If DC wants to keep up with the runaway successes of Marvel Studio’s domination of the superhero movie genre, they need to start looking at characters not involving Batman or Superman to keep alive. To me, Wonder Woman is an obvious choice for the next major franchise for DC to ready as the next big thing to come from Warner Bros. Not only is Diana of Themyscria one of the most attractive heroines in the DC wheelhouse (score one for the 18-25s!), she’d just as easily break you into a million pieces. At the same time, Wonder Woman needs to be an ambassador for peace, as she was sent into man’s world as a peaceful emissary as her primary mission to begin with, and she is also traditionally steeped in Greek myths as well. Most people only have either Lynda Carter’s television incarnation or the animated version from the Justice League cartoons, which means that DC essentially has a blank canvas to work with. Since then, there’s only been a single serious attempt at bringing Wonder Woman to life, in the form of a dreadful pilot that is impossible to find legally and deeply inadvisable to find illegally. You have so many better things to do today, trust me.
With the rumor of a Wonder Woman appearance in Batman vs. Superman, I wanted to share my thoughts on my five best choices for Wonder Woman on film. These choices are highly based on Wonder Woman as written by Greg Rucka, possibly the best Wonder Woman writers DC has had for some years. I’d recommend the one-shot story The Hiketia from Greg Rucka and J.G. Jones for those of you looking for a primer to Wonder Woman. It requires no knowledge of DC’s occasionally incomprehensible canon, save that you know Batman is a thing. Which, according to these old box office returns I line my walls with for warmth, you probably do.
This former MMA star has been a perennial favorite to play Wonder Woman for years, and for good reason. Haywire showed she’s got the dramatic chops to handle more than a puffy action piece, which is essential for Wonder Woman. The key to the Amazon, remember, is finding the line between the fierce warrior and the peaceful ambassador to a magical, mythical world. More than anything, Wonder Woman has an intensity that even Batman doesn’t have at the core of him. It’s intensity born from being the sole ambassador from your people, the sole person to have ventured forth from your world in hundreds of years.
Gina Carano is a top choice in terms of someone able to capture the physicality of Wonder Woman, the physical presence and talent the role requires, without sacrificing the complexity of the role.
If you don’t think Emily Blunt isn’t a great mix of sexy and badass after Looper, then I just don’t know what to do with you. She’s an actress that hasn’t really gotten the chance at stardom she deserves, serving largely as the ingénue in a number of romantic films with the occasional dalliance into damsel in distress territory. It’s a shame, as she’s absolutely fearless as an actress. She’s got a palpable charisma and ability to elevate even poor material into something worth watching. If there’s a single actress on this list that could absolutely salvage a lesser-quality script, which is often a real possibility for superhero films, it’s Emily Blunt. It’s also a small number of people who can make fully-clothed wood chopping sexy, so if that’s not a reason to give her a medal at the least, then I don’t know what is.
I’ve always been a big fan of Eva Green, and not just for The Dreamers, for quite some time. She has an otherworldly, regal beauty that’s quite rare amongst her peers. For that reason, she nails the softer sides of Diana’s character. I can see Eva Green in formal Amazonia attire, delivering an address before the UN, revealing herself as the representative of the Amazon nation of Themyscira. Green has the gravitas and the beauty to pull this off. It’s also easy to see her as the scion of thousands of years of Greek myths and gods. She’s never really had the chance at action stardom, in any stretch of the imagination, but, remember, neither did Robert Downey Jr.
Lena Heady is easily my top choice to play Diana. She’s an actress I absolutely adore in everything she’s been in. As Sarah Connor in the short-lived Terminator TV show, she showed more than her share of both vulnerabilities, as a woman fighting nearly alone to protect her child against impossible odds, and badassitude, as a woman fighting evil robots nearly alone to protect her child against impossible odds. As the main villain in Dredd (which you should go and see right now on Netflix if you claim to love action films) she was a commanding, insane presence of evil, almost a complete mirror image of Wonder Woman. And, of course, as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones, her acting ability is nigh unmatched. Unfortunately, the same qualities that make her perfect for Wonder Woman are the same reasons she probably won’t be available to headline a new female superhero franchise. With Game of Thrones alone, Headey is booked too solidly for this role.