DC was met with mixed reactions after they announced that Gal Gadot would take on the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie. However, fans were far less concerned about the casting choice than they were about the inclusion of the character in general, but not for the reason you might think.
In regards to the choice, Amy Adams (who will play Lois Lane in the film) said the following:
"Am I interested? I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see. I hope that I can be involved with a woman on screen where we’re not in a love triangle. That would be fun. Maybe where we team up together and we work as teammates instead of adversaries."
This statement brings up a legitimate concern when it comes to comic-adapted films. In more cases than not, the women are set in supporting roles, acting as love triangle fillers, damsels in distress, or token strong female characters with few lines/significance. It also begs the uncomfortable question, why isn’t Wonder Woman getting her own film?
In the last 40 years, out of the 22 DC-inspired films, only 2 have had women as the primary protagonists (not including ensemble casts). Similarly, of the 33 live-action films Marvel has done, only 1 has had a woman as the primary lead.
There’s no denying that in the comic-adapted film genre, men stand on top. All one would have to do is take a look at the poster for The Avengers to see this. But why is this? Why are women so underrepresented in this popular film genre?
The most common argument made is that female lead superhero movies always flop and/or are unrelatable for men.
While there is no denying that these films have been drastically underwhelming, there’s no sense in blaming the entire gender. Would Spider-Man 3 or Steel have been any better if the characters hadn’t been male? No, they still would have been stale pieces of garbage, because the writing reflected these qualities. The same holds true for the female lead superhero movies. If any of these films had actually had some decent dialogue and a solid plot, then they may have done better, regardless of gender. Their lack of relatability had nothing to do with the fact that they starred women.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at The Hunger Games films. Surely they serve as a perfect example that men can be entertained and moved by a story that boasts a well-developed female lead. Breaking numerous box office records and boasting excellent reviews, The Hunger Games films did more than simply bolster the career of Jennifer Lawrence. They also proved definitively that men will watch a movie that stars a woman in the primary role.
So what does it say when Wonder Woman is thrown into a film that already has two primary DC characters in it (both of whom have gotten more big-screen time than any other comic character)? It says that they’re testing the waters. It says that they don’t want to take a chance by giving the character her own movie yet. And why? You guessed it folks: gender. One could try to argue otherwise, but when DC is willing to take chances on lesser known characters like Jonah Hex and Steel before one of their most well-known heroes, the reasoning is pretty clear.
What do you all think? Do you think that Wonder Woman should have her own fair shot? Sound off in the comment section below.