If the reaction to Ben Affleck donning the Bat-suit in Batman vs. Superman made large segments of fandom apoplectic with rage, Warner Bros.' announcement Tuesday that Fast & the Furious 6 actress and former model Gal Gadot would be cast as Wonder Woman was met with the kind of charmingly dismissive and patronizing reactions actresses tend to be subjected to when Internet commentary and big-budget comic book properties collide.
We've collected some of the more... contentious assessments of Ms. Gadot's casting from around the web. What say you: do the teeming online masses have a point, or should they keep quiet until the first footage of Gadot gets some play?
Well, now that we have that well-reasoned argument out of the way...
We saw this kind of dismissive shorthand with Affleck, but "No" seems to be the easiest way for a fan to say that not only are they unhappy with the choice, but they're unwilling to consider any possibility that said choice might somehow, some way work out.
This kind of certainty in one's intractability - "My way or the highway" - must serve as some kind of comfort, because it sure doesn't do anything to offer any kind of opinion or commentary.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to "like" a bunch of my friends and family's pet photos on Facebook.
9. She's Just a Model, Right?
This winner described the 5'9" Gadot as a "runty, brown-eyed model," as though those last two points are somehow pejorative. And Burt Reynolds once showed his stuff in the pages of Cosmo. What's your point?
She's a relative newcomer to Hollywood in the same way that Brandon Routh was a sometime TV actor before he got the Superman Returns gig or better still, the way no less than Sean Connery was a bodybuilder before Cubby Brocoli had the bright idea to put him in a tuxedo and give him a gun.
Besides, given her one-time beauty pageant ambitions, we know she'll probably look great in a tiara.
8. She Wasn't Very Good in the Fast & the Furious Movies
Over at The Escapist, commenter Voren had some strong opinions about the acting abilities of not just Gadot, but the entire Fast franchise, asking (pleading, really) "WHY in god's name would you cast someone who's acting handicapped when Jaime Alexander from Thor was already in the talks?"
An absolutely fair point, and really the only way we can consider Gadot as a performer. When Warner Bros. made the announcement, the majority of us had to rush to the IMDB to see what Gadot had done in the past, and even knowing that she was rolling with Vin and the crew in the car-racing saga, there were probably an extra couple of minutes spent trying to remember which of the very attractive criminals she played.
(She was the sexy Mossad agent who could drive very, very fast.)
Of all the Internet reactions, "Gadot wasn't very good in the Fast" movies holds the most weight, even if that franchise was largely built on sexy lumps of charisma being hired to drive very, very fast.
Besides, if we held wooden performances against action stars, the '80s literally would not have existed. And is that what you want, eh, Commie?
7. She Doesn't Look Like Wonder Woman
Did Gene Hackman look like any conceivable version of Lex Luthor before he was cast by Richard Donner? What kind of nut would think the kid from Empire of the Sun would make a convincing Batman? And really? The Human Torch playing Captain America? C'mon!
As fans, we have these pictures of what our superheroes are supposed to look like, typically based on how our favorite artist(s) drew them over the years. If you'd asked me in the late '80s/early '90s, I would have suggested Fright Night star William Ragsdale as the perfect Pete Parker for the hypothetical Spider-Man movie in my head, based on Todd McFarlane and Erik Larsen's takes on the character.
"No black hair. No curves. No muscles. Frail-looking. Looks nothing like Wonder Woman. SHE'S PERFECT." -Zach Snyder http://t.co/vffN4I1H6g— Jake Hawken (@geeksthenewcool) December 4, 2013
Now look at Gadot: she doesn't look like the versions of Wonder Woman we've seen from artists like Adam Hughes, Darywn Cooke, Cliff Chiang or the Dodsons. But - and I hate that I have to type these words - that's because Gadot is a flesh-and-blood human being who might possibly be very convincing when we see her on screen.
I'm more concerned with which actor will have the appropriately flat enough head to fit Black Manta's helmet in the inevitable Aquaman movie.
6. Why Isn't She Being Played by Jaimie Alexander (or "Insert Fan-Favorite Actress Here")?!
I touched on this in the last entry, but as comic book fans, we have to deal with some actor - usually a relative unknown - getting the big role as one of our favorite characters, and it's often frustrating. I know Gina Torres and Beyonce were a couple of names floated by fans (both no-way-in-hell choices, but Torres would have killed it).
If fan casting was a thing filmmakers actually did, Bryan Singer would have rushed out and put Misfits frontman Glenn Danzig in the role of Wolverine back in 2000. I mean, yes, that would have been awesome in its own right, and the tie-in concept album would have rocked our faces off, but in casting stage performer and the world's most rugged singer Hugh Jackman, Singer found someone who could communicate the toughness, pathos, and humor of the Canadian berserker (after Dougray Scott dropped out, of course).
"Why didn't you cast my favorite actor/actress" is simply another way of asking why the studios didn't have the same vision of the character that the fans have in their minds. Unfortunately, fandom can be disparate, prickly, and sometimes unsure what vision of something is "right" (hey, there are still plenty of people out there who loved the choices Snyder and company made with Man of Steel).
Now are we going to get Danzig on the phone about my Old Man Logan pitch, or what?