We’ve given our picks for a new Batman, and even The Flash, but Diana is another story. There are beautiful women whose own celebrity prevents suspension of disbelief, and fan-favorites who may have the looks, but lack the skills needed for such an iconic role (Exhibit A: Megan Fox).
It’s a colossal challenge to cast Wonder Woman, but we’ve assembled a list of women we think could bring all aspects of the character to the table.
Here’s our list of 7 Actresses Who Should Play Wonder Woman in Justice League.
Morena Baccarin is no stranger to playing women blessed with otherworldly beauty, as the exotic and sensual Inara Serra in Joss Whedon’s Firefly (2002), the last of the Ori in Stargate SG-1, and the leader of an invading alien race in V (2009). Since Diana of Themyscira is a human, not an alien entity, the role would actually be less of a stretch than usual.
When Joss Whedon was hard at work on his own Wonder Woman film, the pair’s history led many to believe that Baccarin stood a good chance of swapping her luxurious robes for Diana’s lasso and bracelets. And it’s not hard to see why: the Brazilian-American actress of partly Italian descent is no stranger to the term ‘exotic beauty.’
Baccarin has since found stability with Showtime’s Homeland, so no one’s doubting that she could pull off Wonder Woman. Her built-in fan base (and no doubt an endorsement from Whedon) would certainly help sell the casting.
It’s no secret that Gemma Arterton’s filmography so far has been less than stellar, critically if not financially. But while the films she’s appeared in may have been aiming low, nobody seems to have informed her of that. The most recent example being her role as the titular sister in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).
Arterton has, so far, made a career out of elevating scripts with strong performances aided by her not-unpleasant looks. But if given a solid character to play – like, say, Wonder Woman, we have no doubt she’d convincingly sell the role. Or at the very least, welcome the challenge.
Since the biggest drawbacks to casting established actresses with mass appeal (Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale) in the role is the difficulty in suspending disbelief, Arterton is the best of both worlds. She’s stood out in problematic blockbusters already, but lacks a role that has come to define her – yet.
Casting Wonder Woman may sound like a tall order, but if you ask the online fan communities, Bridget Regan may be the name you hear more than any other. While that tends to be a sign of enthusiasts getting ahead of themselves, in this case the argument is a compelling one.
Regan’s work on Legend of the Seeker (2008) is the main evidence of her ability to do Diana justice: a medieval-fantasy adventure series casting Regan as the last of her order, in a quest to vanquish evil through swords and sorcery (with a dash of romance for flavor). It’s not easy to hold one’s own in battle and dialogue, but over the course of the series’ two series, Regan created one well-rounded warrior woman.
A relative unknown with two years experience playing a similar role could be the direction the studio wishes to take. If Regan wins the role, skeptics should rest easy: Diana is in good hands with this fan-favorite.
Disney’s attempt at forming a trilogy around Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter may not have turned out like we’d hoped, but it did deliver one convincing ‘warrior princess.’ Credit Collins for that, as her portrayal of deadly princess of Mars Dejah Thoris brought her onto our WW radar.
Some comic fans may be skeptical, but a viewing of John Carter should silence critics, as she has essentially already played Diana once. But it’s the range Collins has shown in recent years, as warrior princess, and love interest to both Joseph Gordon Levitt in Uncertainty (2009) and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine that convince us she’d be up for whatever take on Diana Warner Bros. and DC have in mind.
Collins’ age may be the only reason for concern, even if she consistently plays younger women. However, an older Wonder Woman might help seeing Superman and Batman defer to her judgement seem more believable to audiences…
It may seem obvious to claim that Jaimie Alexander – the only female god-like being on Marvel’s side – would be a perfect Wonder Woman, but the way Lady Sif meshed beauty with battling in Thor (2011) was more than convincing.
Alexander’s been brought up in the past as a potential Diana, but her interest decreased, she explained, after some embarrassing attempts at launching the character in recent years. Not exactly an endorsement for Justice League‘s hopes, but her impassioned argument for strong female role models could turn some heads at DC and Warner Bros..
While her Marvel contract has her optioned for an appearance in both Thor 2 (where her importance will grow) and The Avengers 2, there’s no promises so far – especially since Thor 2 won’t shy away from killing off characters. That said, we don’t know any woman who would choose to play Thor’s second-fiddle over the most iconic superheroine in history.
Physically, she puts other ‘toothpick-sized’ contenders to shame, while still possessing the looks to make even the Man of Steel tongue-tied. And unlike most models-turned-actresses, Taylor Cole can actually act. And damn well, too.
Her previous roles have exhibited every quality Wonder Woman should: wit, smarts, and confidence that is uniquely feminine, but not simply sexual.
A martial arts fan and Junior Olympics volleyball veteran, Cole has the physical stature and authority that makes heroes compete not for Diana’s affections, but her approval. If DC and Warner Bros. have serious plans for Diana post-JL, Cole has the time and skills to make them a reality.
North American audiences may have only been introduced to the brunette bombshell when she joined the cast of True Blood as the vampiress Nora, but UK actress Lucy Griffiths has been on our radar since BBC’s Robin Hood. Edging out most of the competition based solely on the fact that she, more than any on our list, simply looks the most like the blue-eyed, dark-haired, strong-yet-feminine woman Wonder Woman is most often drawn to emulate.
Thankfully, she has acting skills to back up her training with both a bow and sword in her previous role as Maid Marian. And at 27 years old, she fits perfectly next to Henry Cavill’s Superman. She also doesn’t possess the slight frame of some fan-favorites, even if she is a bit shorter than some might hope at 5’7″. But plenty doubted Cavill’s ability to pull off Kal-El at 6’1″, and he didn’t have the luxury of heels.
As a relative unknown with a solid resume, Griffiths is certainly one of our frontrunners.
That does it for our potential Dianas, but as this collection of Wonder Women proves, who ends up snagging the part will have as much to do with competent acting as the specific direction Warner Bros. and DC intend to take with Justice League, and possible spin-off movies to follow.
Which actresses do you think could deliver a live-action take on Wonder Woman? Do you have your own favorites that our list was too short to include (Merlin‘s Katie McGrath chief among them)?
Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.