In the ever-growing landscape of comic-based movies, there have been some recent developments in both the DC and Marvel camps that I think need addressing. Let’s see what both are up to, shall we?
DC: In the last few days, it was announced that Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman in the upcoming Superman/Batman (Batman/Superman?) film. For the first time since she first appeared in comics 72 years ago, Wonder Woman will be on the big screen. Reaction has been mixed, to say the least. Some fans are just psyched to know that they’ll finally get to see a blockbuster film version of best known female superhero in the world, while others have voiced concern that Gadot, a mostly untested actress, might have trouble filling the role with her physical and acting presence.
Marvel: Marvel has made a successful TV series based off of a killed character that was made specifically for their movie universe. In less than 5 years.
DC: To be sure, Gadot has a rough road ahead. She’s not only got to get into shape to play the Amazon princess, but she’s got to portray a character that has yet to really have a definitive voice. Do you pull from one of a various number of comic interpretations throughout the ages, or merge them into a sort of fusion of the multiple portrayals? What about a personality mirroring the character from Justice League cartoon? Surely that would help to connect with an established fan base for the character.
Or maybe you go for a gritty Nolan-esque reboot? A more questioning personality, with aggressive tendencies and a darker costume? Whatever path that they choose to take her down, we can be sure that it will be one that tries to keep Wonder Woman grounded (somewhat) to the real-world.
Marvel: Captain America: The Winter Soldier is going to have a fleet of flying aircraft carriers, ’cause that’s what the comics had. Then a bunch of them explode.
DC: Oh, and the costume! What do you do about that? Will Warner Brothers risk the wrath of the uptight by presenting a screen-ready Diana in traditional comic garb? Linda Carter was, after all, able to pull this off in the 70’s, but I think we have to accept that a page-to-screen translation of costumes is not going to happen for this character anymore than it happened for Superman or Batman. Personally, I think DC hates using primary yellow in their films, but that’s just a personal opinion. So we’ll have to see what the costume department comes up with. Will it be some sort of new-yet-retro styled costume along the lines of Captain America’s current garb, or perhaps something a bit more Greek armor inspired?
Marvel: Thor has giant wings on his helmet and speaks like a lazy ren faire cast member.
DC: The story. This could be a huge, huge issue – and not just because of the difficulty of introducing a new villain who’s worthy enough to stand up to DC’s trinity. The problem could be that if you have these three powerhouses interacting on screen together, you may never have time to really get to the villain. Do you just have Darkseid show up and tear things apart? If you did that, could audiences really connect to the villain in they way that they did with Loki? Or do you go with an established villain such as Lex Luthor, give him a speech about his beliefs, and hope that people will just let their familiarity with the character fill in the holes? In any of these plot scenarios, you do have to wonder (no pun intended) if Diana will actually be able to get a decent and full introduction.
Marvel: The next Spider-Man has three villains with the possibility of even more waiting in the wings, cause why not?
DC: I’m pulling for Gal Gadot. I really do hope that she’ll be able to bring this character to life for moviegoers, and maybe even spin it off into a series for some solo Wonder Woman adventures. If nothing else though, let’s hope that this film helps towards establishing a decent shared universe for Diana and her vast number of fellow DCU characters.
Marvel: Marvel is making a live-action film with talking raccoon.
Sounds like it’ll be pretty sweet.