Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman A.K.A Diana Prince A.K.A. Princess Diana of Themyscira will make her first appearance in the upcoming [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870), which is set to be released March 25, 2016. The Wonder Woman solo feature will release next, sometime in 2017, and there's a lot resting on her shoulders.
If done right this could be DC's opportunity to get one up on Marvel, who have come under fire for their lack of a Black Widow solo feature despite the character's popularity. In fact, we won't see our first solo superheroine feature from the juggernaut studio until Captain Marvel in 2018, by which point we'll be a full decade into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (compared to Wonder Woman which will be year four and the third film of the DC Cinematic Universe).
Of course, this doesn't mean that 2017's Wonder Woman is necessarily going to be any good. In the past 20 years we've only had two live-action films that have centred on, or were titled after, a female superhero (Catwoman and Elektra) and both were critical failures.
Keep It Action-Focused
From what we've heard so far it looks like Wonder Woman will be trying to keep in with the continuity of the New 52 series, in which Diana's background is less of a peaceful diplomat formed from clay by Hippolyta, and more of a literal Goddess: daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, and student/successor to Ares (whom she slays, taking his power and title as the God of War). She rules the Amazonians as a Warrior Queen, and in the later Justice League titles, develops a romantic relationship with Superman. Amy Adams (the DCCU's Lois Lane) has reportedly confirmed that there isn't going to be a love triangle with Wonder Woman and Superman so - phew.
However, the departure of Michelle MacLaren from the project over "creative differences" has set a worry in motion. Reportedly MacLaren wanted to direct an epic action-driven film in the vein of her previous work (on The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad) whilst Warner Bros edged towards a more character-driven story with less action. You do have to wonder, would the demand "less action" be made about a male-driven superhero film?
Don't Forget Her Roots
Wonder Woman was penned by William Moulton Marston, and he absolutely intended for her status as a feminist icon when she debuted in the early 40s.
"Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness." - Marston
Rather than going all the one way and making Wonder Woman overbearingly masculine, Marston penned a character who could still be kind and peaceful, but with strength and power to back her up. Wonder Woman has since evolved in various iterations, but she paved the gateway for other female heroes of the time, completely annihilating the stereotypes that permeated comic books. (If you think I'm exaggerating, check out how Sue Storm used to be written.)
You Go Gal Gadot
"I always wanted to play a woman that is strong and will be a source for women empowerment. I don’t want to play a damsel in distress that needs to be saved. I don’t like it when women in the movies are shown as the victims. I always thought that if I could send out a message I want to show the strong side of a woman and how she can handle tough situations." - Gadot
There's been a lot of debate regarding the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, mainly focused on her physical appearance (too skinny, not chesty enough). I absolutely understand how annoying it is to see a traditionally muscular female character cast to be played by someone skinnier, especially in the overall discussion of the lack of diversity of the female body in media, but I'm reserving judgement until we see her in action. After all, who would've thought Chris Pratt could play Star-Lord when he was the chubby goofball in Parks and Recreation? He changed his body to fit the role and so has Gadot, if recent pictures are anything to go by.
And as I always say, the character is going to hinge more on the writing that her appearance so - maybe everyone should stop being a dick about her until we have more to go on. Sure, she's a little bit skinny, but she was also in the Israeli Defence Forces for two years (yes, I know it's a mandatory thing over there) and she certainly seems dedicated to the role (and people who compare her to Lynda Carter really need to take a look at Lynda Carter - she was no amazon).
Regardless, Patty Jenkins (director) and Jason Fuchs (writer) certainly have their work cut out for them but, if successful, Wonder Woman could be the film to loosen Marvel's stranglehold on the superhero film monopoly, if only they can manage to not screw it up. No pressure.