If you asked the average non-geek to name three superheroes, chances are they’d say Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman — arguably the most iconic comic book heroes in existence. It’s just as likely that few (if any) of these people would know anything about Lobo, a DC character who was introduced as a villain in the early ’80s.
So it would stand to reason that Wonder Woman, who has been a major part of the DC Universe since 1941, would get the big-screen treatment long before a second-tier player who had a run of popularity in the ’90s. But while Hollywood has yet to show Diana any love, Guy Ritchie — a legitimate filmmaker! — is set to direct a live-action movie about Lobo.
Look; it’s bad enough that Wonder Woman has gotten second-class citizen treatment compared to her alleged equals, Superman and Batman. They’ve both had several major motion pictures across several generations. The last time Wonder Woman enjoyed a big pop culture moment outside of comic books was when Lynda Carter donned the costume in the ’70s. You could chalk that up to garden variety sexism or just a serious failure of imagination on the part of DC-Warner Brothers. But when frickin’ Lobo gets to the big dance before she does, that’s just ridiculous.
Out of sheer frustration, we’re going to take a guess at the “concerns” that might be to blame for the lack of action.
Pick an era; any era: Perez. Rucka. Simone. Those writers have all created compelling stories out of Wonder Woman’s Greek mythology-based DNA. Whether she’s an innocent newcomer to Man’s World, DC’s fiercest warrior for peace, or a hero adrift after forsaking her own gods, Diana is a character with plenty of good material. No one can come up with a decent script (or three) out of the nearly 70 years’ worth of Wonder Woman lore? Really?
Granted, Wonder Woman has large boots to fill. She’s a regal Amazon with otherwordly beauty. But if a studio can find someone to play an idealized character like Edward Cullen, surely DC-Warner Brothers can cast Diana — and it’s not Megan Fox. Catherine Zeta-Jones would have been perfect 15 years ago, but she’d still make a dope Hippolyta. The point is: She’s out there.
Things that look great on a comic book page, don’t always translate well to film. That’s probably why the X-Men movies ditched the yellow uniforms. Batman wears black, so he’s always going to look cool. But bright costumes like the ones worn by Superman and Wonder Woman are tricky, because they have to be instantly recognizable without looking silly. We’re not wardrobe designers, but it’s probably easier for an actress to get away with wearing a patriotic bathing suit if she has the right presence. Even today, Christopher Reeve looks commanding (and hot) in a late 1970s interpretation of Superman’s costume. Why? Because he was so utterly perfect for the role.
One theory about Hollywood’s indifference to Wonder Woman is that studios fear the public won’t pay $8 or more to see a female-led action movie. But if that’s the case, why is Warner Brothers rumored to be prepping a third “Tomb Raider” film? Let’s see: A movie about a gorgeous amazon who kicks ass won’t do well. Right. If the script and the buzz are good enough, they will come.
This year’s direct-to-DVD, animated Wonder Woman movie was well done, but that’s not going to cut it when her Justice League cohorts like Green Lantern are getting DVD treatment and major films. At the rate things are going, Magog will beat Wonder Woman to the silver screen — but let’s not give them any more ideas.