Princess Diana may have launched as a part of the World War II efforts, but she rapidly evolved into so much more. From her early era of literally escaping bondage (not creepy at all) and subverting the ‘damsel in distress’ motif, Wonder Woman has grown into as a feminist icon, admired by women and men of all ages. Most importantly, she’s an incredibly powerful and just superhero whose story is rooted firmly in its human elements, which became a whole lot more representative since DC’s “Rebirth" origin story.
After the latest tale introduced bisexual elements to the Amazon princess, Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka confirmed that the long-running character embodied a fluid sexuality. Gal Gadot, who plays the Princess Diana in Batman V Superman and the upcoming solo film, recently weighed in on the issue.
In an interview with Variety (via CBR), she acknowledged Rucka’s take on the character – who said that Wonder Woman’s sexuality is “complicated” due to her origins, as well as the assumption that women living in a virtual paradise filled entirely with other women wouldn't exist in a void of sexuality. Gadot said that, although the topic isn’t broached in the film, it does fit with the overall characterization:
“It’s not something we’ve explored [in the film]. It never came to the table, but when you talk theoretically about all the women on Themyscira and how many years she was there, then what he said makes sense. In this movie she does not experience any bisexual relationships. But it’s not about that. She’s a woman who loves people for who they are. She can be bisexual. She loves people for their hearts.”
Wonder Woman’s embodiment of love and femininity – which echoes her connections to classic goddesses like Diana, Aphrodite, and Athena from Rome and Greece – allowed her become an enduring comic book hero. Combining her quest for truth and justice with her innately human elements simply make the character all-the-more compelling. Incredible powers aside, though, it’s her humanity which will sell the story according to Gadot. But combining Diana's origin with her overarching connection to the rest of the DC Extended Universe likely drove director Patty Jenkins to streamline the story for audience purposes. Gadot stated:
“For her it was very important to not just portray her as a goddess, but to tell a very simple story of someone who believes in good and believes that people should be happy and lead safe, happy lives. We cared a lot about simplifying Wonder Woman’s agenda, because it is simple. It was her heart that we cared about, not her being this warrior. When you tell a story from the heart, all of us can relate, because all of us want to live in a safe, quiet, and peaceful world.”
Gadot also noted that it was also important, for the sake of telling an accurate story, to have Jenkins direct it: Telling Wonder Woman’s story of growing into a woman and into her powers, “by someone who was once a girl and became a woman” simply makes sense as well.
Since the film is meant to cover a hundred years in roughly two hours, it's understandable that Jenkins and crew wouldn’t spend too much time on any one aspect of Diana’s life – especially after the fan and critical complaints about Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad being too convoluted. She clearly decided to stick to the story for the sake of holding an audience’s attention for two hours. At the same time, it is surprising that Diana’s sexual fluidity plays no role in the film. Wonder Woman’s origin story deals with her past before Steve Trevor’s accidental introduction to the island of Themyscira. Not addressing her possible romantic for or from other members of the Amazonians seems like a missed opportunity for subtle social commentary.
Of course, Jenkins may have felt the island’s all-female status was suggestive enough without heading into deeper waters of thought. It's also Wonder Woman’s “outing” of sorts didn’t come about until after filming had wrapped. Either way, it’s exciting that we live in a day and age where we can address major issues of human sexuality in any way, much less through a major superhero.
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.