Beyoncé is ready for an Amazon-sized challenge — the pop superstar wants to be the first actress to wear Wonder Woman’s famed red, white and blue bathing suit on the silver screen.
"I want to do a superhero movie and what would be better than Wonder Woman? It would be great. And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It’s time for that, right?"
Beyoncé says that she has met with representatives of DC Comics and Warner Bros. to express her interest in a major role in one of the many comic-book adaptations now in the pipeline following the massive success of "The Dark Knight," "Iron Man" and the "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" franchises. Beyoncé’s acting to career to date has included a comedic role in "Austin Powers in Goldmember" and two notable music world roles, the first as a quasi-Diana Ross character in "Dreamgirls" and as the defiant and heroin-addicted Etta James in the upcoming "Cadillac Records."
"After doing these roles that were so emotional I was thinking to myself, ‘OK, I need to be a superhero,’" Beyoncé told me this week when I met her for an interview in a suite atop the Rivington Hotel in New York. "Although, when you think about the psychology of the heroes in the films these days, they are still a lot of work, of course, and emotional. But there’s also an action element that I would enjoy."
The recent success of sophisticated comic-book adaptations is the main reason for Beyoncé’s interest, she said, but her focus on Wonder Woman was intensified earlier this year when she saw Lynda Carter’s costume from the 1970s television show on display at the Costume Institute’s “Superhero” show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Beyoncé is in amazing shape right now (she had gained more than 20 pounds for the James role and came back from that leaner than before), but she said the Wonder Woman costume is an unforgiving one.
"I would definitely have to keep it right for that costume. The way that Lynda Carter wore it, she was sooo fine. She was amazing. I saw her costume at the Met. Her waist was unbelievable. It was pretty crazy, actually, her proportions. But I love Wonder Woman and it’d be a dream come true to be that character. It sure would be handy to have that lasso. To make everybody tell the truth? I need that. It would come in very handy."
The 27-year-old Houston native also recently finished work on the Scott Shill thriller "Obsessed" and, in her role as a woman whose husband is being stalked, she got her first experience with a staging a brawl for the camera.
"I play a wife fighting for her family and I have this big, big fighting scene with Ali Larter, who is an incredible actress. It took us days just to film it. I had my boots on and, wow, I got into it. So I really want that now. Now I have to do an action film. It’s like dancing and choreography. And the superhero movies now, they’re not corny, not corny at all, so that’s what I want to do. And I would love if it could be Wonder Woman."
It”s not clear if anyone will be able to deliver a Wonder Woman project anytime soon, however. The heroine, who debuted in 1941, is by far the most iconic superhero who has yet to reach theaters. Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk and the Fantastic Four have all had multiple bites at the Hollywood apple and Captain America and Captain Marvel, both of whom were featured in 1940s serials, have adaptations now in the pipeline, as do Thor, Flash and Green Lantern.
"Catwoman" and "Elektra" both fizzled at the box office, which certainly didn’t help the cause of female costumed characters as properties. In 2005, Warner Bros. announced with some fanfare that Joss Whedon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame would bring the pride of Paradise Island to the screen but even his considerable affinity for strong female characters didn’t help him deliver a script that stirred studio chiefs. Still, earlier this year Warner president Jeff Robinov said that a solo Wonder Woman project remains one of the studio’s future plans as it mines the DC library.
If not Wonder Woman, what other character, either Marvel or DC, could Beyoncé want to portray? With a laugh, she said: "I’m open to suggestions!"
– Geoff Boucher
Credits: Wonder Woman by Alex Ross, courtesy of DC Comics. Beyoncé in concert photographed by Kevork Djansezian of the Associated Press. Beyoncé arriving at the premiere of "Dreamgirls" in 2006, photgraphed by Matt Sayles of the Associated Press. Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in the 1970s, image from Los Angeles Times archives.