This year's record-breaking superhero movie Wonder Woman was loved by critics and audiences, giving fans an exhilarating origin story that largely redeemed the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) as a whole. Most importantly, Princess Diana's (Gal Gadot) solo-feature has been praised for empowering women. Now, as Wonder Woman closes in on earning a billion dollars at the global box office, the movie's star has shared her thoughts on how Wonder Woman incorporated its feminist themes.
How Wonder Woman Took On Misogyny In A Different Way
While talking to Rolling Stone about her experiences as Diana of Themyscira, #GalGadot and director #PattyJenkins revealed how they planned to explore themes of feminism and misogyny in the movie. The two wanted Wonder Woman to take on these core issues without being clichéd.
"I didn't want to play the cold-hearted warrior. We didn't want to fall into the clichés."
Diana's disagreements with the men she encountered - such as the British war council - showed a clash of ideologies in an interesting way, emphasizing Diana's status as a newcomer to an Edwardian society. This was a creative decision that was actually suggested by Gadot herself.
"We didn't want to treat the misogyny in a preaching way. We wanted to surprise the audience... We wanted to bring some naiveté. Being the mother of two girls, I'm like, 'We need more naiveté. Everyone is too in their head.'"
This approach worked wonders for Wonder Woman. Diana simply had a particular set of ideals thanks to her upbringing - having learned the true strength of women first-hand without any consideration to a society that suggested otherwise. The overwhelmingly positive feedback that ensued, though, was something Jenkins did not anticipate.
"Even at some early test screenings, women were coming to me afterward and saying, 'I feel like you made a movie for me!' But it wasn't until the second week that the movement started, people going multiple times and taking girlfriends and grandmothers, and pictures sent to me from 90-year-old women who were wheeled in. All of that was absolutely stunning to see."
Wonder Woman: A Step In The Right Direction
The latest #DCEU entry is a progressive step thanks to its positive portrayal of a super-powered heroine. While Diana finds a love interest in Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), her character isn't limited to a romantic relationship.
If someone other than Jenkins had directed Wonder Woman, Diana's solo feature may not have been as nuanced and compelling as it was. Her contribution, along with Gal Gadot's shining performance, contributed to a film that many will remember for its positive outlook on equality. With more titles like this, future superhero movies can learn from Wonder Woman and finally give women equal footing within the genre.
What do you think of Wonder Woman's approach to misogyny? Share your thoughts in the comments below.