Wonder Woman Needs A Soft Reboot
by Tito W. James
The DCEU is entering a new decade and is still trying to find its footing with a slate of new films. The most recent hits have included The Batman and The Suicide Squad and my personal favorite, Joker. Wonder Woman was a high point during the last decade of DC films. Even the most polarized factions of the DC fanbase could agree that Wonder Woman ruled!
Wonder Woman: 1984 attempted a lighthearted “Marvel-style” movie that ultimately came across as campy and overly preachy. But, Wonder Woman had several standout moments in the final cut of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. We got to see more of the Amazons and their mythological connection to the Fourth World. Wonder Woman decapitating Steppenwolf, and then throwing his severed head at the feet of Darkseid is exactly what I want to see from a Wonder Woman movie!
I believe that Wonder Woman would benefit from a soft-reboot like The Suicide Squad. Just cherry-pick the elements that worked from the previous films while also going boldly into new territory. The character of Wonder Woman is still a blank slate for the majority of the population so there’s plenty of room for creative exploration. So, without further preamble, here’s what I would like to see in the next Wonder Woman film.
New Supporting Cast
Going forward, it would be best to drop Steve Trevor or any romantic subplots. Let’s get real, Wonder Woman’s supporting cast of characters in the comics has always been paper-thin. Chris Pine managed to give character to a Ken-doll but his story is complete, so we should let it rest. Not every movie needs to have a romantic subplot.
I’d rather see Wonder Woman interact more with her fellow Amazons. The moments with the Amazons and Themyscira have been the highlights of previous Wonder Woman films but they have never gotten enough screen time. It would be exciting to team up Diana with a squad of badass ladies and have them go on an adventure.
It’s not only Diana’s supporting cast that needs an upgrade, her antagonists need an overhaul as well. Wonder Woman’s traditional villains are terrible. She literally has a giant egg with a mustache as part of her rogues gallery!
DC has the best roster of villains in comics except for some reason, there is an unspoken rule that only Superman can fight Superman villains and Batman can only fight Batman villains. Just have Wonder Woman fight villains that are Justice League level threats. Wonder Woman could organically battle baddies like Deathstroke, Poison Ivy, Lady Shiva, or Darkseid’s daughter, Grail.
Personally, I’d love to see Faora come back. It would be easy enough to say that she wasn’t killed in Man of Steel and was only trapped in the Phantom Zone. Faora was a stand-out villain when she first appeared and could make a good foil for Wonder Woman. Additionally, Diana doesn’t have a grudge against Faora, so she might be able to give her a redemptive arc as a fellow female warrior.
Rather than another superhero film, I want to see Wonder Woman as an epic fantasy film with a Heavy Metal Magazine aesthetic. Superhero films are generally about a costumed hero protecting a city of innocent people against a costumed villain. Fantasy stories, on the other hand, are about going on quests, uncovering arcane secrets, and fighting in epic battles. The story could be structured like a traditional Greek hero’s journey, but with locations and characters from the DCU taking the place of Greek gods and Monsters. The fantasy tone is a better fit for Diana’s character and a breath of fresh air from standard superhero films.
Embrace the Action
The first Wonder Woman film boasted spectacular action that was explored further in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Before the first Wonder Woman film was green-lit, Snyder and his stunt crew created a prototype action short to show Warner Brothers what the final product could look like. Even as a prototype, the short video kicks ass and shows how unique Diana can be as an action heroine. This is the kind of grounded-yet-stylized action I want to see in the next Wonder Woman.
If the next Wonder Woman film delivers an epic fantasy with compelling supporting characters and threatening villains, then it could become the greatest Wonder Woman film of all time. It’s unlikely that any of this will happen, but I decided to write this article because I love the character and want to see her thrive on screen. Wonder Woman has had some of the most interesting incarnations in comics as of late. The more writers and artists pushed the limits of what Wonder Woman could be, the more interesting she’s become. When I’m seeing artwork that’s this badass in the comics, I want something as epic up on the big screen.