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75 Years in, Wonder Woman Finallly Prepares for World Domination

75 Years in, Wonder Woman Finallly Prepares for World Domination: Warner Bros. | DC Comics

Warner Bros. | DC Comics

Seventy-five years looks insanely good on Wonder Woman. It’s a good thing, too, because it’s finally her time. The Amazonian warrior princess, variously armed with indestructible bracelets, a Lasso of Truth and an invisible plane, is, according to her December 1941 DC Comics debut, as “lovely as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena—with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules.” Yep, she’s all that: powerful, smart, athletic, with a banging costume and a take-no-prisoners attitude that makes her the equal or better of any man. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Over the decades, the feminist icon sex symbol birthed by psychologist-writer William Moulton Marston has turned up in hundreds of comic books and as a character in ‘70s animated TV shows including Super Friends and Justice League. But she truly scorched our collective psyche a year after a 1974 TV movie starring a modestly dressed Cathy Lee Crosby, when the role was recast with Lynda Carter, who strutted her stuff in star-studded hot pants for four memorable years on the Wonder Woman TV series. The wildly entertaining show changed minds by showing how powerful and erotic kickass women can be. To date, Carter still has a lock on the role, even though Hollywood has been floating the idea of a Wonder Woman feature film since the mid ‘90s. Sandra Bullock, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jessica Biel and ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko have been mentioned as top choices for projects meant to be helmed by directors from Joss Whedon to George Miller.

But those efforts never achieved liftoff. Instead, Carter got succeeded by the voice of Keri Russell in a 2009 animated TV film Wonder Woman and, in 2011, by Adrianne Palicki who took a whack at the role in a NBC re-launch attempt that never went beyond pilot. It’s hard to fathom why Hollywood’s been so slow at unleashing such a bombshell character on the big screen. But that all changed earlier this year, when Israeli actress and former army combat instructor Gal Gadot’s take on Wonder Woman—part gladiator, part barbarian princess, all take-charge boss—stopped the show with her brief appearance in the otherwise inept Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (my review of that one is here). Some whined that the new Wonder Woman didn’t have the right body for the role. Gadot put it best: “You know men. Every one of them is obsessed with breasts.”

Creepy fanboys aside, Gadot takes centerstage next June in her own $150 million origin epic Wonder Woman, set during World War II and directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster). Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder describes it as the “gateway drug” to the long-promised Justice League films. Greek mythology? Martial arts? Swords and sandals? No gateway drug needed, Zack; we’re already addicted to Wonder Woman. Long may she rule.

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