Comic Culture: Open Your Minds
By this point in time, pretty much everyone in the comic community, and most of the general public have heard about the casting of Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman movie. First off, besides being aware that she has a recurring role in the Fast and the Furious franchise, I am not too familiar with her work. Also, besides knowing the basics about the character I don’t know too much about Wonder Woman either. So, for me personally, this news was met with general excitement, as well as optimism because it appears that we are finally going to be getting DC’s Trinity in one movie. Take a breath and think about that for a moment. Ok. Can we all agree that that is awesome? The answer is of course yes. YES it is awesome. On the other hand, there is one thing that is not awesome and it is beginning to wear thin on me as more and more comic book movies are seeing the light of day. And it revolves around negativity.
How did we as “fanboys” become so negative that every casting announcement is met with jaded cynicism? After the news about Gadot broke there was some positive response, but for the most part everyone was worried about a handful of superficial things. She doesn’t look like Wonder Woman. She’s too skinny and has a flat chest. And lastly, she doesn’t have enough big movie experience. Seriously? What ever happened to keeping an open mind? All of these arguments can easily be addressed by simply being rational, so let’s take a minute to do just that.
Complaint: She doesn’t look like Wonder Woman.
Rebuttal: The sheer idea of real people looking like fictitious characters is all-around impossible. Superheroes are modeled from imagination, not living, breathing humans. Yes, we can find people with general likenesses, but there’s never going to be a 100% match. Also, looks aside, it’s about how the character is portrayed that ultimately brings the character to true life. And, in this case I am going to go out on a limb and say that Gadot read for the part and impressed the execs enough to land her the gig. So, in their eyes she is Wonder Woman and we all owe her a fair shot to see what she brings to the character.
Complaint: She’s too skinny and has a flat chest.
Rebuttal: Let me pose a question. Do you think that Henry Cavill came into The Man of Steel looking like he did? No he didn’t; frankly he was far from it. With massive amounts of training and exercise he transformed his body into what you see in the film. Gadot knows full well she will have to do the same thing, and obviously she’s cool with it or she wouldn’t have agreed to take on the part. Lastly, can we all stop acting like horny teenagers and look past the small-chest gripe because that argument is just ludicrous. Enough said.
Complaint: She doesn’t have enough big movie experience.
Rebuttal: To counter this complaint, I would like to mention someone who also didn’t have a lot of big movie experience. His name is Christopher Reeve. He was virtually a nobody when he signed on for the Superman movies and look how that turned out. There are countless other more current examples as well: Henry Cavill, Chris Hemsworth, Jamie Alexander, Tom Hiddleston, etc. In my honest opinion, it is almost better to bring a lesser-known actor/actress to these roles because they bring less baggage as well as expectations by fans and critics. Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman in the movie will probably be dissected with a microscope because of how well-known he is. And, because of this Gadot may very well have the opportunity to shine and surprise us all. Here’s to hoping she knocks it out of the park.
I am not saying that we can’t be skeptical about these movies and their announcements surrounding them. That is perfectly fine; it’s just the negativity and close-mindedness that gets to me sometimes. Because for all the complaining that people do it is a fact that we will all be there opening weekend with a big dumb smile on our faces. So, why not channel all that negativity and get excited now rather than later?
Lastly, before I sign off for the week I want to give a quick shout out to The Splash Page Comicast for their latest episode entitled “Wait and See” for also discussing this topic and getting my mind rolling on the subject. Be sure to check them out sometime on iTunes. In the meantime I’ll see you all next week.