Gal Gadot was announced as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel just over four days ago, and the expected backlash has yet to cease.
Wonder Woman is the most popular, famous and successful female superhero around. She is a symbol of female empowerment and has a large effect on society. So once the rumors started swirling around Wonder Woman potentially appearing in this next movie, I knew that should she be cast there would be a nasty backlash, no matter who was given the opportunity. This is such an iconic charter that nobody could successfully fit every individual’s idea of how this character should be portrayed on the big-screen.
Let’s start with ‘Who is Gal Gadot’? Gadot is an Israeli model turned actress. She won Miss Israel, she is certainly a very beautiful woman and she, like every citizen of Israel, served two years in the nation’s army. During her two-year stint she served as sports trainer for the army. Her first, and really only, major role is her portrayal of Gisele Harabo in The Fast and the Furious franchise. So, she doesn’t exactly have much experience in major movies but neither did Henry Cavill when he took on the mantle of Superman or Christian Bale when he donned the cape and cowl for Batman Begins. Many fans would rather have a lesser known actor or actress because they want to believe they are watching Wonder Woman in the movie not, let’s just say, George Clooney in a Batman costume. And I realize that Ben Affleck is a huge name, but out of the Trinity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) they needed one big name; someone who has been in big movies before in order to allow the other two to feed off of his experience. Especially in this situation where Batman is supposed to be a seasoned veteran anyway, it actually makes perfect sense.
This news, like any big news in this day and age, reached millions of people in a matter of minutes and it seems like every one of them had an opinion on the casting. On Twitter, it seemed like there was mostly support for Gadot landing a role that could define her young career. However, on Facebook, Tumblr websites, and blogs throughout the internet the reaction was swift and harsh.
Remember that before announcement was made we had fans who were begging for Wonder Woman to be introduced on the big screen. Women wanted the female role model to look up to, claiming that DC and Warner Bros. didn’t care about their third most popular character. So DC and WB make the announcement and the most repeated critique of their choice for Wonder Woman from men and women alike, in fact probably more from women, was that she can’t be Wonder Woman because she’s too skinny.
Let’s take this in a few steps because these people do have a point, but they are still prime examples of what’s wrong with society right now.
First off, the fact that they were calling for Wonder Woman to be in a movie so she can be a beacon of hope and a role model for little girls then immediately complain about her body is so hypocritical it hurts. Now, the reason for these complains is valid. Wonder Woman is an Amazon warrior, she is usually portrayed with a very athletic build and just about as tall, if not taller, than both Batman and Superman.
Subpoints. Batman and Superman are both supposed to be 6’3″ in the comics. Affleck is 6’4″ and Cavill is only 6′, but that wasn’t a problem in Man of Steel. Also, somebody show me a woman who can act, fits the aesthetic description of Wonder Woman, AND is also 6’3″ — you can’t, because there’s nobody who fits that description.
Gadot is 5’9″, which is tall for a woman. She is very thin because she still models, but she has a good six months to train for the movie, and she was a trainer in the Israeli army. I’m sure that Zack Snyder made a point of telling her that she’s going to need to add a significant amount of muscle for the movie, just as Christian Bale did, Henry Cavill did and Ben Affleck will. The common response to this point is that it’s harder for women to gain weight because their lack of testosterone, and that is correct. But it’s not impossible by any means. I am friends with many women who hit the gym and lift every day and they have transformed their bodies. So this is just an uninformed opinion that critics feel like throwing out there.
And for anyone complaining about her boobs, just stop. First of all that’s a childish argument, second of all Ben Affleck won’t exactly have Batman’s signature 12-pack, let’s try to be realistic, and third, women who work out don’t have big boobs anyway; so you can’t have both, unless she gets surgery.
Part of the problem is that Wonder Woman is a goddess, and you will not find one person in Hollywood, as I mentioned earlier, who will fit her description. But let’s look at who the quintessential second-guessers would prefer to have gotten the role. The two most popular choices were former MMA star turned actress Gina Carano and Jaimie Alexander who portrayed Lady Sif in Thor and The Dark World.
While Gina Carano definitely has the build of Wonder Woman she would require many acting lessons before she can take on such a role. Jaimie Alexander probably would have been a descent choice if she wasn’t already contractually obligated to Marvel’s Thor franchise. But, for those saying that Alexander would have been perfect for the role after criticizing Gadot’s body… did you see Thor: The Dark World? While Jaimie certainly looked confident and regal in the Sif armor she most certainly did not exude physical prowess. I think she would have been a very good Amazon princess, as she could definitely pull off royalty, but not so much a warrior. She did an okay job in a fight scene that was probably less than five minutes. Then she was barely a factor for the rest of the film. The thought that she would’ve been a great Wonder Woman based on that movie doesn’t make any sense to me. This is why I feel like some people criticize just for the sake of being heard. Also, Gadot has the exotic look that Snyder and Co. were looking for in the character. Wonder Woman is from Paradise Island, — a tropical island that is sometimes said to be in the Aegean Sea — and casting a woman from that side of the world is a good, detail-oriented move by Snyder.
Another comment that I’ve seen over a dozen times is that they should have gotten someone like Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 70′s live-action television series.
I wasn’t around back then, but I don’t know how these people seem to remember Carter as some toned, muscular woman in that series. A quick Google search will show you that she was just as skinny as Gadot is now during her time as Diana. This is just another example of grown men and women who seem to remember their favorite show as being a tad better and more realistic than it was, which is very common. I’m not knocking Carter by any means, though. She did a great job as Wonder Woman and sort of put her back on the map. I think she’s an excellent actress, but for anyone to claim that she is somehow different, physically, than Gadot just doesn’t make any sense, again.
Now, getting past the casting choice, there was another problem that DC and comic book fans voiced the past few days; “I want Wonder Woman to get a solo movie.” Well, I mean, I do too, but let’s not get selfish. This is just the beginning of the DC Cinematic Universe, so far only Superman has gotten his own movie. I realize that Batman had his trilogy and Green Lantern had a chance, but who else? This idea that DC and WB are somehow being ‘unfair’ to Wonder Woman is just nonsense. They have had trouble getting her in the middle of things here. Whether that’s because she’s female or not, I don’t know, and neither do you. But let’s be honest, the only character who has really shined from DC has been Batman and that’s why they keep turning to him. All the Flash had was some two-season show in the 90′s and he’s just finally getting back into the swing of things with CW’s Arrow. Superman had four movies in the 70′s and we didn’t hear from him again until the mid-2000′s. Green Lantern had a chance and he failed. Other than that no member of the Justice League has been treated any differently than Wonder Woman. DC has ridden the back of Batman for almost three decades now and they’re finally starting to expand.
Critics will also complain that Wonder Woman is being forced to play third fiddle in a movie that will be named ‘Batman vs. Superman’. Well, that’s not the official name and it is almost 100% likely that it will be changed. Also, if you’re so high on your character then you should have the confidence that she will be able to stand toe to toe with Batman and Superman, I do. She doesn’t need a solo movie to prove that she can make money in the box office. If done right, she will prove in this movie that she can be as intriguing, engaging, and exhilarating of a character as both Batman and Superman.
Should Wonder Woman get her own movie? Absolutely, she should. Will she? Most likely, yes, but I don’t know anymore than anyone else outside of DC/WB does. So let’s stop complaining until we have a confirmed ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Yet another complaint that is being heard throughout the web is that women don’t want Zack Snyder to work on Wonder Woman because he’s “sexist.” I don’t know the man, personally; I don’t think that he’s sexist. But the point that he hasn’t done well with female characters in past movies is valid. That said, he did a very good job with Faora in Man of Steel and if he builds upon that with Wonder Woman then things should turn out very well.
And, again, we don’t know what kind of a role Wonder Woman will have in the film. If she just has a small part in this movie to set up a solo movie or Justice League movie, then you don’t have to worry about Snyder wrecking the character because he will not be directing either of those movies.
Such negative reactions to every decision made by Snyder and Co. is just ruining the movie for yourself. Instead of throwing your hands in the air and expecting the worst, why don’t you support the decision until you’re given a reason not to? At least with Affleck, and I don’t support his critics either, we have seen a sample of him in the genre to create an opinion. Gal Gadot is a young actress, she’s not a big name. why don’t we wait and see how she does as Wonder Woman before ripping her for ridiculous reasons?
I realize that DC fans can be fed up when it comes to the company. Have they made bad decisions? Yes. Are they maybe rushing to get to the Justice League into film? Yes. But only because they are trying to please the fans by giving them what they’ve’ been wanting for so long. Because if they were taking it slowly, we all know that the same people would be complaining about that too. Give them a shot, Man of Steel was a good starting off point. It wasn’t the train wreck that some people like to believe it was. Let’s see how things pan out when this movie comes out TWO years from now before we give up on the franchise prematurely.
Show your support of the lucky actors and actresses who get to transform into our favorite characters and hope that they do them justice…if not, THEN you can give them Hell.