Remake & Reboot: The Wonder Woman Movie

If last week's decision by NBC not to green light a new Wonder Woman TV series proves final, it would be an intriguing end to a much-hyped revival. Although there's an outside chance another network might swoop in to give the series a second chance, maybe they should fall back, regroup, and think bigger.

As the third member of DC's informal 'Trinity' of top tier characters with Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman lives in rarified air as DC's top heroine — and comics in general. But that same thing that makes her unique makes her a gamble when it comes to film; doing a strong, female action-driven movie is a hard thing to do — the last one in memory was Angelina Jolie's Salt in 2010, and even that didn't reach the expectations that producers hoped. But be that as it may, maybe Wonder Woman can do what others can't — but only with the right people, and the right story.

The Concept:

At its heart, Wonder Woman is both a "fish out of water" story but also a story of idealism. Much in the way both Captain America and Superman are, Wonder Woman is an outside presence not set to the ideals of a modern world who possesses anachronistic and classic ideals of right and wrong. For Wonder Woman, it also brings in the ideas of female empowerment — and that could prove powerful in a male-dominated superhero movie world.

Imagine the film starting out showing how an ages-old war between the Amazons and Ares culminates in a cease-fire with the Amazons pushed onto their own island and Ares exiled to the mortal world. Fast-forward thousands of years, and an American spy plane crash lands on the Amazonian island and the injured pilot Steve Trevor is found by two young women: Diana and Artemis. The arguments over what should be done with this outsider escalates to the Queen of the Amazons, and Diana and Artemis are pitted in a contest with the winner getting to decide what gets done. Diana wins and Trevor is spared, but she's sent in the mortal world to learn the kind of people she's sided with. Traveling with Trevor back to the U.S., she finds Ares has become a big background player in the mortal world. Knowing his evil from legends told by her people and realizing Trevor was spying on Themyscyra at the behest of Ares, vows to stop him. Little does she know Artemis has followed her from her island home vowing for revenge.

The Director:

To take on this challenging role, I'd go with veteran director (and actor) Peter Berg. His work on Hancock shows he can handle superhero drama, and his expert portrayal of the ensemble cast of TV's Friday Night Lights shows he knows how to make strong characters. He's finishing up Battleship now and is eying a S.E.A.L. team movie shooting next year, but for the right offer Warner Bros. could have a top-tier director that could do what Nolan did for Batman and what Favreau did for Iron Man.

The Cast:
 

Wonder Woman / Diana — Mary Elizabeth Winstead:After her supporting role in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and Grindhouse: Deathproof, Winstead's shown she's got the chops. And if you saw her as the chief villain in the overlooked Sky High superhero movie, you can see how commanding she can be when called for. After she finishes up playing Mary Todd Lincoln in the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Winstead could be the ideal candidate to make Diana real.
 

Steve Trevor — Channing Tatum: Although he's been portrayed unevenly in comics to date, Steve Trevor is more than just a male damsel-in-distress. Imagine him as the action hero in his own movie, but with Wonder Woman he's in over his head and only Diana can save him. Tatum could fill this role admirably, while not competing with Winstead for screen time.
 

Artemis — Kiera Knightley: Pitting Artemis as Diana's chief rival on their island home of Themiscyra, Kiera Knightley could be an ideal foil for Winstead's Wonder Woman and give the movie some added star power where it counts. As hinted above, perhaps Artemis would follow Diana to the mortal world and strike up an alliance with the next person on our list.
 

Ares — Ed Quinn: Quinn first rose to fame on Eureka, and carried that over to roles in True Blood and Desperate Housewives… but he seems built for more. Imagine Ares re-envisioning himself in the mortal world as an evil version of Tony Stark. He's got the voice, the bravado and the looks to be an imposing villain for this superhero flick.
 

Hippolyta – Lucy Lawless: Although she's past her "expiration date" to play the titular role, Lucy Lawless could still serve a vital function in the movie as Wonder Woman's mother and queen of the Amazons. I could easily see some flashback sequences of her facing off against Ares in the origins of Themiscyra.

Comments

  1. I really like these ideas.

  2. Chris, I don’t mean to be harsh, but you’re ideas in this series of articles are typically poorly thought out and generic, and the writing leaves a lot to be asked for. I’m not trying to be cruel, I just think you need to improve.

  3. Fun article. I think the best modern example of how the Trevor/Diana relationship should work is Castle. The two leads enjoy the same type of relationship where the female is much more capable than the male. Plus, Nathan Fillion made a great Trevor in the Animated feature.

  4. I like all the cast choices. For steve trevor, I would cast someone who can act though … dare I say a Chris Evans or Ryan Reynolds or Bradley Cooper.

  5. @davidtobin100  – yeah I agree. Fillion was great.

  6. Spell check might help on this article as well… Don’t get me wrong, I love the site and ready every article, but the spelling errors make me think I’m back on IGN or something.

  7. I’m not convinced that Wonder Woman can work as a film but if it does happen then surely Lynda Carter will play Hippolyta.

  8. I actually wrote a pitch for a Wonder Woman movie (yes, I do that sort of thing even if I have zero ambition to be a writer). It involved Diana rebelling against Themyscira’s xenophobic and isolationist culture. In an argument with her mother the young Diana smashes the mirror which hides whose magic hide Themyscira from the world. Before it can be repaired US and Chinese military notice it and send planes to investigate. This causes a kerfuffle and Trevor’s Plane gets shot down to the island below. The mirror is then repaired and tension mounts between the US and the Chinese. Ares, who has been imprisoned, psychically senses this threat of war and telepathically triggers sleeper agents. These agents begin to use terror tactics to start a world war. They succeed and Ares feeds on the energy of war violence to escape his prison below Olympus.

    Only Diana and the Amazons can save both the mortal world and the world of the gods from Ares’ wrath. Wonder Woman and her sisters win. The movie ends with Wonder Woman positioned by the UN as ambassador of Themyscira and beacon of peace to the world.

    That would be my pitch and I like your cast for it except for Hypolita. I choose Cate Blanchett for that role.

  9. Wow I messed up that sentence about the mirror. Try this: In an argument with her mother the young Diana smashes the mirrorwhose magic hide Themyscira from the world. Beforethe mirror can be repaired the US and Chinese military notice island and send planes to investigate.

  10. I am glad nbc passed on Wonder Woman- so that a movie like this might be made.

    I would go see this story.

    I will say though that the spelling errors on this site are rampant.

    Glad to hear that others have been noticing.

    Almost every writer here is guilty of it- from mispelling creator’s names to just flat out words missing in a sentence and regular sp problems.

    It makes you wonder if the ifanboy hq has spell check. Maybe Perry White needs to step in – in editorial.

  11. @cubsmodano  I agree with you wholeheartedly, but it would help if you yourself spell checked your post first.
    I remember reading Josh or Conor in the comments not too long ago say they weren’t that concerned with proper spelling and grammar, at least not to the extent that they want to get it 100% right.  It seems Paul is the only one who wants to knock it out of the park every article he writes.  I think it’s just the world we live in now.  You can’t even read a high profile online newspaper or magazine without seeing lots of mistakes these days. Sad times.

    Also, Channing Tatum would be a horrible casting choice for Steve Trevor, but would help the movie at the box office most likely.

  12. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Baldrick  I miss my fair share of errors. Thanks though. 

  13. Incorrect spelling is pretty low on my list of things which make me think we are living “sad times”.

    However, Jimski is the only writer here who I’ve never seen make a spelling mistake.

    Anyway, yay Wonder Woman!

  14. @JNewcomb  I think it’s sad that if people who earn their paycheck through writing make mistakes all the time. Just like if a taxi driver crashed his car everyday, or a camera-person forgot to load tape every time they shot.  But what really makes it sad is when we start accepting this as par for the course.

    And, I agree, Jimski also does a great job and yay Wonder Woman!

  15. If you want to talk about Wonder Woman, this is your place. If you have problems with editorial or the way we run the website, here’s the e-mail address: contact@ifanboy.com

  16. People need to stop trying to fix Wonder Woman and focus on the positive aspects of her character. This TV show honestly sounded dreadful and I’m pretty happy it never saw the light of day. 

  17. I have to say your casting choice for Wonder Woman is great, I’m a big fan of Winstead. I haven’t read any Wonder Woman comics, but that concept sounds interesting.

    Another great concept would be Wonder Woman hunting down red pen wielding grammar tyrants.

  18. I would watch this.  Whedeon’s take would have been interesting.  He took a show I had little interest in (“Dollhouse”) and did something pretty dark and interesting.  And if he could make the female lead there intriguing (no offense to the actress, but that character was a blank slate), he could do great things with Wonder Woman. 

    Ah well… maybe he’ll make Black Widow and Maria Hill shine?

  19. not a huge fan of the wonder woman costume, but will see how it looks on sceen

  20. @Conor – No issue with editorial or the site. Merely stating that, personally, Arrant’s articles could use improvement. His ideas are fine, but need expanding. I’m trying to offer constructive criticism.

  21. @brianmaru  I wasn’t talking about you.

  22. Tatum can’t act….period.

  23. Great casting choices, except for maybe Mary Elizabeth Winstead. She just doesn’t give off that Wonder Woman feel..maybe a little too young looking?

  24. Like the story..disagree with the casting completely.  Tatum can’t act..Elizabeth just doesn’t give off WW vibe..and Lucy Lawless smells like silly stunt casting.

  25. I’m all for a Wonder Woman movie, and it would be great if Steve Trevor wasn’t totally useless.

    Can’t disagree more about casting, though… Winstead is a good actress, but I want majesty from Diana, a regality, that I just don’t see in her. Tatum and Knightley are horribly over-rated, and I’d happily never see them in anything ever again.

    Somewhere out there is the perfect unknown actress for this role, 6′ with that regal bearing and charisma that the part needs, the casting director just needs to do the search.