Elevator Pitch: What Hero Do You Want To See On The Silver Screen? Wonder Woman!

By Gary Turner

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Last time’s Power Man & Iron Fist pitch was pretty challenging to get two so very different characters together. But I think it would make for a very fun popcorn-munching ride.

This time around we’re looking at a REAL challenge. One that the execs out in Lala land have been terrified to approach for many, many years. DC has had plenty of success with Supes & Bats, but other than the Justice League animated series, has not broached the character since Lynda Carter (still love her)! I can’t help but feel disappointed that DC’s lead heroine is going to be a tacked on character for the Batman vs. Superman movie.

So what’s so hard to understand?

Wonder Woman should be an inspirational icon. Yes she’s a warrior, but she also has a compassionate heart. This is a soldier that cares. I read a blog by a fellow pitching fanatic Psylockefan [Jeremy] that I think really hit the nail square on the head. Wonder Woman is a champion of equality, not just feminism but also bigotry, class and wealth oppression, and unjust discrimination where ever found.

If Warner Bros. execs were to see the value in these ideals we won’t get garbage cat fight flicks like we did with Sharon Stone and Halle Berry. Granted that movie was called Catwoman.

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THE TEASER

Longitude 27.8W, Latitude 70.8N… Just off the Florida coast (Bermuda Triangle). We fade in on an expanse of ocean. There’s a momentary visual hiccup in the air. Just a flicker for a moment. Then it erupts into a full spacial distortion. Rocketing out from this disturbance is an unearthly black device almost robotic in nature. It has a deep red eye and an air of evil about it. That same distortion reacts again seconds later as a World War II, P-20 flying tiger bursts through. It’s nearly three times as large as the black thing it preceded.

Cut to Cape Canaveral mission control. A couple of guys are complaining about another unofficial satellite launch. Don’t ask too many questions though. Who knows what they’re supposed to send up this time. They feel they missed out on the real stuff when their predecessors sent astronauts up. Suddenly a perimeter alarm goes off. They detect an inbound plane on radar headed straight for the launch pad.

The black metallic thing surges onwards towards the rocket. The fighter plane is in pursuit. The pilot is determined not to let it escape. While one hand punches full throttle the other moves to slide the canopy back. The timing is going to be close.

Just as the ebon sentry smacks into the side, high on the rocket, it releases short tentacles that penetrate the fuselage skin. But this all happens at the same time Diana of Themyscira lunges from the fighter plane. As she is flung past, Diana grabs hold of the device. Her strength coupled with the immense inertia rips the thing away from its hold.

They fall several hundred feet while Diana lays into the thing with anvil-like punches. Its tentacles lock onto her throat. Still she speaks, “You dare to attack my sisters! Then try to return to your master! WHO SENT YOU!!” She pile drives it into the tarmac, utterly crushing it. A tiny but intense beam fires straight up into the sky, and everything on it dim to nothing. It is just a black chuck of crushed metal now. Wonder Woman stands defiantly over it, looking up into the sky. Did it still somehow get away after all?

A fleet of military and government vehicles encircle her and she stands at the ready. Just in the background we see the P-20 fighter (now pilotless) careen over and plow into a deserted beach and splinter into wreckage.

Welcome to America.

THE TWEAKS

Okay, I got a LOT OF ‘EM. The nature of these articles is to demonstrate that when comic heroes are translated to film there should be changes. So long as the inherent core of the character is preserved, what we love about them remains, then it works. I think Wonder Woman can be a prime example.

This sort of Wonder Woman could still mesh with a Nolan or Snyder universe. We could infer the more mythological aspects and make it more about how Wonder Woman sees our modern world, and desire to help us work towards a brighter future.

In this origin Themyscira was an island nation of Greek ancestry. It is pulled into a pocket dimension still tethered to Earth. The proud Amazonian women achieved peace like they’ve never known before. For a very long time there were no intrusions. There was also no leaving as well. The portal became small and undetectable.

Only by shear chance did a fighter pilot during World War II inadvertently pass through this eye of the needle. He too became trapped. But in this version Steve Trevor is not a romantic interest. He becomes a father figure to the little preteen girl Diana. He spins tales all about how the modern world is. How the United States of America has become a bastion of liberty, and an example to all. Diana grows up believing in his stories and dreaming of the day she could join that world.

When many years later a mysterious black box enters their realm. It attacks some of the Amazons. Tasks them to see their fighting prowess. Scans the island and then turns to leave. In the midst of the battle Hippolyta figures out that this is some evil scout come to learn their weaknesses. Diana is determined to make sure it doesn’t return. She leaps in Captain Trevor’s repaired fighter and give chase.

Why change Steve Trevor to a father figure?

Well that’d be because his character is the Ken doll of DC Comics. One of the most predictable, two-dimensional romantic interests of all time. Wonder Woman deserves far better than to just fall for the first man she ever lays eyes on. A good romance needs to have a sense of “is there something actually there?” uncertainty.

Steve also sets up Diana’s expectations about America. When she arrives she sees all the modern marvels through technology, but also is shocked that it isn’t the utopia she had painted in her mind to be. For Wonder Woman it’s still not too late.

Also, after following the black box out of the pocket dimension there’s several factors that come into play. While Themyscira was from the Greek isles, over time the pocket dimension shifted. Steve Trevor entered off the coast of Africa. Many years later it had moved all the way to the Bermuda Triangle. Time passes differently within the pocket dimension. What seemed like 15 years for Diana (since Capt. Trevor arrives) has been 75 years our time. Last thing, now that she’s out she has no way back.

WHAT FORCES DOES SHE FACE?

As she comes to know the New World Diana is taken under the wing of a billionaire philanthropist Maxwell Lord. He’s an adventurous sort that seeks out mythical quests as a passion of his. He has a small army of people scouring the world for his next big game. His personal archeologist, Barbara Ann, also doubles as his girl-Friday. Always there for him. But just as Diana becomes to suspect Lord’s agenda Barbara Ann shows that she had one over on him all along. She murder’s Maxwell and helps herself to Lord’s hidden vault. Inside she finds his most recent ancient acquisition that transforms her into Cheetah.

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BUT WAIT!

WHAT ABOUT THAT BLACK BOX THINGY?

Ahh yes. That was a precursor. A setup for yet another film. You see there are more gods than just the Greek ones. Some, even though they are not from Earth, still crave our world. If only they could establish a hidden beach head from which to launch an invasion. They could establish a portal there inside Themyscira that no one would be able to shut down. Then flood the world with parademons and scorch the surface into a fitting New Apocalypse. Who else would find noticing a pocket dimension child’s-play than Darkseid?

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But that would be a Justice League movie.

ALL THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR…WHO?

Lots of opinions on who should become Diana, our Wonder Woman. I’m not even gonna touch on the stuff that started up around Gal Gadot. She may yet stun us all through the wonders of weight training. I can say this though, I do like that she has an accent!

If Wonder Woman hails from the Greek Isles then she most certainly shouldn’t sound like she’s from California. On a similar note, why not open the casting some more to a wider Mediterranean ethnicity?

So here’s some choices I’d like to start from. While Gina Carano can clearly rock the body, I have faith that with the sizable check that would come with the role Lynn Collins, or Priyanka Chopra could build the biceps. As a browncoat for life I’m certainly going to offer up Morena Baccarin.

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I’d also like to throw out there Jolene Blalock for the role of Cheetah. I bet she’d make an amazingly wicked villainess.  Next Mark Valley as WWII era Steve Trevor. Any ideas who you’d think make a cagey Maxwell Lord?

WHO’S NEXT?

I live for your feedback! So give me ONE hero from the list, plus any others you’d like to be added in the comments, FB message, or email. If you really want to participate then give us your insights on what makes that character one you love, or how you’d like to see them treated.

All votes from previous weeks still add up going forward:

  • Black Panther
  • Green Lantern: John Stewart
  • She-Hulk
  • Blue Beetle
  • Gen 13
  • Cloak & Dagger

ProfilePic-GTsmall Gary Turner, creator of d20 comic Technically Magi, spends his days languishing in the middle of the Pacific (to be specific…Hawaii). If not for his day job of television production & animation he’d be off doing something completely frivolous. Rollin’ with the RPGers, and making mad sequential plots is how his nights are lost.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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