Wonder Woman in the "Man Of Steel" Sequel: Can WB Pull It Off?

You've probably heard the news by now that Warner Brothers have finished their search to fill the role of Wonder Woman for the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed sequel to Man of Steel. Gal Gadot, best known for her roles in Fast & Furious, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6 has been honored with the role. Seeing pictures of her, I will admit that she fits the mold of how I think Wonder Woman should look; tall, dark, and exotic. But having never seen the Fast & Furious movies, I can't comment about her acting ability.

No, my true concerns lie with: why? Why add Wonder Woman to a movie that will already feature Superman and Batman? It was a shock to fans to learn that Batman would be a part of the Superman sequel (and received yet another shock when Ben Affleck was cast in the role). That news had them frothing at the mouth to get one step closer to a full-fledged Justice League film. But now we learn Wonder Woman will be a part of it and it has to make us wonder if this is the Justice League movie.

All of this makes me nervous for the second Man of Steel movie. It seems like Warner Brothers is rushing into things after seeing the success Marvel had with The Avengers franchise. Considering WB owned DC Comics for years before Marvel got into the movie business, by all intents and purposes that multi-film plan should have been WB's from the start, with Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman each getting their own movie leading up to a culmination of Justice League. But Marvel beat them to the punch despite not having the help of a big movie studio until years later. WB are probably kicking themselves and, as a result, are rushing into something big...that can easily blow up in their faces.

Wonder Woman by Clint Cearley
Take the Green Lantern for example. He is a driving force in comic books; he's been around for years and has a huge fan following. A number of characters have taken up the mantle of the Green Lantern and has been the center of a number of exciting storylines. Warner Brothers' attempt to translate him to the big screen was a huge undertaking which turned out to be less than favorable. The character became the punchline of a two-hour long joke, completely changed from the kind of person that he is in the comic books. Why? Because apparently Warner Brothers doesn't "get" the characters that they own. They see them as cash registers, used only as a way to generate income for the company. What they don't understand is that fans will only buy into what they enjoy and, like it or not, if they see a character that they respect being misrepresented, they tend to get turned off. That's where Marvel succeeded, by treating their characters with respect.

It feels like WB and DC are revisiting this mistake with the Man of Steel sequel. Though Zack Snyder is a talented director, the film still has the chance to go so, so wrong. Introducing too many characters generally results in the sacrifice of development, not only of the main characters, like Superman and Lois Lane, but also in the supporting characters. We've seen the history of Batman many times over; this is the first time movie-goers are seeing Wonder Woman in action. Well, second, technically, as The Lego Movie somehow beat WB to the punch to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen. (My mind still reels when I think about that.) What kind of character will she be? Are we going to see her alter ego, Diana Prince, or will she just be deflecting bullets with her bracelets as she fights Superman and Batman?

Don't get me started on her origin story. Everyone knows how Batman got his start but I've been a comic book fan since 1990 and even I don't quite understand Wonder Woman's origins. Something about clay and lightning, Amazonian princess sent to America to spread the word of love and peace. I honestly think that in order to make the character work in the tone the films are using her backstory needs to be updated a little bit. Granted, it's easy for me to say that as I understand not everything from the comic books can translate to the movies; unfortunately, that's not a trait a lot of comic book fans have.

Despite all of that, what's important is that Warner Brothers needs to remember they have to treat the character respectfully. She's more than just a female version of Superman. She is a symbol of female empowerment to a great number of women, both comic fans and non-comic fans alike. If they aren't willing to allow that aspect of the character to show through in the movie, then tossing her into the fire will just blow up in their faces.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...