It's been a bumpy week for Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman movie. Pre-production has been underway for months on the Warner Bros and DC movie with Michelle MacLaren at the helm. Then suddenly last week the Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead director left the project and those dreaded Hollywood words "creative differences" reared their ugly heads as the cause for this surprising split.
Perhaps even more surprising was that less than 48 hours later, Monster director Patty Jenkins was brought on board to take the reins of the abandoned Wonder Woman movie. That's not just quick - it makes many people think that things were not off to a good start for the Wonder Woman and that this is a move that Warner Bros and DC were not only prepared for but perhaps expecting.
Well, Wonder Woman Still Has Gal Gadot
It may not be a coincidence that just before MacLaren left, there was a rumor that hunting was underway for a director on the Aquaman movie. At the same time there was that piece about a potential plot leak that one of Wonder Woman's suits in the movie will be a diving suit - leading many to speculate that Underwater Wonder Woman = Aquaman Appearance and that whoever is directing Aquaman will be spending some time on the Wonder Woman set to see where things are heading for the character and the possible Aquaman world they may be establishing in Wonder Woman.
All this may have proved Wonder Woman to be too much of a studio-led production for Michelle McLaren who is rumored to have had her own ideas for the movie which was theoretically why she was hired in the first place. Not only are there specific plot points that I'm sure DC and Warner Bros are going to want to ensure get hit upon in the movie, there's the other side of the coin that reportedly puts a group of six writers cranking out six different scripts and people not even being able to agree on what time period this movie is supposed to be taking place in.
This is why the "diving suit" rumor strikes me as even more of a solid lead that Aquaman will be having a moment in the Wonder Woman movie. Outside of the need for DC and Warner Bros to give this guy a bit more screen time ahead of Justice League, it seems like this is one of those guaranteed plot points that the studio wants to make sure is part of the movie. That's why they can go ahead and start working on certain props and wardrobe without even having a completed script.
Is Wonder Woman a Victim of the System?
In a bit of irony there's the humorous fact that Patty Jenkins was attached to direct Thor: The Dark World before, yes, you know it, creative differences caused Jenkins to leave the project. All of this continues questions to surface about the limitations of "shared universes" and "cinematic universes" and how they can end up shackling writers and directors. Joss Whedon has fielded these questions and they certainly were prominent when Edgar Wright had to leave the Ant-Man movie. If DC hires Edgar Wright for their next movie, it really will look like DC is giving Marvel a good razzing.
These are likely the reason that Marvel wants to hold on to directors like the Russo Brothers and writers like Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely who have proven with Captain America: The Winter Soldier at being able to flourish under these conditions. It will probably be a long time before we know what kind of creative differences led to Michele MacLaren leaving Wonder Woman but it's a safe bet that the current state of development with Wonder Woman isn't exactly the healthiest.
Wonder Woman's Failure to Launch?
Is it "crashing"? No, I don't think Wonder Woman is at a state that you'd call crashing but I think all the tricky reason that there hasn't been a Wonder Woman movie to this day has proven to continue to be an issue - and then you add to that the pressure DC and Warner Bros has to make this part of the new DC cinematic universe and the pressure to make this the kind of female superhero movie that DC has gotten letters from 10 year old superhero loving girls asking for - well there's a lot riding on Wonder Woman.
I think Wonder Woman experiencing growing pains while it finds its footing. There is plenty of time left to make the anticipated June 23, 2017 release date. Let's just hope everyone can at least agree on an era to set this movie in (and my own personal hope that "modern" is that era) and things can start moving forward. I think DC and Warner Bros need to decide upon someone like Zach Snyder or Geoff Johns to step into the role of DCU captain and take these kinds of basic questions off the table to begin with. Especially with new director Patty Jenkins coming on board.
The DCU should be learning from basic things that Marvel has accomplished by completely ruling out things like origin stories and keeping momentum going by establishing a shared universe that is constantly moving forward and not starting things off by making prequels to movies that are trying to act as the launching point.
What do you think? Will [Wonder Woman](movie:45787) find its footing and get on track or have these shaky beginnings already confirmed your worse fears? Let us know in the comments below!