Coming out of Comic-Con 2013, there is a lot of buzz surrounding, quite frankly, every comics-related thing you can think of. Marvel revealed the title of the Avengers sequel to be Marvel’s The Avengers: The Age of Ultron, The Eisner Awards were handed out, Karen Gillan is bald… everything! The most exciting news for me, however, is what we learned about Warner Bros. and DC’s plans for the expansion of their Cinematic Universe. For starters, the Man of Steel sequel will see Superman and Batman team up. While its rumored title is the horribly uninspired Batman vs. Superman–they still have plenty of time to come to their senses about that–the prospect of a World’s Finest film finally coming to fruition in 2015 is outstanding. What’s more, we learned they plan to release a Flash film in 2016, and follow that up with a Justice League film in 2017. All in all, it would seem we’re finally getting the expanded, interconnected DC Cinematic Universe we’ve always wanted.
To that end, we thought we would give the good folks at WB/DC a hand in casting these iconic roles. Prior to Comic-Con, President of DC Entertainment Diane Nelson gave an interview with The Hollywood Reporter wherein she was asked about the potential for a Wonder Woman film. The Q&A is worth checking out; she also mentions the fact that she really wants to bring Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman to the big screen with a universe as rich as that of Harry Potter (Nelson has also overseen the franchise property of Harry Potter since 2000; she became DC Entertainment’s president at its inception in 2009). For the interest of this article, however, we’re going to focus on Wonder Woman; Nelson says the following about adapting the character:
We have to get her right, we have to. She is such an icon for both genders and all ages and for people who love the original TV show and people who read the comics now. I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen. The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: She doesn’t have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes. There are lots of facets to Wonder Woman, and I think the key is, how do you get the right facet for that right medium? What you do in TV has to be different than what you do in features. She has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she’s tricky.
Wonder Woman is one of the top three priorities for DC and Warner Bros.–with the other two being Superman and Batman, presumably–and the idea that she is “tricky” would seem to be evident in just how many times the character has nearly been adapted, only to see the project come to a halt: Joss Whedon famously wanted to make a Wonder Woman film, but that was cancelled in 2007, so he went on to do The Avengers; then David E. Kelley attempted to bring an updated version of the character to television in 2011, but that was also a nonstarter. Tricky, indeed.
While adapting Wonder Woman to the screen has been all but impossible in recent history (apart from the DC Animated Universe, which is virtual perfection), the previous decade in comics saw the character through quite the resurgence, especially from 2002-2006. Right from his first chance with the character (Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia), the fantastic comic and novel writer Greg Rucka, whose writing for female characters could be considered even better than that of Whedon (not that it should be a competition), brought forth a fully realized Wonder Woman who could stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Superman and Batman, both physically and mentally. Although The New 52 has drastically retconned Wonder Woman’s origin story, Rucka’s treatment of the character as a three-dimensional person is the best way to see her in any media, especially on the screen. Let’s hope they go that route.
Now, let’s get to some fantasy casting, shall we? We may not be getting a standalone Wonder Woman film until, at least, 2018, but she will undoubtedly be present in Justice League; that means we can expect the character to be cast any day now (okay, that may be a little soon, but it won’t be as far from now as you may think).
Of course, all of these beautiful ladies more than look the part, so that should go without saying.
5. Alexandra Daddario, 27
You may not recognize the name, but Daddario has done quite well for herself in the Percy Jackson films. As the Flash film could possibly play the lead-in role of its comics counterpart Flashpoint, we could be looking at the DC Cinematic Universe taking a large amount of source material from The New 52. If that is the case, as mentioned earlier, the Wonder Woman origin story is quite different and sees Wonder Woman retconned as the demigoddess daughter of Queen Hippollyta and Zeus. Alexandra Daddario’s experience in quasi-Greek mythology could give her a leg up on the competition.
4. Lynn Collins, 36
Some ProFans may recognize Collins from her short stay on True Blood, appearing in the role of Dawn Green. That, however, is not what puts her on this list. Collins also appeared as Silver Fox in the oft-maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine; in that film, she got her comic book toes wet. That, however, is also not what puts her on this list. What does put her on this list is another oft-maligned film: John Carter. Collins co-starred in Andrew Stanton’s less-than-well-received adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic Barsoom novels as Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars. She kicked some major ass in that movie; no matter what some may say about the film overall (I happen to have thoroughly enjoyed it), it cannot be denied that Collins brought her A-game. The only potential problem is age. 36 is far, far from old, but we’re talking about a film series that is only beginning and could span the course of a decade. Age has to be taken into consideration, but I have no doubt she would be fine.
3. Bridget Regan, 31
Legend of the Seeker. That’s really all that needs to be said, but I suppose I could give it some context. On Legend of the Seeker, Regan’s character didn’t do a ton of actual fighting, but what she did do was a ton of acting; especially opposite characters whose minds she was supposed to be controlling. It may not seem like a big deal, but if WB/DC’s Wonder Woman will be using the Lasso of Truth (which she may or may not), it’ll be important to have someone who can handle those scenes.
2. Gemma Arterton, 27
Arterton has experience with Greek mythology from her role as Lo in Clash of the Titans. She has experience being a princess from her role as Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. She even has some experience kicking ass as Gretel in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, the 2013 reimagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale. She would seem almost perfect for the role of Wonder Woman, right? Then why isn’t she number 1? The answer to that question is two-fold. First, personally, I see her as a much better Hawkgirl; of course, Hawkgirl isn’t as well-known as Wonder Woman, but she’d almost assuredly be in the Justice League movie and has a fantastic origin story with which I think Arterton would do very well. Second, while Arterton would seem almost perfect, I think my number 1 choice actually is the perfect person to play Wonder Woman, right now.
Plus, it would be an interesting, added happenstance that both Arterton and her Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters co-star Jeremy Renner both played the “Hawk” character in Marvel and DC’s opposing “team-up” films.
1. Gina Carano, 31
That’s right; Gina Carano should portray Wonder Woman in Justice League, in any standalone Wonder Woman film to follow Justice League, and really anywhere they can get her to play the character. The previous actresses mentioned all have at least some experience pretending to fight in some way, but only Carano has the experience of actually fighting and fighting proficiently. She has the body, the ability, and the demeanor of someone who has experience in physical confrontations… because she does have that experience. In case you don’t know, Carano is a former mixed martial artist and was ranked as one of the best female mixed martial artists in the world. In 2008, she appeared as the gladiator Crush on American Gladiators. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Yeah, okay; she has plenty of fighting experience, but what about acting?” Well, Smartypants McImaginaryPerson, 2012 saw Carano’s acting career really take off with her starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire; while that film is neither very good nor very bad, Carano was allowed to display her more than capable ability to organically intertwine her fighting prowess with actual acting; the most important aspect of that film, however, is the sheer physical presence she brings to the screen. She’s simply an imposing, yet strikingly feminine, figure. With her co-starring role in 2013’s Fast and Furious 6, Carano further proved her ability to believably mesh her fighting skills with the necessary choreography in the film industry. Later this year, Carano’s next starring feature In the Blood will allow Carano to do her best Liam Neeson impression by hunting down the men who kidnapped and killed her husband. Also on the horizon is the all-female version of The Expendables, which Carano will lead. As if that wasn’t enough, Carano has also signed on to star in a big-screen adaptation of Rob Liefeld’s comic Avengelyne about a fierce warrior surrounded by gods, angels, and demons. Another interesting tidbit: Carano has also dated Henry Cavill, Superman–they recently broke up.
She may or may not do it (depending on WB/DC’s interest in her and her interest in them, among many other factors), but I can honestly say, in my mind, there is nobody other than Gina Carano who should portray Wonder Woman on the big screen, as long as Carano is physically able to do so.
Added Bonus Pick!
If this was ten years from now, I’d imagine Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams would have a good shot at landing the role.