Posted on LinkedIn Influencers on October 3, 2013
The popularity of a short trailer this week proves there’s a big market for a film on our favorite female superhero. So why is the entertainment industry dragging its feet?
Okay Hollywood, it’s time. The time has come for Wonder Woman to finally get her own feature film. It’s time to stop with the excuses, sort out the delays, and give Wonder Woman her chance on the big screen. Her fans have been telling you this for years, and now people are taking things into their own hands. Earlier this week, Rainfall Films released a two and a half minute Wonder Woman fan film, and it only took two days for it to go viral. The audience for a Wonder Woman film is out there, Hollywood, so you can do this. No more excuses, no more delays. The time is now.
Wonder Woman holds a dear place in my heart, because my passion for this character spans decades. It started when I was a little girl and I would wait with anticipation every week for the Saturday morning cartoon Super Friends. I fell in love with Wonder Woman then, and I’m still in love with her now; so much so that earlier this year I released a research report dedicated solely to Wonder Woman. This report chronicles her history in print and on screen, and it looks for reasons why she is the only top superhero without a solo feature film. Released on April 15 to coincide with the release of the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines, this report spans 60 pages, but with the many developments that have happened in the six months since, I’m sure it would be a lot longer if released today.
One such development was the announcement that Amazon, the origin story television series being developed by the CW, had been shelved due to reported script issues. This was later followed by Warner Brothers’ announcement at San Diego Comic Con that instead of a Justice League film, in which Wonder Woman was set to make her big screen debut, Warner Brothers is making a sequel to Man of Steel instead. This announcement made headlines when it was revealed that Batman would be joining the sequel, meaning Superman and Batman both get another go around at the cinema while Wonder Woman is left in the dust. This was after Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment, was widely quoted as saying that while DC was still working on a Wonder Woman film, she’s “tricky” to get right, a comment that was generally interpreted as sidestepping the issue. All in all, it wasn’t a very good summer for everyone’s favorite Amazon.
However, recently things have begun to change, starting with the rumors that Wonder Woman may be appearing in the Superman vs. Batman extravaganza after all, prompting many media outlets to question why Wonder Woman is still without a film of her own. And then Rainfall’s film hit the Internet, and suddenly it seems like everyone is talking about Wonder Woman. In just a couple of days, this film has gone viral, racking up over 3 million views on Youtube, prompting discussions on Good Morning America, Today, and the Star-Ledger, and spawning countless other articles that can be found all over the Internet according to my daily google alert. If this isn’t enough to prove that there is an audience for Wonder Woman, I don’t know what is.
Starring Rileah Vanderbilt, this film has Wonder Woman battling men and monsters in urban settings and alongside her Amazon sisters on Paradise Island. The film is not a narrative, but rather a concept piece, and it is beautifully shot, looks and sounds amazing, and it proves every Hollywood executive wrong when they take the stance that Wonder Woman can’t be done well. In a mere two and a half minutes, Rainfall Films has provided a tantalizing glimpse of what a Wonder Woman film could look like, and from the nearly unanimous praise that Rainfall has received, it’s clear that Wonder Woman fans agree. These fans can be found everywhere, including on fan forums, online petitions, and even a Facebook community by Christie Marston, the granddaughter of Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, and they all want to see their favorite superhero on the big screen.
The response to Rainfall’s film only proves that there is an audience ready and waiting for Wonder Woman, and so to the board of directors and executives at Warner Brothers, I have one question for you: What are you waiting for? You are sitting on a billion dollar property and yet you do nothing? As an avid collector of Wonder Woman merchandise, I can tell you from my experiences of asking countless retailers why they don’t have more Wonder Woman products, the answer is nearly always that they can’t keep them on the shelves. Contrary to your seeming opinion, Wonder Woman is extremely popular, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that she would bring you a large return on your investment. Furthermore, contrary to popular beliefs, women do go to the movies, and in fact made up 52% of all audience members who went to the cinemas last year. What’s more, given that women decide 85% of consumer spending, we quite often decide which movies to see, and therefore is it really that unreasonable that we want to see more of our fellow women onscreen?
Wonder Woman’s fans are a loud, large, and passionate group, and not one of us can understand why you don’t hear our voices. My report asked the question – Why No Wonder Woman?, and do you know what the findings were? That there is no good reason for why Wonder Woman has not made it to the big screen, and her fans are tired of the excuses. We are waiting for Wonder Woman to get her due, and quite frankly, the time for waiting is over. Rainfall Films has shown you not only how it can be done, but how it can be done well, so as one writer so succinctly put it, “Your move, DC. Let’s make it happen.”
Jacki Zehner and Laura Moore
Photo: ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images