Naturally, given Wonder Woman’s iconic place in pop culture, the casting was always going to be highly controversial. So when Zach Snyder cast Gal Gadot, she was no exception to the rule. She was going to have a lot of expectations to live up to given that Wonder Woman hadn't been depicted on the big screen in seventy years.
Some criticized Gadot’s acting history, saying it had been pretty minimal and that she had definitely never done any type of super-heroine role before. After the box-office success of the film (even if critics slammed it on the whole), people are continuing to talk about Gal Gadot. Critics praised her performance, but some fans were still not impressed. Some said that she didn't have the physical features of the Wonder Woman from the comics - she lacked the strength and curves. Some said she lacked femininity while others said her performance was too wooden. The point is that any actor won’t please everyone. But could someone better have taken on the iconic role?
Zach Snyder defended his casting choice, saying that “she’s strong, she’s beautiful, and she’s a kind person, which is interesting, but fierce at the same time. It’s that combination of being fierce but kind at the same time that we were looking for.” He went on to say that “she really held her own with Ben in the screen test. Ben was like, ‘Whoa, that girl is something else!’” But, some were still not convinced. Physically, Wonder Woman should be tall, curvy and strong if she is to live up to the comic book portrayal. She should have a femininity to her. But, perhaps more importantly, she needs to be mentally strong, with a sense of power while simultaneously being able to tap into Wonder Woman’s humanity - her compassion and love, which is a certain kind of vulnerability.
So, who could have potentially been better picks for the iconic role?
10 Jessica Biel
Part of the criticism that Gal Gadot received was the fact that she didn’t necessarily meet Wonder Woman’s physical description. While she is beautiful in her own right, she does lack the curves and muscle tone that Wonder Woman fans are used to. Gadot is a former model, after all, and her body type reflects model-type proportions. Who might be a better fit appearance wise? We’re thinking someone like Jessica Biel might more closely resemble Wonder Woman with her strong and toned body and curves. Jessica Biel totally has that warrior vibe going for her.
9 Emma Watson
This might be the most controversial suggestion on the list given that Emma Watson is known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. However, the girl obviously can fight death eaters and other wizardry things so her combat skills would be ready to be put to use, which is saying something. She’s smart, a feminist (just like Wonder Woman) and has shown that she is capable of powerful roles outside of Harry Potter. She could also really play up the humanity and compassionate side of Wonder Woman. Emma Watson has an undercover ferocious side to her and we have a feeling a lot of people would find her to be an interesting choice.
8 Kerry Washington
If Wonder Woman was ever going to be represented by a person of color, Kerry Washington, known for her role as Olivia Pope on Scandal, could be a good fit. In the television series, Washington is strong and powerful, which is obviously a prerequisite for Wonder Woman. She has already been nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe, which shows that her acting is pretty decent. We are going to put Jada Pinkett Smith as a runner-up, who is pretty bada** in Gotham. Both of these women could make a strong Wonder Woman. And it would be great to see a fresh representation of a superhero.
7 Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis is just a fun choice. Who wouldn’t love to see her as Wonder Woman? She definitely has the dark features and exotic look to match Wonder Woman - if she doesn’t look like a warrior princess, we’re not sure who does. She has proven she isn’t just a pretty face, though, per her performance in 2010’s Black Swan, which saw Kunis nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. She definitely has what it takes to play a strong Wonder Woman. We’re pretty sure every man (and woman) would love to see Kunis take on the role.
6 Jennifer Lawrence
Playing a superheroine would not be something new for Jennifer Lawrence, which was a concern with Gadot. She played Mystique in X-Men: First Class back in 2011 and in the second installment of the film as well. She also has a Wonder Woman type of body - curvy and strong. We can check off Wonder Woman’s combat skills because Lawrence obviously learned a thing or two when she had to fight to the death in The Hunger Games. Her acting skills are obviously superb as well - she is the second youngest person to ever receive an Oscar for Best Actress based on her performance in Silver Linings Playbook, which definitely puts her a step above Gadot in terms of acting.
5 Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde, known for her roles in 2013’s Rush and 2010’s TRON: Legacy, could make a very fierce Wonder Woman. We have a feeling Olivia Wilde is kind of a savage but in a good way. Although slender, she definitely has a strength to her. She also has Wonder Woman’s piercing blue eyes, unlike a lot of other actresses on the list. Olivia Wilde would definitely be able to play up the head-strong and confident side of Wonder Woman. She has some decent acting chops as well. She was cast in the critically acclaimed film, Her, and is currently starring in HBO’s Vinyl.
4 Natalie Portman
Obviously, Natalie Portman’s impressive resume tops a lot of people on the list. After all, she does have an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in 2011’S Black Swan. She was also nominated for an Oscar back in 2004 and has two Golden Globes. She is known for playing smart roles, which would make sense for her to take on Wonder Woman, who is quite bright. Portman has played powerful superheroes before, like Jane Foster in 2011’s Thor. Her portrayal as Wonder Woman could perhaps be one of the most powerful and understated, striking a perfect balance between Wonder Woman’s strength and humanity.
3 Scarlett Johansson
We think it’s time for Scarlett Johansson to go to the dark side (by which we mean, DC Comics) and give Wonder Woman a whirl. This seems like an obvious choice. She’d, of course, be pretty good at it given her previous stint as Marvel’s Black Widow in 2014’s Captain America. She’s obviously got the curvaceous and strong body for the role and would look exceptionally hot in body armor and boots. Obviously, Johansson is a decent actor, too - she has been nominated for four Golden Globes and has done movies worthy of critical acclaim (Lost in Translation comes to mind). Needless to say, Scarlett Johansson as Wonder Woman would easily have everyone swooning over her. She would tap into Wonder Woman’s mental and physical strength, femininity and compassion.
2 Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie would make a pretty believable Wonder Woman. She’s fierce, confident and a force to be reckoned with. She has a strength and power to her and we could easily see her as a warrior princess. Yet, she also has a femininity and a certain humanity that is also crucial for someone to be able to take on the iconic role. She has won an Oscar for Best Actress in Girl Interrupted, so she has a much more on her acting resume than Gadot at this point. We don’t need to mention her stunning good looks.She has a certain exoticness to her as well. Angelina Jolie as Wonder Woman? We think yes.
1 Emilia Clarke
Wonder Woman is one powerful woman. Who could pull this off? If Emilia Clarke’s depiction of the bada** mother of dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, in HBO’s Game of Thrones is an indication of how she would fare as Wonder Woman, we have a feeling Emilia Clarke would make perhaps one of the strongest femme fatales out there. She has been nominated for a number of awards as well, showing that her acting skills are definitely on point. Her performance could be an emotional one and would likely outdo Gadot by a long shot. She would make Wonder Woman multi-dimensional: powerful while still having a vulnerability about her. She also has a large fan base based on the popularity of Game of Thrones, and we have a feeling a lot of people would be into seeing Emilia Clarke take on Wonder Woman.