In a flip reverse of Marvel's approach to laying the foundation of its shared universe by first building solid back stories for individual characters, the DCEU jumped into the ensemble format with this year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As well as Ben Affleck's Batman, the film introduced Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash.
In some ways, this was a superhero baptism of fire for Gal Gadot, who shared the screen with the titular comic book heavyweights. But despite diving in at the deep end, Wonder Woman was one of the few aspects of the movie the consensus could agree on; Gadot's performance was overwhelmingly positive.
So now we turn to the Wonder Woman solo movie, with new details emerging following a release of additional footage in Italy. Following on from a previously released featurette (view above) — which included clips from the movie and some background information — Badtaste.it divulged (in written form, unfortunately) what was included in the new clip. The signs are promising.
The Best Bits Of Snyder
Is Zack Snyder a cinematic genius or struggling storyteller? The jury is out on the director, who came under heavy criticism from critics following BvS. Like it or not, the divisive figure is firmly a part of the DCEU furniture, having already worked on Man of Steel (2013) and BvS, as well as next year's Justice League.
But if there is one thing we can all (hopefully) agree on, it's that Snyder's movies ooze aesthetically pleasing visuals. Snyder is a producer for Wonder Woman, and the byproduct of this is that the footage suggests the film maintains this distinctive cinematography, while under the fresh direction of Patty Jenkins.
What About The Plot?
A large theme will be Wonder Woman's transition from the Amazonian island of Themyscira to Western society, with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) supporting her struggle to adapt to the foreign and alien society.
Trevor, who is a soldier in the movie, encounters Wonder Woman when he accidentally lands on the mysterious Paradise Island, believing her to be the "savior of humanity."
The Importance Of The Movie, From What We Know
The character of Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, a feminist who believe the character was:
"Psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."
That motivation was expressed during her debut in All Star Comics #8, way back in 1941. Some 75 years later, Gal Gadot's interpretation of the character looks set out to achieve the same outcome, or at least burst the bubble of familiarity in the superhero landscape. This comes down to a few points:
- The importance of a female-led superhero movie
- A deviation from the "damsel in distress" or love interest
- A focus on action, not romance
- A multi-faceted, powerful and complex character
1. A Female-Led Superhero Movie
Following box-office and critical flops Catwoman (2004) and Elektra (2005), the superhero genre has a misplaced phobia of female leads. Even the MCU, which is a powerhouse in the industry, has so far managed to avoid a female lead, despite Scarlett Johansson's fan favorite portrayal of Black Widow since 2010.
The DCEU has bucked this trend early on, and success with Wonder Woman could open the door for many more female led features. There are TONNES of adored female comic book heroes that would make good big screen adaptations. With confirmation that Margot Robbie is starring (and producing) a Harley Quinn solo film, the DCEU is setting out a positive stall early.
2. A Deviation From The "Damsel In Distress" Or Love Interest
Director Patty Jenkins is also an inspired choice. She is best known for writing and directing 2003's Monster, a docudrama focusing on the life of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, demonstrating her ability to astutely depict a strong female protagonist. Charlize Theron even won an Oscar for her role.
The new footage emphasises that Jenkins' film focuses on action. While it shouldn't be groundbreaking, it's a deviation for the typical Hollywood portrayal of female characters being a romantic interest of a male protagonist.
Most importantly, in BvS, Galdot's portrayal is striking for the right reasons. Not only does she outsmart Batman, she is seen as a powerful warrior, with her beauty acting as a side product, not her main selling point.
3. A Focus On Action, Not Romance
Make no mistake, Wonder Woman is a warrior, and the new footage shows that Gadot will be too busy kicking ass to worry too much about finding a new significant other. Of course, her relationship with Steve Trevor will be explored, but there is no indication the pair will become anything more than platonic.
Wonder Woman is seen fighting soldiers on horseback, with one particular eye-catching scene showing her using her trademark shield to deflect a barrage of bullets, with her sword drawn ready for battle. In a nutshell, the demigoddess is set to be portrayed in the same light as her male counterparts.
4. A Multi-Faceted, Powerful And Complex Character
Finally, the footage focuses on Wonder Woman as fundamentally a force for good, a woman who is kind natured and wants the best for society. But she is also a multi-faceted individual. As producer Deborah Snyder says:
“Women can be strong and beautiful and intelligent and tough—we’re complex people.”
Without wanting to get too carried away, all of the above reasons show an abundance of promise, suggesting that the DCEU's first female-led superhero movie could be a complete game changer for the superhero genre.
Considering the bigger picture of the influence superhero movies have in modern cinema, the ripple effect could also cause a wave of change in the industry as a whole. 2017 can't come soon enough.
Wonder Woman is released on June 2, 2017.