By Nikki Jamieson
Despite the upcoming Justice League film being due for release mid-November this year, they announced earlier this month that they were undergoing some intensive reshooting, and it looks like Gal Gadot’s — who plays Wonder Woman in the film — character will be heavily featured in these scenes.
With the success of the Wonder Woman film released last month, it appears as if DC has caught on to the fact that yes, female super heroes can indeed be popular. It’s about time too; as fans have been crying out for a live-action Wonder Woman film — actually, any female superhero film at all — for countless years. Now, with the success of Wonder Woman, Hollywood appears to finally be waking up to the fact that audiences want to see more female heroes taking centre stage on the silver screen, and not just playing second fiddle/damsel in distress.
With a 92 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes — ahead of Man of Steel (55 per cent), Batman vs. Superman (27) and The Dark Knight Rises (87) — the numbers don’t lie: critics love her, fans love her, the audience loves her, and Wonder Woman kicks butt.
Considering how the studio was supposedly taking a risk going with director Patty Jenkins, how the film was in the works since 1996 and faced at least three major script changes and writers, Joss Whedon’s absurd script that for some reason starred Steve Trevor and him rescuing Diana constantly from the modern world and all the haters saying how much it would suck (spoiler alert: it does not), it’s certainly done well.
Hopefully, this will kick start a trend of other female-led superhero films.
I would love to see a Gotham Sirens film — where traditional villains Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn team up — or maybe have X-23/Laura have her own film — after all, with the death of Wolverine, Marvel needs a new claw-sporting powerhouse.
Yes, there are a lot of films that have females in the staring role getting serious butt kicking done, but they are often the sole female character on the team.
The Avengers film had Black Widow. Captain America: Civil War had Steve Rogers’ team facing off against Tony Stark’s team with the two female avengers — Scarlet Witch and Black Widow — on opposing sides amidst a team of five guys. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film had just Gamora, no matter how many butts she kicked. The Fantastic Four, despite having horrible films (seriously, if you want to hang onto a franchise, just make a good movie), only has one female on the team.
Yes, Power Rangers has two female on the five-person team, and X-Men features multiple women in lead roles in it’s films, but generally speaking, in the films made so far, there just tends to be a token female on an otherwise all male super hero team.
Now, it’s not to say that there hasn’t been some duds when it comes to female superhero films, just look at Elektra, Catwoman and Ghost in the Shell — the first two, I should note, were more styled after villainous characters, and in one case one shared the name in common with her comic-book counterpart, while the latter was bogged down by its white washing controversy, action cliches and an overall failure to adhere to its source material — but making dud male superhero movies never discouraged studios from making more.
Green Lantern, Johan Hex, Batman & Robin, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Daredevil are just some of what come to mind.
I mean, Daredevil didn’t even stop Ben Affleck from getting cast as Batman in Batman vs. Superman, Suicide Squad or the upcoming Justice League film, nor did Green Lantern and X-men Origins: Wolverine stop Ryan Reynolds from playing Deadpool, but you create a Catwoman that is nothing like the comic book counterpart and make the villain an aging model who wants to get the world hooked on a beauty cream, and suddenly female superhero movies aren’t popular? What did you expect to happen?
Yes, some may argue that in Wonder Woman, while out and about in the modern world, Diana was the token female character running around with a team of four men. To that I say, a) there were training montages and an epic fighting sequence dedicated to the Amazons of Themyscira, b) those guys supported Diana during the majority of fight scenes in the second half of the film, with Diana doing the primary butt kicking.
Yes, I recognize that statistically, male superheroes out number female ones. But there are still plenty to choose from; Batgirl, Batwoman, Black Canary, Captain Marvel (who has her own film coming out in 2019), Powergirl, Supergirl (who has her own TV show), the Runaways — a mostly female team that also includes a token male character, a cyborg and an alien shapeshifter — and X-23 are just some of the more popular ones.
If you ignore the lack of female superhero films, Wonder Woman is still a most excellent film, with many powerful moments. But you cannot deny that there is relief over how well it has been received.
There are tons of Batman, Superman and Iron Man films out there.
Shouldn’t there be a little more Wonder Woman as well?