June of 2017. There are two trailers out, and I finally got the time to watch them. Wonder Woman was, by far, the best part of Batman v Superman: Seriously WB/DC How Did You Mess up Batman So Bad, and I’m glad she’s finally finally getting a movie. My thoughts, in three convenient parts:
Yay, Wonder Woman movie! That’s a good thing in and of itself, and I’ll give WB/DC mad props for actually backing a superhero movie with a female lead. Marvel Studios really dropped the ball on that one. I thought Wonder Woman’s costume looked too dull in “BvS” but I’m pleased to see in the trailers she appears to have the traditional gold, red, and blue, with a bit of silver, albeit in darker tones. Still, some color is welcome and that really helps her stand out. The actress seems to have the right presence and while some may complain she doesn’t look buff enough, I think she looks fine. I’m not the biggest fan of Chris Pine, but he looks like he’ll be decent in the Steve Trevor role, and I’m glad to see Etta Candy make an appearance. I’m not entirely thrilled with Paradise Island being invaded, but it does provide more incentive for Diana to leave her home and go fight. I’m not even that upset with her origin story being moved to WWI instead of WWII. I know it’s so there won’t be too many comparisons to Captain America, and I think that’s a smart move since the two characters really shouldn’t be compared.
WB/DC’s film making teams do not understand the heroes they’re attempting to portray. Man of Steel ruined Superman, and “BvS” ruined Batman too. There’s only one of the trinity left, and I really think Wonder Woman is probably the most difficult to get right to begin with. Her recent treatment in the comics doesn’t give me any confidence her character will be handled well. From the trailer, it appears the movie is going with the New52 origin, which I hate with the energy of 10,000 exploding suns, so I’m hoping this movie states she was brought to life by Zeus and just lets it go at that. I’m also afraid she’ll end up subject to Irene Adler syndrome. Wonder Woman is the hero of her own story and I don’t want to see her be rescued in the end and, tangentially related, I don’t want her romance with Steve be too front and center. There was a whole lot the 2011 pilot did wrong, and one of those was try to make Diana the star of some kind of stereotypical chick flick. See the SNL parody trailer of the “Black Widow” movie for reference.
At first I was genuinely excited to get a Wonder Woman movie. Then WB/DC kept hedging on when it would actually be made and released, and I got nervous. See what’s been done with Batman and Superman, I’m now down to, “Please don’t suck, please don’t suck.” Using the literal definition of ugly, I’m not happy to see Zack Snyder’s production company is involved in the production and I don’t much care for some of the aesthetics I’ve seen in the trailer. The movie doesn’t seem to be filmed in “Gritty Sepia” thank goodness but it still looks like it was shot through a grey filter. Granted, the backdrop is WWI, so I understand a desire to pull back on the bright colors. I’m not liking the slow-mo shots in the trailers either. I feel like the art of choreographing a good fight scene has been lost in favor of video-game-like CG cut scenes, especially in movies. This version of Wonder Woman does not appear to have the near-Kryptonian level of powers (nor, it seems, can she fly), so there’s some room for something really up-close and amazing, like Daredevil’s fight scenes. If the direction is for a more brutal, gritty aesthetic, those type of fight scenes are the ones to mimic. And back to metaphorically ugly, I’m afraid if this movie tanks, WB/DC (and maybe more studios) will just trot out the same tired excuse – movies with women leads don’t make money, and it’ll be a long time before I get to see any more of my favorite heroines kicking ass and taking names in their own titles.
All that said, I’m still much more interested in the Wonder Woman movie than the third “Thor” movie.