Even though the film is just under a year away, Warner Bros./DC’s first female superhero epic Wonder Woman is about to take San Diego Comic-Con 2016 by storm. Before the festivities begin, Entertainment Weekly released a number of exciting images from the production. The photos featured Wonder Woman’s star Gal Gadot in her “fighting” costume as well as shots of her being coached by director Patty Jenkins.
Aside from being DC’s first actress-led comic book film adaptation, Wonder Woman is also the first of the DC Extended Unvierse's superhero flicks directed by a woman. And that's something that Gadot says she wouldn’t have wanted any other way.
A new interview with EW explores Gadot’s experience playing Justice League-founding member Wonder Woman a.k.a. Diana Prince, as well as working with Jenkins as a director. In playing one of the cornerstones characters in the DCEU, the one-time Israeli Army trainer certainly has a lot riding on her shoulders. Still, with critical plaudits from her first outing in Batman V Superman, Gadot seems more than ready to bear the heft of the Amazonian goddess' battle armor:
“It is a big responsibility. We knew we wanted to tell a story that would inspire people: women, men, boys, and girls. And we didn’t want to just show a generic story of a superhero coming of age. We wanted her to be full and whole. This is the first time we are telling this story and I feel like for so many boys, they have great role models to work with. They have Superman and Batman and Spiderman and the list goes on and on. And they are strong and almighty and they are positive and active and proactive.”
As the mother of a four-year-old girl, Gadot is especially excited at the opportunity to play a strong female role model:
“I feel that I’ve got the opportunity to set a great role model for girls to look up to a strong, active, compassionate, loving, positive woman and I think it’s so important. It’s about time that somebody will do that and I’m very privileged and honored to be the one.”
To Gadot, though, it wasn’t just playing a strong female character that was important. It was also vital to have a woman directing DC’s Diana Prince solo effort. In the article, she discusses working with director Jenkins (pictured above), saying:
“I think it’s important. It’s a story about a girl becoming a woman. I think only a woman, who has been a girl, can be able to tell the story in the right way…All my life I’ve been working with male directors which I’ve really enjoyed. And I’m lucky in that I’ve worked with men who have a lot of respect for women. But working with a woman is a different experience. It feels like the communication is different. We talk about emotions. With Patty, it’s a thing now, we communicate with our eyes. She doesn’t need to say a thing. If I’m hurt, she feels the pain. It’s a whole different connection that I have with her. She’s also brilliant, she’s bright, she’s fierce, she’s sharp. She knows exactly what she wants Wonder Woman to be.”
Gadot also mentioned her love for the character – how despite being an ultra-powerful goddess, her humanity makes her an identifiable superhero, at least to her:
“I feel like Diana is really accessible. It’s very easy to relate to her. She has the heart of a human so she can be emotional, she’s curious, she’s compassionate, she loves people. And then she has the powers of a goddess. She’s all for good, she fights for good, she believes in great. I want to be her. And in Wonder Woman, she has this naiveté in her. It isn’t stupid, it’s magical. I would want to be naïve like that again.”
Gadot is correct to mention that the comic book world deals primarily with masculine power struggles. In recent years, though, both major comic book companies have made strides to include more well-balanced female characters and solo titles such as Ms. Marvel and Batwoman (Kate Kane). Still, the cinematic superhero universe is still catching up with its four-color counterpart. As one of the most recognizable characters in the DC canon, much less the world, all eyes will be on Wonder Woman when it rolls out next June, especially since Wonder Woman has a major role to play in keeping Warner’s burgeoning DCEU afloat.
Not only will Diana Prince shoulder a great deal of weight as an early DCEU release, but Gadot's portrayal will have millions of young women either excited by a strong female character or disappointed with a weak outing for the fictional feminist icon. Fortunately, both women are at the top of their game, so hopes are strong for Wonder Woman's solo shot.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman is slated for release 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 is currently without a release date.