With so much hype surrounding Ben Affleck’s casting in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, little has been made of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in the film… until now. A poster giving a glimpse of Gadot was unveiled this weekend at Comic-Con and, quite frankly, we’re on the fence.
Don’t get us wrong — we love Gal Gadot. Not only is she obviously stunning, but she’s also a fierce actress. And we admit her alliterative name is actually kind of a perfect play on the archetypal superhero alter ego (think Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Sue Storm, etc.).
Here’s the rub, though: We just can’t wrap our head around her as Wonder Woman.
The “new look” given to this favorite female heroine isn’t doing Gadot any favors. We were already having trouble envisioning the actress as the DC Comics icon we know and love, and this modern makeover only seems to reinforce the notion that she isn’t the iconic character we know and love. This is someone altogether new and different.
And, well, we’re just not sure how we feel about that.
Although, at 5 feet 9 inches, Gadot is taller than the average woman, and she lacks the type of build that feels believable for an Amazon princess. Gadot is notoriously slim — some contend too much so, even. Her figure is lithe and slight. This isn’t a bad thing, per se, but it isn’t exactly ideal for a woman who in comic mythology is portrayed as having a commanding presence and otherworldly strength.
According to William Moulton Marston, the creator of the Wonder Woman character, she has “all the strength of Superman, plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
Gadot certainly fits the latter part of the description, but we just aren’t sold on the idea that she matches the first half.
According to the Wonder Woman Wiki page, “Wonder Woman is noticeably tall and fair-skinned with straight waist-length black hair and blue eyes. She is ageless and attractive in appearance, sporting a slender yet curvaceous frame with a sizable bust and lean yet well-muscled build.”
Clearly, Gadot doesn’t meet all the criteria outlined in that passage. One woman embodies it though, and that woman is who fans widely consider to be the standard when it comes to Wonder Woman. That woman, of course, is Lynda Carter.
Photo credit: WENN
Gadot and Carter clearly have little in common physically, aside from perhaps enviable cheekbones. Carter hasn’t officially weighed in with her opinion on Gadot’s casting, although she did post the teaser pic and ask her fans to weigh in via social media.
Accordingly, most gushed that Gadot didn’t compare to Carter. Besides, they noted, she looks more like Xena the Warrior Princess than Wonder Woman.
Which brings us to our next point: the costume revamp.
While we understand that times change and Wonder Woman’s classic costume could use a bit of modernizing, we think Snyder may have gone a bit overboard. After all, when Henry Cavill became Superman, they managed to update his look without completing erasing the beloved Superman iconography of old.
Gone is Wonder Woman’s classic red, blue and gold ensemble. In its place? A completely bronze armored outfit. No more signature stars. No more golden accessories.
It simply doesn’t say Wonder Woman to us.
According to the character’s comic book roots, Hippolyte gave specific orders to have an outfit created for Wonder Woman that drew inspiration from the deep blue of the night skies when she was born, the red of a hunter’s moon, a field of stars and an eagle breastplate to symbolize her avian forms.
So while MTV contends “more than anything else, the Wonder Woman of Dawn of Justice looks recognizably like Wonder Woman,” we disagree.
In fact, if we had seen the teaser pic without having been given any context, we’re not sure Wonder Woman would have even made it into our top five guesses as to who the character is.
As one fan on DC Comics’ Facebook page so aptly put it, “Where is the powerful, strong Wonder Woman we all love?”