Reviews for Wonder Woman are coming out and things are looking good. Currently at 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it is one of the highest-rated films of the year. With this being the latest in the #DCEU and the first female superhero movie, a lot was riding on #WonderWoman. If it is a big hit at the box office, it would not only be the first critically acclaimed movie for the DCEU, but would open the door for more female-led superhero fare in the future.
Perhaps predicting the film's success, Warner Brothers had already announced a #Batgirl movie back in March. They have even taken a book from the Marvel Cinematic Universe by nabbing fan favorite Joss Whedon to write, direct and produce the film. With shows like Buffy and Dollhouse under his belt, Whedon working on a film for the Dark Knight Damsel seems like a perfect fit.
Between this and the Margot Robbie-produced Gotham Sirens film, DC seems to be heavily investing in its female roster of heroes. It's certainly a solid strategy. With Marvel just now giving the green light for Captain Marvel, DC has not only taken the lead when it comes to female representation but set the gold standard (if critics are to be believed). With Wonder Woman eyeing a $65 million opening, pursuing female superheroes seems like a winning strategy. If DC films decides to go with this, here are five superheroines that would be perfect for the big screen.
1. Black Canary
- First Appearance: Justice League of America #75
- Powers: Canary Cry, martial arts master
- Dream Casting: Adrianne Palicki
Born into a family of vigilantes, Dinah Lance would become a crime fighter despite objections from her mother, the original Black Canary. In possession of the Canary Cry (a supersonic scream), she would go on to be a founding member of the Justice League. When not on that super team, she can be found with her other team: the Birds of Prey.
DC movie have been about superheroes dealing with world-threatening events. Even Batman, typically a street-level hero, teamed up with Superman to take on Doomsday. At the moment, there aren't any street-level heroes in the DCEU, and Black Canary would be a perfect choice to fill this void. Despite having powers, she mainly takes on villains like the mob boss Blockbuster and mercenaries such as Cheshire. In fact, the only time she really tackles intergalactic warlords or villains trying to rule the world is when she is with the Justice League. Between the potential to further the DCEU and filling the void left by Batman, Black Canary seems like a perfect fit for a DCEU movie.
When it comes to unsung action stars, few have the resume of Adrianne Palicki. Best known for Friday Night Lights, she has shown considerable action chops in movies such as GI Joe: Retaliation, John Wick and a stint as the similar Marvel heroine Bobbi Morse on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She even played Wonder Woman in a pilot that wasn't picked up. A convincing action star on the small and big screen, Black Canary could be the role that pushes Adrianne Palicki over the top.
2. Renee Montoya
- First Appearance: Batman: The Animated Series episode "Pretty Poison"
- Powers: Skilled marksman, detective skills
- Dream Casting: Michelle Rodriguez
A longstanding beat cop at the GCPD, Renee Montoya is one of the few people in the department to have gained #Batman's trust. Graduating at the top of her class, she would be paired up with detective Harvey Bullock. One of the few clean cops in the precinct, she would go on to become a superhero herself and take on the mantle of The Question.
When it comes to output, Marvel has shown a nice variety in content. Audiences have been entertained by everything from the space-faring adventures of the Guardians of the Galaxy to Daredevil defending the streets of New York. Surprisingly, what we have yet to see is a gritty crime drama; a look at law enforcement in a world with superheroes. With the introduction of Commissioner Gordon in Justice League, a GCPD film starring Renee Montoya would be a good buffer between Batman movies. Not only would it be the kind of street-level movie Batman needs to be but, as a lesbian, Renee Montoya would bring a unique perspective to the Batman mythology (and superhero movies in general). Even if Warner Brothers were to take a more traditional approach, her time as the mysterious hero known as The Question would work just as well. No matter what kind of movie Warner Brothers wanted to make, Renee Montoya would make for the perfect lead.
One of the most consistent female action stars the past decade has been Michelle Rodriguez. Since her debut in 2000's Girlfight, she has raced cars in the Fast & Furious series, fought zombies in Resident Evil and helped stop an alien invasion in Battle: Los Angeles. As good as she is at these roles, she isn't given much to work with dramatically. A character as complex as Renee Montoya would be the perfect role for Rodriguez to stretch her acting muscles while still letting her do what she does best: kick lots of ass.
- First Appearance: Hawkman #4
- Powers: One of the most powerful users of magic in the DC universe.
- Dream Casting: Rose Byrne
Making a living as a stage magician, Zatanna would discover a proficiency for real magic while searching for her missing father. On her journey her path would cross with heroes like Hawkman, Batman and The Atom. Helping the Justice League on several cases, she would be given full membership with the group and be their go-to heroine whenever magic was involved.
Few DC films have had a production as troubled as #DarkUniverse (a.k.a. Justice League Dark). Despite getting an animated movie in 2017, a live-action adaption has been delayed since 2012. Names such as Guillermo del Toro, Joseph Khan and Doug Liman have all been attached and left the project. Perhaps instead of introducing a whole team they start off with a single heroine like Zatanna. Not only would she open the door for Dark Universe but a stage magician-turned-superheroine sounds like the perfect point of view character for the darker, horror-based side of the DC Universe.
Perhaps it is just me, but few actresses are as underrated as Rose Byrne. Whether in a comedy like Neighbors or as a soldier in 28 Weeks Later, Byrne has killed it in every role she has been given. What makes her most appropriate for the role is her turn as Renai Lambert in the Insidious series. Like a perfect final girl, she was able to be terrified of the unknown while persevering in the end and having it still be believable — two qualities that would be perfect for a Zatanna movie to introduce DC's Dark Universe.
- First Appearance: Teen Titans (v2) #1
- Powers: Able to create solid constructs out of silver plasma, flight
- Dream Casting: Adria Arjona
The daughter of a former US Senator, Argent's skin would turn silver and gain powers on her sixteenth birthday. The young Argent learn that she is part of a sleeper agent plan by an alien race called the H'San Natall to defeat a dangerous alien race already on Earth. Discovering others like her she would go on to form a new version of the #TeenTitans.
If Marvel has shown anything it's that taking chances on lesser-known characters can really pay off. Movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man have been massive hits despite not being the most well-known heroes. With over 80 years of history, DC has a vast library of obscure characters waiting to be rediscovered. One of the better choices is the Teen Titan Argent. Not only are her powers perfect for the big screen, but, as a teenager, she faces challenges unlike any of the other DCEU heroes. With the right writer and director, this forgotten hero can be DC's version of Spider-Man.
Like Argent, actress Adria Arjona is fairly unknown. She is probably best known as Dorothy Gale on the recently cancelled Emerald City. Despite her fairly new career, she impressed in this year's The Belko Experiment. As Leandra Florez she displayed a fun youthfulness that would work for a teen superhero like Argent. At the same time, she was able to pull off fear and determination when everything goes upside down. She is already attached to Pacific Rim: Uprising so her schedule might be a bit full, but if she were to jump into the superhero game, the little-known Argent would be the perfect starting point.
5. The Huntress
- First Appearance: The Huntress #1
- Powers: A skilled martial artist and marksman
- Dream Casting: Milla Jovovich
Born into one of Gotham City's biggest mafia families, Helena Bertinelli would witness the murder of her parents at the age of 8. Trained by her father's bodyguard, she would begin a quest to take down organized crime in Gotham. Considered too violent by Batman, she slowly try to gain the trust of the Dark Knight and keep her rage in check.
While Batgirl is the most obvious choice from the Batman comics, Huntress might be the most interesting. Unlike Batgirl, she doesn't have the support of the Batman or the GCPD. In fact, she may be more of an outsider than the Dark Knight himself. Instead, she is a true lone wolf working outside the system. There is also the potential for an R-rated movie, which movies like Logan have made more viable. Considering her dark backstory and ruthless nature, The Huntress would be the perfect choice for a Death Sentence-esque superhero film.
Whether you love them or hate them, there is no denying that Milla Jovovich has been essential to the Resident Evil movies. As Alice, her unique blend of gunfire, hand-to-hand combat and all around badassery made her one of the most recognizable action stars of the past decade. More importantly, all of these qualities would be perfect for a movie based on Huntress. Now, if Jovovich wanted to take a break after ending the Resident Evil series I would totally understand. After carrying an entire franchise on her back for six films she certainly deserves it. That said, if she wanted to jump back in the saddle as one of top female action stars, this Gotham City vigilante would be the perfect role for her.
The Future Of Justice
Even though they were hits at the box office, the DC movies haven't connected with critics in the same way. After the gritty Batman v. Superman and the candy-coated Suicide Squad, it seems like DC has finally hit the jackpot with Wonder Woman. Not only was it loved critically, but it has helped DC step out of Marvel's shadow as the first big female superhero film.
Between Wonder Woman and the popularity of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, DC Comics may have finally found its own niche. With one of the most vast and iconic back catalogs in pop culture today, DC could go all-in with its superheroines and be a huge success. No matter what direction DC decides, hopefully Wonder Woman is the step in the right direction the DCEU has needed.
Excited for Wonder Woman? What superheroines would you like to see? Let me know in the comments below!