Posts Tagged ‘Zack Snyder’

Justice League Review: It Was Fine, I Guess? Not Good, But Not Awful

November 17, 2017

HAR_DM_FIRST LOOK RND F04

Justice League isn’t a terrible movie, and that in itself is a major achievement. Director Zack Snyder’s past two superhero outings were dour, unwieldy affairs that fundamentally misunderstood almost every character who appeared in them. Justice League is a much more conventional movie, leaner and even fun at times. It’s not great by any means. I wouldn’t even say it was good. But I didn’t leave the theater angry, so that’s a plus.

Everyone seems to have learned a few lessons from Wonder Woman, which is the far superior film by leaps and bounds. Justice League is lighter and funnier than its predecessors, though since those films weren’t light or funny in the slightest it really wouldn’t have taken much. But Snyder and his uncredited co-director Joss Whedon appear to be actively trying to set a new tone. There are jokes this time, and considerably less brooding and angst. The team bickers which each other instead of trying to kill each other. People smile sometimes. The success of this new approach is hit and miss, with a lot of corny dialogue and quips, but it’s a far better direction to move the franchise toward than the dark, miserable drama of the past.

In terms of plot, Justice League is a little bit thin. Steppenwolf and his evil plan to terraform the Earth and turn it into a hellscape is pretty standard stuff, and neither he nor his nondescript legion of Parademon minions bring much personality to the movie. Luckily, the good guys are far more endearing and enjoyable to watch. Jason Momoa’s gruff Aquaman is a good time, Ezra Miller’s socially awkward Flash is amusing, and the complicated interpersonal dynamics of bringing a group of very different heroes together for a common cause made for some decent scenes. Everyone is new at this team thing, and several members were new to their powers, so watching them all find their way together makes for an interesting angle. That’s really what the movie is about more so than the possible destruction of the world or how to bring back Superman (SPOILER ALERT: They bring back Superman! I know, I was shocked too).

Between assembling the League and Steppenwolf’s nefarious activities, we get a tour of the franchise as a whole and a peek at where things are going. We stop by Themyscira again, and I missed Patty Jenkins so much. The scenes there highlight that this was a film written, directed, and generally designed by men, as do many of Wonder Woman’s scenes. Nonetheless, the scene is a good reminder of the larger superhero world at play here. As is the visit to Atlantis, peeks into the backstories of the Flash and Cyborg (who was particularly cool; I’m excited to see more of Ray Fisher’s take on him moving forward), and a fun cameo that I won’t spoil. All of this will be fleshed out in solo films to come, and this is a franchise that could grow in interesting ways.

Watching the film, I realized that my main issue above all else was characterization. Having grown up on DC comic books and researched them extensively in my professional life, I feel like I know these characters very well. And as much as Momoa was fun, that wasn’t Aquaman. Ditto for Miller and the Flash. Affleck’s Batman and Cavill’s Superman have been off for multiple films now. No one feels right to me in the way that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman does. She captures the spirit and legacy of Diana so well, in ways that the boys just don’t with their characters. It felt like I was watching Wonder Woman plus a bunch of alternate universe impostors.

In short, while they’ve made an okay movie with the characterizations they’ve decided to go with, it just doesn’t feel like the real Justice League to me. That’s 100% my personal taste, of course. But by not being true to the characters, I found this turn toward the light to be a little bit underwhelming. Composer Danny Elfman even integrated iconic bits of his own 1989 Batman score and John Williams’ Superman theme, which was super clever and cool, and it still didn’t move me because these versions of the characters don’t fit the iconic mold for me. For example, there’s a mid-credits scene with Superman and the Flash that is classic comic book fare and I should have loved it, but because the personalities are so different from my experience of the characters it fell flat. While I appreciated what they were trying to do, it just didn’t land for me in any emotionally resonant way. Meanwhile, I wanted to cheer every time Wonder Woman did anything rad because Gadot’s take on her connects with me so well. With everyone else, I felt a disconnect.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, I enjoyed her role in Justice League for the most part. The franchise painted itself into a corner by having her stay out of the public eye for a century in Batman v Superman, so trying to reconcile that with the engaged, inspirational character we saw in Wonder Woman was a bit awkward but narratively necessary. Her action scenes were excellent, especially her solo outing busting up an attempted bombing; there’s so much bullet deflecting, and it’s glorious. What I enjoyed the most, though, is that she’s the heart and soul of the team. No one particularly likes or trusts each other as the League comes together, but they all respect and admire Wonder Woman. There’s a scene where she and Batman are arguing in front of everyone and she gives him a forceful shove, and the Flash says something along the lines of “If she’d killed you, we would have covered for her.” As much as Batman is the one who works to assemble the team and Superman is set up as some sort of great, inspiring unifier, it’s Wonder Woman who brings them all together.

Another of my favourite ladies, Lois Lane, is in the mix as well, and although she isn’t given much to do, she does have a couple of amazing scenes. When SPOILER ALERT Superman comes back (I still can’t believe it! They pulled the wool over our eyes on that one!), Lois plays a pivotal role in what was the only really emotionally impactful moment in the entire film. Her connection with Superman is shown beautifully, and Adams and Cavill have great chemistry together that really makes for a powerful reunion. I wish that Lois could have had a bigger role, perhaps tracking down a big story or some such, but Adams make the most of the limited screen time she’s given.

Overall, Justice League isn’t awful and I’m glad about that. It’s not good either, and this cinematic universe really isn’t for me apart from Wonder Woman, but there was nothing egregious or terrible about it. I mean, the Amazons should have beaten the hell out of Steppenwolf; they screwed up there. But other than that, it is a run of the mill superhero film that isn’t entirely unpleasant to watch. It’s easily the second best movie from DC’s current superhero line. It’s just far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far behind the first best.

Advertisements

Wonder Woman and Justice League Trailers Debut at Comic-Con, and Both Look Cool!

July 23, 2016

Today was Warner Bros.’ movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and that video right above this text is the first Wonder Woman trailer. Can we just take a second to appreciate that this finally exists? I mean, dang, it’s been decades of development to get here. We’ve seen a million different Batmans and Spider-Mans and Supermans and now we’ve finally got Wonder Woman on the big screen in her own film. It’s so overdue, but exciting nonetheless.

And, thank the goddesses, it’s pretty fun. This is a trailer in which Wonder Woman infiltrates a fancy party with a sword hidden in the back of her dress. I am SO on board for that. Plus, all of the elements are there. Amazons on a hidden island, a crashed Steve Trevor, a bad ass Diana whooping all kind of dudes, even friggin’ Etta Candy. This is a legit Wonder Woman.

Plus the action looks ridiculously fun. I still don’t love that Wonder Woman has a sword all the dang time, hilarious party subterfuge aside, but the fights here look super rad. And the lasso glows! It also glowed for the 12 seconds she used it in Batman v Superman, and it looked cool there so I’m glad they’re continuing it here. It’s kind of awesome.

We’ve also got a properly mystical and magical Paradise Island, which is key. It’s otherworldly, to be sure. And “They do not deserve you” is my favourite line in the whole trailer. I am all about a Hippolyta who loves her daughter fiercely and has some qualms about sending her out into the barbaric world of men. So often we see that mother/daughter relationship portrayed poorly, and the hints of it we see in this trailer really hit the mark for me.

Also, Steve Trevor is kind of endearing, which is a pleasant surprise. Steve is so often boring, but casting Chris Pine was a smart move. I suppose your enjoyment of Steve will depend on your enjoyment of Pine, but I’ve found his handsome snarkiness enjoyable over the years. He comes off as a good man in the trailer, and that’s all he needs to be really. Then at the end we get Etta Candy! Instantly taking a shine to Diana, like Etta always should. That final scene is a delight.

However, it’s a British Etta Candy during World War One, and that still feels weird to me. It’s a good trailer and I’m cautiously optimistic about the movie, but this is not a Wonder Woman that has ever existed before. Her classic origin is rooted in World War Two, and her successive incarnations have only updated her origin to a more modern setting. There’s never been a Diana in 1910s England, or a British Etta, or Amazons fighting the Kaiser’s troops. It’s Wonder Woman, but it’s not quite Wonder Woman for me. Yet. The change may well grow on me once I see the film. But I still feel a slight disconnect about the change in setting and time, and the ripples that causes in the mythos.

Also, as I’ve mentioned several times, situating Wonder Woman so far in the past may limit her relevance. It’s easy to make Wonder Woman look cool and feminist against sexists dudes from a century past, and to poke holes in the inequality of those days; this is a world where women couldn’t even vote yet! But we’re dealing with 2016 sexism these days, and lots of it. Pitting  Wonder Woman versus straw men ideologies everyone today agrees was bad is weak sauce. Wonder Woman should be confronting the issues that face women today.

Still, Gal Gadot is a GREAT Wonder Woman, and she’s amazing in this trailer. She captures the character so well, and I love the strength and regality and power she brings to the role. Patty Jenkins looks to have a good handle on Wonder Woman as well, and on a big action film. Everything felt like Wonder Woman, to a certain extent, and it was all suitably epic and action packed and exciting. They seem to be an excellent team.

I still have no idea what this movie is about, other than that it’s Wonder Woman’s origin. The bad guys appear to be Danny Huston and maybe that gal in the mask, but I have no idea who they are or what their objective is. Or what the plot is more broadly. It clearly involves the first world war, and it seems that the Amazons are going to get dragged into it, but this was more a teaser than anything overly specific in terms of plot.

It’s a dang good looking teaser, though, and I’m excited to learn more. I still have little to no faith whatsoever in DC’s cinematic universe after Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and there are choices here with Wonder Woman that I’m not yet sold on. But the trailer looks very cool, and has definitely increased my optimism about the film as a whole.

And here’s something even crazier: We got a Justice League trailer as well, and it actually doesn’t look terrible:

Zack Snyder and company seem to have learned from the poor reception of Batman v Superman, and have actually given this film some humour and fun. The Flash seems poised to steal the movie, though bad ass Aquaman is clearly going to be a fan favourite as well. Wonder Woman doesn’t get a lot to do, but the tone in general is light and pleasant, even with an alien menace on the horizon. Affleck’s Batman seems like less of a psychotic jerk, and the trailer as a whole feels more like a DC property than anything the studio’s put out over the past decade or so. I am so pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. If they can figure out how to turn this franchise around from its bleak dourness, so one will be happier than me.

So HOORAY we’ve got a Wonder Woman trailer and DOUBLE HOORAY it doesn’t suck! Fingers crossed that they can pull off something cool here and reset the board for a more enjoyable universe with this and Justice League. These trailers are an excellent start.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review – Wonder Woman Steals the Show from the Angsty Boys

March 25, 2016

bvswonder

I’ve been wary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from the get-go, having gotten burned by director Zack Snyder with the mess that was Man of Steel. From the moment it was announced, I’ve greeted the film with caution and snark. However, here’s my deep dark secret: I REALLY wanted this movie to be good. It’s Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman on the big screen, together! I was excited to see it, and no one in the theater last night was hoping for an awesome superhero movie more than I was. I wasn’t expecting it to be good, but I was hoping that it would be.

It was not. From the moment it started, it was super grim and so, so serious. And ridiculously dark, both tonally and visually. The movie spans a few months, and I don’t think that there was a single sunny day in the mix. Nearly every scene’s colour palette was muted and drab; it could have been black and white and not looked all that different. As for our stalwart heroes, they were both moping and broody and generally unpleasant. That vibe sort of fit for Batman, but it was a bad look on Superman.

Both heroes were also straight up dummies. No spoilers, but the bulk of the film’s conflict could have been avoided if Batman and Superman had just had a conversation instead of assuming the worst about each other and getting angrier and angrier. Plus they were clearly being manipulated by Lex Luthor all the while, and didn’t even notice because, again, they’re dummies. All of the furious planning and their eventual battle becomes increasingly idiotic as the film progresses, and all the while you know it’s going to end with them teaming up anyway, making everything feel both stupid and pointless.

Snyder also throws some religious themes in the mix that he must have thought were clever and deep but that ultimately made no sense. Luthor bloviates as some sort of anarcho-atheist, railing against the supposedly god-like Superman, hyping the confrontation with Batman as god versus man. It all falls very flat. Superman’s just not a god, no matter how many dramatically lit, serious shots of Superman impassively saving people Snyder puts in the film. First, that’s not Superman; Superman smiles when he saves people. And second, no hero is more human than Superman. That’s been the crux of the character forever. He’s an alien, but he was raised as a human and embodies humanity’s best qualities. The religious subtext, so unsubtle that it’s basically just text, is a failed attempt to make the movie more important and serious than it is. It just doesn’t fit, and Snyder’s increasing heavy handedness with it goes nowhere.

Essentially, both characters are just fundamentally wrong. Batman shouldn’t be stupid enough to get tricked into a fight with Superman, and Superman shouldn’t be angsty enough to lose his sense of who he is. Batman should be smart, Superman should be happy, and they are neither. Thus, we end up with a very dumb movie.

There are many more unpleasant things in the film. Batman basically kills a bunch of people, sometimes with guns, so that’s messed up. There are a lot of murders generally, really. Also, don’t get too attached to the female characters. And prepare to be annoyed by Lex Luthor, though I will say that given that Batman and Superman are so serious and dull throughout the film, Lex is one of the few characters that seems to have an actual personality, however irksome it may be.

But let’s get to the good stuff. Perry White and Alfred are pretty fun, and I think that Affleck could have been a decent Batman in a film that didn’t turn him into an angry moron. You all know who I really care about, though; let’s talk Lois Lane and Wonder Woman!

First up, Lois Lane! I thought that this was almost a great movie for Lois. Again, I’m going to try to dance around spoilers here, but Lois was in the thick of things for most of the film, launching a key investigation and playing an important role in the film’s final conflict. However, she never quite gets the job done, on any front. All of her brave feats turn into damsel in distress scenes in which Superman has to save her; he does so at least three times. It’s fun that Lois has such an active, often heroic role in the movie, but I would’ve liked her to see her brave plans through to the end more.

Her relationship with Clark was endearing and sweet, even though the whole movie gets weird and dark once Batman and Superman start feuding. They’re adorable together at the beginning of the movie, and Lois tried to keep Superman focused on his true heroic nature as things got progressively darker, with mixed success. Things got a little overdramatic by the end of the film, but the conclusion was a bizarre mess as a whole. Amy Adams still did a lot of teary eyed on-looking throughout the movie, but ultimately Batman v Superman was a consistently solid showcase for Lois, though her exploits didn’t reach the heights of her initial scoop in Man of Steel.

Wonder Woman, however, stole the dang show. With Batman and Superman busy being dummies and acting out, Wonder Woman was the only real superhero in the film. Gal Gadot is both intriguing and stunning, and her early background appearances as Diana Prince were eye-catching and far more interesting than the goings on in the foreground. She outsmarted both Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne, nabbing a piece of tech that Bruce was using to hack Lex, but Diana was no thief; she was just trying to take back something that had been stolen from her, and later she returned Bruce’s tech to him. Even when engaging in sneaky espionage, she was honourable and honest.

And then, Wonder Woman. This will get into minor spoilers, but if you’ve seen the trailers then you know how things end up, Doomsday-wise. Wonder Woman in the Doomsday battle is a complete delight. She’s an Amazon, so she knows what to do with monsters, and throws herself into the fight. Literally, she LAUNCHES herself at Doomsday. While Batman and Superman are getting pummeled and jumping out of the way, Wonder Woman dances around Doomsday and lands blow after blow. When she gets knocked down, she smiles and gets right back into the thick of things. Throughout the battle, she uses her bracelets to block Doomsday’s eye blasts, defends herself with her shield, slices away at Doomsday with her sword, and then nabs the monster with her lasso. It’s all SUPER AWESOME.

Wonder Woman is basically the only character in the movie having fun. She’s sneaking into places as Diana Prince and outsmarting everyone, then having a blast on the battlefield as she fights Doomsday. There’s a joy and a confidence to Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman that so perfectly captures the character for me, and I can’t wait to see her in her own film. We get a tease of her World War One past in Batman v Superman, but just a small look. If Gadot can bring the same spirit to Wonder Woman, it could be an amazing movie. She was the best part of this movie, by a considerable margin.

So overall, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a fairly stupid, overly dark, not particularly enjoyable film, but it’s worth seeing for the amazingness that is Wonder Woman. We get a quick look at some other heroes too, which is sort of fun, and the stage is very clearly set for who the Justice League will be facing in their upcoming film. It seems like it’s going to be an even darker fight, which is uncool. This universe is so deeply unpleasant, apart from Wonder Woman, and I’m not looking forward to Snyder’s next outing, at all. I don’t need him to grimdark and angst up a bunch of my other favourite characters. But so long as Wonder Woman is in it, I’ll be there.

13′ Statue Of Gal Gadot As Wonder Woman Unveiled, Will Be Released In March

September 30, 2015

With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice now less than six months away, the merchandising machine is starting to ramp up, and today DC Collectibles announced a new piece. It’s a 13 inch resin statue of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in her movie costume, created by James Marsano, and it will be available this March for $150. It looks pretty nice, too, and Yahoo! Movies has an exclusive first look:

wwstatue

I want one! I doubt I’ll get one because that’s a lot of scratch, but still. It’s very lovely. It’s a solid likeness of Gadot, the costume looks good, and the colours are nice and bright. I’m really enjoying this costume outside of the film; in normal, real world light it looks great. It’s just in Zack Snyder’s desaturated cinematic world that it starts to look dingy.

The statue is part of a larger line; DC Collectibles announced some Batman and Superman statues from the film a couple of months back, though who cares about those dudes? Wonder Woman is where it’s at. Batman and Superman statues are like 90% cape anyway. You’re getting hosed. Plus Wonder Woman has majestic hair. And a sword! She makes for a far superior statue, for sure.

Anyway, start saving your pennies, for this statue and for the rest of the Wonder Woman merchandise onslaught that will hit us in the new year. It should be a lot of fun.

The Only Important Moments From The New Batman v Superman Trailer, aka. AW YEAH, WONDER WOMAN!!

July 13, 2015

At the Warner Bros. movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Zack Snyder unveiled a new, full length trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s about three and a half minutes long, and gives us a better sense of what the movie is going to be about. It seems that Superman destroyed a Wayne building during his indiscriminate Zod rampage in Man of Steel and now Batman is wicked mad about it, so they’re going to fight and such. Here’s a look at the trailer:

Now, most of this trailer isn’t great. Everyone’s all grumpy and angry, fighting when they should be friends. That’s not cool. Lex Luthor is a Zuckerbergian twit we all want to slap the sass out of. Don’t even get me started on Ma Kent; I mean, “You don’t owe this world a thing”?? Great inspirational speech, Ma Kent. Between her and Pa “Maybe you should have let them die” Kent, it’s no wonder this version of Superman is so screwed up. So much of Zack Snyder’s approach to Superman is just massively, infuriatingly wrong.

So yeah, it’s all dark and gloomy and operatically serious. Aquaman’s not even in it, which is a bad call. Jason Momoa makes everything better. But then this happens:

trailer1

Oh dang, it’s Wonder Woman!! Looking all kinds of bad ass even with the colours so ridiculously desaturated. Some poor sucker is about to get a punch that is not going to feel good. It’s never a good idea to make Wonder Woman mad.

And then this goes down:

trailer2

AHHHHHHHHHHH BRACELET DEFLECTING!!!!! So classic, and so fun. Just so Wonder Woman, really. It’s nice to know that even while they’re making dark, unpleasant versions of the titular characters, Batman v Superman is going to get at least some of the iconic Wonder Woman elements right.

And finally, there is this, which I love so much and which fills me with hope that Wonder Woman won’t suck:

trailer3

That look, you guys. That utterly defiant, “Aw naw, you just messed with the wrong gal” attitude. It’s so entirely Wonder Woman to me. She’s just not having any of it and I love it! It’s literally just a second of the trailer, but I think it communicates so much about the character, and really sells me on Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.

I know that some folks were disappointed that all Wonder Woman did in the trailer was be angry and fight, and I can understand that. Unfortunately, it looks like that’s just what this movie is going to be, hurt feelings and punching. It’s going to be a more martial take on Wonder Woman, so we should adjust our expectations accordingly. For me, Gal Gadot looks super fierce in a good way, not in the unhinged way Batman is or the weirdly damaged way Superman is. She just seems done with all of the nonsense, and I’m hoping that her action scenes revolve around her trying to break up the stupid Batman and Superman fights to try to get them to be friends. There’s something to her in these glimpses that I find heroic, in ways I don’t for Batman and Superman. I think that the trailer sets up Batman as human grit and anger and Superman as godly power and detachment, and Wonder Woman serves to bridge that gap with the good parts of both. That’s reading a lot into three seconds of footage, but it’s a super rad three seconds.

Anyway, I am cautiously optimistic about Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman, though I remain wary of pretty much everything else in the film. I may yet be burned; Snyder’s done it to me time and again. But Gal Gadot seems to embody the spirit of Wonder Woman in fun ways here, and I can’t wait to see more of her. If she turns out even half as cool as she looks in this trailer, I’ll be a happy Wonder Woman fan.

Thanks to DC Women Kicking Ass for posting the gifs!

First Image Of Gal Gadot As Diana Prince In Batman v Superman, Plus A Wonder Woman Barbie

July 2, 2015

bvs1

The image above is the cover to the new Entertainment Weekly, their special Comic-Con 2015 preview issue. It’s a good look at the Wonder Woman costume in colour instead of muted browns like the shot we got a year ago, and also Gal Gadot in it. We’ve seen some shots of the costume on a mannequin recently, but not on Gadot. The costume continues to grow on me, especially the more I see it in colour. It’s got the red, blue, and gold like a classic Wonder Woman outfit, plus the lasso and the bracelet. I don’t like that she’s carrying a sword in every picture we’ve seen of her, including promotional artwork, and that tiara is still the worst. Seriously, imagine that costume with the classic red starred tiara. It would look fantastic! This tiara is holding back the whole outfit for me.

But we’ve also got a new image of her without the tiara! It’s Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, hanging out at a fancy party with some guy named Bruce Wayne:

bvs2

Entertainment Weekly‘s description of the image reads:

Batman and Wonder Woman have a meeting of alter-egos as Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince parry and flirt at a high-society function. “I love the fact that there was this Thomas Crowne Affair, Bond-y sexy scene that they wrote about two people who are pretending to be two different people who each know the secrets of the other person,” says Ben Affleck.

It’s cool that Diana and Bruce know each other’s secrets; I’m intrigued about their past, and whether they’ve worked together before. The flirting will be fun for Diana and Bruce shippers, of which there are a great many, thanks to the Justice League cartoon. I’d rather have a movie where the only female superhero wasn’t getting up to romantic hijinks with one of the dudes, but the superhero film industry doesn’t seem to have figured out how to do that yet. Anyway, Diana looks lovely here, and the dress looks pretty classy. They’re clearly going with a secret identity instead of some sort of Diana as a Themysciran ambassador situation, but I doubt she’s going to be a military secretary. Her presence at this fancy soiree, and a few on-set shots we’ve seen, suggest a more well-to-do lifestyle for Diana.

There are some other Batman v Superman images at Entertainment Weekly, but this is the only one that matters.

Along with these pictures, we got a first look at a new Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman Barbie, and it’s pretty cool:

 bvs3

I absolutely want one. It’ll be my first Barbie! Though I do have a big Captain Picard doll that’s about Barbie-sized. The costume looks great here, I love the bright colours, and I really like that she’s smiling. Again, I could do without the sword and the ugly tiara, but that hair is super fierce. I hope all of the Barbies’ hair comes pre-styled all rad like that because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to make mine look like that.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is out next March, and it’s probably going to be not great because Zack Snyder, but fingers crossed that Wonder Woman is cool at least. There will be some Wonder Woman Barbies available next weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, but they won’t be in stores until early next year as the movie merchandise starts to roll out. I hope they make a Lois Lane too. I like my toys to have a friend. Well, she can hang out with Captain Picard at least.

Michelle MacLaren Has Left The Wonder Woman Movie OR I Can’t Even

April 14, 2015

maclaren

I’m trying very hard to retain some sort of enthusiasm for the Wonder Woman movie, but Warner Bros. isn’t making it easy on me. First, Man of Steel was an abomination, and then they brought back Zack Snyder and David Goyer to introduce Wonder Woman on the big screen for the first time in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Gal Gadot seems fine, but she’s mostly a big question mark at this point, and the costume is not great.   There was just nothing to be excited about until last November when Warner Bros. announced that Michelle MacLaren was going to direct the Wonder Woman movie. MacLaren is a fantastic director who’s worked on shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, and I was over the moon when I heard that she’d be helming Wonder Woman’s solo film.

Now, five months later, Michelle MacLaren is gone from the project. Citing “creative differences”, the official statement declares that “Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together”, which is most likely Hollywood code for she got fired. This is a massive blow for the film; MacLaren was literally the only person involved in the movie that I had any faith in whatsoever. She’s an epic director and a great, smart storyteller, plus a woman directing Wonder Woman is just perfect. And too good to be true, it seems.

In the wake of her departure, there are reports that MacLaren and Warner Bros. were never really on the same page with Wonder Woman. Supposedly they couldn’t even agree on which time period to set the movie in. That’s sort of an important first step. Also, MacLaren reportedly wanted Diana to have a pet tiger for some reason. Whatever was going on behind the scenes sounds like a real mess.

So here’s where we stand with the Wonder Woman movie: It’s scheduled for release in 2017 and is rumoured to be start shooting in the fall, but now there’s no director and apparently no story. I’d expect a delay. And any rumour we’ve heard about the film so far? Probably scrap that, because it sounds like the movie is still a total blank slate.

Warner Bros. inability to get any sort of Wonder Woman project off the ground is astounding. They had Joss Whedon, who left his Wonder Woman adaptation and then made the biggest superhero movie in the history of the world. They had Michelle MacLaren, pretty much everyone’s top choice to direct Wonder Woman the second that it was announced. And now they have no one. I sincerely hope they don’t haphazardly hire someone in a mad rush to just get the movie made. But they’ve let two excellent directors walk out the door, so who knows what they’ll do next?

I really don’t understand what’s so hard about making a Wonder Woman film.  She’s a great character with a rich history; you pick an angle and you go with it, like they do with EVERY superhero film.  People like to say that Wonder Woman is a complicated, difficult character, but she’s no more complex than any other superhero.  Every superhero has various incarnations and origins.  There’s no set blueprint for any of them.  The writer, director, and studio work together and pick what elements of the character they like and then they make a movie.  It’s happened about a million times with male superheroes.  They keep churning out male-led movies with ease, so I don’t see why getting the world’s most famous female superhero onto the big screen is such a difficult task.  We’re about to have our SIXTH live action Batman, all of them very different.  And Warner Bros. can’t figure out one Wonder Woman film?  It’s ridiculous.

In happier news, Marvel keeps making good movie decisions at least. Captain Marvel is still very much in development, and they’re after Nicole Perlman, the co-writer of Guardians of the Galaxy and Meg LeFauve, the co-writer of Pixar’s upcoming Inside Out, to work on the script together. That’s a pretty great team, and it’s cool to see Marvel pursuing female writers for the film. And if they’re looking for a female director, one just became available! Captain Marvel might not have a pet tiger, but she’s got a flerken at least.


%d bloggers like this: