Don't stop believin': Patty Jenkins' journey from Lawrence to 'Wonder Woman'

Pierre Vaugeois
Juin 2, 2017

'Wonder Woman' hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins.

But she can handle the pressure. She is also a potential contender to step into the shoes of a notable superhero.

Screenings of Wonder Woman have been scrapped in Lebanon over the film's casting of Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

Suicide Squad was a mess.

For Gadot, wearing Wonder Woman's classic red-and-blue costume helped her feel like a superhero - especially once the outfit was retooled after she made her debut as the character in last year's cinematic showdown between Batman and Superman.

With studios churning out several superhero pictures a year, the ratio of women behind the camera is still far lower than 50%, despite the fact that women make up 52% of the filmgoing public, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. And I thought, 'If I take this, it'll be a big disservice to women. It's been a long time since I saw movie that made me feel like I needed to stand up and cheer at the end but "Wonder Woman" made me do so.

"The women were working and the men were walking around with strollers", says Gadot.

That innocence is lost when Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), a US fighter pilot, crash lands on Themyscira and brings the war with him. The movie does drag a bit during that midsection after Diana bids farewell to the Amazons, but it's consistently entertaining, buoyed in no small part by its Israeli star's presence, which makes the mythological seem possible.

The male/female dynamic is of course crucial to the film.

Trained as a warrior by her aunt (Robin Wright, helping class up the island), Diana's destiny takes an unexpected turn when pilot/spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes his plane offshore, abruptly bringing World War I into their lives. Wuornos said she killed them in self-defense because each had tried to rape her while she was working as a prostitute.

That's an ancient enclave very close to paradise, populated only by women, where we are whisked after a prologue in modern Paris.

Jenkins has revealed she was desperate to gain Carter's "blessing" prior to creating the new production based on the DC Marvel Comics, and to receive her "guidance" during the making of the latest movie because she didn't want the project to be considered an entirely separate entity to the series Carter starred in.

If Wonder Woman wasn't White, people on social media would go haywire.

The film's feminist credentials are occasionally ropey, too.

Jenkins, finding middle ground between Marvel's wisecracking and DC's weighty seriousness, inserts light humor, occasionally reverses traditional comic book gender roles with success, and still manages to simply craft a solid superhero movie.

But the film's at its best when holding a microscope to men and using the action genre and historical context to show them up for the ridiculous beasts they all too often are. That's right - they think these 10 stocks are even better buys. Seeing the fandom surrounding Wonder Woman, we can not help re-imagining her character with Bollywood actresses.

All it needed was a woman's touch.

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