[ED. Note: This article was published before announcement of The DC Movie Universe release schedule.]
If there's one thing the Dark Knight Trilogy proved, it's that DC Comics' most well-known heroes can be done justice on the big screen. With the recent success of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the only question facing Warner Bros. seems to be: who's next?
How well characters like Flash and Aquaman will fare in DC's Movieverse remains to be seen, but if we're talking the publisher's heaviest hitters, it seems Wonder Woman should be next in line for a live-action adaptation. We've covered Aquaman, now we give you 5 reasons why Wonder Woman could be THE next big DC/WB movie franchise.
See if you share our opinion that the princess of Paradise Island has everything a blockbuster needs to succeed...
The most devoted fans of DC's heroes and heroines know that the existential/identity crisis at the heart of Superman and Batman is somewhat of a publisher trademark. But applying the same lens to the story of Wonder Woman, there is room to explore more than just isolation or fear.
Like Superman or Aquaman, Diana is also the product of a mystical society - but unlike her peers, she was not raised to be a part of humanity's world. Raised by women, the world she is sent to explore and protect is not only alien, but in her eyes, prejudiced. Wonder Woman may be known for her combat skills, but as the highest-ranking woman in DC's roster, how she is portrayed in any medium says much about the modern woman.
Even Marvel's leading ladies know how much Wonder Woman can say about our world, so a serious take on the story is not only more relevant than ever, it's long overdue.
Potential Wonder Woman actresses may be the hot topic when discussing a live-action movie, but the larger fiction of the character is filled with a supporting cast of heroes and villains.
For starters, there's Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and Diana's mother. Add a supporting cast of literally dozens of other warrior women (more than audiences have seen in every superhero film combined), and the writers would have a wealth of characters to work with before Diana ever encountered Colonel Steve Trevor and the outside world.
The New 52 reboot from Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang has added even more demigods - siblings of Diana - with powers as varied as their appearance. In other words, a chance to cast not just one, but several up-and-coming young men and women (on the side of good or evil).
It's a safe bet that much of a Wonder Woman movie would take place on Themyscira, the hidden island of the Amazons. There's a reason it's known as Paradise Island, and its classical Greek/Roman architecture is just the tip of the iceberg.
Recalling just how well Zack Snyder brought the planet Krypton to life in Man of Steel is reason enough for us to anticipate a big screen sojourn to Themyscira, where the lines between the real world and that of the ancient Greek gods continually blur.
What that means for audiences isn't just swords-and-sandals combat (always a crowd-pleaser), but ancient battlefields, the deception and honoring of the gods, and magical weaponry. Satisfying on their own, but once those elements are brought into the real world, humanity (and its limited heroes) are caught in the crossfire.
We'll forgive anyone unfamiliar with the latest take on Wonder Woman (as part of DC's New 52), but the mysterious sources of Diana's powers are gone: she is now a daughter of Zeus and part of history's most dysfunctional family.
It's not easy adding something new to ancient mythology (just ask the makers of Thor), but writer Brian Azzarello has done it. No longer self-righteous royalty living above the mortal world, the gods and goddesses - Ares, Hera, Apollo and more - walk among humanity, having their influence felt, but rarely unveiled.
The all-too-plausible machinations of the divine family bring classic mythology smack into the modern day, with the most recent addition - Wonder Woman - at the center of it all. It's a take on Greek myth that few films have ever attempted, and could be worth the price of admission alone.
Now that Man of Steel has opened the door for a Justice League universe, the largest task facing DC and WB will be explaining the emergence of heroes on the heels of Superman's arrival. And although audiences will no doubt enjoy seeing the League gathered on screen, establishing any threat large enough to warrant a team-up will be a challenge.
Regardless of where a Wonder Woman movie fits in relation to General Zod's invasion - Themyscira is famously removed from the larger world, physically and philosophically - the mythological forces at work in Diana's powers and people don't just make her powerful: they make her unique. Superman may be strong, but in the world of the magic, he's out of his depth. And establishing a limit to what Superman can do (or even comprehend) is a wise move if he's going to be needing backup later on.
The emergence of Superman would offer several reasons for Diana's mission to the larger world; it could be taken as a sign that humanity had learned to revere those with godlike powers, or even set Diana up as a rival to Supes, taking issue with his decision to appoint himself Earth's guardian instead of living in secret as her people do. With the themes of fear, isolation and paranoia in Man of Steel, there's no question Wonder Woman could fit right in.
Below you'll find a quick recap of why we believe an Wonder Woman movie could be the next successful superhero blockbuster for DC Comics and Warner Bros. Do you agree with our reasoning? Let us know in the comments!
- The Story - Diana can represent a modern age and strong femininity like no other.
- The Characters - Varied, unique, and numerous enough to feature plenty of promising stars.
- The Setting - A blend of old and new unlike any other.
- The Mythology - Allusions to classic myth in a modern age is a treatment never before seen.
- Continuity - Establish the last of DC's 'Big Three' in the movie universe, and define the limits of Superman.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
All artwork property of DC Comics.