Five Projects for DCE to Jump On, Day 2: ‘Wonder Woman’
Wonder Woman! The most popular superhero costume for a woman on halloween and one of DC’s three consistent characters since 1944, Wonder Woman has been a staple in our culture for generations. She burst onto the scene in 1941 in All Star Comics #8 and hasn’t looked back since. Wonder Woman was created by Willaim Moulton Marston with the intent of being a feminist role model. Her (Wonder Woman aka Princess Diana aka Diana Prince) background consists of being one of the Amazon people sent here to spread the message of love, sexual equality, and peace in a world that was being polluted by the hatred and anger of men. Who knew that a comic from so long ago would have been such a messenger before it’s time, only to carry on after the feminist movement of the 70’s? Not to mention hold the title of being a memer of the trinity of DC comics? (The other two are Batman and Superman).
William Moulton Maston, creator of Wonder Woman, first came onto the scene with an article in a 1940’s Family Circle regarding comic books, and using them as an educational tool. His article caught the eye of Max Gaines, a comic publisher, and hired him as an educational consultant for both National Periodicals and All-American Publications. These companies would soon merge into DC Comics. With the comic scene being dominated by all men, Maston’s wife Elizabeth first thought of the idea to make a female superhero while he was in development. The goal was to create a character that thrived off of love and not violence. She was a propaganda tool of sorts to show women how their role was evolving, encouraging them to be strong and independent in a time when that message was not realized. He wanted to show just how superior to men that women could be, and point out the qualities that he admired most in women.
In 1943, Marston was quoted in The American Scholor, a literary quarterly for Phi Beta Kappa chapters:
“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
Keep in mind, that this was the 1940’s. Evolution takes time. Even as she was placed into the Justice League comics, she was placed as their secretary, despite the code that characters with their own comic books were given a hire, more respected placement. Even so, she was meant to spread Marston’s message of female empowerment, and she continues on.
And how does she carry on such a task? Wonder Woman carries the abilities of super speed, strength, tactical warfare, a keen relationship with animals, and stamina. Oh yeah, she can fly too! She also brings alongside her the Lasso Of Truth, which forces its captors to tell the truth once wrapped around them, and of course, her indestructible bracelets to shield off bullets and other attacks. Her brain waves delivers super charged energy to her muscles and limbs, and even onto objects with her mental telepathy powers. If all else fails, then she can just hop in her invisible plane and take off! Not to mention that she is considered one of the most attractive female super hero’s of all time.
She also fought for her country, including many supervillians from the World War II era. Wonder Woman also maintained her girlish figure by jumping through the pages of Justice Society, and Justice League. She has even transcended the pages and jumped onto the television screen with her own Wonder Woman TV Series from 1975-1979, being played by Linda Carter, the Super Friends cartoon, and also the Justice League cartoon.
In 2001, talks of a screenplay started to emerge. Producer Joel Silver approached Todd Alcott to write the manuscript, with Silver Productions backing it. Since then, the production company has switched writers several times. Gossip quickly ciculated about who would play this super heroine. Beyonce Knowles, Rachel Bilson, and Sandra Bullock have all been named at one time or another. All I do know is that I am wicked glad that when former wrestler Chyna was expressing interest in the role, no one took her seriously. Yikes! That would have been scary! In 2005, Joss Whedon was brought on, and after two years and no final draft, he left the project behind. His concept was to shoot in Australia, covering Wonder Womans origins and her love interest/supporting P.I.C. (partner in crime) Steve Trevor. Silver Productions did purchase a script in 2005, but mainly did so that they could maintain the rights, but the script will never see the light of day because it is a period piece, set during World War II.
In 2008, with DC property films, there was new discussion. The film is listed on IMDB as in developement, but no big parts have been cast. There are spoof posters going around that the all american hero will be played by Megan Fox, but that has been shot down by many sources. The thing that I hope they preserve with whomever they cast is the characters body style. Wonder Woman is strong, but curvy at the same time. If they put some skinny little waif who can’t even pick up a piece of wet cardboard into the role the movie will be ruined. There is a womanly dignity to this character. She is about empowerment, love, and showing women that they are strong, beautiful creatures that can do anything. I don’t want them to go all emo about it, but I will be very disappointed if this point is missed completely. So I guess we shall see what happens with our Queen of the leotard… take that Lady Gaga! (and yes, I know Wonder Woman is only a princess!)