“The first time Gal Gadot appeared on the set of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in her full Wonder Woman regalia — eagle-encrusted body armor, knee-high boots, and golden belt and bracelets, her raven hair swept back under a tiara — she was approached by a little girl.
“She wrote that she wished me luck and she was Wonder Woman’s No. 1 fan,” recalls Gadot. “I keep it with me.”
That encounter during last year’s production of “Batman v Superman,” which marked the movie debut of the decades-old female superhero, was a poignant reminder of Wonder Woman’s enduring prominence in the comic-book canon.
It also underscores the stakes that Gadot, Warner Bros., and DC Comics face as they ready the Amazonian princess’ first big-screen solo adventure. “Wonder Woman,” which hits theaters next June, is the first major feature film centered on a female superhero since 2005’s “Elektra.”
Thinking back to that first day on the “Batman v Superman” set, producer Deborah Snyder says she was so moved, she welled up.
“This girl and my daughter, who is now 5, will be able to have a female superhero as a role model,” says Snyder, also producer of the upcoming “Wonder Woman.” “They’ll have this strong character to look up to.”
The new film marks a seminal moment for a character who first hit the comic book landscape at the dawn of World War II, a time when society mandated that a woman’s place was in the home.
The re-emergence of Wonder Woman, who is celebrating her 75th anniversary this year, comes at a pivotal juncture, as Hollywood is consumed by a fierce debate over the lack of opportunities for women in top executive suites as well as in front of and behind the camera. Though men continue to outrank women on studio lots and are much more frequently employed on high-profile films, things are beginning to change.
Actresses such as Patricia Arquette and Jennifer Lawrence have been advocating to get paid the same rates as their male co-stars, and studios have made a commitment to hire more female directors. “Captain Marvel” will feature a strong female protagonist in Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson, with Lorene Scafaria, Jennifer Kent, and Niki Caro among the women being considered to direct. In a bid for gender equity among the blockbuster set, Disney has entrusted its $100 million-plus adaptation of “A Wrinkle in Time” to director Ava DuVernay…”