilot is Wonder Woman’s questioning of her doll’s bust size. What does it say about Wonder Woman in that presentation? Because Wonder Woman ISN’T Batman or Superman. You can’t use Diana to meditate on the ruins of American society the way Nolan made Gotham into post-recession America, or focus on the hard choices a hero must make (as with Superman) since Diana is a warrior.

WW2 Wonder Woman succeeds because America sees her as a propaganda tool against the Axis. 70s Wonder Woman succeeded because she defeated America’s enemies while being “just” a woman. Today, with all the strong female heroes, how does she reflect what women can do in society?

And given how WB is getting praise for DC adaptations not being simple popcorn fare (which Marvel is and gladly takes), this is going to be something on the studio’s mind — especially with the fact that Green Lantern, a pure popcorn movie, failed dramatically compared to the other two.

Do we need a Wonder Woman movie? Heck yes. She’s a good character. But with a complicated back story that doesn’t really reflect a society where we have a most likely future female President in 2016, Wonder Woman needs the right script to do it. And the only way she’s going to get the script is, sadly, to get new writers to see her as potentially interesting — something they aren’t seeing with most of the costumed heroes, sadly.

@Brian From Canada

I saw the Wonder Woman pilot too, I’m not sure why it even merits mentioning. It’s tremendously terrible in almost every way. I’d put it up there roughly with the television version of Catwoman and Elektra. It failed to excite anyone because it was awful, plain and simple.

To be honest, the only way I think WW would work is to an Azz inspired run, tone down the dark tone (no Amazon Sex Pirates) throw in a dash of “Thor” the movie- just go pure fantasy. Make WW a champion defending humanity against the machinations of the gods and their monsters in the modern day. Eliminate the feminism angle. She’s an empowered female from an all female society. That’s enough. Touch on it, and never speak of it again. She left to help normal people from the bad old gods because they have a dastardly plot only she can stop. And… DONE.

People would pay for that and see that. No invisible plane. She flies. Why- she’s the daughter of zeus, the god of the sky, that’s why. That’s why she’s stronger than the other amazon’s too. Origin: Done, powers, explained.

Anyway, I’m sure WB will screw it up.

What’s wrong with the women in Man of Steel? The movie sure had some flaws, but Lois and Faora were great and this is coming from someone who has never been a fan of any of Zack Snyder’s movies.

@Brian from Canada

In addition to Kelly’s already excellently made point that the David E Kelley Wonder Woman pilot was completely terrible in basically every way (I have also seen it; my favourite part was when she put her lasso on a man’s chest and then proceeded to torture him for information), I don’t know why you list the Wonder Woman animated feature as a failure. If anything a comparison of this assumption and actual facts highlights an absurd double standard.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_Universe_Animated_Original_Movies#Sales_performance

The only DC original animated movies that have made more money are Superman: Doomsday, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Batman: Gotham Knight. Her movie is in fifth place of nineteen releases. She has outsold every Justice League release including the one released before her own movie, which has the benefit of a longer sales period.

If we run towards the arguments that the only reason Diana’s movie did so well is that it’s been on sale for such a long time, then I’d argue that it’s useful to compare it to the Green Lantern movies. Green Lantern: First Flight was released about five months after Wonder Woman (both in 2009). Wonder Woman has made about $1.3 million more than First Flight. Even taking into account the additional five months Wonder Woman has had to make sales, First Flight would not catch it – let’s be absurdly generous and ignore buying patterns and simply average out its earnings over the entirety of its lifespan; it would make around $600k in five months.

Despite that, the Green Lantern franchise received another animated movie in Emerald Knights, while Wonder Woman received no such attention and has apparently been branded a commercial failure.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths was released about a year later than Wonder Woman, but performed in line with Justice League: New Frontier (which was released earlier). In other words both made millions less than Wonder Woman and made less than movies released both immediately before and after them. Arguably it established a pattern of Justice League movies making less money. THIS is the movie you should look at if you want to identify the commercial failure in the earlier DC original animated movies. But, of course, the Justice League can’t fail, and now we have Doom and the Flashpoint Paradox, and another on the way. And hey, JL: Doom performed much better, so that was a good decision. But my point is, no one wandered around asking why it was getting made after Crisis on Two Earths was so underwhelming.

What exactly does she need to do to “count” as a commercial success? Since outselling Green Lantern and Justice League is apparently not enough?

@Brian From Canada

The WW animated movie did not fail commercially, it made just as much money as any other DC animated movies (to date, it’s made more money than the Green Lantern OAV, and he got his own live-action movie, so…)

Source: http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/0WW09-DVD.php

@ Brian from Canada:

First and foremost, the animated OAV failed commercially. There is no demand for solo animated features, and that tells you something about potential audience reception. If it can’t make money that way, how will it make money at the box office?

Nope. The Wonder Woman movie was Top 5 all-time among DC animated releases (and the only non-Superman-Batman film on that list):
1. Superman: Doomsday $9,455,120
2. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies $8,479,891
3. Batman: Gotham Knight $8,072,890
4. Wonder Woman $7,584,099
5. Batman: Under the Red Hood $7,162,929

I don’t think grosses equal quality as I like the bottom half of the Top 10 better than the top, but #4 all-time is a long, long way from ‘failure’.

WW2 Wonder Woman succeeds because America sees her as a propaganda tool against the Axis. 70s Wonder Woman succeeded because she defeated America’s enemies while being “just” a woman. Today, with all the strong female heroes, how does she reflect what women can do in society?

Honestly, I do not see how she is especially complicated.

There are differences between men and women that are both subtle and real. It is, like, biology. Men and women are always going see the world differently. However, (because you are dealing with such huge numbers of people) any cultural arrangement relating to gender is going to leave large numbers of people unsatisfied. It is, like, math. Therefore, there will always, always need to be something called “feminism” that advocates for women who aren’t represented by the current consensus of gender roles.

The Amazons are a handy metaphor for whatever that dissenting position is. The people writing the character just need to pay attention, like Marston did when he created the character. It is not that difficult a theme for a major motion picture. They were tackling much more difficult stuff in 1975.

@ T.

According to Bleeding Cool, Goyer is taking that Fiege role for DC. So yeah, DC movies will continue to suck.

Someone is better than no one, I suppose.

My problem with David Goyer is that he comes from the Geoff Johns-Jeph Loeb school. He tries to counter Silver Age-y silliness by doing everything more attitude. Sometimes that works, like Loeb’s take on Red Kryptonite in SMALLVILLE, but it is hardly a universal solution. Some times “edge-y” is just another word for “worse”.

Goyer does have good ideas. I liked Ra’s al Ghul as Bruce Wayne’s mentor in BATMAN BEGINS. The army discovering the Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic was a nifty inciting incident in MAN OF STEEL. He just has a poor track record at fully developing them. The third act of both those movies was very shout-y, which is “extreme” way of trying to cover up a lack of dramatic pay-off.

“Flash and Green Lantern are both more popular than Wonder Woman, easily and would make better movies (green lantern movie aside)”

So… no, then.

I actually feel like there are a couple of problems with Wonder Woman, or at least figuring out how to write her movie.

1. Religion

2. Themiscrya/Paradise Island. A hidden island in a world where people think nothing is hidden anymore. Superman comes crashing from the sky. Bruce Wayne lives in an American city. You don;’t have to explain how she came from nowhere.

If Wonder Woman were an alien too, I think she’d have a movie.

Johnny Sarcastic

December 12, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Well, the stats posted here about the Wonder Woman animated movie answered my previous question quite nicely. Clearly she’s got commercial viability, and my disinterest in her is pretty much my own problem (I watched the movie, by the way, and enjoyed it alright – just not enough to own it).

I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have followed up, then? Maybe the problem really is adapting the source material(s). I had half-asked earlier if Wonder Woman had a “magnum opus” of sorts – a story that truly defines her. Any Wonder Woman fans out there care to answer? Is there a go-to book of hers that you recommend to people you’re trying to get into Wonder Woman?

Or, maybe the problem is the inability of a male-dominated market to see that there’s room for a Wonder Woman movie. I had been dismissive of that concept mostly because I figure that the only thing which overrides prejudice is dollar signs. Here’s hoping that her appearance in the new Superman movie leads to some revised thinking, then.

Party Line is a Big Lie

December 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Actually, the nasty truth that DC’s Big 3 Marketing will never acknowledge is lot of us can’t stand Wonder Woman. Men and women both. Some girls sheepishly celebrate her, others gag. Some men go for any boobs on covers, some will pass on any League issue where she’s on the cover.

I’d rather not have her in the picture AT ALL and I’m not a lone. The smaller her role, the better this will be. She’s always been nothing but a token and it’s astonishing how many girlpower idiots don’t realize how stupid they are accepting that as a heroine.

I’d rather not have her in the picture AT ALL and I’m not a lone.

You may not be alone, but I’m guessing your party is a lot smaller, and kind of a sausage fest.

UK magazine features
This month Starburst 397 column The Girl from Planet X (written by Caroline Preece) asks “Why are we still waiting for a female superhero movie?” in which she states that people believe that the failures of Elektra and Catwoman prove that a comic film with a female lead can’t be successful (just as the failures of Green Lantern and Hulk prove that a comic with a male lead can’t be a success?) and she hopes Wonder Woman or Jessica Jones change things

Comic Heroes announce that in their next quarterly issue 23 (April) “Is the cinema ready for Wonder Woman?”

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