Commercially, the DC Justice League franchise has already started off as a great hit. In the worldwide box office, Man of Steel made approximately $668 million, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice broke the $868 million mark. In all likelihood, we can assume that the upcoming Wonder Woman movie will be just as much of a blockbuster hit. However, just like the other DC franchise movies, there is plenty that could go horribly wrong with Diana Prince’s debut film.
While the DC movies are wonderfully successful, they haven’t reached near the level of success that the Marvel Avengers movies have achieved. Why is this? Well, the Avengers movies and all their subsidiaries (Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc.) have been objectively more well rounded films. They successfully achieve moments of pure comedy, tear jerking drama, and adrenaline boosting action, all in the same film. Part of that is the vision of the producers, who wanted these movies to be family friendly and accessible to all viewers. DC’s lead producers, however, like Zack Snyder, want the Justice League movies to have a dark, gritty, and artistic vibe. This can make the movies too stylized and less appealing to family and non-action movie viewers.
Wonder Woman has a lot going for her- but is DC up to snuff to make the film a success? Or will Diana Prince receive all the negative reviews Superman and Batman have before her? Here are some major concerns that must be addressed: fifteen things that could go wrong with the upcoming Wonder Woman film.
15. Careful With Themyscira
Themyscira is Wonder Woman’s hometown. It is a beautiful, lush, paradise that sits at the capital of “Paradise Island,” where Wonder Woman and all of her Amazonian sisters relax in the sun, learn skills and trades, and, oh yeah, practice their badassery far away from the world of violent, hateful men. It’s a magnificent dream world that should be depicted as such- but we’re worried about what movie producers have in mind.
We’ve seen a few images of the movie’s version of Themyscira and it looks like it could go one of two ways: either the island will be an isolationist paradise intended to keep the Amazonian women safe from war and harm, the way it should be; or it will portray radically feminist women that blame men for all of humanity’s problems and think women are superior, which would be incredibly detrimental to the franchise as well as feminist values.
14. It’ll Take Itself Too Seriously
This is an issue that every DC movie in the Justice League franchise has faced. Zack Snyder has this idea that he can make all of the movies dark and gritty, but pattern has proven that it’s not an entirely successful approach. Man of Steel took itself so seriously that there are memes of Superman doing his agonized scream after killing Zod turned into moments of frustration over menial things like exams and workplace annoyances. Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice did a much better job of not being so sickeningly serious, but it still had moments of cheesy testosterone over-fueled drama that were just too much (for an example, please see the moment where the two heroes bond extensively over the name Martha). It’s definitely been a pattern for the DC movies to take themselves way too seriously, which is dangerous for action movies that are made from comic books.
13. Don’t Skimp on Time with Queen Hippolyta
Queen Hippolyta is the ruler of all of the Amazonian warriors residing in Themyscira. She also happens to be mother to Diana Prince (as well as Donna Troy, also known as Wonder Girl- who knows if that will ever come in to play?). It’s very possible that producers will want to limit the amount of time spent on Queen Hippolyta, since we all know she’ll try to convince Diana to stay on Paradise Island while her heart tells her to aid in the battles of men abroad. However, they should really try to find a way to spend more time with her since she’s played by the amazing Connie Nielsen. This gorgeous Danish actress has spent some time away from American film, but she’s very well known for her work in Gladiator, The Devil’s Advocate, and One Hour Photo. She’s an amazing actress that the film should feel lucky to have.
12. Don’t Skimp on Time With General Antiope
Speaking of amazing actresses that deserve oodles of screen time, can we talk about Robin Wright? She’s probably best known for her classic role in The Princess Bride, but she’s an amazing female actress and role model that should not be messed with. Her role in House of Cards as one of the most hard-core, sophisticated, and cunning women is an inspiration for any women seeking to snatch the power away from men, and her role as Jenny in Forrest Gump shows just how remarkable her range is and how tender and loving she can be. We are exhilarated to see Robin Wright take the reins (ha) as one of the mentors and mother figures of Diana Prince, General Antiope, in the Wonder Woman movie. Seriously, just look how vicious she looks in that trailer! She’s fifty years old and she looks like she could massacre an entire army single handed!
11. Careful With That Lasso
So… Wonder Woman’s lasso. That’s a thing we should talk about.
In the comic books, Wonder Woman is known for her magical lasso of truth. Originally known as the Magical Lasso of Aphrodite, the lasso has a lot of extraordinary capabilities. As the name very clearly indicates, the lasso is imbued with the ability to make people tell the truth when it ensnares them. It’s also super strong and can be used to make people bend their will to the users. So the question is: how many of these powers are they going to actually utilize in the Wonder Woman movie? Obviously, they’re going to use the lasso- but will they just use it like a whip, as a fun and interesting battle weapon? Will she actually use it to get answers out of her enemies in interrogations? And the real concern: just how corny is that going to look?
10. Will Junkie XL Ruin the music?
The Wonder Woman score will be headed up by the same musical talents that worked on her character’s theme in the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie: Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL. Zack Snyder has a flair for combining the classical stylings of famous composers with the electronic attitude of some more famous DJs. So here we’ve got the amazing Hans Zimmer, known for some of the best cinematic scores you have ever heard such as Inception, the Pirates of Caribbean movies, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and Black Hawk Down. He is a composer no one wants to be reckoned with. Then we’ve got Junkie XL, known for his work contributing to Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool, and The Animatrix (the animated Matrix movie). So… we’ve got some uneven levels of talent here. In a movie set in the era of World War 1 with classic characters in war scenes, we’re going to be hearing some electronic stylings akin to Wade Wilson’s favorite killing music? We’re not exactly sure this music is setting the right tone for the movie.
9. A Different Artistic Vision
Both Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice were directed by Zack Snyder, who has a particular stylistic view that he projects onto every film he works on. Some of his most famous movies are 300, Sucker Punch, and Watchmen; you’ll notice that they all have interesting elements that either draw the eye and attention or they totally turn you off. He loves to utilize his stark filters, slow motion action shots, and intense contrasts. However, Zack is not directing Wonder Woman– Patty Jenkins is! Patty is a much lesser known director but she’s been at the helm of some amazing films and television shows, such as Monster, The Killing, and Entourage. Her artistic vision is nothing like Snyder’s, though it’s decidedly not significantly more popular. Perhaps her experience directing Arrested Development will help bring some light moments to the DC franchise.
8. What Kind of Character Will Elena Anaya Be?
Elena Anaya is a lesser known Spanish actress, but she’s a total bombshell. She’s shown for very brief stints in the Wonder Woman trailer looking very menacing but also very interesting. If you can’t remember seeing this babe’s face in the trailer, it’s probably because a large part of it was covered. Elena is wearing some sort of mask over half of her face, typically the kind used in the 1930s to cover up either burns or chemical burns. Some fans have speculated that Elena will be playing the primary villain of the movie, but then there’s the question of who Danny Huston will be playing- and he’s donning a German Nazi uniform, so you know he’s got to be a big bad guy. Elena has the potential to be a bad ass super villain, or perhaps she could play a villain turned anti-hero? No matter what, we’ll all be fairly disappointed if she becomes a mere evil side-kick.
7. Who the Hell is Steve Trevor?
It’s really kind of hilarious how most viewers totally missed Chris Pine’s cameo appearance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. When Bruce Wayne first looked at the metahuman files of Lex Luthor’s and discovered the picture of Diana from the 1930s, there was Chris Pine standing right by her! From the start, we knew he would play Steve Trevor, the man who first brings Diana Prince to the world of men. In the comics, he of course becomes a love interest of Wonder Woman. Now that we’ve all familiarized ourselves with the character, we’re worried that Steve Trevor may play the role of male savior too much. Wonder Woman comes upon him in essentially the same manner as The Little Mermaid met her Prince Eric, and she literally follows him to the ends of the Earth. Isn’t that a little troublesome in a story about a women’s liberation icon?
6. Don’t Over-Sexualize Her, Or Else
Okay, we totally get that the producers aren’t going to change the general design of Wonder Woman’s costume; it’s as iconic as Superman’s cape! And we knew that they likely weren’t going to change her origin story of following a man from her isle of feminine empowerment to the world of man. We know Wonder Woman can be just as much a sex icon as she can be a women’s lib and empowerment icon, but listen: if you degrade a character by making her battle in her underwear, women of this age are not going to respect her as a role model or icon. And that’s half the allure of this movie! Women have been begging for stronger and more empowered female heroes for so long (someone better than Black Widow, at least) that DC cannot afford to make Wonder Woman a joke. They’ve put a lot on the line with this movie.
5. Don’t Isolate Her as “The ONLY” Capable Female Superhero
Yes, Wonder Woman is a bad ass. Of the heroes in the Justice League, she was the only female metahuman and one of it’s leaders. We understand that historically, she was the only capable kick ass superhero. We want Diana Prince to be so awesome and amazing that other members of the Justice League think “shit, we don’t want to get on Diana’s bad side.” But at the same time, we really need DC to realize that one female superhero just won’t be enough! Just like having only one black hero (Cyborg) or one Polynesian hero (Aquaman) is not going to be enough! As much as we love Batman and Superman, we’ve kind of all had our fill of super powered white guys. Hopefully, DC will have wild success and profits from the Wonder Woman movie and realize that they need to center more of their movies around minority characters.
4. How Magical/Mythological Will They Go?
Wonder Woman is quite a… well, wonderful character! She comes from an Amazonian society that is rooted in Athenian culture and Greek mythology, where the warriors there are bestowed with some damn remarkable skills and talents as well as some questionably magical gifts. It’s kind of hard to put the science behind Wonder Woman’s magical lasso of truth, or her shield that is more impenetrable than Captain America’s Adamantium shield, or her gauntlets that are somehow able to repel every superhuman beam shot at her. So the question is, just how magical are DC producers going to make Wonder Woman’s Athenian gifts? There was a brief shot in the Wonder Woman trailer where it looked like some force from the heavens was making an impact on Earth- is that magic, or is that science? Or some mythological mix of the two? If they go too far into mythological superpowers (or not far enough), it could be detrimental to the Wonder Woman brand.
3. How Well Will They Use the Backdrop of WW1?
Wonder Woman will be set in two time periods; one in modern day, and one in pseudo-flashback into the era of World War One. Viewers should note that this is not at all how things were done in the comics; in the comics, Steve Trevor stumbles into Diana’s life in modern(ish) times and they all return to the world of man together. Since they’ve decided to set things in the past, they may as well use the backdrop to the best of their abilities. If you know anything about world history, you’ll know that World War One was a complicated situation: there were no cut and dry bad guys, weaponry was not yet advanced and developed enough to massacre each other quickly, and people worldwide were afraid of each other for reasons they weren’t entirely clear on. This gives writers a lot to work with, when Diana is entering into this uncertain world.
2. How Cheesy Will Steve Trevor’s Death Be?
It’s not like we really spoiled anything, so calm down! The Wonder Woman movie will be set in two time periods, and she’ll be meeting Steve Trevor in the past. Unless Steve and Diana are having a weird relationship where she is immortal and he is 130(ish) years old, you can probably logically figure out that Steve is going to die at some point here. So, how are they going to do it? Will he die like Captain America’s Peggy Carter, in old age sad that he couldn’t be the immortal partner to his superhero love? Or will he fall in battle, noble and strong? If he does die in battle, will it be over something meaningless like a stray bullet, or will it be Diana’s motivation for conquering her great foe? It’s a tricky line to walk- they’ve got to find a way to kill Steve that gives him dignity without impeding Wonder Woman’s strength of character, mind, and physique.
1. She Better Be the Main (or Only) Contributor
In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman wasn’t really a driving fighter until the final battle between the title characters and Lex Luthor’s creation, Doomsday. When she showed up, she reeeally showed up. However, they kind of sold her abilities short in order to portray just how tricky of a villain they were up against; if they had let Diana Prince put all her finest abilities on display, Superman wouldn’t have had to sacrifice himself to win the battle. We know, from Lex Luthor’s files on Wonder Woman, that she’s going to have help in whatever fight we’re going to see her in during the movie. But Superman didn’t need any help in Man of Steel. Batman has never needed any help in any of his recent Christopher Nolan films. If Wonder Woman has help, it better just be because guys are willing to throw their hat in- not because she needs any of them.