With an announcement that rattled the World Wide Web, DC unveiled an ambitious slate of superhero movies that will run through 2020. Among them, they officially announced a Wonder Woman movie. We know Fast and Furious 6's Gal Gadot will play this woman warrior, but unknown is who DC will entrust to bring her story to the big screen in her spin-off from Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Well, we've got some suggestions.
I'm among those who worry that Wonder Woman is being introduced to DC's film universe by the guy who brought us Sucker Punch. DC has a unique opportunity to define a new chapter of Wonder Woman's legacy with this 2017 movie. With the right director, DC could craft something spectacular and iconic with Wonder Woman. But who'd be up to the task of taking on a superheroine movie that even Joss Whedon found tricky? Here are five filmmakers who could do Wonder Woman justice.
Lexi AlexanderThe first and only woman to have helmed an R-rated superhero movie, the German-born director brought us the gonzo violent Punisher: War Zone. Yes, it tanked at the box office, but it's hard to blame Alexander once you hear how Lionsgate mishandled its release. (To learn all about that, check out Alexander's remarkable tell-all interview on the podcast How Did This Get Made.) The key thing is that Alexander dug deep into the source material of her superhero to make a movie that fit Punisher's over-the-top aesthetic. We'd love to see what she'd bring to a superhero tale about a woman as fearless and outspoken as this director has proved to be on Twitter. Plus, her gritty aesthetic would fit smartly into DC's emerging style.
Full Disclosure: I tweeted at Alexander, telling her she'd be on my list for Wonder Woman helmer hopefuls. And she declined, stating, "I would be too scared of though. Better use my spot for another name." She suggested an inspired pick of her own, which is on page 2. Read on...
Jane GoldmanThis red-haired Brit has proved her geek cred, co-penning the screenplays for such superhero adventures as Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. However, she's never taken to the director's chair before, which could well scare DC. But here's the thing: DC needs to start taking some interesting risks with their helmers. Already they have Snyder tied to three of their upcoming films. All of this DC slate will likely have the kind of huge budgets that'll make suits want to pick "safe" and "commercial" directors. But I'm thinking DC needs to take a cue from Star Wars, which pulled in exciting new directors like Rian Johnson and Gareth Edwards, winning a new wave of excitement over properties that many feared would be soulless cash grabs. Bringing in Goldman could inspire a similar sense of excitement. Plus, her films have a common thread of creating relatable and captivating relationships in unreal circumstances, something DC could definitely improve on.
Michelle MacLarenPerhaps DC could take a page from Marvel and pull some talent from one of television's most praised and popular shows. Marvel's Thor: The Dark World pulled Game of Thrones' Alan Taylor to bring their high-drama world of ancient heroes to life. Well, Game of Thrones' MacLaren has shown a pronounced skill for crafting killer fight scenes ("The Bear and the Maiden Fair"), and with powerful women/complex characters to boot! (Looking at you, Brienne, Arya, Cersei, Sansa, and Margaery!) She's also helmed episodes of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, so basically she's hotly sought on television. It's about damn time Hollywood grabbed her for something big and befitting her talents. Astonishingly, MacLaren will not be directing any eps of Game of Thrones' fifth season (perhaps because of attachments to Better Off Saul). DC should take advantage and scoop her up while they can!
Joss WhedonHe's called Wonder Woman's translation to the screen "a tough nut to crack," but few male filmmakers working today have a better track record for crafting rich and compelling female protagonists than Whedon. Consider Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse, Firefly, Cabin In The Woods, and his incredible salvaging of Black Widow from Iron Man 2 to The Avengers! Now, maybe you're thinking Whedon's ties to the Avengers means he wouldn't dare dip back into DC. Well, if J.J. Abrams can jump from Star Trek to Star Wars, then why can't Whedon have his Marvel cake and eat DC's too? We'd love to see him get a second crack at the Wonder Woman movie. And if DC's smart, they'd go after the guy who made The Avengers a worldwide phenomenon with all they've got by giving him the project he's been dreaming of.
Ridley ScottHe brought us one of the most iconic badass broads of all time with Alien's Ripley. He doubled down with Prometheus, giving us a new sci-fi heroine and new nightmare fuel for pregnancy scenarios gone horrific. He loves a big budget where he can craft mind-blowing visual effects and chill-inducing action sequences. Why the hell hasn't Ridley Scott directed a superhero movie yet? If DC's going to be too shy to take a risk with a smaller name director, or if they can't get Whedon, maybe they can woo the man who has brought us some of the most transformative genre films of the last century. What's most exciting about this possibility is that it's hard to imagine what kind of Wonder Woman movie we'd get with Scott. Okay, we assume it would be emotionally engaging and nerve-rattling. But would it have the cool slick allure of Blade Runner? Or the grounded intensity of his female-fronted dramas G.I. Jane and Thelma & Louise? We don't know, but we'd definitely like to.