Wonder Woman and the Crusade for Women in Film
Source: Warner Brothers.
It's no secret that I side with the DC over Marvel. Yes, I am one of those people who will defend Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad until I'm blue in the face (Editor's Note: Sigh. I won't hold that against you.) and believe me, I am quick to point out how improvements could be made. For a fan like myself I welcome the comparisons between the two universes.I am not into the idea that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a flawless model for the superhero genre (remember Iron Man2?) and that the DCEU is somehow "behind" their counterparts.
It's true, when it comes to all of the phases of these projects that we hear about online and actually bringing together a core cast of characters for a monolith of star power on the big screen, Marvel had beat DC to the punch. And maybe the executives at Warner Brothers were a little anxious to catch up to them which could be the reason they made the decisions they did when it came with their choice in movies and characters to reveal in 2016. I may be overly optimistic, but I view BvS and Suicide Squad as laying the foundation for the future.
These films came out, people said what they had to say, and now it's time to move forward.
If 2016 was an critical year for DC, 2017 will be twice as important, We will see two potentially game changing projects: The Justice League in November and Wonder Woman in June.
This past week has been all about Wonder Woman as audiences were treated to the second full length trailer (Editor's Note: Check it out at the end of the article!) since the first one debuted at Comic Con in July of 2016. It's interesting to note that Wonder Woman has been around for the better part of a century and is finally getting her own solo movie. The character had success on the small screen from 1975-1979 with Lynda Carter as the lead role. To most of us, this is the only image we have of Wonder Woman outside of the comics as a TV project starring Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe) never amounted to anything.
It is now up to Gal Gadot to wield the Godkiller sword and the Lasso of Truth as Warner Brothers makes a play to introduce the character to a modern audience. The trailer did exactly what it was supposed to do in giving us an introduction to the character, a direction of where the story is headed, and plenty of action. It's crazy how many of us know who Wonder Woman is, but know so little about her. We won't get it all until June but for now I feel the audiences have enough information,
Some might consider the pressure to be on Gadot and director Patty Jenkins as this film will be the largest scale female superhero film to date and the first ever installment of the genre to be directed by a female auteur. I have said this before, if Wonder Woman is a success, not just financially (if a superhero movie isn't a financial success then it just plain sucks), but critically,, the film could literally restore the critics faith in the DCEU as well as be a great showcase for the talents of female directors.
My entire life I have heard the awful, true statistic that women in the workforce make two-thirds of what a man would make doing the same job. Unfortunately in the last couple years I have been made aware, through various online outlets of the same unreasonable dynamic but in Hollywood and affecting actresses of various skill sets and star power. A-list celebrities like Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were paid significantly less than their male co-stars in the film American Hustle. Even the belle of the Oscar ball Meryl Streep has spoken out against sexism she has faced. It is unfair, and I can only hope that this problem is addressed and also resolved sooner than later.
With Wonder Woman, Warner Brothers is answering another call, the need for more female directors. Now they haven't solved the problem entirely, but what they are doing is as good a place to start as any.
Recently (March 13th) Indiewire, an online media outlet, as well as others have posted very troubling articles about the upcoming slate of studio projects to be directed by a woman, and as I am sure you have guessed it, the numbers leave much to be desired. Out of 149 projects to be released by Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, and Sony between now and 2019, only 12 of them will have a female director behind the camera. That means 92% of the work has gone to men. I will also add that Disney doesn't have a female directed film coming out in 2017 at all and their "answer" to Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel has not hired it's director. This would be a prime opportunity for them to offer a woman the chance to take the reigns of an MCU project. Back in August, a short list of directors, featuring mostly women, was reported, and I hope it happens.
Women deserve the same opportunities as men, this is unquestionable, and the time is now for Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot to show the world that female driven superhero movies can be a product that captivates audiences of all ages, interests, and genders. If Wonder Woman is great, and I mean truly phenomenal, the film could join the ranks of Tim Burton's Batman and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight as staples of DC Comics on film. It can also solidify Jenkins as a Hollywood force to be reckoned with.
And I wish her the best!
Excited for Wonder Woman? Nervous? Indifferent? Let us know your thoughts on the DCEU in the comments!