Will DC get it right this time?
Alright, what I mean by this is, will DC and Warner Bros (WB) get it right on this fourth installment of the DC extended universe (DCEU)?
Man of Steel (2013) did fairly well among viewers (75% positive) and lesser so among critics (55% rotten). Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) fared a little less well among viewers (65% positive), but was completely dominated with negativity by critics with an underwhelming 27% rotten (all via Rotten Tomatoes). The hope now is that Suicide Squad gives a much needed boost for both viewers and critics to reach the same blockbuster success the Marvel universe has had for at least the past decade, and, keep that momentum going with the release of Wonder Woman (2017).
Over the years, DC and WB have teamed up to bring some pretty good Batman films like The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) both starring Christian Bale and directed by Christopher Nolan. A few in my inner circle of friends despised both movies; however, I found them to be quit entertaining. With that said, I probably would have cast someone other than Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. I, myself, found her to be enjoyable enough; however, my opinion is that someone else could have taken that role to a far higher level in terms of likability and all around badass-ness.
Then, sadly, there was the god awful Green Lantern (2011) in which the seemingly only good thing that arose from that film is the relationship between Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds (thank God for Deadpool; I know, I know wrong universe). Seriously people, how awful was that movie?
All of that to say this: there is no consistent pattern when it comes to stability and likability for the comic-based DC universe films. It’s been a constant hit or miss with each movie, with a majority of them being misses. I enjoyed Man of Steel for what it was, and I wanted so badly to enjoy Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but I just couldn’t (I think the majority vote of ridiculousness was the whole “I’m-going-to-murder-you-dead-but-wait-your-mom’s-name-is-Martha??” Oh… okay I’ve regained my chill).
In my wanting to have Wonder Woman be one of the best films DC and WB have attempted to date, I have managed to compile a list of interesting facts/things to get us pumped for its release on the too far away date of June 2, 2017.
Shout out to DC and WB for persistence!
16. This is Chris Pine’s (Star Trek, 2009) First Comic Book Film
Pine auditioned for Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in Green Lantern (2011). I think we can all breathe a collective sigh that he did not get cast as Hal. I don’t know if you agree, but honestly, that was one of the worst movies ever. It was also rumored that he was in consideration to play Hal Jordan in Green Lantern Corps (2020), but Pine states he was never offered the role. With that said, rumor has it that Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) is in consideration to play the front-runner. I pray for this to be true.
15. Gal Gadot Was Chosen For The Role Of Wonder Woman Due To Her Heritage And Background
Gal Gadot (Fast and Furious franchise) has a Mediterranean heritage (Israeli) and also has a military background; she served for two years in the Israel Defense Forces. Gadot is also the first non- American actress to play Wonder Woman (WW).
I don’t believe people have had an outcry of anger regarding her playing this role (as society does these days), and I have to say think it was a good choice. I know she doesn’t have the typical WW look, but I am convinced that she is a complete bad ass. Serving in the military has definitely added to her look of confidence. I am on board for this film to be amazing.
14. Zack Snyder Makes An Appearance In Wonder Woman
Snyder (Suicide Squad) will be producing this film and also happens to have a cameo as a World War I soldier. When I read this, I thought of Stan Lee and Stephen King cameos. It will almost be like finding Waldo. Game on.
While Snyder hasn’t directed an insane amount of movies, he certainly has made a name for himself. The first movie I remember knowing it was him was Sucker Punch (2011). Have you seen Sucker Punch? I remember the first time I watched it, I hated it. I gave it another go, and now it sits pretty with the rest of my VUDU list of movies. It would’ve been cool if he made a cameo in that movie. Perhaps one of the war scenes with a gun fighting along side Baby? Am I right?
13. An Array Of Different Actors Were Considered To Play The Lead Role
Okay, so let’s break down this list of actors who could have been WW before Gadot was cast; perhaps with some additional commentary…
Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) – I think she probably could’ve owned this role. I mean come on, it’s Selene.
Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) – She is one of my favorite actors, but, I’m not sure I could see her playing WW. Thoughts?
Mischa Barton (The O.C.) – I can’t see it. Not even a little bit.
Rachel Bilson (Hart of Dixie) – I loved her in Hart of Dixie, although I’m not sure she could bring the toughness WW requires.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) – Yes. All of the yeses. We already know she can play a bad ass.
Jessica Biel (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) – She could’ve worked; she may have been one of those I’d have to see in character to see it all put together.
Eva Green (Casino Royale) – Maybe. I did like her in the second Sin City (2014); even though she was an awful person, she did pretty well.
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) – I liked “Red” (what Roger Sterling called her in the show). I could see her pulling this off.
Kristen Stewart (Twilight) – No, just no.
12. This Film Has Been In Development Since 1996
Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, 1984) was originally hired to direct and write it. Nothing ever came of it, so in January of 2001, Silver pictures approached Todd Alcott (Antz, 1998) to write a WW script. He was replaced in August of 2003 with Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island). Then in March of 2005, Joss Whedon (Avengers) was hired to not only write WW, but also to direct the film. However, in February of 2007, he left due to creative differences (DC’s loss was clearly Marvel’s gain!). Then, in November of 2014, Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) was confirmed as director, but dropped out in March of 2015 for the same reason as Whedon.
It seems that WW has been passed around a lot. Two directors/writers left because of creative differences? In the case on Joss Whedon, I’d say DC should’ve given him the creative freedom he deserved. Avengers wasn’t a fluke; the man is crazy talented.
11. Angelina Jolie Was In Consideration To Direct The Film
Well, if you add to the laundry list of actors that were considered to play WW (Angelina was among them as well). She declined and was considered to direct it, but perhaps she declined that too, with all of the directors that were in question to do the film, anyway.
Although I have not seen anything Jolie has directed (she has five directing credits under her belt), I did very much want to see Unbroken (2014). I can’t speak to her talent as a director, however, she is a very good actress so I would venture to presume that she would kill the directing game as well.
10. This Is The Second Comic-Book Based Film To Have A Female Director
The first film was Punisher: War Zone (2008) with Lexi Alexander as the director. I’m brand new to the world of directors and taking notice of their style, but knowing that Jenkins directed Monster? I’m all in. That movie was as brutal as it was brilliant to watch.
Besides Monster, Jenkins hasn’t directed anything major, so Wonder Woman will be (it seems) a film of the big leagues. I imagine that it is terrifying to want to get a movie of this caliber completed to the satisfaction of its die hard fans. As I have mentioned before, DC’s track record hasn’t been the best; let’s see if after Suicide Squad, Jenkins can add to the DCEU.
9. The Film Takes Place During World War I
It is approximately 100 years before WW’s debut in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The original Wonder Woman (1975) series was depicted during WWII where WW was fighting Axis military forces and villains. Over time, her character evolved more into the Greek mythology aspect of her character (Zeues, dieties). As Queen Hipployta (more on her later) is WW’s mother, it makes sense that it starts turning more towards her beginnings. I wonder if, over time, the film version of WW will adapt the comics evolution?
But, back to the 2017 version of WW; has anyone see BvS? Do you remember the part in the film when Diana (WW) says to Bruce Wayne, “One hundred years ago, I walked away from mankind.”? This film might give the explanation as to why she did. Although it was a small line, it did make me curious as to why. Also, searching for the picture that Bruce Wayne found and knew something was up when she looked exactly the same? I’m drawing a blank as to whether she had any reasoning for desperately wanting that photo.
8. Lynda Carter Will Not Have A Cameo In The Film
Lynda Carter (the original WW) from the 1975 TV series (which ran until 1979), will not be making an appearance. Neither will Lyle Waggoner (the original Steve Trevor, now played by Chris Pine). Reason being? Lynda concentrates on her schedule of cabaret singing and Lyle retired from acting back in 2005.
In the original series, there were three seasons totaling out to 60 episodes; Carter in all 60 and Waggoner in 59. They are the only two characters billed for more than 19 of the 60 episodes. Since it was 1975 (which is hella long ago), I can understand both Carter and Waggoner wanting to move along with their lives, but if almost 40 years passes of beloved characters I used to play is still popular and I was asked to do a cameo? Umm… chyeah, sign me up.
If not for nothing, their reasons are certainly interesting; and hey to each their own. A cameo could have been epic, but we have to respect the wishes of the originals. No thunder to be stolen here, folks.
7. Gal Gadot Will Be The Second DC Character To Appear In Two Films In The Same Year
Ben Affleck was the first with his appearances in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad; both in 2016. Gadot will be appearing in of course Wonder Woman and then Justice League; both in 2017.
I see this as a good sign. Even with all of the flack that the DCEU gets, I can only see this as a step in the right direction. If you can continue to evolve your stories to cross over characters (and make sense most importantly), story lines, and become a strong unit, I can see DC becoming a contender to Marvel. I sometimes wonder if it’s the luck of the draw; but honestly, I think Marvel just executes everything better. Whether it’s listening to their fans, having better writers, or whatever it is, I hope DC takes notice of what’s working and follow the mold. Make it your own, DC, but for the love of all that is holy, have your movies make sense!
6. Two Stars In Wonder Woman Have Also Been In Star Trek Films
Dating back to 1974, in the first WW film, Ricardo Montalban played a villain. He in turn played the character Khan in Star Trek (TV series) and reprises his role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).
Chris Pine is cast as Steve Trevor in the upcoming WW film and has also played Captain Kirk in Star Trek (2009), Star Trek: Into the Darkness (2013), and Star Trek Beyond (2016).
I doubt this was in any way on purpose, but it’s an interesting fact nonetheless. When I think of the Star Trek movies now (the Chris Pine versions), I immediately think of Anton Yelchin. I know that completely detracts from what this fun fact actually is, but may he rest in peace.
Okay, back to this tidbit. Playing roles in both franchises has to be something of a game changer for an actors career. Even if the films suck, you can still say you were a part of something huge. Do you ever get the feeling that sometimes Hollywood seems like a “small world”? Or maybe it’s just a happy coincidence.
5. A Role Was Offered To Nicole Kidman
However, Kidman passed. She was offered the role of Queen Hippolyta. If you aren’t familiar with who the Queen is, continue reading.
Poor Queen Hippolyta; more than 32,000 years ago, she was a cavewoman who was brutally murdered by her mate. Her soul was deposited in the “Well of Souls” with other women who had been slain. Although this is very sad, she is also the first woman to be reincarnated by the Olympian Gods (Zeus, Ares, etc.), therefore becoming Queen of a new race that goes by the Amazons.
They run the Amazons and then her sister, Antiope; the second to be reincarnated, fell in love with Theseus who came along with his friend Heracles. They came to the Amazons to retrieve the “girdle of Hippolyta” as one of his Twelve Labors, but the Queen was like “hmm, no thanks.” A battle ensues. So after all of this the Queen falls for Heracles, the sister is already in love with Theseus, but you know, Heracles is full of madness so he drugs his lady, she wakes up in chains, and her people are beat and raped by Heracles’ peeps, who also ended up stealing their stuff (such jerks, right?).
So she’s reincarnated and brought back a few more times (I’m skipping through time here, don’t be upset). She gains wicked strength but the war caused so much damage that Athena comes down, strips the Amazons of their power and Queen Hippolyta is forced to rule over an empty island.
Some would call that karma.
4. This Is Danny Huston’s Third Comic Book Movie
If you don’t know who he is, what first came to my mind was his “Axeman” character is the American Horror Story: Coven season. Did you see him in that show? Holy wow was he crazy, but awesome.
As far as comic book films go, he was in 30 Days of Night (2007); which I have seen, but it left no lasting impression on me. Although, I remember not really liking it, and maybe thinking the end sucked. Huh, what do you know? I guess I do remember something.
He was also in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). Remember Major William Stryker? Wasn’t he the biggest d-bag? He was the dude who shot Wolverine with the adamantium bullets. I maybe should have said “spoiler alert”, but it’s been seven years. Also, to my previous d-bag comment, it’s okay, I still think Danny-O is the tits.
On another note: via IMDb (internet movie database), it doesn’t credit the character he will be playing, but there are some speculations that he could be a number of different characters like: Zeus, Ares, or Erich Ludendorrf (leader of the Germans during the war).
3. The WW Creator Also Created Something Still In Use Today
And that my friends, would be the lie detector, also known as the polygraph machine (1915). His name? William Moulton Marston. So this guy, Marston, is the source of all the headaches for the guilty liars having to prove their innocence (too harsh? Relax, it’s a joke). He earned a law degree in 1918; I presume getting a law degree was just as difficult for its time as it is now for our current batch of fresh intelligent minds. Marston, also earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from, of course, Harvard University in 1921. I find it amusing that a Ph.D. in Psychology was the mind behind the polygraph. I can only imagine the tests he implemented or his thought process behind coming up with said polygraph.
With all of that said… I find it very encouraging that someone with such a prestigious degree and obvious book smarts still had the imagination to create the character that is still so widely loved today. A much deserved round of applause goes to you, Mr. William M. Marston.
2. Cobie Smulders Was Briefly Considered For The Role
As we know Smulders from How I Met Your Mother and as Agent Hill from Avengers (2012), we know she can certainly play a bad ass. I’m pretty sure she could’ve done justice to the role. Does anyone agree? I mean, it’s hard for me to envision anyone but Gadot play WW; now that I have seen her rock the WW outfit, look, and attitude, but I think with the array of casting choices for this coveted character, Smulders would’ve been a front contender.
Case in point: she voiced WW in The Lego Movie (2014). Boom.
So she’s played a part in the DECU and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), and I’d say those are good credits to have under your belt. I loved her as Robin and I loved her as Agent Hill; perhaps she will surprise and join another successful franchise.
1. Both Gal Gadot And Connie Nielsen Were Up For Roles In Man of Steel (2013)
We talked about Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) earlier, as she will be playing Queen Hippolyta. Although Gadot and Nielsen were both in consideration for Man of Steel, they were up for different parts.
Gadot as Faora, which went to Antje Traue (also known for Seventh Son, 2014) and Neilsen as Lara, which went to Ayelet Zurer (also known for Angels and Demons, 2009).
As this list was a rundown of fun facts before the much anticipated film is set to be released, which one did you find most interesting?
Wonder Woman is set to be released on June 2, 2017 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.
Director: Patty Jenkins
Written by: Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns
From a story by: Allan Heinberg and Zack Snyder
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