Before he took over Marvel's The Avengers, Joss Whedon tried writing a script for a Wonder Woman film. Time Warner (NYSE:TWX.DL) decided not to pursue the project, choosing instead to back an ill-fated TV pilot written by David E. Kelley. The Amazon princess hasn't appeared on screen since.
Filmmaker Zack Snyder may be about to change that. Multiple reports say the studio plans a Wonder Woman cameo in 2015's Batman vs. Superman.
Hungry for powerful heroines
Smart. Girl Power is a hit at the box office with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire having already earned more than $330 million worldwide. Last weekend's $161.1 million U.S. opening marks the best-ever for a November debut.
You can bet Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF-A) executives are giving thanks for the performance, especially with the studio betting an estimated $80 million to make a similar genre film, Divergent, which releases on March 21 next year. I'd expect the same audience that's seen Catching Fire and which plans to see Divergent would also pay to see Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, a Justice League team-up, and a subsequent solo film.
Haven't we already tried this?
Skeptics will naturally point to the unaired Wonder Woman pilot starring Adrienne Paliciki. I'd say that's less an indictment of the character than Kelley's script. But don't take my word for it. The new Superman/Wonder Woman comic book series ranked 7th on October's sales chart, according to data compiled by The Comics Chronicles. DC's Wonder Woman solo title ranked 77th -- eight slots behind Iron Man and seven ahead of Fantastic Four.
All of which is to say that, failures aside, Princess Diana has fans new and old -- those who read her adventures today, and those who remember the '70s TV show starring Lynda Carter, and featuring the best superhero quick change sequence ever:
Going where Marvel hasn't
I'd expect Snyder's Wonder Woman to be less patriot and more warrior-princess. Foolish readers agree, and like actress and mixed martial artist Gina Carano for the role. I'm more interested in how Snyder portrays her on screen. Here are four ways having Wonder Woman in the mix could make Batman vs. Superman a better movie.
1. She'll bring Superman back to Earth. Wonder Woman is to the female heroes of the DC Universe as Superman is to the men. She's the baddest of the bad, physically on par with the Man of Steel. Having her in Batman vs. Superman could add needed vulnerability (and humanity) to Henry Cavill's hero.
2. She'll be as tough and experienced as Batman. The best incarnations of Diana in the comics (and in other media, I think) are those that show her to be a warrior who also happens to be a woman. As tough mentally as she is physically, Wonder Woman is the rare hero (or villain) who isn't easily intimidated by the Dark Knight.
3. She'll introduce a wider array of enemies. The Amazons are steeped in Greek mythology. With Diana, Snyder could introduce any number of new adversaries unknown to moviegoers who don't read the comics. From Ares to Circe or even Felix Faust, she faces a range of foes capable of teeing up a Justice League film.
4. She'll set DC apart. Let's face it: Marvel hasn't done a good job of putting strong heroines on screen. Ironic when you consider that parent company Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) depends on princesses for a good part of its livelihood. Adding Wonder Woman to Batman vs. Superman could help set the DC Cinematic Universe apart while giving rise to a whole new generation of fangirls.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you want to see Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman? What would you expect from the character? Leave a comment in the box below to let us know what you think.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Walt Disney and Time Warner at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+, Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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