Destroy All Monsters: Icky, Tricky WONDER WOMAN

Columnist; Toronto, Canada (@tederick)
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Destroy All Monsters: Icky, Tricky WONDER WOMAN

DC Entertainment is a conglomerate in trouble, losing ground year by year to their Esteemed Competition, and losing the comic book movie race hands-down. Having handily established a pathological inability to set up a comic-based film franchise with anything other than a "Bat" in the title - Superman Returns, Green Lantern, and even Man of Steel's sputtering, post-opening-weekend slump - DC has all but admitted defeat by announcing that the next film in their canon will, indeed, have a "Bat" in the title.

Superman/Batman (whatever it ends up being called, it will definitely have a "Bat" in the title) will arrive in 2015 to find DC another half-dozen steps behind Marvel Entertainment. Marvel has essentially written the book on empire building for the mega-franchise 21st century. Marvel is aiming for a Phase Three of their run of profitable comic book movies (of increasingly obscure origins, per Guardians of the Galaxy), while DC is still fucking around with prototypes. Further, having gotten away with Thor, Marvel has given a jubilant middle-finger salute to all parties who think that any corner of the comic universe is too weird for a blockbuster adaptation.

Something else got announced at Comic Con a couple of weeks ago, besides Bats/Supes: DC president Diane Nelson announced that Wonder Woman is "tricky." The quote arrives in a context where Nelson seems to be affirming her organization's commitment to developing the character for movies and television, while simultaneously (of course) absolving herself and DC from any responsibility to actually solve the problem:

"We have to get her right, we have to. She is such an icon for both genders and all ages and for people who love the original TV show and people who read the comics now. I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen. The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: She doesn't have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes. There are lots of facets to Wonder Woman, and I think the key is, how do you get the right facet for that right medium? What you do in TV has to be different than what you do in features. She has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she's tricky." (The Hollywood Reporter)

But wait, here's CW president Mark Pedowitz this week, on that network's delayed Wonder Woman television project, Amazon:

"Amazon is on pause (as) the script is not exactly what we wanted, and with an iconic character like Wonder Woman, we have to get it right." (Deadline)

Well at least we're corporately aligned on the key talking points: a) Wonder Woman is "iconic," and b) when creating any media franchise around her, "we have to get her/it right."

Looking past the outright fibbing in Nelson's quote (besides Superman and Batman, what other comic book hero has a more singular, clear origin story that most of the audience knows or will recognize than Wonder Woman? How many regular folk knew who Tony Stark was in 2006?), there is subtext aplenty to unpack in Nelson's description, all boiling down to that rather amazing bit of anti-branding right at the end: "tricky." In a single statement, Nelson has argued for Wonder Woman's importance while tarring her viability as a franchise, and done it all without mentioning the elephant in the room: the inconvenient reality that, per the second word of her name, Wonder Woman is, in point of fact, a woman.

(On the relative complexity of adapting the character for film: Nelson should consult her own back-catalogue. DC Animation made a fairly terrific Wonder Woman movie about four years ago, which went straight to Blu-ray. It perfectly establishes the origin story of Diana, works out a nice sexual tension between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, sets up Ares as a substantial villain, and leads to a grand finale battle between Ares' legions and the women of Themyscira in Washington, DC. Shot word-for-word as live action, Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic's script for Wonder Woman would be a fine franchise kickoff.)

The Men are From Box Office, Women Are From Tricky board game hit a dizzying zenith in the summer of 2013, when men of all stripes met on the cinema screens to beat the holy hell out of each other while a vexing bevy of supporting babes looked on from increasingly contextually-troubling sidelines. We had underwear-clad Alice Eve, amnesiac bad girl Michelle Rodriguez, superpowered Pepper Potts, and a surprisingly canny Lois Lane, but the only woman onscreen in male-dominated movies all summer who was not defined by her romantic connection to her film's main dude was Rinko Kikuchi in Pacific Rim, in an out-of-the-park homer by Guillermo Del Toro that was all the more singular for the wasteland into which it was played.

What made Kikuchi's Mako Mori interesting, though, was not the lack of a smooch with whatsisface at the end of the movie. It was the fact that she was, y'know, a person - who happened to be a woman. She was also a person who happened to be Japanese, and a person who happened to be a trauma survivor, and a person who happened to be five feet tall, and a person who happened to be astonishingly good at stick-fighting, and a person with a prodigious talent at piloting a Jaeger in the Drift.

In a movie universe where women (and, to be fair, a lot of the men) have been defined by characteristics before they are ever defined as people, Mako is a weird, humanistic triumph in the middle of a movie about giant robots beating up mega-slugs. For all the problems I've had with Del Toro's writing for women in some of his past projects, I'll give him this: he punches from the heart. And when one of his characters connects, she really connects.

All of which brings me back to Diane Nelson's quote, and Mark Pedowitz's quote, and what pisses me off about both of them: by defining Wonder Woman as "iconic," they've removed from her any requirement, by the studios or by us, to look on her as a person rather than as a figurehead of an imagined feminist wonderland where any girl, boy, or other can put on a star-spangled bathing suit and kick some ass.

This has been happening in the comics quite a bit for the last couple of decades too, as Wonder Woman has graduated from any sense of relatability or even on-the-ground superherosim, and moved towards an austere godhead - an avatar of love and empathy, but not someone you'd ever want to get to know personally. You'd never invite Wonder Woman out for beers - and why the hell not? It's Wonder Woman, for crying out loud. In any realistic conceptualization of what her superpowers would mean, she could drink you under the table, solve your life story, and carry you home.

But Wonder Woman remains the bottleneck against which any notion of creating a superhero franchise staged around a woman repeatedly slams. Sure, I have a sick fondness for the silly 1984 Supergirl movie (and will go to the mat insisting that a Supergirl movie in this decade would make a kajillion dollars), but as long as Wonder Woman - tricky, iconic Wonder Woman - is sitting there guarding the passage to the utopia where girls get to have superhero movies too, we're not going to get anywhere.

I have to assume that's the game. Wonder Woman is there, and she's tricky, and she's iconic; and thus branded, she doesn't ever have to be solved, and by extension, neither do any of the others. The best female superhero portrayal, maybe ever - Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow - gets to remain comfortably supporting-role; and that one was personally architected by Joss freakin' Whedon, who wrote the book on female superheroes and thinks, rightly, that quim is a lovely word. The same Joss Whedon, of course, whose Wonder Woman project fell apart at DC six years ago.

By dint of what's between her fictional legs, Wonder Woman does bear a burden of responsibility to a ludicrously male-slanted heroic universe. A Green Lantern project is allowed to fail for reasons having nothing to do with Ryan Reynolds' CGI tallywacker; a Wonder Woman movie only fails because it's a Wonder Woman movie.

And to bring it all full circle, that unfortunately means that yes, dramatizing her for the popular masses is tricky. But then, it's tricky to do just about anything worthwhile.

Destroy All Monsters is a weekly column on Hollywood and pop culture.

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Wonder Woman

More about Destroy All Monsters (Matt Brown)

  • disigny

    The problem is that our culture's ideas of "Women" are Tricky, not to say confused. We have become so brainwashed into macho battles, that she must either join in , or be ignored. Blame it on "Religion". In Asia, women are not "Equals", they are "Opposites", as in Electricity,.

  • Andy

    Here's the REAL "elephant in the room": Most male AND female movie-goers simply aren't interested in a female superhero as the main character. Minor character, no problem: main, no.

    REAL women are more interested in seeing a man rescue a woman than seeing the reverse. REAL men enjoy watching male heroes on screen because they fantasize about *being* that hero.

    In other words, the traditional, thousands-of-years-old gender roles persist in our subconscious and our very hearts, no matter how (post)modern liberalism tries to do away with them. (And no, I'm NOT suggesting female characters should only ever be "victims" or "damsels in distress." There are plenty of strong female characters who aren't at the same time "action heroes." And yeah, I totally enjoyed T2.)

  • Christopher Kelly

    DC spends so much time on Batman they don't know how to write for any of their other characters or make good movies with them.

  • Bort

    While the 'she's a woman' problem definitely is the core of the reason Wonder Woman's not getting her movie, I also understand that it's more than that with Warner Brothers and DC. Man of Steel made money, but even the most ardent defenders will acknowledge it was flawed. The Nolan Bat trilogy set a new bar for superhero storytelling, but by Dark Knight Rises it became unsustainable. Green Lantern was obnoxious and insulting. And Watchmen.... DC has not had a pure win, a 100% satisfying portrayal of their characters in live action in years. So while the boys club is the elephant in the room, you have to put yourself in their shoes. If Warner Brothers can't figure out Batman and Superman, the oldest and most famous characters of them all, and it's obvious they haven't, how can we expect them to figure out a new franchise like Wonder Woman?

  • Zagreus

    Disagree with Matt's points about the animated movie. There were some good points- the chemistry with Steve Trevor was pretty good, but a few things would have to be tightened up before that script would be big-screen worthy. Some bits of dialogue were cringe-inducing. But it had potential, granted. It needed a 2nd draft. But, absolutely, a WW movie is doable. DC is being... nervous.

  • TheOct8pus

    I believe the tricky part of Wonder Woman is that they could overly sexualize her and risk alienating the female/feminist audience, or make her too masculine (or androgynous) and alienate the male audience. It's okay for Superman and Spider Man to fly around in tights, but once a female character is flying around in a bikini, things get "tricky"

  • barloot

    The actress that play's she has bulk up. And that's what I mean. Not lithe or 'toned', bulked up. Total body transformation. Like Linda Hamilton in T2. 6 months of 4 hours a day power lifting followed by stuffing her face with boiled chicken breasts and protein shakes. Uma, Trisha Hefler, Briane of Tarth . they could do it.

  • Kevin Eklov

    Ewa Sonnet would make a perfect wonder woman

  • dsul lopez


  • IdgaradLyracant

    No matter what they do there will be a militant feminist that will be furious no matter what. Shit there were militants protesting Pepper in Ironman as "yet another example of misogynistic damsel in distress fantasy objectifying women as nothing more then rape fantasy material." (That creature was screaming at people at the AMC in Rosedale the night I went.)

  • Gregory Marshall Smith

    The same thing could be said of Marvel's female characters. So far, Marvel has relegated its female characters to supporting parts -- Jean Grey, Storm, Black Widow, Rogue, Mystique. In fact, at least DC has a successful female comic book. What long-running female comic has Marvel produced?

  • dc

    Hey producers: Make Wonder Woman happen and you HAVE to cast MEGAN FOX and She HAS to NAIL the CHARACTER DOWN!
    (and obviously the timing of the release has to be perfect) DC!!!

  • polysciguy

    The 'trickiness' regarding Wonder Woman is that so many people try to define (usually in a very narrow way) what it means to be a woman and then bitch if the presentation does not meet their definition. Feminists of certain feminist stages refuse to define females as warriors but only as victims despite massive scientific evidence to the contrary that women are frequently abusers as well. So, the DC character is a strong woman who is a warrior (a male characteristic by many feminists) and that immediately creates a problem as much of the intended female target audience will be prejudiced by feminists who will pick apart the character, costume and story long before the movie is released - likely affecting sales as such drivel will be carried and promoted by the NY TImes, Daily Beast, Huffington Post and others.

  • khsgiorhga;o

    not interested in wonder woman, yeah she's a different character than what we've seen before but it just doesn't work in a world with the batman. just reboot green lantern and then have a movie featuring clark, bruce, and hal. done.

  • Guest

    Let's be honest, the only reason anyone watched Wonder Woman when it was on TV was Lynda Carter.

  • Leo

    Great article! Totally agree.
    Like you said, any comic can be made into a feature. I didn't expect Thor to be as awesome as it turned out to be, so why can't they do sthg in a similar tone?
    Tricky? Which main comic character isn't iconic and tricky, and have to get it right? Honestly, they're scared. Hey, no risk no return, so take a risk and just do it!! Not all Marvel adaptations turned out great but what is left of DC if they stay stagnant with Batman (which I'm a megafan) and Superman, which I hate to say MOS was not up to all the hype and expectations.
    Enormous potential for WW!!

  • Brian

    I suggest they contact Wonder Woman Lynda Carter and get her help. She made WW living breathing real, she is their only hope.

  • Lauren

    I wonder why some people have a hard time writing likable strong female leads. It's been done many times before. Tons of ensemble shows feature strong female leads like Teen Titans and Nickelodean's Avatar franchise. Shall I bring up the Brony epidemic? Nashville. Bridesmaids. Jack Ass. Tangled. Compelling female leads everywhere. Also, women have been watching male-oriented films for a long time. Why are most guys so resistant to the opposite? And even if only women go out to see the film, as evidenced by Twilight, things that appeal to girls make a killing in the box office. In any case, I really don't think Wonder Woman is as tricky as they say. The script writers just need to get out of the man-gender-biased female stereotype maze. Women are so much more than nagging whiny weak sex objects in distress. That's like reducing men to violent drunk unhygienic egotistic perverts. Is it that hard to make Wonder Woman a complex compelling character for both genders to enjoy? To be honest, I think the main problem comes from her bathing suit costume - which depicts her as a sex object. If they put her in something more normal and covered up, we can focus less on the fact that she's a woman and more on her convictions and actions as an individual. Also, I think a good place to draw inspiration from is the 2004 Van Helsing movie. The female lead was very strong and Hollywood broke the cardinal rule of not showing women get hurt. Anna played with the big boys, got the shit beat out of her like a real fighter, but stood her ground. THAT was an epic movie and I loved the female lead. She was not Helsing's damsel in distress. She died fighting for her cause like many men of legend have. See the movie if you haven't because I think it is that good.

  • Drew Pierce

    There's nothing confusing about how to do Wonder Woman. Like this article says, use the script for the animated Wonder Woman, and better yet sign Nathan Fillion to play Steve Trevor. This would be the perfect mix of superhero action, Thor/fantasy elements, and HILARIOUS comedy with Fillion being Fillion. The fact that the answer is right in front of their faces yet DC/WB doesn't see it is the exact reason why DC Movies are a joke.

  • Andy

    Great post. DC Animated has produced some great scripts for their cartoon-movies. I can't imagine why in the world any of those scripts couldn't be adapted to the big screen and live-action. (And this could've happened with DCA's adaptation of the death-of-Superman story, which was an excellent adaptation.)

  • Gretchen

    I wouldn't think it would be that difficult.
    Just think of Xena and Captain American having a child and whammo...your new Wonder Woman. lol

  • David

    Someone on here said it best, but lets be very specific. The real sign
    of why there is a "femi-fascist" faction in Hollywood who refuses to let
    a Wonder Woman film done right is embodied in the Mary Sue that was
    Chloe Sullivan from "Smallville". There is no doubt in my mind that she
    was a creation of either a female writer, or was a homage to someone a
    writer new, but she is exactly what Hollywood wants, which is a
    self-deceiving unrealistic projection of what too many feminists think
    of their gender. That may offend some women, but many more will agree
    with it.

  • 6RID8U6

    This not only CAN be done right, it HAS been done right...

  • The Great and Powerful Turtle

    not a great trailer there's a much better one out there,its on youtube

  • 6RID8U6

    Seen 'em all, the one I linked is the winner. :)

  • tonyclifton1969

    Wonder Woman cannot work because feminists cannot accept that female characters can have flaws or get physically hurt.
    The only acceptable female character since the 2nd wave of feminism has been the Mary Sue, which is why they all suck. All these stupid restrictions imposed by lobbies and ~ists on media is the reason that most main characters end being white young male by default, as that's the only 'safe' social group that doesn't care if they are portrayed as evil, sexy objects, cannon fodder, losers, or idiots. Therefore, they are the most versatile character.

  • Biff007

    Although marvel has more of a fascination aspet than D.C. ....... D.C.has super heroes that would give marvel a run for their money.the flash for instance if done right would be a box office hit . As well as wonderwoman

  • bfg666

    Marvel has Quicksilver and he's gonna feature in not one but two movies... Flash? There's a rumor of a TV show spreading around but nothing concrete yet. You might argue that Flash is more popular than Quickie but this is debatable since, with the notable exception of Bats and Supes, DC heroes as a whole are not exactly more popular than Marvel's in the general public's eye.

  • patrick_nakasone

    The other hard part is finding an actress that can sell her self as being Wonder Women. I do not mean just physically but the force of personality that the character needs.

  • i could do it, but I am only 5'2....

  • James in NC`

    Wonder Woman is probably one of the simplest of the superheroes to get "right". Make her young, mid-20s. The whole country girl in the big city plot line. You can lay in the whole struggle to find herself, the underlying storyline of why she has left the island. It lets you step away from the bathing suit image. A sort of Dark Angel meets Witchblade thing.

  • bfg666

    Funny you should mention a cross between Dark Angel and Witchblade as a step away from the bathing suit image since one has been played by one of the hottest chicks in Hollywood, who has more than once been hired for her looks alone (and sometimes for parts she mostly played in skimpy bikinis), and the other is quite reknown for being one of the most unnecessarily sexy comics ever written...

  • Truth Hurts

    NO! exactly opposite of everything you just said. Wonder Woman is older, not younger. Wonder Woman is in her mid thirties, she is well endowed in the chest, tall, athletic. You have to have her character in the same age range as Batman and Superman. A young Wonder Woman will fail instantly.

  • Andy

    Oh, well, of COURSE she has to be "well endowed in the chest," cuz, after all, that's such a "unique" feature for a female comicbook character. (Eye-roll)

  • James in NC`

    Maybe. But the primary problem with doing that is you have a immediate comparison to the Wonder Woman TV series we all loved. By taking a completely different tack, you can get away from that comparison.

  • Truth Hurts

    Actually nobody cares about the Wonder Woman TV series in this day and age. If you are going to reinvent a character that will appeal to all ages.. you don't push a teen chick down our throats mainly because they fail at acting, they are still forming their bodies, and they don't fit the persona of an Amazon Queen. In order to make Wonder Woman fit in the DC current universe, she has to be older than mid 20s. She also will more than likely have some romantic infatuation with certain DC characters so her being older and more mature will be easier to swallow than watching a chick flick like Twilight. You want to pull the audience in, not push them away. That is why characters like Pepper Potts in Iron Man are adored. A strong mature woman is going to be key to making Wonder Woman watchable.

  • bfg666

    Exactly. I must add that even as a kid (I'm 40 now), I never cared much about Lynda Carter's TV show. The only thing about it that raised any interest in me was Lynda's cleavage. The show was way too campy not to be met with laughter (Jeez, that spinning thing was utterly ridiculous!) and I never got that pro-american ultra-patriotism the creators were trying to shove our faces into. It might be understandable, if not enjoyable, from a character like Captain America, but Wonder Woman?! She's a greek demigoddess, for fuck's sake!

  • Harry Faulkner

    I always thought if they wanted to make a WW movie, she would have to be kind of pissed-off; an anti-hero(ine). Like the studio exec said in the article, WW needs a overriding story; she should have her own agenda, putting her at odds with the likes of Superman, Green Lantern, whoever.

  • W.l. Swarts

    Mr. Brown,

    The reason DC Entertainment is not making a "Wonder Woman" movie is simple: they are not looking to make a "Wonder Woman" movie. What I mean by that is simple: DC Entertainment is not accepting, reading, soliciting, or allowing its top people to even LOOK at scripts for "Wonder Woman." There are no agents who can get a "Wonder Woman" script read, DC Entertainment is, quite simply NOT accepting any script material based upon its already established characters.

    The kicker of this is that DC Entertainment is following a tactic entirely antithetical to its own claimed philosophy and belief. If DC Entertainment wants to make a "Wonder Woman" movie that holds up and is truly different from every other superhero movie Marvel has been producing . . . they need only to bring new talent on. In other words, to make a successful "Wonder Woman" movie that does the character justice, DC Entertainment cannot use Joss Whedon, David S. Goyer, or the others who have essentially been rewriting the same superhero movie over and over again.

    But . . . DC Entertainment is NOT doing that. Instead, they have shut the doors to any new talent that could emerge - even with a script in hand - citing their legal department. They are not looking for writers, they are not accepting submissions from agents . . . the only reason for that is that they do not WANT to make a "Wonder Woman" film.

  • Christopher Smith

    truth be told. im not the biggest d/c fan. but I am a huge whedon fan. and hearing wb canned his script for wonder women is hilarious. makes them wish they could look in to the future and cry about all the money they missed out on.

  • Seth Wilson

    Man of Steel sequel should be call Superman: Shadow of the Bat.

  • Andy

    Naw, that makes it sound as if /Superman/ himself is "the shadow of the Bat"--i.e., Batman's sidekick.

  • Serena Debesa

    They really need to make a Wonder Woman movie. Ive been saying this for years. Get with the program DC!! Marvel had no problem portraying the female super heroes in XMen!

  • TheKillingWords

    I'm a pretty optimistic guy but even I've pretty much given up hope that DC will get any substantial traction with WW or anything other than Kal or Bruce. They're too afraid to take a chance at anything but a guarantee, (yet even the latter Superman and Schumacher films proved they're not above failure).
    The only glimmer of faith I have is that SOMEONE from WB will see that fanmade trailer and FINALLY grow a pair big enough to pitch something that works.

  • Mirva

    In contrast there are more female leads in horror than male. Females are just better victims than men in those kind of movies. Males are usually the predators.

  • Judging by your name I'm guessing English isn't your first language and I completely get your point about how women are portrayed in horror but, still the line 'females are just better victims' makes my skin crawl in all sorts of the wrong ways ...

  • Mirva

    Sorry about... making your skin crawl. Now that I re-read my sentence, I realized how it must have come out.
    Women are simply physically weaker, smaller, they apparently have more expressions for fear and a high-pitched scream, which already gives a good basis for a lead actress in a horror film. Normally women would have lesser chances of surviving (than men) if we think about reality, but in the movies, they usually survive against all odds. There are of course horror movies with male leads as well, but as it is, I find them to be very different... More action driven and gory.
    It's just how the roles between genders are typically displayed in media and in many stories, where the males portray as heros and females as the damsels in distress (I hope that sounded a little better than victim). It's all pretty much reflecting the views of gender-roles by the majority and it might be that changes to these roles are therefore creating certain resistance (which is why change usually happens slowly). I could be wrong...
    And true, english is not my first language, which is why I'm trying to communicate as clearly as I can. I hope this post made more sense.

  • puddintain

    Easy fix. Give Marvel the rights to Wonder Woman. It'll get made in less than two years and it'll get made well. It'll make piles and piles of cash because the only people that don't want to make a full blown Wonderwoman franchise happen are the folks at DC.

  • bfg666

    Dunno. After all, Marvel haven't made a superheroine film yet. They're even playing cold feet about a Black Widow movie despite the popularity of ScarJo's character! There's been some rumors about bringing the female version of Captain Marvel to the screen but as of now, they're nothing more than rumors.

  • Georgina Quiñones

    love this article! Thank you for writing it!

  • Crimsonrain

    I think the only way they are going to get a Wonder Woman movie made it to call it "Batwoman"...and when then have it be Wonder Woman and not Batwoman in the movie.

  • CWolf

    There's also the elephant in the room: Wonder Woman is going to take a punch. Or a hundred. And some of them are going to be from males.
    The threat of the story about Princess Diana of the Amazons engaging the forces of evil in hand-to-hand combat getting warped into a national dialogue of power structures and gender relations would make many producers slink away.

    Well, the best leading female action hero will be -for the foreseeable future- Nickelodeon's Korra the Avatar.

  • Jonnan

    I'm a bit more mixed regarding even their animation properties - they have had some great ones, but they have also had some I didn't care for - of which frankly the Wonder Woman animation described is one.

    My honest opinion is that it has to do with the fact that DC dived into growing their characters as personalities with good and bad aspects fairly late relative to Marvel - Iron Man's descent from being a 'Playboy' to an Alcoholic was the iconic example, a descent in which a major character fell to Earth . . . and kept falling . . .

    A major risk, creatively, and financially . . . but it made a character that someone as talented as Robert Downey Jr. would be interested in playing 20 years later. And it is emblematic of a number of the characters in Marvel.

    It's also a level of attention that came relatively later to DC, and often with near trepidation - Many of DC's Major Characters are still in many ways growing, and minor characters have almost never been developed to have the same depth of personality. Batman is one of the rare exceptions of having been developed as a character with flaws and strengths for years before 'Crisis'.

    A rant like this is of course defined as much by what it leaves out as what it covers - Certainly a generation has grown up with a Pulitzer prize winning reporter who toppled Intergang in a way Superman never could, Wally West, Booster Gold, Lex Luthor as an titan of finance . . .

    But in terms of depth of character - DC's team just doesn't have as many interesting 'Back-benchers', and even many of the major stars have become fully fleshed out only during my lifetime.

    All that aside - I want them to steal Marvels strategy and build towards a major team movie - Because a live action Crime Syndicate feature film would absolutely rock - <g>.

  • N.K.

    I don't see why WB can't get it together and come up with something that
    would work for Wonder Woman because they can borrow bits and pieces from each era and tweak a few things here and there to make it work.

    The setting of the movie can begin during the middle of WWII, the war
    somehow triggered some kind of "apocalyptic" chain of the events leading
    to the present time. Well why WWII?

    Here are some ideas they can use to work off of and flesh out:

    1.) The backdrop of the story can begin where the gods
    (particularly and specifically Ares) and their minions somehow have an
    agreement to work with the Nazis during this period. These minions of evil took
    their disguise as “humans” to aid the Nazis in their world conquest that had
    nothing to do with what we all thought it was over in the history books….. Maybe
    the God of War (Ares) was using the Nazis as a vehicle to fulfill some greater
    evil even they (the Nazis) didn’t see coming?

    2.) Tie this in somehow with the origin of how Queen
    Hippolyta (Diana/WW’s mother) and the Amazons came to “Paradise Island” and the pact that allowed them to stay as immortals, which obviously should have some connection to Ares and her (the Queen’s)
    history with him… then one day, that pact was threatened.

    3.) Diana’s story begins as she is born with the blessings
    of the Gods. Queen Hippolyta, sees Diana as a protector as well as an heir that was predestined to take on some larger role that Diana herself isn’t privy to until she gets older. Due to the laws of the Amazons, Diana must “prove” her worthiness so that she can lead the Amazons to what would be an inevitable conflict later on in the story.

    4.) Building off of the points above, Steve Trevor, Diana’s so-called “love interest”, could be a WWII plane pilot whose plane got shot down
    only to land on the mythical Paradise Island through some mythical portal of sorts.

    He should be a main protagonist where his character is fleshed out more as a battle tested war veteran who is an Intelligence Officer (spy even?) who gets a taste of the mythological and supernatural. He accidentally saves Wonder Woman’s life while she and her Amazons are in the middle of a battle for control over Paradise Island (or something of that effect). Wonder Woman just so happens to be the person who discovers him from the debris, bringing him back to consciousness.

    5.) From there, the story builds where Queen Hippolyta
    realizes that the battle for Paradise Island and the battle on the outside
    world is indeed interconnected, and that the minions of evil (which include
    Ares as some kind of major shadow figure behind it all) is somehow trying to
    initiate some grander scheme.

    Diana, like most Amazons, do not trust men and have a rather cynical view of them but she is initially forced by her mother to leave the island with Trevor on a mission to seek more information about the outside world and stop this greater evil from happening. It’s even possible that Queen Hippolyta could have deliberately brought the human Steve Trevor to the island as a means to aid her, which in itself would be a gamble.

    6.) Diana is given her mission, the power bracelets that allow her to transform into her WW costume, and perhaps the power to eject her “magic
    lasso” through some “jedi” like transmission. In order to leave the island
    unseen by the evil and unscathed during the battle raging on Paradise Island,
    her mother took the remains of Trevor’s plane and created an “invisible” plane
    that would be used initially as a vehicle to transport Trevor and Diana through
    the “mystical” pathway back to the human world. Perhaps this invisible plane can be used in other aspects throughout the story in order to allow Diana and Trevor to travel back and forth to the mythical world and this would be its main purpose
    throughout the story.

    7.) While Diana is globetrotting in the human realm, she is
    forced to “fit in” a world that is so very different from hers, as well as
    struggling with the process of being a woman during an age that women had very specific roles during the 1940’s. The gender roles between man and woman plays out in great frustration and humor alongside Trevor – who I would imagine would be a charming and open-minded enough man to understand that Diana was “no ordinary woman” and would struggle to adapt herself into what would obviously be a Patriarchal world. Throughout the film, Diana begins to develop a tender for Trevor as her trust and respect for him grows.

    8.) Obviously the film would have to end with WW being
    victorious but in order for her to be ready for a modern day setting, I believe
    she returns to Paradise Island where the final battle is set. The battle for
    Paradise Island could continue to be an ongoing struggle even after the “Great
    Threat” is temporarily averted.

    Being that she would still count as immortal,she wouldn’t age. Once her mission was complete, Diana returned to ParadiseIsland, even though that meant she would leave the love of her life behind forever (Steve Trevor). Then when Justice League comes around, Trevor himself (being a very old man), or his descendants would have some kind of magical memento that somehow proves that the myth of the Great Amazon, Wonder Woman during the age of WWII, was not only a myth, it was a true story and Batman somehow finds a way to communicate with her in order to get her join another mission meant to save earth.

    Anyway, that’s just my rough summarization in terms of how they can go about
    a WW movie. I say they keep the elements of her being a strong, beautiful woman who obviously very capable of legendary levels of badassery…but one who does has some hang-ups of trusting men due to the Amazon legacy which I think should be obvious in the beginning of the film due to their history with Ares.

    Her budding “love/hate” relationship with Steve Trevor reflects this. I don’t think that’s something they have to shy away from. The illustration of how she is able to trust Trevor over time should play out throughout her quest even as we know she doesn’t really need him for protection per say but as someone who she has no choice but to trust to guide her into an unfamiliar human realm. That should be a theme throughout the story: Trust, being aware of human nature, and allowing people (especially men) to prove themselves and their worthiness to you.

  • David Jones

    I've read every comment and one particular point that everyone has missed is this. Every movie that Marvel or DC puts out is either Rated PG or PG13. NEVER Rated R. That is my biggest issue with these wimpy movies. Yes you have action and violence, but an R rating would make these movies much more intreresting. As for Marvel and DC losing money from anyone under 17 because of an R rating, that is hogwash. I see worse on Primetime television. But Marvel and DC are WIMPS! I mean lets get real, how is Dark Knight going to be a DARK movie if it is rated PG lol Give me a break! The Hulk was a huge disappointment to me. He looks like a cartoon character on the big screen. And they destroyed the Superman franchise in my opinion. Superman Returns was awful. Half the movie focused on Lois Lane. That side story gets really old after awhile. As for Iron Man, I just cant stomach that gross Robert Downey Jr. A former dope fiend, and remember the gay guy he played in the movie Weird Science? lol They should have picked a different actor . Spiderman 1 and 2 were OK at best.

  • Lord Darque

    R rated movies cannot make a Billion. Simple as that. Every SuperHero movie is aimed at that. You are just talking about a whole different world. We have and will get a few of those but the majority will never be made R.

    Of course once I read your opinion on RDJ most of your post made sense. Holding his past against him not to mention the stupid comment about playing a gay character (oh no!) does not exactly help to make anybody take you seriously.

  • David Jones

    Robert Downey Jr is a dweeb with a beard. Here is whats screwed up....Lindsey Lohan, who I think is a sexy chic, gets all this heat for bad behavior BUT Robert Downey actually shot heroin into his body! Now he is Iron Man??? What a role model for kids!

  • bfg666

    Since when Iron Man is supposed to be a role model anyway? Stark is a former alcoholic who dabbled in more troubled waters than any politician could ever dream of.

  • The difference being Downey dealt with and overcame his addiction, which Lohan very much has not. And given that Tony Stark is himself an addict, Downey's casting is very appropriate.

  • Martine

    he only people who want to see a Wonder Woman flick are adolescent boys. Do not put it on any women's rights platform. To many of us women the whole fetishy amazon girl thing is disgusting. We didn't realize what was actually being said when we were younger and liked Buffy, but now we get it. The truth is one does not need to karate kick in order to express strength. There is no liberation to a woman in having super physically strong females on screen. Women are indeed physically weaker in real life, but we that doesn't make us any less. As long as a woman's strength is defined by hitting bad guys on the chins we lose. The only ones that win are little boys who like to see the actress kick her legs up in the air. Why do you think tv shows like Nikita have no female fans to speak of?

  • Angela

    You're trolling, right?

  • Lord Darque

    The only people who want to see Wonder Woman are young boys? Are you freaking kidding me? She has been popular for 70 years and is one of the original SuperHeros along with Superman, Batman and Captain America.

    She deserves a movie because of her history. The fact that she is female is in no sense the point. Thinking that it is is the reason they are afraid to make one. Make it with respect and not pandering and it will be a huge hit.

  • Guest

    Why do we need just another Buffy the Vampire Slayer knock off. We already have too many action girls running around out there...and lets face it, its kind of a silly role for a woman. I don't understand why its in any way liberating to have amazons running around for any woman. In a contest of strength woman do indeed lose. But only physical strength...which doesn't count for much. Why emphasize the silliness. Karate kicking isn't everything. As a woman it insults me more then anything.

  • Martine

    Man of Steel was "sputtering"? Thats a laugh. And if all they had was Batman films that would be a lot.

  • Dart Vade

    pretty simple its because they story of her really sucks, the character isnt that complelling (she has basically no feelings), she has lame original powers, an invisible jet and a truth lasso (oh brother). If they give her different powers and origin story then she isnt that character but something else entirely. Add to teh fact that female driven superhero movies (catwoman, tomb raider, elektra...etc) are pure box office poison, it has no built in male viewership (who really aren't interested) which you need for a 100$ million dollar CGI spectacle and she cant be real sexy while fighting, sweating and bleeding. Its a recipe for disaster that someone will have to try and crack

  • bfg666

    Uhh, I don't know how it is on Tattooine but on Earth, males are ALWAYS interested in watching sexy girls in skin-tight outfits flexing their muscles...

  • Lord Darque

    Yeah that 70 years of popularity was just a fluke not because she is an interesting character.

  • purpletree

    i was waiting for the Joss Whedon reference... i bet they're kicking themselves NOW for letting him get away! too bad he had to make a box office smash (2) to be taken seriously. i bet everyone's paying attention now... just imagine if they'd let him do the WW film the way he had wanted. It would've been total badass

  • Lord Darque

    Yeah DC completely missed the boat on that one. They could have had Joss helping them to build their DCCU and they passed. I am not surprised at how much they have struggled based on their really bad judgement. Joss' take on the character was beautiful and would have worked like a charm.

  • obloodyhell

    DC needs to just get off their asses and find some people who understand both mediums -- comics and film. The obvious ones -- Whedon, Strasinsky, and yes, George R.R. Martin, should just be grabbed, given a target, and then let them define what to do -- then get and keep the @#$@#%@% studio IDIOTS out of it.

    The real problem with Wonder Woman is ... the suit. Face it, she needs the suit or she's not Wonder Woman (look back on the wailing and gnashing of teeth when they just tried to put legs on it for the planned series a couple years back) -- but *with* the suit, she has an obvious sexual appeal that drives postmodernist feminists absolutely NUTS... so either way, you're going to piss off a lot of people with her.

    So DC is EXACTLY right, she's... tricky. This is more true of her than any other female super hero in EITHER universe... Because she really is the first Female Superhero (LOL, you want to have some real fun, look into the kinky crap Marston had her involved in in the 40s. This was a kid's magazine? For elementary schoolers? Really?)

    And don't forget Elektra flopped even though it had Jennifer Garner at the height of her popularity replaying a role she'd already gotten good reviews on. And Elektra is a lot easier character to develop, with fewer expectations and presumptions from the audience, than Wonder Woman.

    So yeah, DC would be better trying to develop Supergirl than Wonder Woman, Black Canary rather than Wonder Woman. They are much easier to make an interesting story about them that doesn't piss off a good chunk of the audience.

  • machsimillian14 .

    elektra flopped because it was just an awful awful movie. there's actually a lot of room to revamp that one and get it right. they had to rely on drama and cgi and camera angles to make up for the lack of martial arts talent which hurt the movie a lot, because it ended up being a lot of fluff instead of an action movie. if they were to redo the movie more along the lines of jason bourne type choreography as well as drama, it'd be a badass movie.

  • obloodyhell

    P.S., the best description-idea occurs below by another commenter. Set the first one in her actual roots, WWII, and, at the end, have Mars (the obvious enemy and one of her few actual Rogues gallery people would Get) toss her forward in time (along with Steve Trevor) in an fit of godly pique at her thwarting him ("You've screwed up my plans enough this time. I've got a new idea for a 'cold' war.... Begone! - POOF!").

    Yeah, they'll claim you just did the Captain America thing (which is somewhat true, though you had to do it), but it solves A LOT of problems including that suit. You can make the choice to either have her decide to moderate it when seeing modern styles, or you can have her publicly tell off any feminist twit telling her what to do ("I am an Amazon, born and bred, why would any truly independent woman need the opprobrium of other women, much less other men?" See Below.)... or both. It also provides for elements of comic relief as Trevor, a decorated war veteran, adjusts to re-integrating not simply into non-war conditions but also the changes in EVERYTHING that have occurred in 70 years. This is a guy for whom crystal radios are still high tech. This is a guy who grew up when cars and planes were NEW.

    re: The suit...
    This Oglaf covers it nicely. I think it is somewhat safe for work, but be cautious if you explore, many of them are decidedly NOT safe for work and are likely to offend anyone easily offended, with a high amount of sexual content. If you explore, it's on your own head if you're scandalized.
    The Glamazon Way

  • N.K.

    I agree...I think they have to set it in a WWII setting and either she returns home and doesn't age or she gets put in some kind of time warp.

  • Jacky Gallo

    I think "Alexandra Daddario" should play Wonder Woman.

  • josh

    scarlett johannson as black widow was literally laughable.

    Of course, that is just my opinion, but it's just hard to wrap my head around the fact that anyone could take her seriously.

  • Timothée Ambroise Pierre Hayes

    It's not just the script (which, I am sorry, should be a BREEZE -- it was successfully pulled off with the TV pilot in 1975, and the cartoon... and you have much you can do: gods, war, terrorism, Steve Trevor crashes, Diana takes him back, stays... ohh, really hard; why not just give us Perez's reboot on film?) but also the actress. Palicki was no Wonder Woman. She didn't look like her and had a really bitchy, whiny posture. We need a woman who is drop-dead gorgeous who disarms you more with her smile and eyes with the posture of a statue, who at the same time is up in the power rang of Superman... she needs to transmit confidence and strength but also love and compassion. Not sure WHO can pull it off the way Lynda Carter did. That is a sad reality. Beyoncé? Please? Morena Baccarin? No way? Sandra Bullock? No.

  • Andy

    Not really interested in the WW character in the first place--but you don't think Morena Baccarin could pull off both tough and compassionate? I think you're dead wrong there.

  • obloodyhell

    Whoever it would be would be an unknown, just like Carter was before she got the role.

  • Jinxter

    The only hard part is the corporate idiots who are too afraid to pull the trigger and MAKE the movie based on the character as she is displayed in Justice League. Forgive me but the new 52 origin and new 52 storyline, quite frankly, sucks. Other than hooking her up with Superman (which I have been wanting since the 70's) is about one of 2 things they got right in the new 52 in regards to her character the other is in her characterization of a STRONG, opinionated but willing to learn woman as she is portrayed when she is with Kal. Why does she NEED to be Zeus' daughter? I preferred that she was a blessed gift to her mother...a gift of the very gods that the women of Themyscira paid daily homage to. She was her OWN woman...she was a Daughter of a Queen, a Queen of Warriors/Scholars/Scientists who did NOT need men to be complete women. Hell for a time, she WAS the Goddess of Truth who gave it up to be a 'mortal' again.

    Make a Wonder Woman movie as she is often described...A HERO at the power level of Superman, Fighting abilities of Batman, and a Beauty like no other who has NO ISSUES that she is wearing a One-Piece Swimsuit. She debuted in 1942 wearing a version of a One Piece Swimsuit with and at times without a skirt. As fashions got more risque as time went on, so too did her suit. YET, NOWHERE in her comics is the Character of Wonder Woman worried about what someone whose culture is NOT similar to hers, thinks about her outfit...and really a mystical, tropical island filled with nothing but Warrior/Scholar women whose culture in appearance reflected the ideals of ancient Greece. Would a woman from THAT culture care one whit what other people think about her comparative lack of clothing? I think not...she might want to pay attention to societal norms when not in her working outfit, but for the most part, I do not believe that she would care.

    Wonder Woman can be difficult, but if you approached it from the point of view of the character and the culture shock someone like that would have to how America views the world would make for a VERY interesting movie. They often show this mix of culture as reflected in her conversations with the Blue Boyscout...they could use those conversations as a basis on how to showcase her in a movie.

  • Andy

    You can rationalize it anyway you want--but the reality is that not only WW, but all comicbook superheroines are written and drawn in part for sheer sex appeal, because sex sells. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any neo-Greek cultural exploration. (Eye-roll)

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