or, “Um, that’s not it…”
I, like many comic book fans, have clamored for a Wonder Woman movie. But WB/DC was being hesitant about it for stupid reasons. To be fair, Marvel Studios has stupidly balked at making a female-led superhero movie as well, which is why I will never get my Black Widow spy thriller.
Note to Marvel Studios and WB/DC – if you think a female-led action-type movie will tank at the box office, I suggest you take a look at a little series called The Hunger Games. It’s kind of obscure, I know, with taking the top spot its opening weekends, but I think it shows the potential of female-led action type movies…
Well, it seems WB/DC has listened to the fans and a Wonder Woman movie is indeed on the roster.
Except from what I’ve seen they’re doing it all wrong. Wonder Woman’s iconography is not as well-known as Batman or Superman’s, and for better or worse what most people think of when she is mentioned is a gorgeous woman wearing a weird bathing suit thing with stars on her rear end. Lynda Carter, Superfriends, or the Dini-verse Wonder Woman are all some variation of the original Amazon made from clay. Do not dismiss the impact of the cartoons; enough people thought John Stewart was the only Green Lantern they were really surprised when the movie was about some guy named Hal Jordan. Hell, even the god-awful 2011 pilot put Wonder Woman in a version of that classic look.
The first thing WB/DC is doing wrong is not starting with a Wonder Woman movie. They are so afraid that she’ll tank at the box office that they’re just giving her a cameo in the probably awful “Batman v. Superman” just to see if people like her. This is the same idea Fox/Marvel tried with Gambit and did any solo movie happen? No, because the movie was awful and Gambit, despite appearing on the movie poster, had about ten minutes of screen time. One of the big three of the Trinity who has been in comic books since the 1940s and WB/DC doesn’t think she’s got box office draw. It also means WB/DC is really only marketing Wonder Woman to the people who will see “Batman V. Superman” instead of to a larger audience.
The other thing WB/DC is doing wrong is they are using the New 52 Wonder Woman. Yeah, yeah, and they were using the New 52 Superman in Man of Steel too. And that sucked. But as far as marketing goes, at least Superman’s origin is mostly unchanged, even if his entire personality has changed. Both Wonder Woman’s origin and personality have changed. So what few characteristics people are likely to associate with Wonder Woman are going to be missing. This makes it likely that anyone who missed “Batman v. Superman” and isn’t familiar with the New 52 will go until the movie and be completely confused. Confusion doesn’t generally bring in box office dollars.
The truly cynical part of me says that this is a deliberate plan. WB/DC doesn’t believe a female superhero can bring in the bucks, so they start off by giving her a cameo in “Batman v. Superman” and pass that off as “marketing” and then make a movie using a virtually unrecognizable character that will most likely tank. And then the execs will say, “Well, we told you that a female superhero movie wouldn’t make any money” and assume that will shut up the fans and they can focus on making more Batman movies.
I hope I’m wrong about WB/DC. I had an even more cynical thought – that Marvel Studios plans to release Captain Marvel after Wonder Woman to find out if a woman can actually lead a superhero movie. When Wonder Woman tanks, then Marvel will push back Captain Marvel‘s release date with the same stupid logic.