As Warner Brothers continues to mull over how to best exploit Wonder Woman as a television or film property, there certainly seems to be the will to eventually create… something. David E. Kelley’s pilot failed to get picked up last year, and now there are talks of a Smallville/Arrow-style show titled Amazon, but I’ll believe it when I see it. On the film front, Joss Whedon, who now belongs firmly in to the Marvel camp, is one of many screenwriters who have tried to crack the Amazon Princess, but so far, Wonder Woman seems destined to be live out her life in development hell.
Whatever lies ahead, one has the feeling that eventually a casting process will be undertaken, an appointment confirmed and with a good wind, cameras might get to roll before the end of the decade. With this in mind, I’ve spent some time pondering which of the current array of fine actresses out there would be most suitable? Which mere human is best equipped to play an immortal of vast courage, immense wisdom, and bounteous compassion, bestowed with powers from the Gods? Truly, a paragon of virtue.
It will take a rare individual indeed, to successfully adopt this icon, to become Diana and by doing so, to convince us that there’s a living, breathing person on the screen. So, let’s get to it!
5. Hayley Atwell
I can already hear the Captain America heckles, but please bear with me.
Hayley Atwell is a major acting talent with a broad range. Rudely elbowing the Marvel Universe to one side, her Peggy Carter role, whilst fun has not utilized more than a fraction of the talents at her disposal (although we’re all looking forward to seeing more of Peggy in the Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter short being released on the Iron Man 3 DVD).
A woman tough enough to take a punch as well as dish it out? Watch her as DC Nancy Lewis in The Sweeney. Articulacy and emotional sensitivity? Have you seen Julia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. The desire and will to do the right thing? Check out Denise Woods in Life of Crime.
Whilst these examples certainly assist in demonstrating range, this is a different role from any of the above. For me, above all else, there has to be an expression of the feeling of awe that actually meeting Wonder Woman might generate. I believe that Hayley is one of the few actors who could convince me.
I should confirm at this juncture, the fact she attended my sixth form college has had absolutely no bearing on my judgment.
4. Gina Carano
I have honestly removed and replaced this nominee from my list many times before concluding that in any Wonder Woman casting debate, Gina Carano’s placement on the short-list is surely compulsory. I’m not simply referring to Carano’s physical prowess, which is surely acknowledged by all and would doubtless be an advantage when coming to play the Amazonian Warrior Princess.
Yet there’s quite simply not enough previous work for me to assume that the full array of vital skills as a thespian are on tap here. Is there the capacity within her to make us believe, not just that she can take down Ares, but also that she feels the same pain and emotion as any other superhero?
A recent appearance in Fast and Furious 6 did very little by way of providing ammunition in this debate one way or the other. Ultimately, I keep coming back to Carano’s remarkable performance in Haywire. I think that with talented direction, she could very well convince me once again.