Wonder Woman has been around since 1941, introduced to the comics only three years after Superman and two years after Batman. And yet, while the character has received a decent amount of attention in TV, video games and animated movies, it's only in 2017, 76 years after All Star Comics #8's release, that the Amazon warrior is only now leading her own live action movie. So why did it take so long for a Wonder Woman movie to be made? In director Patty Jenkins' opinion, it may have to do with how closely associated the comic book genre is with male fans. She said:
The only thing I can think of is that the genre became synonymous with young men, and so I think there was a concern that they wouldn't be as interested in a female lead and it's taken years for that to sort itself out. That's all it comes down to.
It's certainly more apparent nowadays that superhero stories can be enjoyed by both men and women, but nevertheless, with the abundance of male-lead superhero movies being released year after year, Wonder Woman brings something different to the table. But even before Patty Jenkins was brought on to the movie to replace Michelle McLaren, Patty Jenkins was asking why it was taking so long for Diana of Themyscira to receive silver screen attention, especially given her pop cult prominence. Jenkins continued in her interview with Sci Fi Now:
For many years, I was asking the question you're all asking: Why is no one making this movie? In America, look at Halloween: there are hundreds of people dressed as Wonder Woman every year. She's got a huge fanbase, so why aren't we doing this?
It's worth mentioning that a Wonder Woman movie has been in various stages of development since 1996, but it was only with the advent of the DC Extended Universe that significant progress started to be made. Before then, Wonder Woman was best remembered from the 1970s TV series starring Lynda Carter, but following Gal Gadot's Diana being introduced last year in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the character has entered a new stage of media fame.
While Wonder Woman won't be the first female superhero movie to be released, offerings like Supergirl, Catwoman and Elektra were critically panned, and with this genre being more popular than ever, there's a special opportunity here for Diana of Themyscira's solo feature to change the game. Sure, the MCU has Captain Marvel coming up in 2019, but if Wonder Woman can be both critically and commercially successful, then this could impact how many more super heroines could receive their own cinematic adventures rather than keep being tossed into ensembles.
Wonder Woman hits theaters on June 2, and Diana will jump back into action when Justice League comes out on November 17.