Gal Gadot

Where Do The DC Changes Leave Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman?

If there's one thing James Gunn can promise as DC's new boss is respecting the creative liberties of other filmmakers.

DC is currently ironing out the details in its “out with the old and in with the new” phase. However, there are definitely some scraps worth saving from the DCEU. One of those is Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, who, much like Henry Cavill, could be getting a substantial facelift in the coming years.

Despite the success of her first film, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 sequel failed to meet expectations for the Amazonian who, up to that point, had been DC’s best solo character. With the third movie’s script already progressing nicely, new DC Universe mastermind James Gunn will have to make her fit his wider plans. The problem, then, is how does Gunn, a champion for creative freedom, rein in Diana Prince without robbing her of whatever charm she had already?

James Gunn’s Justice League

the justice league for the dceu

No, that is not the name of a new superhero team-up already in the works under new Warner Bros. and DC management. Rather, it’s Gunn’s own real-world vision for which protagonists will be the bedrock of his plans moving forward. Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman all made their debut in the DCEU with actors that, for the most part, thrived in their respective roles, in spite of some lackluster movies. To put it bluntly, the Snyderverse is not dead — it just has a ton of extra baggage to get rid of.

The first two are prime examples of this. Not only are Superman and Batman both Zack Snyder characters, they also have more of that darker edge both James Wan and Jenkins had little use for. Regardless of Gunn’s personal and professional relationship with, as well as his respect for, Snyder, the two’s work could not be more different. What’s more, the former’s goofier tone in his work with Marvel, The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, is simply not compatible with what Snyder had built. Thus, if Gunn is to make another DC movie, expect him to stick with B-listers.

aquaman wonder woman the flash cyborg stand together while looking at superman in Justice League

Luckily for Gadot and Jenkins, Wonder Woman’s bright spirit and the sequel’s comedic traits allow the character to make the jump into this new era seamlessly. While there may be a specific need for DC to warn fans that Cavill’s second coming to Superman will have a lighter tone, Wonder Woman already has enough undertones and humor so that no such words of caution are warranted. All that, combined with Bruce Wayne already exiting in his moodier grounded form in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, opens up the doors for the caped crusader and Superman to lean into the type of setting Wonder Woman lives in, instead of the other way around as was the case the Snyder Cut.

Gunn is very vocal when it comes to his opinions on filmmaking, especially on Twitter, and he’s always been grateful to both Marvel and DC for allowing him to work without interventions. Hence, it would be incredibly off-brand for him to interfere much with Wonder Woman, a character practically built entirely by Jenkins, Snyder and Allan Heinberg, unless it’s absolutely necessary for story purposes.

Wonder Woman’s Future

Gal Gadot Wonder Woman eating ice cream with Chris Pine

It’s been reported Wonder Woman’s next DC appearance will be in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. However, the nature of that cameo means Gadot doesn’t necessarily have to show up in the biggest flex of Warner’s superhero humor. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman 3 won’t start shooting until 2023, maybe 2024, which puts the film on hold for at least two more years.

If Jenkins is allowed the full creative freedom one expects Gunn would grant her, then it is likely she will flesh out the character in her own story. Diana’s prolonged lifespan means her personality and wisdom span several decades, making it plausible for her to display more nuanced changes without the audience feeling victims of bait and switch. Whether that involves pursuing the Asteria storyline with Lynda Carter or not, the outcome is probably a version of Wonder Woman that clashes less with Gunn’s DC Universe than she did with the Snyderverse. Diana’s kindness is there in Justice League, but musical themes aside, she does come off a bit outside her element in that film. If Superman and the DCU are about to lighten up, then Wonder Woman benefits from that change in direction.

Wonder Woman HBO Max Gal Gadot Warner Bros

Wonder Woman 1984 was a strange film party because its plot and villain didn’t seem to gel well with the rest of the Snyderverse. Such is hardly a surprise for a film whose underlying premise is to “tell the truth.” Such an innocent and genuine lesson packs the types of themes Jenkins should feel free to explore, with more assurance they won’t be completely lost in the grander scheme of things.

Gunn’s DC Universe will be different; nevertheless, Wonder Woman is hardly the biggest culprit of past failures. The desire for change has bigger problems to worry about, like settling on a new Batman or The Flash’s controversies. Expect Gal Gadot to conclude her own trilogy being the same lovely character she’s been all these years, for Gunn’s DCU to be more welcoming to Jenkins’ style and, above all things, no meddling from the new men in charge. Diana would not have it any other way.

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