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Women in Cinema: Where is Wonder Woman?

character_bio_576_wonderwomanWith the unceasing popularity of comic book hero turned action movie star, many fans are wondering, where is Wonder Woman?

Making her debut in 1942, Wonder Woman has been a DC darling ever since. (With the exception of a brief stint in 1986 when the heroine returned to Themyscira–otherwise known as “hiatus.”) As recently as April 2013, Wonder Woman was #36 out of the top 300 comic books sold. A collection of animated series and movies, and especially the 70’s series starring Lynda Carter, have kept Wonder Woman relevant in the superhero discussion.

But where is her big movie? When will we see her origin story?

There have been attempts. Oh so many attempts to bring Wonder Woman (aka Diana Prince) to the big screen. The most notable of which was Joss Whedon in 2007 when he pitched an idea to Warner Bros., was rejected, and went on to make billions of dollars for Marvel and Paramount with The Avengers. And then there was that much-touted Megan Fox casting news that had fanboys giddy and fangirls protesting.

The excuses are endless. DC execs claim that Wonder Woman is “too tricky” to commit to film. They say it’s because her origin is confusing and too mythological. Which is why Thor was such a colossal flop they’re making a sequel…

Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment told the Hollywood Reporter:

We have to get her right, we have to. She is such an icon for both genders and all ages and for people who love the original TV show and people who read the comics now. I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen. The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: She doesn’t have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes. There are lots of facets to Wonder Woman, and I think the key is, how do you get the right facet for that right medium? What you do in TV has to be different than what you do in features. She has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she’s tricky.

What makes Wonder Woman any trickier than any other superhero?

If it’s because she’s from an island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, well, Superman was from a whole different planet.

Is it because she’s the demigoddess daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus? Spider-Man was bitten by a radioactive spider and they seemed to make that work.

Jamie Alexander

There’s the argument that casting is next to impossible. But that’s silly because there are any number of beautiful actresses that could take up the role. Names like Ali Larter, Ashley Greene, and my personal favorite, Jamie Alexander have been thrown into the mix.

Some say a Wonder Woman movie would flop because Elektra and Catwoman did. To them I say, who ever heard of Elektra, and did you SEE Catwoman? Abysmal. And neither has anything to do with the likelihood of the most iconic female superhero making a killing at the box office.

There are other “issues,” I’m sure, with bringing Wonder Woman to life on the big screen. But every issue can be addressed. Every perceived problem can be resolved. If Tony Stark can have a miniature arc reactor implanted in his chest, and Captain America can wake up after 70 years frozen in ice and Ben Affleck can play Batman, then Wonder Woman can exist and even thrive as a feature film.

The fact is, the film is overdue. Way overdue. Superheroes aren’t beloved only by men and boys. Just as many women flock to the theater to see them. It’s not like we’re asking for a film based on EVERY comic heroine. I haven’t heard much demand for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Vigilantes. We’re talking one movie. And very likely a sequel when it’s a success. And admission into the Justice League.

But for now, we’ll start with one movie.

Female-centric stories have been box office gold in recent years. Look at the The Hunger Games. The first film alone grossed nearly half a billion dollars, and there are still two more to go. The Twilight Saga? Over a billion dollars for five films. (Source: Box Office Mojo)

Diane Nelson may claim that Wonder Woman is a DC priority, but they have yet to show it. The time has come. The public is demanding it.

The world needs Wonder Woman.

Discuss.

What do you think?

AC Fan

Written by Karen M. Peterson

Karen Peterson is a writer from Southern California. When she is not at the ballpark cheering on her LA Angels, she can usually be found in a movie theater or in front of the television. Karen is obsessed with awards shows, and loves everything from the smallest indie film to the biggest of big budget spectacles. She is also unapologetically in love with Tom Cruise.

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