Wonder Woman: Time for the Amazon warrior to get her own movie?

March 27, 2013 | 2:00 p.m.
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Wonder Woman graces the cover of Ms. magazine's first issue in 1972. (Ms. magazine)

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Ms. magazine brought Wonder Woman back for its 40th anniversary issue. (Ms. magazine)

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Soon after her All Star Comics debut, Wonder Woman was featured in Sensation Comics No. 1 in 1942. (DC Comics)

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Wonder Woman in Sensation Comics No. 46. In this 1945 storyline, the baddies give Wonder Woman's boyfriend Steve Trevor special powers to be stronger than her, hoping he'll force her to marry and become a meek housewife. In the end, Wonder Woman sticks to her guns and Steve happily submits to being the weaker of the two. (DC Comics)

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In this 1957 Wonder Woman No. 90, the Amazon princess has to babysit an elephant, a whale and a dinosaur in order to raise $1 million for charity. (DC Comics)

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In 1959, Wonder Woman's origin story was revamped. Issue No. 105 reveals that the Queen of the Amazons formed Diana from clay, and that her superpowers are gifts from the gods. (DC Comics)

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In the late 1960s, Wonder Woman gave up her powers, started a mod boutique and worked with her mentor I Ching to learn martial arts. Here, she is shown in the August 1970 issue Wonder Woman No. 189. Her powers weren't restored until 1973, partly at the urging of Gloria Steinem. (DC Comics)

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Cathy Lee Crosby played Wonder Woman in a 1974 TV movie "Wonder Woman." In the film, the heroine has no superpowers, but rather is a world-traveling spy, inspired by the I Ching era of the comics. (Warner Bros.)

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Wonder Woman teamed up with other DC superheroes in "Super Friends," a television series that ran from 1973 to 1977. (Warner Bros.)

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Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in "The New Adventures of Wonder Woman," which ran from 1975 to 1979. (CBS / Los Angeles Times archives)

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Wonder Woman was rebooted once more in 1987. Above is George Perez's Wonder Woman No. 1. cover. (DC Comics)

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Wonder Woman was a key player in the animated TV series "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited," which ran from 2001 to 2006. (Warner Bros.)

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Wonder Woman was again rebooted in 2006. Gail Simone took over writing duties for the comic beginning with issue No. 14, and was applauded for her portrayal of the heroine. (DC Comics)

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Wonder Woman got her own animated movie in 2009. Keri Russell voiced Wonder Woman, and Nathan Fillion voiced Steve Trevor. (Warner Bros.)

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In the 2010 animated series "Young Justice," about younger heroes trying to prove themselves worthy of joining the Justice League, Wonder Woman takes on Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl) as her sidekick. (Warner Bros.)

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Adrianne Palicki played the title character in the never-aired TV pilot "Wonder Woman" in 2011. The show, from David E. Kelley, was never picked up -- effectively canceled before it even began. (Justin Lubin / NBC / Warner Bros.)

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Wonder Woman got a makeover when DC relaunched 52 of its most popular titles in 2011. (DC Comics)

With “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Avengers” and this summer’s “Man of Steel” dominating the big screen, isn’t it time Wonder Woman got her own feature film?

That’s one of many questions asked by “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines,” a documentary exploring the Amazon goddess’ history in comics and status as an empowering symbol for girls and women.

The documentary, which premieres April 15 on the PBS “Independent Lens” series, will be screened Thursday evening at KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena, followed by a panel discussion co-hosted by Community Cinema.

Panelists at the event include Madeline Di Nonno, executive director at the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; Mike Madrid, author of “The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines“; Zoe Chevat, comic artist and contributing writer to the Mary Sue; and this mild-mannered reporter, representing Hero Complex and the Los Angeles Times.

“Wonder Women! The Untold Story” traces Wonder Woman’s evolution from her World War II beginnings to her de-fanged years as a groovy spy and fashion boutique owner in the ’60s to her resurrection on the cover of Ms. Magazine at the urging of Gloria Steinem. In the documentary, Steinem, “Wonder Woman” actress Lynda Carter, Bikini Kill musician and feminist Kathleen Hanna, comics historian Trina Robbins, pop culture scholar Jennifer Stuller and more talk about the legacy of comics’ most famous superheroine.

The documentary was directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, an assistant professor at Diablo Valley College whose previous films include “Going on 13” and “El Corrido Del Cecilia Rios.”

“I loved the idea of looking at something as populist as comics to reveal our cultural obsessions, and in particular, how women’s roles have changed over time,” Guevara-Flanagan said in a statement. “The narratives of our most iconic superheroes, told and re-told over decades, boldly outline our shifting values. For some it’s Lara Croft, for others it’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but we all need those iconic heroes that tell us we have the power to slay our dragons and don’t have to wait around to be rescued.”

Though male superheroes have taken Hollywood by force over the last decade, smashing box-office records, female superheroes are scarce on screen, appearing mainly as side characters or love interests. Adrianne Palicki lassoed the starring role in a Wonder Woman television pilot, but the series never made it to air.

Wonder Woman fans have been clamoring for the Amazon warrior to get her own movie and join the ranks currently occupied by the likes of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. A fan-made trailer pitting Wonder Woman against the Nazis — her enemies of yore — received more than 250,000 views on Vimeo (check it out below).

What do you think? Is it time for Wonder Woman to get her own movie? Let us know in the comments.

— Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark


ww ms40 2 Wonder Woman: Time for the Amazon warrior to get her own movie?

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Beyonce’s performance a Wonder Woman tryout?

Wonder Woman gets new origin (but still no film)

‘Wonder Woman’: Bracelets couldn’t deflect fan tweets

‘Wonder Woman’ producer talks TV show

Adrianne Palicki lassoes starring role on TV show


44 Responses to Wonder Woman: Time for the Amazon warrior to get her own movie?

  1. Edward says:

    It's time for Wonder Woman movie.

  2. JustSaying says:

    Hay-yell Yay-yuh! I mean, er, yes. It is definintely desirable that Wonder Woman be brought to the big scree. WITH A FEW GROUNDRULES. One, WW can not be an anoretic-looking waif, she HAS to (like Queen Latifah used to say) "Give Me Body"! The little size 2 heifer in this trailer is what Wonder Woman should NOT look like on the Big Screen. She should NOT have a fake, Michael Jackson/Lil' Kim nose, either. Moreover, her arms should not look like Denise Richards'. And in booty-shorts, IF she must wear them, she should like HELLA-DAMN in the rear view. Think: Linda Carter's-lovely and Britney Spears'-physicality at her mid-career THICKALICIOUS phase. No, W2 should NOT be a latina, and God In Heaven PLEASE do not even joke about Beyonce. W2 is a smart, strong, beautiful, sizzling-hot, courageous, azz-kicker ala Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft…20 years ago.

    • dopper0189 says:

      I agree with you on everything but the Latina part. I think there a number of Latinas who had the right body types to play WW. I'm scared they won't get the right look for WW, I really wish they had got the actress to play Xena to be WW back when she was in her prime.

    • CaptainFabulous says:

      Not for nothing, but I guess you didn't know that Lynda Carter, the perfect Wonder Woman perfection in every way possible, is Latina. Her mother was Mexican and her father was Irish.

      • Guest says:

        Exactly…some just do not realize how gorgeously diverse Latina women are…it ruins the stereotype for them :D

    • WWFan says:

      "No, W2 should NOT be a latina…"

      Lynda Carter is Latina and she made a great Wonder Woman…

  3. Patrick Bayard says:

    I could write a VERY long diatribe expressing my frustration as to why Wonder Woman has not made it to the silver screen. It is probably the most shameful thing in comic book movies going today. If Warner Brothers cannot make a movie, then sell/lease the rights to a studio that will. I do agree in part that her story is difficult to portray on film as it is and is antithetical to the other members of the Justice League who are based on science fiction versus fantasy. But in the grand scheme of things it is still no excuse because they have had more than ample opportunity to change that – even within the pages of the “New 52” and they did not. Wonder Woman has been treated poorly by the people that write her story in the following ways:

    1)Unlike her male counterparts Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman’s origin is always defined ONLY by tragic, spurious or nefarious events. By contrast Superman and Batman are preceded by heroic, high achieving figures. Superman’s father was a genius inventor and both he and Superman’s mother selflessly sent their son to earth to save his life. Batman’s parents are philanthropists and wealthy and respected members of their community – Thomas Wayne (Batman’s father) was a physician. Both of their deaths are martyred inspiring Bruce to become Batman…But not Wonder Woman! At first she had no biological father or mother. Her “sort of” mother has had trysts with Hercules and now Zeus. With the new variation of Wonder Woman’s origin, her mother has lied to her all of these years and Wonder Woman is now a “bastard” daughter of Zeus. How inspiring…

    2)What about her rogues gallery? Batman and Superman are challenged by villains that challenge them mentally and physically where they are – for Superman villains like him or cosmic in scope (Zod, Braniac, or Darksied). For Batman his rogues’ gallery are in many cases people like him who have a particular world view and they fight to bring it to fruition (Joker, Ras Al Ghul, Bane). There is balance between the adversaries and in some cases reflection of the hero. Not for Wonder Woman! (she fights Nazi’s – a woman who can become enormous –and a cat like villain). None of these villains are a reflection of Wonder Woman because they are divorces from her past. Even Green Lantern’s most storied nemesis Sinestro is meant to be a negative reflection of him. While there were some potential opportunities with the Circle and the Shim’Tar for Wonder Woman, they were never written in any memorable way. Her interaction with Ares is an example of having an imbalanced adversary in that he is a “god” and she is not. And that is simply shameful….

    3) How about her powers? Again her counter parts have powers that are explained (not necessarily well) and somewhat earned – or at least there is struggle to come to terms with it in Superman’s case. Not for Wonder Woman! She has powers that are “magic.” No explanation needed. No coming to terms with her role vis-a-vis her abilities. Unlike Batman and Superman, that has limited her and consequently the stories that can be explored…which has been unfortunate!

    So is it possible to tell an intelligent story about Wonder Woman that honors her and by extension what she represents? Absolutely YES! A good friend of mine wrote a hypothetical re-imagining of the DC Universe and in it he provides a brilliant variation of Wonder Woman that does change her origin but does it in such a way that respects her established history and also puts her in the same universe as her now love interest Superman. It attempts to explain some of her abilities and casts her as a person impacted by her past in much the same way Batman and Superman are affected. It opens up the character to a new fresh way of being perceived that would translate well onto film. If only Hollywood could do the same…

    • dopper0189 says:

      Yes, yes, and no. The writers of WW have often not been able to decide if they want to write stories directed towards teenage boy fans or towards young woman. I think that explains her not having a good rogues gallery. DC would be smart to focus on beefing up her supervillian cadre. I also think DC has messed up her origin but I don't mind the tragic aspects, it's just well… too undefined. I don't mind her having magic powers given to her by the Gods, Marvels Thor's powers are magical and there has never been an issue there with story telling. DC has always been a little less good than Marvel has been in explaining powers. WW stories don't need to deal with coming to grips with her powers, they should focus more on coming to grips with a modern world.

      • Patrick Bayard says:

        Thanks for the response. You make a good point but I must still disagree to a point. I don't think the Thor comparison is a good one in every facet. First off let me point out that Thor has many of the attributes mentioned above that define Superman and Batman – heroic and powerful parentage, and a rogue gallery that is balanced as his main nemesis is his half brother who is similarly a god and in some ways is the negative reflection of Thor. So I submit to you that is part of the reason for his relative success versus Wonder Woman. As far as his powers go… yes they are the result of "magic" and remain unexplained…but if you noticed in the Thor solo film…they DID try to offer an explanation (a very bad one) about his powers. In the movie Stellan Skarsgård's character talks about how they (Asgardians) are beings from another dimension that were worshiped as gods. In the Avengers movie Captain America dismisses the notion that they are gods in a conversation with Black Widow as he is about to jump out of a plane in which he responds to her assertion that "there is only one God and he does not dress like that." Finally when Loki is about to drop Thor from the Heli-carrier , he says to him that the earthlings "think us immortal…let's test that." All that to say that in the marvel universe they did not embrace the notion that Thor and Loki are actual gods but that they are the basis for the myths about their respective identities. Unfortunately, DC seems to want to embrace the idea that Zeus and other deities are really gods who can "breath life" into inanimate objects and then "bless" them with magic powers. I think it is a mistake on their part because ultimately it isolates Wonder Woman in that world. It makes more sense to make her origin more practical and definable…at least to a level is somewhat grounded in SOME aspect of reality.

      • dopper0189 says:

        Good points, thanks for clearing that up!

  4. John Michaels says:

    Seriously, that video was horrendous.

  5. aitchcs says:

    Hell yes it is time. But I would not want HWood to hyper-sexualize her.

  6. amazonitalian says:

    Yes, it's time for a Wonder Woman movie… esp after the recent DC debacles. May I remind everyone that she doesn't kill, even though she's trained as a warrior, she also follows a code. I'm glad that clip never went into production, it was horrible seeing my heroine pick up an automatic weapon and gun down a Nazi in a plane. Most all people want Nazis dead, but if she doesn't hold herself to higher moral standards, how is she better than the men she fights against?
    Nevermind that she's immortal and has experience and an education spanning hundreds of decades.

    • Aubrey Rossi says:

      What are you talking about? Wonder Woman is the only character within the DC trinity that DOES kill people, albeit only when completely necessary, but if she has no choice she won't hesitate. It's actually one of the things I love about her character. Unlike Sups and Bats, Diana will do what needs to be done to save the lives of innocents. Think of how many lives would've been saved if Batman had decided to kill the Joker, but it is part of his moral code that he not kill anyone, even murderers. Diana however is set apart from her counterparts in that she is the only one able to make the tough decisions while still retaining great compassion and empathy.

      Example: in Infinite crisis, WW killed Maxwell Lord in order to stop him from forcing Superman to kill Batman by breaking his neck.

  7. Alex says:

    I thought the Lynda Carter version from the 1970's was excellent. They should just make a modern version of that.

  8. Ostus says:

    NO it isn’t WW is lame! And even more so than f.ex Catwoman and Electra, and see how they ruined those two “superheroes” movies.

    I’m sorry, it is not to sound sexist, but all the known female superheroes feel a bit “see women can be superheroes too…” they are all made in a time where men dominated both the workplaces and the superhero world and are thus made as compensation for not having a real hero of their own.

    Men had Superman… women got Superwoman and Super girl.

    Men had Batman… women got Batgirl

    Men had Hulk… women got She-hulk… I mean wtf! I rest my case!

    Its time that they made a good female superhero from scratch or took one of the cool ones and made them stand on their own! And not one that feels like a compensation of sorts ;-)

    • @ecostar says:

      But WW is not an analog of existing male superheroes, such as bat girl or super girl. She had a very unique back-story. Who is she supposed to be an analogue of? You must have a different reason to not like her than this excuse, b/c it kinda misses the mark.

  9. Carol Price says:

    If there is going to be a movie about Wonder Woman lets follow the original writer of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, Keep it in World War 2 and she fights Nazis and she is love with Young Handsome Steve Trevor. Steve Trevor is in love with Wonder Woman and he is curious if Diana Prince is her or not. The costume World War 2. The actress should be about 20 to 25. She should have weight training, some muscles would be best. Measurements 5ft 10 inches tall or taller, or computerized to make her look taller. Bust 38, waist 29, Hips 36. Dark hair either by hair color or natural, blue eyes with or without contact lenses. She does not have to look exactly like Lynda Carter. She should have a good attitude about love, peace, kindness toward a Nazi until she knows what they believe in. She can lift a huge car up in the air. A lasso to make a liar to tell the truth.Remember she is stronger than Hercules, swifter than Mercury, beautiful than Aphrodite, wiser than Athena.

  10. DCfanphil says:

    Yes to a WW movie. Make her strong, make her beautiful and (regarding the question of ethnicity) make her Greek – cause that's who she is. Not a matter of taste, just a simple matter of being consistent with the basic premise of the story. Shouldn't be too hard to find such an actress.

  11. WWfan says:

    way overdue! get it together Hollywood!

  12. There's going to be an adult parody movie (with a surprisingly good costume) before WB puts out a real Hollywood movie. This isn't speculation, the promo photo hit earlier this week, leaving fans laughing at DC's humiliation.

  13. Guest says:

    Thoughts on the clip shown…how appropriate she is fighting Nazi's cause it seems we have them all too much around us disguised as both conservatives or just being outright bigots. Besides that, the actor shown in clip is way too thin, would like to see someone with a physique that represents the average woman with a build of 5'6 and 135 lbs minimum muscle mass…seriously healthy and built like a brick house warrior goddess, not a waif. Outside of that, the plot should contain busting misogynistic organizations repressing of women around the world, handing human traffickers their heads on platters. Of course that wont go over well with a certain cohort group, but then again, maybe its time to stop making movies just to please them, instead focus on the stuff women would want to see happen if they did have a hero warrior woman of their own.

  14. Wallace says:

    Absolutely !!!

  15. Bill Graham says:

    DC and Warner Bros. should not waster their time on a WW movie. It would be a floperoo. Women superheroes and movies have not done well. Anyone remember the Catwoman and Electra movies?

  16. Guestmoviefan says:

    Yes, definitely, but it needs to be done right, I don't know that Wonder Woman could survive a crap movie the way Superman or Batman can (case in point: Batman and Robin). Whoever writes it needs to write a superhero movie, not a 'female superhero' movie. When I say that, what I mean is when I sit down to watch it, I want to see WW do something kick-ass, then move onto the next kick-ass bit, not see her do something awesome, then have the movie go "LOOK! LOOK! She did something awesome! And she's a woman! Women can do stuff too guys! Look at how modern and politically correct we are!" I worry that people will get too caught up in the feminist stake in this, not that I'm trying to dismiss it, (I realise it's an important part of her character that has been poorly handled before) but actions speak louder than words. WW shouldn't need to prove herself, she's inherently amazing, she's literally a Greek warrior woman who takes on God's and monsters from myth, how is there not a good movie in that?

  17. Carol says:

    Remember the Greek Amazons were all sisters, by blood or adoptions and the father was Ares the god of War and father of Queen Hippolyta. Queen Hippolyta's mother was a half mortal and half goddess Otrera the High Priestess of Artemis.Queen Hippolyta was in love with two men Theseus and Hercules. Hercules almost killed her through the goddess Hera because he was Zeus' son and he had an affair with a mortal Alcmene. Queen Hippolyta was married Theseus accordingly to two writers Shakespeare and Chaucer.The first story of the Amazons were written by the Ancient Greek poet Homer, he had written all Amazons as married to men or chaste who worshiped the virginal goddess Diana or Artemis or both, they were not lesbians with each other, they were blood sisters or they were adopted sisters. In Greek mythology most of Amazons were daughters of Queen Hippolyta or they were daughters of god Ares and Otrera,sisters to Queen Hippolyta.

  18. Carol says:

    Accordingly to one myth, Ares was pretending to be the follower of Artemis and see the high priestess Otrera, dancing, some accounts say she was nude, some accounts say she was dressed in ivory to golden gown dancing and praying to the goddess Artemis. He had convinced her he was a worshiper of Artemis, they had married in the Temple of Artemis which is in Ephesus. Otrera's father was the god of the East wind Eurus and mother was mortal. They had the following daughters: Hippolyta, Antiope, Melanippe, and Penthesilea. Prior to Otrera, Ares was married to sea nymph Harmonia had the first generation Amazons.

  19. Gregory says:

    You need someone who can pull off the right look — not a waif, but not a female wrestler, either.
    Plus, she's got to exude a look of wisdom that you're not going to get from some actress who comes off like a college freshman. (Megan Fox, I'm talking to you)

    For instance, Lynda Carter was all of only 25 when she took on the role, but she had a maturity beyond her age about her that the part requires.

    If I were doing casting :

    Laura Benanti.

    That is all.

  20. Dean says:

    Why can't Hollywood just make a Wonder Woman movie with the same storyline as the pilot of the tv series with Lynda Carter? With the twist of the Wonder Woman animated movie. Just mold the two together and we would have a mega blockbuster.
    Oh and Lynda Carter must play the mother of Wonder Woman, Hippolyta.

  21. Dean says:

    Oh, also the role of Wonder Woman should be played by Bridget Regan.

  22. Marcus says:

    Do understand that Wonder Woman is no longer the smart, good-hearted, admirable, and inspirational character you knew from years past. She is much more like Conan the Barbarian. She has been dumbed-down, made short-tempered, craves fighting, and uses lethal force as a first resort. Combine that with changes to her origin, outfit, powers, tools, supporting cast, and rogues gallery; results in this new Wonder Woman is merely Wonder Woman in name only. I find these changes to my second favorite fictional character (the first is Superman) to be both heart-breaking and infuriating, and the 'New 52' versions of DC Comics characters will soon be appearing in the companies line or video games and animation. So if you loved Wonder Woman as a virtuous agent of peace, I am sorry to inform you that version of Wonder Woman is gone and unlikely to ever return. A moment of silence for our beloved Amazon Princess.

  23. Sangode says:

    It’s PAST time for Wonder Woman to have her own movie! We just need to make certain it’s done well.

  24. Sangode says:

    It’s PAST time for a WW film!! We just need to be certain it’s done as tastefully and respectfully as the superman and batman films.

  25. m jones says:

    I think Angelina Jolie needs to do it before shes too old shes still beautiful and young enuff to play !!!WW. shes in league with Lynda carters beauty. and she kicks ass!!!. ii loved the show as a little kid and would love to see a movie made. I hope she does it its tailor made for her. she might not want to be assoc as ww the rest of her life but theres worse things than being beautiful WW. do Angelina do it! it would make a fortune if she did.

  26. anthony says:

    Overdue for a movie!! Good luck trying to fill those shoes er boots! Whoever plays her has to have presence, beauty, and intellect, not to mention the ability to make her larger than life! Lucy lawless like physicality wouldn’t hurt either, one word Amazonian!! A larger than life woman combining beauty, brains, and physicality!! A body that’s indicative of what an Amazon would look and sound like, can’t emphasize this enough!!

  27. Kelly says:

    Gina Cerrano would make the perfect WW. MMA fighter, actress, she kicks ass and looks great doing it! Go watch Haywire if you have any doubts! Plus…. she's already girlfriend to the new Superman, Henry Cavill!

  28. Danielle says:

    Sadly, Joss Whedon had written a Wonder Woman movie and it was not only rejected by studios but was also forcibly swept under the rug- never to be mentioned again. If ANYONE can write a strong female lead and a superhero movie, it's him. With the success of The Avengers, I bet the studios are cursing the day they turned his WW script down. It would have been perfect.

  29. trevor says:

    Jaimie Alexander with black hair and blue eyes. She has the perfect face for WW as well as the height and potential build.

  30. sharon says:

    That wonder woman is all wrong! Wonder woman was all woman not woman gone MAD. Yes she can fright but she looks and acts like a woman " a lady" remember she play and agent at the time 1960s. She is a Amazon Princess she is proud and Beautiful this girl could never be wonder woman for me. But yes I would love to see a WW movie.

  31. Odotry says:

    There's a reason Wonder Woman hasn't gotten her own theatrical movie, she sucks, simple as that. I mean lets look at her for a second:
    -She's incredibly bland as a character
    -She doesn't have any powers that make her derivative from Superman to justify her being classified in the same league as him and Batman
    -Lame origin that fails to make her sympathetic or particularly driven to pursue her goals like Spiderman or Batman.
    -No worthwhile supporting cast on par with Commissioner Gordon or Mary Jane, both of whom are arguably more interesting than anything WW's ever done.
    -Awful rogues gallery, all of them are C-list villains at best.
    -She's just Superman with boobs, magic and a bondage fetish.
    -Saddled with countless idiotic gimmicks like the Lasso of Truth & the Invisible Plane, even the writers have tried to faze out these abominations from the comics by having her use swords & spears more and either fly on her own power or not at all.
    -Not a single memorable storyline on par with Dark Knight Returns or Old Man Logan.

    I could go on and on honestly. There are so many other super-heroines out there who deserve movies over her like Elektra (not that awful movie), She-Hulk, Catwoman (same as Elektra), Catwoman, & Black Widow.

  32. Lee says:

    you want to know why there hasn't been a wonder woman movie? here's some food for thought.

    Super Girl
    Tank Girl
    Barb Wire

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