Thursday, December 5, 2013

Post #997 - Some thoughts on Superman vs Batman vs Wonder Woman

Uh oh. The internet's being cranky. Someone must have announced some comic book movie news.

Yesterday Warner Bros announced that Gal Gadot will be playing Wonder Woman in the still-unnamed Man of Steel sequel which everyone has been referring to as Batman vs. Superman.  Right now it's starting to seem significant that WB has conspicuously not affixed that moniker officially.  At ComiCon, the announcement was made by way of a logo mash-up featuring the Bat symbol and the Superman crest.  Beyond that, we don't know much more except that David Goyer's writing, Zack Snyder's directing and Ben Affleck is joining the cast as Batman.

If Wonder Woman is now also a part of the cast, could this mean that the true title of the film will end up being JUSTICE LEAGUE?  It's kind of exciting to consider that possibility because I like the idea that the studio has been able to keep so many details out of the public eye and thus far is releasing information on their own terms.  As much as fanboys scream and cry that they want to know everything now (probably so they can begin their manifestos on how it's not what THEY would do and thus it's therefore wrong) there's something to be said for the joy of filmmakers completely surprising their audience.

My take: I think Gadot could have the right look for Wonder Woman.  Sure she's skinny now, but the right trainer could easily put her in Sarah Conner-in-T2 asskicker mode.  She's got the right kind of exotic beauty and she's enough of an unknown that she brings little baggage to the part.  I've already seen fanboys whining that her boobs aren't big enough, but I think we need to focus on what really matters - the fact she's got a butt that can pull off the tight and revealing Wonder Woman trunks.

I kid, I kid.  Though that cheap joke would be more out of line were it not for the fact that her character's biggest contribution to the Fast & Furious series was using that asset to get a criminal's fingerprints onto her bikini bottom.*

*This is why real spies don't wear thongs.

Bottom line: I'm rather bewildered by all the venom directed at Warners about this casting. Some people hate the actress. And some people are pissed that Wonder Woman is making her big screen debut as a supporting player in a male hero's film.  I guess I can't say I'm surprised - fanboy overreaction has been a tradition since back before the outrage over Michael Keaton's casting as Batman - but it feels like a real waste of energy to be this angry when we really still don't really know anything.

I'll admit, as someone who loved Man of Steel it does bother me a little that instead of getting a straight-up Superman sequel, the new movie is more of a stage-setter for JUSTICE LEAGUE (if not JUSTICE LEAGUE itself.)  My preference would have been a bit more world-building of the Superman mythos, especially considering the first film didn't do anything with the Clark Kent reporter disguise.  My immediate reaction is that it feels too soon to crowd the movie with other characters.

However, I'm open to the possibility that Snyder and Goyer have somehow found a way to tell a story that explores the Superman mythos while also integrating Batman and Wonder Woman.  As nothing has been released about the story, it's not worth getting worked up over what I presume they might be doing.

But I also don't want another Iron Man 2, which pretty much stands as one of the weakest Marvel movies - in large part because it was forced to give a lot of screentime over to connective tissue to the other films.  The vast majority of material involving S.H.I.E.L.D. and Black Widow was there mostly to lay pipe for The Avengers.  Hopefully Warners and DC Entertainment are capable of learning from Marvel's mistakes as well as their successes.

I also wonder (oh shit, pun TOTALLY not intended, but I'm too lazy to think of something better) if the fact that they're introducing Wonder Woman here means that the studio is further along in developing a Wonder Woman script than they've lead on.  For all we know, her role in Batman vs. Superman is little more than a cameo that sets up a solo feature that will go into production right after BvS wraps.  I'd feel a lot better about the state of DC films overall if something like that is in the works.

Or it could just be a trial balloon designed to see if it's even worth the effort to develop a Wonder Woman standalone.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  This might be a good time to revisit my old post at Film School Rejects, "The Biggest Challenges Facing a Wonder Woman Movie."

Can we at least agree that if Warners does develop Wonder Woman, we'll force Emily Blake to tell us her pitch if someone else lands the assignment?


  1. Just what the world needs: yet another superhero movie.

    Yay for the world.

  2. My ultimate question is: Did Batman exist during the most recent Superman movie timeline? You would think his name would have surfaced during the film at some point. Or, does Wayne become Batman now that Superman has made his intro to Earth? Marvel did a good job of connecting the various films of the Avengers franchise with comments and cameos. I think I need a little world-building connective tissue before a big DC hero get-together.

  3. My guess is, that the movie will be a buddy comedy with Superman as the main character. In this universe, the man of steel is a flawed character with lots of room for character change. With Superman as the hero, they can really show off Batman's skill as his opponent. Lex Luthor will be the dangerous, secondary outside opponent the buddies have to defeat together in the end, when they have overcome their differences.

    Wonder Woman could serve as a love interest for both Batman and Superman. Batman, as a billionaire playboy, is open for any kind of romantic adventure, but Superman could be in a relationship with Lois. To me, that sounds interesting.

  4. Superhero comicbook graphic novel movies are so easy to write simply because 1. they're stupidly simplistic to the nth degree and 2. the audience for that stuff is braindead with all the discerning nature and good taste of something slithering around at the bottom of a septic taste.

    Everything is cheesy enough to supply a frozen pizza factory for years and there's enough melodrama to wipe out the entire soap opera watching population between northern Mexico and southern Chile.

    Non stop explosions for no reason? Check. Dialogue so bad it'd embarrass Schwarzenegger? Check. Enough whip pans to keep chiropractors rich forever? Check. So much shaky cam it's like watching from the inside of a cement mixer? Check. Acting so bad that a kindergarten play director would flee in tears? Check. Audience comprised entirely of closeted 14-year-old boys who have to go home and change their underwear? CHECK.

    Folks, this crap is why premium cable is raking in all the adults and other intelligent viewers. It's why movie theaters have become so popular among pedophiles. It's why nobody worth a damn wants to be in movies now.

    But hey, you like watching guys in pantyhose "bonding." Who am I to judge your alternative lifestyle? :-D