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'Wonder Woman' Will Be More Fun, Promises DC

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The backpedaling and directorial freewheeling at DC continues.

Ever since Batman v Superman shocked audiences with its incredibly dreary and pessimistic approach to superheroes, DC creators have been attempting to distance themselves from Zack Snyder’s somewhat unique (and impressively disturbing) idea of what superheroes are.

We’d seen Snyder’s grimdark approach to comics before, in movies like 300 and Watchmen, but we thought it was simply part of those stories’ meta commentary on comic book superheroes.

Eyebrows were raised when Superman drowned in a river of skulls and snapped Zod’s neck in Man of Steel, but until Batman v Superman, DC was still confident that Snyder’s washed-out, joyless approach to comic books was the right way to go.

As it turns out, DC was very, very wrong. As negative reactions to Batman v Superman’s misunderstanding of its main characters began circulating online, the company began making desperate attempts to change the direction of their movie universe.

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The results are plain to see when you look at the Justice League trailer. There are more jokes in this sneak peak at next year’s team up movie than there are in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman combined.

Over the course of its development, trailers for Suicide Squad got progressively more colorful, and the final film’s musical approach is a far cry from the drudgery that is Batman v Superman.

But what of future movies in the DCEU that won’t be directed by Zack Snyder? These other directors want nothing to do with the grimdark imagining of a comic book world that inexplicably hates itself.

Now, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has spoken out about her upcoming movie, making it clear that the film draws inspiration from the 1978 Richard Donner Superman, rather than Man of Steel.

“Superman was all about you,” she said in an interview with Yahoo Movies, “It was about you watching and realizing what it would feel like to have great powers and do great things. It was full of love and emotion.”

According to Jenkins, these are the emotions that she tries to emulate in Wonder Woman, as the movie focuses on the wonder and power of heroism rather than the horrible crippling burden of being better than mere mortals, which is the avenue Zack Snyder has taken with his own films.

This is backed up by Deborah Snyder, who works as a producer on all DC movies. She said:

“Wonder Woman is very different in tone and style than Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. We pick directors who have their own points of view, so that each of our films will have their own personality.”

This sounds promising—at least, it does until you remember that Deborah Snyder doesn’t consider Batman v Superman to be a dark movie, which calls into question her judgement on tone and style.

A final comment from the president of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, makes things clear:

“There’s a misconception that DC or Warner Bros. has made a conscious decision for all our movies to be darker or edgier. That’s not the case. Fans of the DC universe know that there are characters, like Batman, who are darker, but there are others like Wonder Woman, who are hopeful, optimistic leaders, and the tone of this film represents that.”

Okay, good. So unlike all those Batman movies we’ve had in the DCEU so far, Wonder Woman will be uplifting and fun.

Except, we haven’t had a Batman movie yet. We’ve had half a Batman movie, and 1.5 Superman movies.

Superman, the beacon of truth and justice, who represents optimism for what humanity can achieve if we work together.

Considering how poorly Man of Steel missed the right tone for the character, and how unnecessarily grumpy Henry Cavill’s character is throughout Batman v Superman, Nelson’s comment is almost laughable in its failure to address the problem at the heart of the DCEU.

According to Nelson, DC movies aren’t deliberately dark. There’s no specific choice within the studio to make grumpy whine-fests with no color or personality, even when dealing with a character who literally describes his costume as a symbol of hope.

No, as it turns out, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman were both accidents.

In fairness, Wonder Woman does look like DC might be finally getting their act together. Swinging 180 to embrace a lighter tone with this movie might just pay off, and from everything we’ve seen thus far, Gal Gadot’s solo outing might be the breath of optimism and joy that DC fans have been waiting for.

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But considering that, according to DC’s Higher Ups, sometimes their characters accidentally fall into a river of skulls when nobody’s looking, it’s hard to trust them when they promise a different tone for Wonder Woman.

It’s a shame Superman’s too busy moping. We could really use some hope for the future of the DCEU right about now.


Matthew loffhagen

Matthew Loffhagen

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