Who Exactly Is the DC Movies’ Wonder Woman?
One of the frustrating things about Wonder Woman is that, in the DCEU she is a different character every time she’s onscreen. Mysterious in BvS, innocent and naive in Wonder Woman, boring in Wonder Woman 1984, and a mature team leader in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. The DCEU may boast that Diana is one of their most popular characters, but it is hard to tell who she is.
One question that was certainly raised in the discourse between WW84 and the Snyder Cut is one key thing: Where does Wonder Woman stand on killing?
A complaint I saw about the Snyder Cut from some was that, during Diana’s introductory action sequence, she kills the bomber who is about to kill some children, rather than just restraining him. This comes in drastic contrast to WW84, where the Amazon takes immense care to do as little harm as possible. Her big conflict with Max Lord is ended by her giving a powerful speech like a magical girl character, about what the “truth” is and how beautiful it is.
This character simply does not feel connected, which is jarring because Patty Jankins has said that her film is not in line with Joss Whedon’s theatrical cut of Justice League and more in conversation with Zack Snyder’s.
“I think that all of us DC directors tossed that out just as much as the fans did,” Jenkins said about Whedon’s cut of Justice League. “I felt that that version contradicted my first movie in many ways.”
She continued: “I have to have my own films, and [Zack Snyder has] been very supportive of that. And so, I think that that [Whedon’s ‘Justice League’] was kind of an outlier. They were trying to turn one thing into, kind of, another. And so then it becomes, ‘I don’t recognize half of these characters. I’m not sure what’s going on.’”
I rewatched the Snyder Cut and once more was left feeling like it was a movie that truly brought Diana to life, that felt like a continuation of her journey to protect people, but also showed the longing she had for a return home. Snyder’s cut was the first time I felt like Diana actually missed her sisters, something that was painfully absent from WW84.
Inconsistency in character writing happens all the time. I mean, just look at the Avengers films, where every character except Tony and Natasha feels totally different than they do in every other installment.
With Diana, however, it is more than just a strangely sexist line that is thrown in by a faux-feminist male director using it to be “clever” about his sexism. It is a completely different understanding of who the character is, what her priorities are, and even how she fights. The DCEU has two different Wonder Women, and until they figure out how to blend the two, what they have is a mess.
(image: Warner Bros.)
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