MovieBob - Intermission
What We Don't Know About Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 6 Dec 2013 12:00
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What is this movie actually about?
Unlike, Marvel Studios (and now parent Disney) Warner Bros. hasn't already mapped out and set in motion definite plans for a multi-film, "chapter-narrative" driven DC Universe. But there were a good deal of sequel seeds being planted in Man of Steel: The LexCorp logos, the Wayne Inc. satellite, the coincidence of Metropolis being exactly where Zod needed to put one half of his surprisingly-uninteresting planet-crusher machine, Kryptonian spacesuits being (unmistakably) similar in design to Lex Luthor's Bronze Age Power-Armor, etc.

If you had to guess out a sequel based on that, one could easily imagine a plausible storyline: Lex Luthor as a secretly-evil industrialist rebuilding Metropolis bigger and better (in the comics, the city is often depicted as semi-futuristic and nicknamed "The City of Tomorrow") while covertly building nasty stuff (like power-armor) out of salvaged Kryptonian tech and sewing mistrust against Superman for being an alien and bringing this disaster to Earth; possibly with Bruce Wayne turning up at some point to talk about justice and leagues and such. Based on what little can be gleaned from statements by Zack Snyder and David Goyer, I get the sense more than a little of that actually A.) was the original plan and B.) will still make it in. What it doesn't explain is what interest (or function) a nigh-immortal Amazon Princess would have in any of that. Three plausible ideas jump immediately to my mind:

Wonder Woman is Nick Fury: As a super-powered figure who has (presumably) been around longer than Superman has, she's aware of some looming threat and is here to start recruiting others for a group effort.

Wonder Woman is another alien or an augmented human of some kind, brought into the open by events of the previous movie: One of the reasons Warner Bros. has never made the solo Wonder Woman movie is that she's considered too bizarre by many who've tried. Would you put it past this production team to decide to "streamline" her origin as something that can be knocked-out as the B-story in this sequel? I wouldn't.

Wonder Woman is Bella, Superman is Edward, Batman is Jacob: Don't think this didn't occur to anyone at this studio - these are the people who made Green Lantern.

What is this movie called?
We've been calling this yet-unnamed project Superman vs. Batman for really no better reason than Warner Bros. spent a decade trying unsuccessfully to get a project with that very name and premise off the ground. Yes, there's also the detail that - in lieu of a trailer or casting news - they announced the project by having Harry Lennix read an antagonistic passage from the climax of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. But there hasn't really been anything to definitively suggest that the two will actually be enemies in the film.

Sure, they probably won't get along right away for drama's sake... but there's nothing that says this has to be a feature-length physical conflict other than a certain stripe of fan's fixation on seeing the dopey 90s Dark Age "Batman always somehow wins because angst and preparation and because BATMAN!" trope play out in live-action. If this is going to be (at least on some level) a three-piece act, there's even less rationale to go that route - plus, the "Why doesn't she get her own movie instead of a guest spot?" backlash has already started, and leaving her name out of a title made of names would just call attention to that.

Long story short: I wouldn't be surprised to see this wind up being called World's Finest or Trinity in the final outcome; possibly even without the accompanying Man of Steel header since, now more than ever, it seems like we're building more toward SETUP FOR JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE MOVIE moreso than a specific continuation of the new Superman's story.

What will she look like?
I'm not even going to touch the... "complicated" nature of image and casting called into question by the "Is Gal Gadot too thin?" body-snarking that hit in the immediate wake of the announcement. No interest in that minefield right now, thank you very much.

As for costume? Who knows. There are rumblings that Affleck's Batman suit is actually a significant step away from the armored look that has plagued that character for decades of movies, but I'll believe that when I see it. Assuming they aren't junking the overall aesthetic from Man of Steel, (I'd love to see that, just not going to hold my breath) I'd lean toward a muted blue (or black) and red scheme, probably silver instead of gold like the first New 52 design. I'd like to think I can count on Snyder to at least keep the bare legs/shoulders and strapless low-neck chestplate look... but I wouldn't put money on it.

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet. Aside from his work at The Escapist, he wrote a book and does a videogame criticism show.

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