As the release of Wonder Woman nears, fans around the world are sitting patiently, twiddling their thumbs, looking for any early reactions and hoping for the best in terms of the movie's reception and quality. Unfortunately, as with most blockbuster franchises, there will be those vindictive fanboys who want to see it fail. However, I'm not here to discriminate; I'm here to run down my reasons as to why I think #WonderWoman will succeed, appeasing both fans and critics, silencing those hoping to see it fail, and change the overall narrative and perception of the #DCEU.
Gal Gadot's Got What It Takes
Lets start where it all began, Batman V Superman, the movie that parted the sea of fans and critics alike. I have my feelings about the movie, but Gal Gadot as Diana was a shining star for many fans and critics regardless of their opinion on the movie as a whole. A question mark still looms for some in terms of her acting ability, but there is no denying that she possesses the physical presence and fierceness all fans hope to see from Diana, regardless of who is portraying her. For Gadot to now lead her own feature film, she has the platform to prove doubters wrong and show she has earned this iconic role because of her portrayal as opposed to strictly her looks.
Zack Snyder, director of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, has his own unique visual style that (at times) overtakes the story as a whole, creating style over substance. New blood has to be brought into any franchise — just look at what happened to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man series and arguably Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, the weakest of his trilogy.
You don't see the Marvel Cinematic Universe using the same directors or writers on every film, and the same goes for the new Star Wars trilogy. Every director is unique, allowing for new perspectives and a breath of fresh air into every new installment. Patty Jenkins has stepped into the captain's chair for Wonder Woman, and leads the charge for this newest entry in the DCEU.
She boasts a stellar resume, with credits including the critically acclaimed Monster she wrote and directed, as well as directing nominations for her work on the Emmy-nominated show The Killing. Jenkins is no stranger to creating female-led, grounded work that both critics and fan enjoy. Jenkins can be the breath of fresh air the DCEU needs in order to keep from going stale, adding her own unique flare to the movie.
Fans Have Waited For So Long
This argument can't go any further without addressing the single biggest elephant regarding Wonder Woman — it's the character's first full-length feature film ever. Think about that — a character that has been around for generations has never had her own feature film, and here we are, almost a full decade since the superhero boom, and we're seeing the first female-led superhero film.
A storied and beloved character such as Diana Prince is long overdue for her own solo cinematic telling. If an unknown character like Ant-Man is getting his second film and an obscure group like Guardians of the Galaxy is all but a start date away from a third entry, there is no logical reason as to why it has taken this long for Diana Prince. Bringing it back, I'm not here to rant but rather celebrate that this is finally happening. Men and women alike have been waiting their whole lives for a big screen telling of Wonder Woman.
Regardless of the current state of confidence fans have in the DCEU at the moment, I believe a lifetime of waiting for a beloved character to get her own story will trump any disbelief, resulting in a large opening weekend backed by sheer optimism. After all, it's one of the most anticipated superhero movies of all time.
It Has A Clear Vision And Tone
The DCEU was initiated with the intent of being "darker" and more "adult" than the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an effort to separate themselves. After the backlash of Batman V Superman, it's clear that Suicide Squad underwent a re-shoot heavy procedure in an effort to make the movie more fun. In the back of my mind I always see it as the DCEUs attempt at making their own Guardians of the Galaxy-esq feature. This reactionary response between the two films caused Suicide Squad to suffer and come off as one of the worst edited music videos in recent memory.
Wonder Woman had the luxury of being in the infancy of its production while this was going on, meaning there won't be any mixing of dark and last minute "fun" scenes. Wonder Woman is free to have its own clear vision and tone. While it can certainly learn from prior DCEU installments, it won't be a surgery gone wrong during post-production and it can be free to be its own movie.
The Movie Stands On Its Own
Finally, I'd be remissed if I failed to mention this movie is not only free to be its own movie tone-wise but also story-wise. Taking place during World War I, Wonder Woman won't be tied down by being forced to squeeze into the current DCEU timeline or overall story. If anything, this film can be viewed as a standalone movie that's able to begin and end its story without teasing what's to come. It doesn't have to help in setting up future movies or introducing us to characters that will return five movies down the line. Wonder Woman can stand on its own, leaving the filmmakers to tell the story they want to tell without feeling handcuffed, and that's something I think should make fans all around the world breath a sigh of relief.
In the end, Wonder Woman is a drastic shift for the DCEU that has a lot of unfair pressure riding on it to change the perception of the universe, but can also be a film that both critics and fans agree on — a long list of tasks I believe it's perfectly capable of accomplishing because of the woman behind the camera and the freedom the film has to tell its own story.
The hesitation towards this film is valid, but never should it be a forgone conclusion that this film will "be like all the rest of the DCEU." If you go into a movie wanting it to suck you're setting yourself up for disappointment as you'll look for reasons to hate it or reasons to be overly critical. Wonder Woman could mark a turning point and, if anything, be a tonal reboot for this overall universe. Director, actress, tone and freedom help make up a successful recipe for this movie and will propel be the first DCEU to be beloved by critics and fans alike.
What do you think will be Wonder Woman's single biggest contribution to the DCEU?