Yes, the culture wars may have a new front thanks to the first official trailer for “Wonder Woman.”
The 2017 film released its first sneak peek Saturday at Comic-Con. And the press already is lining up with over-the-top praise.
Forbes: The Wonder Woman Trailer Is As Wonderful As You Hoped
HuffPo: Wonder Woman Needs No Man in First Trailer
IO9: The First Wonder Woman Trailer Is Even Better Than We Imagined
Nerdist: Wonder Woman Trailer from SDCC Is as Empowering As We Hoped
Jezebel: The New Wonder Woman Trailer Is Here, and It Rules
LA Times: Wonder Woman Gets Its First Poster, and It’s Stunning
Gal Gadot plays the DC Comics superheroine, alongside Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston and Robin Wright. We first saw Gadot’s character in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Fans and critics pounded the movie, but Gadot earned near-universal praise for her supporting turn.
Now, she’s the star.
The upcoming film is the first significant superhero story led by a woman. Yes, we previously saw “Elektra” and “Catwoman.” Both tanked, with the latter proving laughably bad. That was before the current superhero movie craze. Today, these films earn massive budgets and A-list casts, and they typically land the best directors in the galaxy.
‘Wonder Woman’ and Hollywood’s Gender Woes
Given Hollywood’s current gender disparity, a new female-led franchise could pave the way for more women-powered projects.
So there’s a lot riding, from a cultural perspective, on the success or failure of Gadot’s feature. And journalists know it.
Can we expect the same biased press reporting we saw with “Ghostbusters” now applied to “Wonder Woman?” More overt cheerleading over skeptical, fact-based reporting? A new wave of attacks on those who view these properties with a healthy dollop of skepticism?
There’s little reason to think that won’t happen.
For starters, the new film apparently has a gender chip on its shoulder. Just like “Ghostbusters.”
Remember this line mid-movie regarding an Internet “troll” comment?
“Ain’t no bitches gonna hunt no ghosts.”
The Comic-Con trailer has not one but two moments where gender inequality is name checked. Our fearless superheroine calls being a secretary a “slave.” And she snaps at male co-star Pine with this: “What I do is not up to you.”
Is there more to come? It’s not clear, but we do know the marketers behind the movie want you to think there is.
One big difference between the two projects is apparent. The first “Ghostbusters” trailer was flat-out awful. Yet many reporters insisted sexism, not lousy editing and flat jokes, fueled that trailer hate. This wasn’t just niche web sites. The Washington Post led the spurious charge.
Gadot’s trailer, in comparison, is solid.
Stirring action. Teases of the lead character’s superpowers in full bloom. A dash of humor. A sense of comic book pageantry. It’s a winner, if not an instant classic.
FAST FACT: Joss Whedon was once attached to direct a “Wonder Woman” movie, but the studio didn’t agree with his vision for the project.
Gender warriors will be itching to support the film. Journalists will likely follow suit.
After all, both groups appear ready to move on from “Ghostbusters,” anyway. The film dropped 63 percent Friday from its opening Friday tally, a steep decline for a comedy that allegedly had strong word of mouth.
Some social justice warriors aren’t keen on the finished product anyway.
One Man Too Many
Turns out they didn’t like giving co-star Chris Hemsworth, a man, so many funny moments. The movie failed to properly “out” Kate McKinnon’s character as a lesbian. Even director Paul Feig slyly suggested the character is gay, but the studio preferred to blur that matter. And it didn’t give the women more fully developed characters.
Then again, it looks like the “Wonder Woman” movie may not be perfect, either.
Three men wrote Wonder Woman, and that’s a problem -- With Wonder Woman due out next summer, the Warner Bros. PR… https://t.co/HcessuI82o
— Ryan Boese (@rboese) July 13, 2016
One lesson applicable to both films. You can never please social justice warriors.
“Wonder Woman” reaches theaters June 2, 2017.