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The DCU Is Forgetting The Best Movie Of The DCEU Era

The DCU may be poised for a franchise reboot, but it must remember and preserve the director and lead actress of the DCEU’s most successful film.

DC films may be headed towards a reboot of sorts with the new DCU, but it is important to remember that the old DCEU’s greatest success was 2017’s Wonder Woman. The original DCEU began in 2013 with Man of Steel which was, unfortunately, a divisive entry. The DCEU continued to produce similarly divisive and occasionally panned entries before finding its footing in films like Aquaman, Shazam!, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League. With the forthcoming DCU franchise poised to begin DC films anew, it is imperative that its creatives remember the overwhelming success of Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s first Wonder Woman film.

DC Studios co-lead James Gunn has gradually revealed tidbits of information regarding his new DCU franchise, all but confirming that the franchise will be at least a soft reboot of the old DCEU. While some could argue the merits of scrapping and replacing the old franchise’s divisive elements, the parts that worked should be preserved. 2017’s Wonder Woman was by far the DCEU’s best entry, granting one of DC Comics’ leading superhero franchises the movie adaptation it has long deserved. Despite the poor reception of Wonder Woman 1984 and the cancelation of Wonder Woman 3, the DCU should keep Gadot and Jenkins regardless of its likely reboot.

The DCU Ignoring Wonder Woman’s 2017 Success Is Odd
Of DC’s “big three” superheroes, Gal Gadot’s iteration of Wonder Woman was the only non-divisive character in the old DCEU, despite the fan following gained by Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman. With a supporting role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the lead role in 2017’s Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot quickly became the embodiment of Wonder Woman in the eyes of hardcore Wonder Woman comic fans and casual viewers alike. Thanks to a heartfelt script and Patty Jenkins’ directing, 2017’s Wonder Woman was a massive critical and commercial success, bringing Diana Prince’s classic origin to life with the right mixture of emotion and earnestness.

Gal Gadot’s excellent performances as Wonder Woman render her irreplaceable in the role and Patty Jenkins’ storytelling skills make her the ideal director for Diana’s continued adventures, so it came as a bitter surprise when Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3 was canceled. According to Jenkins, the film was unable to move forward, despite her openness to script changes. The possibility of the DCU’s creatives ignoring Gadot and Jenkins’ proven success in 2017 is odd, to say the least. WBD will purportedly have DC’s big three at the forefront of their new movies, so keeping Gadot and Jenkins for their Wonder Woman franchise is the best possible move.

WW1984 Doesn’t Ruin The Original
Wonder Woman’s 2020 sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, was, unfortunately, not as successful as its predecessor, with a limited theatrical release due to the covid-19 pandemic. Wonder Woman 1984’s story, which was far lighter and more whimsical than the first film (featuring a hefty amount of intentional 1980s-style camp), was also negatively received by some critics and viewers. Despite this, Gal Gadot’s performance and Patty Jenkins’ direction remain among the film’s best elements, and whatever mistakes the movie makes do not diminish the success and cultural impact of 2017’s Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman 3 Not Happening Hints At A Total Franchise Reset
Not only was Wonder Woman 3 canceled following James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new roles as the heads of DC Studios, but Henry Cavill also announced the end of his role as Superman. Gunn soon confirmed that a Superman reboot is in the works, leading many to, understandably, conclude that the DCU will partially or entirely reboot the DCEU’s continuity. The forthcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will likely be the final installments of the original DCEU timeline, but this does not necessarily mean that Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins are no longer involved in Wonder Woman films.

Patty Jenkins’ wording suggests the possibility of her returning to the DCU later and James Gunn has stated that Gal Gadot has not been “booted” from the DCU. This creates the possibility that the rebooted DCU will retain some elements of the old DCEU, and ideally, Gal Gadot will continue to play Wonder Woman with Patty Jenkins returning to direct solo films. Gunn has also confirmed that the DCU will include Elseworlds, potentially allowing Gadot and Jenkins to continue their series in a separate universe. The DCU must remember the success of the DCEU’s Wonder Woman and continue it by keeping both Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins for future installments.

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