This year's San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone. All of the reporters that were on the floor could likely use a vacation, studios laid bare several major announcements related to new and returning TV and film, and comic book fans were treated to a lot of news about the medium they love.
DC Comics fans in particular got quite a bit out of the convention this year, not only from upcoming DC-related TV shows, but there was also a great bit of excitement surrounding a little movie called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Fans in Hall H were treated to just under a minute of really cool footage promising a square-off between the World's Finest heroes, but we also got our first-ever look at Gal Gadot in costume as the third leg of DC's "Trinity" of heroes: the Amazon warrior princess herself, Wonder Woman.
Unsurprisingly, a minority sect of loud fandom indicted this new iteration of the character for a multitude of stupid reasons, from Gadot's "skinniness" to the costume "looking too much like Xena."
Well I'm here to say enough is enough. Here are three reasons why you should anticipate Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the 2016 superhero team-up.
It's Finally Her Time
A lot of DC fans have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. The character of Wonder Woman has not appeared in an official live-action production since Lynda Carter's television series went off the air in 1979. While there were efforts off and on to get her back on both the big and small screens, none of them managed to stick. Producer Joel Silver's ongoing efforts to get a film made look like they may have gained traction in the early 2000s when Joss Whedon was hired to both write and direct a Wonder Woman feature film, but that eventually petered out, largely due to what Whedon referred to as an "overwhelming" lack of enthusiasm.
Then, of course, Joss Whedon went on to write and direct The Avengers.
When production kicked into gear on the sequel to Man of Steel, which had already been known to feature Batman, rumors were persistent about Wonder Woman joining the fray, ending the over 30-year drought of live-action Wonder Woman. This culminated in the casting of Gal Gadot, which was later revealed to include a three-picture deal for what we now know to be Batman v Superman, in addition to the forthcoming Justice League film, and even a solo Wonder Woman film.
Instead of a great deal of excitement about the possibilities permeating the fan communities, a persistent string of criticism and nay-saying seems to have dominated message boards and social media posts surrounding a beloved character's depiction in a film that nobody has seen because it's nearly two years out from release.
Zack Snyder's Track Record Is Pretty Spot-on
Wonder Woman means a lot of things to a great deal of people. From the stereotypical comic book fanboy to the feminist community, she is an icon: a symbol of power incarnate; of grace, and of wisdom. Her legacy of iconography is undisputed, and considering how beloved she is by so many groups of people, its frankly surprising that it's taken this long for one of the definitive pillars of comics and superheroism to be adapted in a major motion picture.
As it pertains to casting, it's very easy to tell fans to calm down and look forward to what we'll see from Wonder Woman, even without having seen the performance. This can be said because, largely, the casting in Zack Snyder's films have been pretty spot-on.
Gerard Butler's role as King Leonidas in 300 was one of that film's best features, Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach in Watchmen was excellent casting for that story's most identifiable character, and although a controversial film, fans seemed to be very satisfied with Henry Cavill as Superman, as well as Michael Shannon as Zod in Man of Steel. On those prior bases, remaining optimistic about the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is not naïve, nor is it shortsighted. Snyder has a rather proven track record when it comes to casting for his films.
The Past Speaks for Itself
The criticisms centered on Miss Gadot's looks are also, frankly, stupid. As a comic book fan, I understand when your personal vision for an iconic character is not represented when that same character is brought to life on film. Seriously, though, have we not learned from Michael Keaton's casting as Batman 25 years ago? How about when fans proclaimed that Chris Evans couldn't possibly be Captain America because he'd played the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies?
Beyond that, though, seeing some of the criticisms about Miss Gadot's looks just seem grossly misplaced. Celebrities in general have to endure a lot of stress and pressure to maintain a certain look, and when it comes to comic book fans and the casting of our heroes, some fans are just unreasonable. Why can't a bodybuilder with absolutely no acting experience play Superman? Because he's not an actor. Why can't an MMA fighter play Wonder Woman? Because she's not an actress. Gal Gadot is an actress, and with her awesome costume design (courtesy of designer Michael Wilkinson) we're on the cusp of finally seeing Wonder Woman come to life on the big screen, right next to the other two legs of DC's Trinity.
Let's wait and judge the final performance when it arrives, but fans shouldn't even entertain the notion that she doesn't look the part. When the film is finally released in May of 2016, we can judge the performance on its own merits. In the meantime, can't we just all agree that the released picture looks pretty badass?
Most of us can, and other fans are more than welcome to join in.
Chris Clow is a geek. He is a gamer, a comic book expert and former retailer, and freelance contributor to GeekNation.com, The Huffington Post, and Batman-On-Film.com. You can find his weekly piece Comics on Film every Wednesday right here at Movies.com. Check out his blog, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.
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