Suddenly and without warning, it felt whole. As if a inexplicable void was filled, mended, and sealed. Now, it felt complete. It felt right.
I’m talking about the continuing issue of a major gender gap facing superhero movies, and particularly Warner Bros.’ slate of DC flicks. For a universe chock-full of classic heroes of the male and female variety, Warner has been reluctant to deliver a female character (not named Catwoman) that doesn’t end up being a waste of space. Here are the best examples of woman-hood that can be found in the recent DC movies.
-Katie Holmes/Maggie Gyllenhal’ Rachel Dawes was alright for the first two Dark Knight movies, but she really was just a heavy plot device to trigger a Bruce Wayne collapse.
-Blake Lively’s Carol Ferris, while not a complete idiot in Green Lantern (let us not forget she did fire those missiles at Parallax, irritating him for a good three seconds while Hal Jordan went free), she isn’t memorable at all.
-Anne Hathaway’s turn as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises stands apart some from this list, mostly because to make Catwoman uninteresting would take a lot of work. Anne’s also fantastic in the role, but a kinda/sorta villainess isn’t really what I’m referring to when I talk about a lack of strong female protagonists.
-Amy Adams’ Lois Lane is about the closest we’ve come to a fully realized and dynamic female character in the latest DC Comics film representations. In Man of Steel she shot up a bunch of Kryptonians (whilst being led around by Jor-El, but still), acted her face off against Cavill, and never was used as “damsel in distress” bait. (She fell once or twice, but it wasn’t heavy-handed.) And perhaps most importantly, she wasn’t scantily-clad at ANY POINT, making Lois real without forcing the “sexy” on us.
But now a new female character will enter the DC films arena. Today the casting of Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman (still a working title I assume) was announced! In a statement, director Zack Snyder revealed that Gal Gadot (Fast Five, Fast & Furious) had won the role.
“Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character.”
The Israeli actress will be sharing screen time with Cavill’s Superman and the also-debuting Ben Affleck as Batman. This confirms the long-running rumors that the iconic DC heroine would be making her appearance in the Man of Steel sequel.
Nerd outrage: COMMENCE!
Judge Nerdd’s Sentencing
I’m not going to sit here and comment on Gadot’s acting ability. I’ve only seen her act because she was apparently in Knight and Day. (I don’t remember her.) I’ve never seen any of the Fast Flicks, and I feel bad about saying that. But on looks alone, she seems like a swell fit for the Amazonian Princess. She’s not 6’3 or with bulging biceps, but that’s never been the basis for Wonder Woman as a character. It’s nice that Gadot is taller than 5’4″ though. (She’s 5’9″, just for the record.) She’ll undergo a vicious training regimen and “beef up” for the role. She can even get contacts if nerds require her piercing blue eyes. Gadot is attractive as all get-out and I’m sure will be able to bring the necessary physicality to the role.
*Editor’s Note (Editor is also Joe, FYI): There’s already been a lot of backlash about Gadot’s body type being “incorrect” to play Diana. I’m stunned that so many fans (women included) that are already bashing her look. Um… really? Are we really going to get into this? Wonder Woman has been a variety of different body types, because she’s been drawn SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. I always loved Michael Turner’s version, and she’s more lean and feminine as opposed to some other versions. (I also LOVE Terry Dodson’s take. Gorgeous.) Is Gadot thin? Yeah, I guess. That doesn’t mean she can’t play Wonder Woman. Get over yourselves. I never this uproar over ScarJo’s casting as Black Widow. But she’s got “curves” so it makes it okay I guess. I really don’t understand my kind anymore.
Obviously, this signals WB’s intent to turn Batman vs. Superman into the catalyst for any and all Justice League-related spin-off flicks. The webs have been rampant with speculation about the inclusion of other DC mainstays as well, from Flash to Lex Luthor to Bat-sidekick Robin (who may or may not be Nightwing in the movie’s timeline).
Will this make Batman vs. Superman overloaded? Maybe. I’ll certainly be a little miffed if WW ends up smudged between being an exciting/teasing cameo and an important component to the overall plot. Screwing her up would be highy detrimental to her possible solo on-screen adventures. But I’m not opposed to getting a lot of iconic characters included as long as the script works for all of them.
This is a momentous occasion. Superhero movies and comic books are sure to be affected by this character’s inclusion, but mainstream movies could feel the ripples caused by a strong female character that could (and should) tentpole her own franchise. If Gadot’s Wonder Woman succeeds, then there’s no telling how far-reaching the effects will be. I’m excited to find out, as Diana is one of my favorite comic book characters and has been for some time. I’m more than fine with reserving judgment on Gadot in the role or Synder’s version of Wonder Woman until we start to actually see footage. Is everyone okay with that? Or do all the nerds need a timeout?
NERDD JUDGMENT RENDERED. I AM DA LAW!
If you can stay sane and logical, post your thoughts in the comments!