As soon as Fast And Furious star Gal Gadot was confirmed as Wonder Woman in Zack Snyder’s Batman Vs Superman Man Of Steel sequel, the knives came out. In a display of fury rivalling the original perfectly reasonable casting of Ben Affleck, poorly concieved-controversy ruled social networks.
Gal Gadot deserves the benefit of the doubt. She could well be an amazing Diana Prince, she could definitely be an awful one as well, but here’s why the angry keyboard warriors need to wind their necks in until they’ve at least seen the movie:
Gal Gadot just doesn’t look like Wonder Woman
What does this even mean? How can anyone possible refute a statement that hasn’t been qualified in any recognisable way?
If you mean that she doesn’t look exactly how she does in the comic, then no, of course she doesn’t. A Wonder Woman comic is a two-dimensional representation of what the character looks like, and that representation changes – often subtly, often wildly – depending on who’s holding the pencils or what the prevailing trends in comics and art at the time.
Unless, of course, you mean:
Gal Gadot is too skinny/not the right shape/needs to bulk up for Wonder Woman
Firstly, Gal Gadot is an actor.
How she looks now isn’t entirely reflective of how she’ll look on screen; she might be bulking up, she might be dying her hair, they might be adding a third arm to her in post-production. We don’t know yet.
Christian Bale bulked up for Batman Begins when nobody thought he could, especially following his harrowing, emaciated look in The Machinist. Hugh Jackman did the same coming off the lean and sinewy Les Miserables and into The Wolverine.
Secondly, Gal Gadot is a former sports trainer, and as an Israeli citizen she spent two years in the Israeli army. She’s more that capable of putting together the tight athletic – not necessarily muscle-bound and comic-book grotesque – physique we expect from someone trained from birth by the warrior women of Themyscira.
She shouldn’t look like a steroid-popping centrefold from a minority interest porn mag; she should look like an Olympic athelete – and with her background she easily could. If you want to see Wonder Woman look like a softcore Adam Hughes illustration then stick to bad comics; there’s certainly been enough of them.
Gal Gadot isn’t a good enough actress for Wonder Woman
I don’t think we’re in any position to really know what kind of actress Gal Gadot is – we’ve only got Fast And Furious to go on, and that’s not exactly rich with opportunities for a thespian to show off their full range.
Did you see a glimmer of Norse godlihood in Chris Hemsworth’s Home & Away work before he took the role of Thor?
Did you catch any of Hugh Jackman’s feral nature while he was belting out gay anthems in The Boy From Oz prior to his casting in Bryan Singer’s original X-Men?
Exactly what was it about Henry Cavill’s Renaissance rutting in The Tudors that made him the best person for Man Of Steel‘s iconic Superman?
Superhero movie history has given us too very loud and embarrassing examples of actors who were widely derided as unsuitable for their roles and yet blew those small minds that poured scorn: Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight and Michael Keaton’s Bruce Wayne in Batman being just two examples.
Man Of Steel, for all its faults, was ludicriously well cast. Michael Shannon as Zod, Kevin Coster as Pa Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Diane Lane as Ma Kent. Ben Affleck is also the perfect choice to reboot Batman in Man Of Steel 2 – so why doesn’t this track record deserve the benefit of the doubt?
Gal Gadot isn’t well known enough to play Wonder Woman
See Hugh Jackman, Henry Cavill and Chris Hemsworth.
How about Loki star Tom Hiddleston? Much crossover audience between the Marvel Studios universe of Thor and Avengers Assemble, and the misty-eyed wartime tragedy of Steven Spielberg’s War Horse?
Superheroes can you can hang a franchise on increasingly depend upon their stars being to completely embody that role – Robert Downey Jr was an exception in that the role of Iron Man embodied him instead; the charismatic blowhard was already there.
Gal Gadot could easily become the centrepiece of a film series; we just don’t know yet. It all hinges on the acting we haven’t seen, the script we haven’t read and the DC movie masterplan we’re not privy to.
Gal Gadot could ruin it so there’ll be no STANDLONE Wonder Woman film
She could, but she could easily not. She – and indeed, everyone else – could do any number of things that prove this statement 50 shades of true, false or bullshit.
Turn the question around and apply it to any other actor – they could also ruin it or save it. We don’t know and we won’t know til it happens.
The real people who’ll determine whether or not we get that solo Wonder Woman film we deserve are Man Of Steel 2 writer David S Goyer and director Zack Snyder – they’re the two who will either showcase her wrongly or showcase her rightly and even the most amazing actor can only do so much with a dreadful script.
Anyway, Diana Prince has had a rough deal in film and TV, with little movement since Linda Carter’s much-loved high camp TV series in 1975 – David E Kelley’s pilot was laughed out of contention and Joss Whedon’s movie pitch was completely rejected. If we don’t get a solo movie, that’ll be pretty crappy, but it defies the odds that the character is even making an appearance in such a high profile blockbuster in the first place.
I’m not saying that’s ‘right’ and fans should just swallow it and say thank you, but it’s a fact.
Gal Gadot just isn’t Wonder Woman
No, she isn’t. Nobody is. Wonder Woman is a fictional character.
Read our review of Man Of Steel here and our defence of Ben Affleck here. Man Of Steel is out to own 2 December 2013 – pre-order it on Blu-ray for £18.50, DVD for £12.75 or 3D Blu-ray for £20.50 from Amazon.co.uk