It’s no stretch to say that the reaction was somewhat mixed when Warner Bros. first announced that Gal Gadot would be portraying Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That initial skepticism only seemed to intensify when director Zack Snyder only gave us a glimpse of Gal in uniform during the 2014 DC panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
Over the past month, some of those concerns were finally alleviated after seeing Gadot in the first feature-length trailer. While we didn’t get to hear her speak, we did get to see brief glimpses of her, both in action and as her alter ego, Diana Prince.
From slamming her bracelets together to generate a massive shock wave to seemingly absorbing a blow with sword and shield in hand, there’s little doubt that Zack Snyder took the same care in bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen that he took with both Batman and Superman. It’s a good thing too, since Snyder would have faced a full-scale revolt if he had skimped on any member of the DC Trinity.
As I touched upon last week, to say that there’s a lot of pressure to nail Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the understatement of the century. Presenting a compelling story and stimulating visual effects is the easy part. The challenging part of the equation is presenting a fully fleshed out DC Trinity. Henry Cavil’s Superman has already had a full film to develop, and Warner Bros. has gotten pretty good at making entertaining Batman’s.
It’s no accident that Gal Gadot was cast. People hoping for one of their favorite American actresses may have tweaked after seeing someone from the Fast and Furious franchise get the part, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Being Israeli, Gadot has a rather heavy accent. Given that she is supposedly retaining her divine heritage in the DCEU, it would not be a surprise to see her retaining that accent.
It’s also worth re-iterating that Gadot served in the Israeli Defense Forces, and is trained in both hand-to-hand combat and weapons. This might have influenced the decision to cast her.
Last week, Heroic Hollywood EIC Umberto Gonzales broke a scoop about Wonder Woman’s appearance in Batman v Superman. Without delving too much into spoilers, it appears as though Wonder Woman will have a chance to shine in combat on the big screen by facing off against Doomsday, who is heavily rumored to be the primary antagonist in the film.
In the New 52 title Superman/Wonder Woman, the Amazing Amazon faced off against Doomsday. While she put up a brave fight, she wasn’t able to inflict nearly enough damage to stop the genetic monstrosity.
Like Superman, the Joker and Harley Quinn, it seems that the version of Diana that we’re getting in the DCEU will be based largely off of comics from the last decade or two. This is a smart call, as some of the older source material would undoubtedly come across dated.
My guess is that it will take all three of the heroes to either kill or disable Doomsday. Batman is a skilled tactician, Superman has speed and strength, and Wonder Woman has skill and training handed down by the actual God of War, but that’s a discussion for another day. What’s important here is that for the time being, Snyder and co. seems to have taken great care into bringing this beloved character to the big screen, incorporating the beloved source material.
It would have been incredibly easy (and convenient) to leave bits and pieces of her traditional getup on the comics’ page in favor of a more modern or ‘hip’ look. If there is one bit of solace that fans could have taken from what they’ve seen so far, it’s that all of her signature weapons are there. The Bracelets of Submission and Lasso of Truth are visible (thank God!), as are her tiara, shield, and sword. If the description of the fight we learned about last week is accurate, then it’s not just window dressing.
I’d be criminally remiss if I didn’t add that while I’m all in favor of ass kicking, I don’t want her to come across as one-dimensional. Wonder Woman can throw down with the best of them, but some of the most endearing parts of her character have to do with her passion for truth, her knack for diplomacy, and her seemingly endless ability to give love and compassion without prejudice.
You know what else rocks? Her costume, that’s what! The colors are more traditional than that first tinted picture would have had us believe. An up-close look at the costume at Com-Con revealed that the blue, gold and red are all present, a big sigh of relief for people who grew up as fans of the character.
With each week that passes, our fears are alleviated a bit more. Those worried about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman have been all but silenced. People concerned about the tone set in Man of Steel were relieved to see it addressed in the full length Batman v Superman Comic-Con trailer. Wonder Woman is the final piece of the puzzle.
Gal Gadot has been adamant in her wishes that her take on the character would not end up being another crying woman in need of saving. Thankfully, it seems as though both she and Snyder were careful to create a truly dynamic, tough, and sophisticated take on the revered superhero.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I need to go find that issue of Superman/Wonder Woman in my collection. Waiting for 2016 is getting increasingly difficult, isn’t it?