Bulletproof bracelets, electric-blue highlights, a gold bustier and an invisible jet — sure, those are the accessories. But a woman needs a lot more than that to fill Wonder Woman’s red boots. A remake has been in the works for years, but the question remains: Who will take over the magic lasso from 1970s phenom (and former Miss America) Lynda Carter?
“I can’t think of a single person, but it should probably be an unknown,” Carter told MTV News. “She doesn’t have to be comic book-y, because you’ve got the costume. When I got the role, I made several decisions: One was that I wanted women to love her as much as, if not more than, men, so I always played her with a feminist point of view. Not against men, but for women — with a vulnerability, a kindness, a camaraderie. So someone who’s got that down, that’s who I’d want to see.”
The decision is in the hands of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon, who announced in March 2005 that he would be writing the screenplay and directing the latest installment of the superhero flick (see “Joss Whedon Vows He Won’t Do Anything Silly With Wonder Woman” ).
And he sure is taking his sweet time with it. “I’m still writing it,” Whedon said in a recent interview with Fanboy Radio. “I know that sounds ridiculous. It sounds like at this point it must be ‘remembrance of Wonder Woman past.’ Or it must be 1,000 pages long, but it’s not. I’m just slogging away. I’m the sort of person who likes to do everything very meticulously.”
With every day, it gets harder and harder to dodge the inevitable question: Who will she be? “If there’s one thing I regret about taking this job, [it’s that question],” Whedon said. “I go to dinner, and people are like, ‘So, who’s playing Wonder Woman?’ and I’m like, ‘Can we talk about something else?’ ”
Combine the wit of Jean Grey in “X-Men,” the physical skills of “Elektra,” the wrath of Alice in “Resident Evil” and the spunk of that cheerleader in “Heroes,” and you’ve got your recipe for Wonder Woman, the first female superhero to hold her own in the land of men.
So for now, let’s … wonder. Kate (Evangeline Lilly) from “Lost,” perhaps? Or how about Kate Nauta, who plays pistol-whipping Lola in “Transporter 2″? Lindsay Lohan said it would be “cool” to play the star-crowned demigod. Mischa Barton, Eliza Dushku and Katie Holmes are all rumored to be interested. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sandra Bullock were reportedly thought to be too old. And apparently Lucy Lawless was offered the role and turned it down. It was announced in March that Kate Beckinsale got the part, but the announcement was retracted, with Beckinsale claiming she had already “embarrassed” her daughter enough (see “Beckinsale Doesn’t Have Right Undies To Play Wonder Woman” ). Right.
“She is an Amazon and a princess and somebody who believes very strongly in what she is,” Whedon said. “It’s not because she’s a feminist that she’s intimidating, it’s because she’s freakin’ Wonder Woman, and she can kill you with a pinkie.”
Wonder Woman — whose alter ego’s name is Diana Prince — has been a female icon since her creation in the 1940s, and she stands as one of the strongest female characters in the DC Comics universe.
Bernie Saavedra, owner of Gotham City Comics in New York, also hopes that an unknown is cast as Wonder Woman. “The casting is the most important prerequisite,” he said. “I wouldn’t cast any somebody — when they put George Clooney as Batman, he brought nothing to the role.”
Still, unknowns can be tricky, and Saavedra uses “Superman Returns,” with actor Brandon Routh, as an example of casting by looks and physique alone. “Even though [Routh] looked the part, he had no zest,” he said. “It’s a tough role. I would cast an unknown with a lot of potential.”
Getting the casting wrong can also risk killing the popularity of the comic book series. “You can destroy the original fanbase of a character by getting it wrong,” Saavedra said. ” ‘Hellblazer’ [‘Constantine’], ‘Blade’ and ‘Punisher.’ I used to sell 50-80 comics of them a month. After the movies, I’m down to less than a quarter of those sales for those comics.”
Wonder Woman is expected for release sometime next year. For a little (temporary) closure, we offer our top choices for the role:
Charisma Carpenter: She’s worked closely with Whedon before (as chatterbox Cordelia on “Buffy” and “Angel”), and she’s kept a low profile lately, so it could be refreshing to see her again. “It hasn’t even gotten so far as auditions,” said her rep. “It’s only in discussions at this point.” On ImagineCasting.com, Carpenter is top of the list, beating out other contenders like Minnie Driver and Monica Bellucci.
Priyanka Chopra: One look at this raven-haired Bollywood beauty and you can just imagine her kicking butt. The former Miss India is currently starring in a superhero movie called “Krrish” and knows kung fu. We’re sold!
Megan Fox: We’re psyched to see Fox work the robot gear as Mikaela in her next flick, “Transformers.” She hasn’t auditioned for the Wonder Woman role, but she would be overjoyed to play it. “It would be flattering,” her rep said. “Megan would love to do it. She’s a big fan. And she can definitely fit in the suit.”
Morena Baccarin: If you’re a Joss Whedon fan, then you’ll recognize Brazilian-born Baccarin from “Serenity” and “Firefly.” Like Carpenter, she can be told what to do, where to sit and how to smile. It’s almost as if Whedon has been training her for this opportunity her whole career.
Evangeline Lilly: Sure, she might be shooting “Lost” for what seems like forever (or she could be killed off next week), but it would be nice for Lilly to prove her acting chops beyond television. A movie poster of Lilly in a pair of starry knickers beats the cover of TV Guide any day.
Cameron Diaz: She kicked butt in “Charlie’s Angels” as a blonde. Now she’s channeling Wonder Woman as a brunette.
Denise Richards: Hey, anyone who throws laptops from hotel windows …
Check out everything we’ve got on “Wonder Woman.”
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