No offense to Scarlett Johansson and all the butt she’s been kicking as Black Widow for the last few years, but Wonder Woman is going to be a landmark movie in the superhero genre. The first massive, female superhero movie based on properties from the two biggest comic book publishers to come out of Hollywood, it has a lot riding on it.
The fact that a Wonder Woman movie had been stuck in a failed development cycle for so many years, while movies based on her peers Batman and Superman – a few of them utterly terrible – got churned out every couple of years, was especially grating.
And that’s not even taking into consideration the biggest factor of all: We’re currently in a time where Hollywood’s often gross and insulting treatment of women, whether it be the characters on the screen or the actors/filmmakers who bring them to life, not to mention the almost complete lack of female directors being allowed to helm any big budget tentpole productions has finally been placed in a massive spotlight.
So getting the most popular female superhero’s first big budget Hollywood trip right was a huge priority. And given the character’s status as an empowering feminist icon, it’s a movie that many felt should be helmed by a woman as well.
That’s exactly what happened, as Emmy Award-winnning director Michelle McLaren (Breaking Bad, X-Files, Game of Throne) was given the job. Unfortunately, she exited the project soon after with the official reason given as “creative differences” – unofficially, it’s believed that execs at Warner Bros were concerned she was struggling to make the strenuous jump up in scale from TV production to mega-budget Holllywood blockbuster. WB wasted no time in getting her replacement though, and it was arguably a better choice in Patty Jenkins, the filmmaker behind the grueling Oscar-winning drama Monster.
That was a strongly character driven film specifically about a woman and the trials she went through. For a movie that is hoping to have something to say about its female lead character, having that kind of filmmaker on board is a huge boon. And actress Gal Gadot, who’ll be playing the title role of Wonder Woman, completely agrees as she explained to EW:
All my life I’ve been working with male directors which I’ve really enjoyed. And I’m lucky in that I’ve worked with men who have a lot of respect for women. But working with a woman is a different experience. It feels like the communication is different. We talk about emotions. With Patty, it’s a thing now, we communicate with our eyes. She doesn’t need to say a thing. If I’m hurt, she feels the pain. It’s a whole different connection that I have with her. She’s also brilliant, she’s bright, she’s fierce, she’s sharp. She knows exactly what she wants Wonder Woman to be.
It’s a story about a girl becoming a woman. I think only a woman, who has been a girl, can be able to tell the story in the right way.
And for those of you who don’t know the DC Comics character of Wonder Woman, she’s a demi-goddess raised on the fabled island of Themiscyra and populated by nobody except female Amazons. When pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on the island and becomes the first man to set foot on Themiscyra, it starts off a series of events that sees Wonder Woman chosen to go out into “man’s world” right in the midst of World War I.
Of course, Wonder Woman is merely the superhero persona she adopts whereas her “civilian” identity sees her as Diana Prince. And according to Gadot, it’s that balance between warrior goddess and normal woman that makes her so likeable.
It’s very easy to relate to her. She has the heart of a human so she can be emotional, she’s curious, she’s compassionate, she loves people. And then she has the powers of a goddess. She’s all for good, she fights for good, she believes in great. I want to be her. And in Wonder Woman, she has this naiveté in her. It isn’t stupid, it’s magical. I would want to be naïve like that again.
We’ve already got a taste of both Wonder Woman and Diana Prince in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earlier this year, and it was great. There’s a lot you can criticize that movie for, but it’s almost universally agreed that Gadot’s character was superb. And to think when the Israeli model turned actress was first cast in the role, there were many who derided the choice saying she was too skinny and didn’t have the correct warrior physicality. I should know, I was one of them. Luckily for everybody, Gadot proved us wrong.
And along with the quotes, EW have also revealed a batch of new images from their upcoming special Comic-Con issue that shows Gadot in action as well as working on the set with Jenkins.
Wonder Woman also stars Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, and Saïd Taghmaoui and is scheduled for release on June 2 2017 .
Last Updated: July 19, 2016