‘Wonder Woman’: Everything You Need to Know About DC’s Female Superhero Film

     February 19, 2016

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Though Wonder Woman is one of DC’s Holy Trinity, her first live-action feature film is coming next year — about 76 years after she made her first comic book appearance. What about the other two? George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, and Brandon Routh notably portrayed Superman on film, while Batman’s famous big-screen incarnations came via Michael Keaton, George Clooney, and Christian Bale. It’s now only as Ben Affleck’s the Dark Knight goes up against Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that we’re seeing Wonder Woman debut in this landscape.

Why has it taken so long? We almost got a solo Wonder Woman movie from Joss Whedon before he signed on to Marvel’s The Avengers. He wrote a script but announced on Whedonesque.com in 2007 that he and the studio had very different ideas about what the movie should be, which proved fatal to the project. But the way he described it in interviews years later sounded pretty cool.

Another “what if” Wonder Woman movie moment came with the idea of a George Miller-directed Justice League movie. In 2007, the Mad Max: Fury Road helmer assembled a script, a cast, and even concept art that saw Megan Gale as Diana Prince. Partly as a result of the writers strike coupled with a denied tax break from the Australian Film Commission, the film fell apart.

Other attempts to give Wonder Woman new life came from the small screen. Following Lynda Carter’s TV series and Cathy Lee Crosby’s TV movie of the ‘70s, Adrianne Palicki starred in an NBC pilot from David E. Kelley that was never picked up. The actress told Crave Online “there were obviously politics involved,” though The CW tried its hand with a Wonder Woman origin series called Amazon. That, too, never got off the ground.

It’s hard not to blame a misogynist and gender-imbalanced Hollywood system for the lack of cinematic material for Wonder Woman, especially when reports leaking out of the Marvel side claim a similarly slanted hierarchy kept squashing a female-led superhero movie. Outcry from fans, critics, and the actors and filmmakers themselves have prompted more studios to address the larger issue, and it’s in this era of moviemaking where we find ourselves with Wonder Woman, a film directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot that exists within Warner Bros.’ current DC cinematic universe.

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