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Can Wonder Woman Save the DC Cinematic Universe?


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Wonder Woman, the first live-action female superhero movie, is coming out next month and it marks not only a historic occasion for women in film, but also holds the weight of DC’s cinematic universe on its shoulders.


So far, the DCCU has three movies under its belt and all were met with criticism, even if two of the most harshly criticised – Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad – did exceedingly well at the Box Office (especially Suicide Squad, which passed the $700 million mark).

Whether you agreed with the critique or think it to be biased, for many the success of Wonder Woman may make or break whether these upcoming DC movies are successful.

No pressure there.

But how will this one film have such an impact where three others failed?

To begin with: our heroine. It was stated above but it’s worth repeating – Wonder Woman will be the first live-action female superhero movie. Following years of Marvel dragging their feet about a Black Widow movie before finally announcing Captain Marvel (which won’t be released until 2019), Wonder Woman is the film that will break through those boundaries and – fingers crossed – allow for others to follow in her footsteps.

Diana Prince is already a fantastic feminist hero, powerful and beautiful. When asked whether this all around ‘perfect’ image of a woman would be a feminist problem, director Patty Jenkins disagreed: “I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass and look great at the same time – the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs.”

And as if to ensure the power of women is obvious to all, it’s been directed by Patty Jenkins. Not only one of the few female directors who have lead a million-dollar movie, but someone with a history of telling the stories of strong women, directing the Oscar-winning crime drama Monster and directing a few episodes of the US version of The Killing.

Tone is the next hurdle for the Wonder Woman team to jump over. Tone and pacing were something of a repeating theme in critics’ responses to the most recent DC films. Batman Vs Superman was too grim and Suicide Squad too chaotic.

Unfortunately, these failures seem to be due to Warner Bros. finding it difficult to find that middle ground between director’s vision and the overall idea for the franchise. This was made obvious with David Ayer’s heavily edited Suicide Squad and the positive reception that the extended version of Batman Vs Superman received.

However, Patty Jenkins has spoken out publicly and denied that Wonder Woman is a tonal "mess" - so let’s hope that Warner Bros. has learnt their lesson this time around.

First reviews were out last week and it’s been overwhelmingly positive.

One viewer’s response was: “Loved WONDER WOMAN. She reminds me of Christopher Reeve's Superman: true north superhero w/ no angst or cynicism, which is needed right now.”

Another response was: “#WonderWoman has some of the coolest, most insanely well-performed, and badass fight scenes ever; singularly choreographed + shot. And fun!”

These kinds of reviews have us excited that Wonder Woman will be a brilliant start to female superhero movies and push the DCCU into a place without Marvel’s shadow looming overhead.

Wonder Woman will be released in UK Cinemas on June 1st.

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