The casting of Gal Gadot as Princess Diana is spot on; she brings sexy, smart and tough together like Jennifer Garner or Uma Thurman. Everything is pointing in the right direction for Wonder Woman to become a successful franchise, yet I worry about the timing …
We’ve been saturated with superheroes – Marvel has 11 films slated for production by 2019, and DC has proposed another 11 films of their own by 2020. That’s a lot of superhero. I love “Star Wars,” but I’m not sure I could handle 22 films worth of it over the next five years.
I believe there is a saturation point with superhero stories, and that we’re fast approaching it. Wonder Woman is the best character to make a different kind of superhero film.
Here are my ten humble suggestions for making something completely different and compelling from the upcoming “Wonder Women” feature:
- Respect the Pantheon — I’m continually amazed that we see Ancient Greece as enlightened in every aspect of their society and culture except for their gods and goddesses. We treat the Greek Pantheon, especially in film, as being somewhat comical and childish. Zeus is a hothead, Hera’s a cold bitch and Aphrodite is beautiful but vapid. Let’s start with the idea that the Western Mind is Ancient Greek in design. Even our idea of “idea” is Greek in origin. The Ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about the human psyche and soul. They understood the different influences the Gods and Goddesses have on our lives. The Gods and Goddesses are like planets within and without, in orbit; their gravity wells coming into play. Whomever writes the story for this movie should spend a week locked up in some Hollywood hotel with everything that author/therapist James Hillman has ever written. “A terrorist is the product of our education that says that fantasy is not real, that says aesthetics is just for artists, that says soul is only for priests, imagination is trivial or dangerous and for crazies, and that reality, what we must adapt to, is the external world, a world that is dead. A terrorist is a result of this whole long process of wiping out the psyche.” There’s so much the Pantheon has to offer if treated with respect. When we take the Gods and Goddesses too literally we lose the depth and they become one-dimensional characters.
- Make The Film For 8-Year-Old Girls, Not Fanboys Like Myself — In prep for this article, I was
looking through images of Wonder Woman, and my niece said that she liked the Godot
version of Wonder Woman better than Linda Carter’s version. “Why?” I asked her. She said,
“Because she’s more adventurous. She has armor. She gets into adventures.” My niece is 8
years old. There’s going to be much talk about this being the first woman superhero to get
her own film, so it’s important to get it right. The girls of the world deserve a superhero that’s
courageous, vulnerable, real, full of integrity and kicks ass. She’s going to be a role model.
I’d love to see a story that helps my niece find her way into a womanhood that allows for
freedom and service. Superheroes are self sacrificing, not just kick ass.
- It’s Okay If She’s Vulnerable — There’s going to be tremendous pressure to show Wonder
Woman as being basically Superman’s equivalent. That would be a mistake. It’s okay if
Wonder Woman isn’t perfect, isn’t invulnerable, isn’t untouchable. She’s a warrior, but not
- Less Is More When It Comes to Magic — Marvel did an interesting thing with the Norse
Mythology with Thor; basically that the Gods and Goddesses are aliens with such advanced
technology that it just seems magical to us humans, and yet I don’t think that’s the way to go.
I would have the gods and goddesses of Wonder Woman’s world be very real and active,
but very unexplained. Just a little bit of mystery goes a long way. The thing to avoid is any
kind of pseudo scientific explanations like Medichlorians.
- She’s not Black Widow — I think this probably goes without saying, but Wonder Woman
should not be DC’s version of Black Widow. Wonder Woman is clearly going to fight in the
films, and that’s awesome, she’s an Amazonian warrior after all, but Wonder Woman has super powers. It’s a whole different fight style. Wonder Woman could kick Black Widow’s ass any day of the week.
- Her Story Is About Honesty — Batman is about vigilante justice and the line between
crazy and making a difference. His pathos around his parent’s murder is intense. Superman
is about being an alien on a planet trying to fit in. Wonder Woman is about robust honesty.
When I got divorced I wanted a lasso of truth around my ex. I had what I called, “The Eight Questions” that I would have given anything for the honest truth. I’m sure most of this country would like to lasso Darren Wilson to hear the truth about what happened that day in Ferguson. Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth could create moments as powerful as this… which has become cinematic legend.
A Few Good Men Truth Courtroom Scene
- Avoid Themes of Bondage — I know bondage is hot right now, what with “Fifty Shades of
Grey” and all, and having a lasso of truth it would be so tempting. Still, if there is to be a love story, it should be sweet. Something like Glenn and Maggie on “The Walking Dead.” Glenn: You know, we still have 11 condoms. Maggie Greene: Yeah, you see 11 condoms; I see 11 minutes of my life I’m never getting back.
- Mother-Daughter Issues — Is there anything more powerful than the “Luke, I am your
father!” scene from Star Wars? Wonder Woman has the potential for equally powerful
catharsis with Hippolyta. No Superhero has a mother like Wonder Woman’s, and it’s a
resource that can’t be underestimated. I’m kinda hoping that at the end of “The Good Wife,” Julianna Margulies reveals that she’s actually Wonder Woman. She would make a great
Hippolyta and wow, could there be some powerful mother-daughter conflict with an actress
of her caliber.
- Superman Loves Lois Lane Not Wonder Woman — Seriously. Just leave it be.
- Those Bracelets are Reminders of Chains — Amazons wear bracelets as reminders of
having once been enslaved after their betrayal by a demigod. I suppose there is a risk of
being too “grrl power” and getting lost in a post-postmodern feminist argument about
enslavement, but there’s something important to be said here with Wonder Woman and
breaking free of imposed roles.
The current release date for “Wonder Woman” is June 23, 2017.