After many weeks of speculation as to whether Wonder Woman will appear in the Man of Steel sequel alongside Superman and Batman, her presence has been confirmed by Variety, which announced the casting of an actress to play her: Gal Gadot.
Director Zack Snyder, who helmed MoS and returns for Batman vs. Superman, talked to the magazine about casting Gal, who reportedly beat out Olga Kurylenko and Elodie Yung for the role:
“Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time, and a fan-favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature-film incarnation of this beloved character.”
The Israeli actress is a virtual unknown, perhaps most recognized for her role as Gisele in some of the Fast & Furious movies. As a definite plus, the F&F movies saw her doing a lot of action scenes.
But will the role in Batman vs. Superman call for Gal to act superheroic? In a film that already has to remind audiences about Superman (Henry Cavill), introduce Batman (Ben Affleck) and give him a reason to fight Superman, will there be time to bring in Wonder Woman and give her something interesting to do? Will she just make a cameo?
Most people see squeezing WW into the Superman/Batman flick as a way to introduce her to audiences before spinning her off into her own movie franchise. Apparently, associating her with the Big Boys of the DC Universe will make her more welcome to audiences unfamiliar with her comic book incarnation. (To be fair, the saga of WW in comic books is a tangled affair people could write books about, so even comics fans are mostly ambivalent about her because she’s in such a constant state of flux.)
The next major hurdle for the character probably will be the design of her screen costume; periodic tinkering with WW’s outfit to “update” it or make it suitable for TV has been known to practically break the Internet, so good luck to whomever lands that dreaded job.
And, in a related issue, because she’s female, Wonder Woman’s appearance will be a central topic of debate — not the least of which being, “Should there even be a debate about her looks?” Is the costume too skimpy? Is the redesign too radical? Is Gal pretty enough? Is she too pretty? Is she skinny enough? Is she too skinny? Does WW have enough agency in this flick?
Good luck, Gal! You’re gonna need it to get to the July 17, 2015 release date.