Once UPOn A TIME, Marvel was KING…OKay, they still are, but Wonder woman is good too.
I remember seeing the trailer for the first Iron Man movie. At the time, I didn’t dream Marvel would ever attempt to create the kind of shared universe I had only before seen in comic books. To be fair, they were probably only thinking about it; a quick mid-credits scene hinting at the possibility followed the actual film. Then Marvel actually did it. They’ve created a cinematic universe that is entertaining, emotional, and masterfully crafted. I don’t think anyone really understood what was happening when these universes first collided—all our comic book heroes just started hanging out. The DC comics and entertainment executives panicked.
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DC did unbelievably well with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and perhaps they were too content with their success. At the same time, Marvel began to world-build (Iron Man and The Dark Knight both came out in 2008). Man of Steel was eh. Like a younger sibling forced to recycle the hand me downs of their elder, DC did all they could to pass films like Batman V Superman off as original. It seemed as if they were simply trying to keep up with Marvel’s lucrative shared universe idea. The future looked quite bleak for DC. This is how it looks in my imagination: one day, all the DC executives held a meeting in one of their ivory towers, tears running down their faces. In this sorrowful moment, one of these exes stood up and reassured the rest that the night is darkest just before the dawn… I imagine it was this executive who hired Gal Gadot (#swoon) and Patty Jenkins. End scene.
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What an awesome movie the first Wonder Woman (2017) was: the story of Diana, Princess of the Amazons and how she becomes the titular “Wonder Woman.” Gal Gadot charmed us all as she played the seemingly naïve Diana; she may not have understood WW1 society and its pessimism, but she rallied even the most cynical characters. She went from seeming like a child at first to proving herself as one of the most aware superheroes the DC universe has ever had the pleasure of hosting. A strong female superhero we hadn’t seen before on screen was showing men the way during a notoriously macho time period.
The period-piece setting added to the gravity of Wonder Woman’s legend. At the end of the film, she decides to fight for humanity despite its flaws—during a true low point in recent memory for us humans (WW1). It was a solid and poignant ending to an overall thrilling and fun film. Chris Pine made a speech, Gal Gadot kicked ass, I shed some very masculine mist, and it was wonderful *PUN SOOO VERY MUCH INTENDED*. The Patty Jenkins directed film changed DC’s approach: films should seek to say something, not just create in order to monetize.
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Still, the film made a lot of money. A female superhero made much more bank than the boys. Like a lot. More importantly, DC rocked the box office with a strong female lead before Marvel. The film was a favorite among critics and couch potatoes alike, so naturally, the sequel is already in the works. The next movie takes place in 1984 and is appropriately titled Wonder Woman 1984. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Patty Jenkins mentioned that she would like the third movie to take place in a contemporary setting. She said that she did not want to make another period piece and would even consider having the third Wonder Woman take place in the future.
“It’s definitely one of the things we talked about,” said Jenkins. “I’m not planning to put it in the past again, because where are you going to go? You have to go forward. It’s definitely a contemporary story. That’s all I can say. Where we put it and how that gets figured out, I haven’t totally nailed down.”
Jenkins went on to suggest she wouldn’t consider directing a team-up film at this time:
“The Justice League movie, I find those movies to be extremely challenging. I think they are fantastic when they are well done,” said Jenkins. “But taking on all of those characters at the same time in the timeline. … I sort of hope that we don’t do a Justice League movie for a little while because I’m excited to see all of their movies. I want to see Aquaman 2, I want to see Flash.”
All of DC’s upcoming movies aim to tell unique and contained stories.
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It’s obviously all still for money though… we live in a greedy world, get over it.