Wonder Woman 3: Why DC Studios Needs to Introduce the Wonder Woman Family

The live-action future of Wonder Woman has been talked about quite a lot this week, after news broke that Patty Jenkins' version of Wonder Woman 3 is not moving forward with DC Studios. This revelation sent DC fans into a state of panic, wondering if Gal Gadot will reprise her role as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman at all going forward, much less in a third solo film. With Gadot already rumored to be appearing in some of DC's upcoming films, and Warner Bros. Discovery exec David Zaslav repeatedly citing Wonder Woman as one of the biggest characters in the DC brand, it's pretty safe to assume that the Princess of Themyscira's story will continue in some part of DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran's future plans. But in the interim, it's worth acknowledging what components of Wonder Woman canon stand to be adapted onscreen — namely, her "family" of other heroines. 

In the decades since Wonder Woman first made her comics debut, Diana Prince has acquired a compelling mix of allies, namely in the form of other Amazons — either from Themyscira or from other tribes across the world. There's Nubia, Diana's "twin sister"-turned-ally who is regarded to be DC's first Black female superhero. There's Donna Troy, Diana's original Wonder Girl sidekick who now boasts a prolific tenure among the Teen Titans and the Justice League. There's Cassie Sandsmark, the second Wonder Girl with her own connection to ancient Greek mythology. There's Artemis, the warrior woman whose moral compass has been put to the test, both as Wonder Woman and as a member of the Outsiders. As of a few years ago, there's Yara Flor, an ordinary-teenager-turned-superhero connected to the ancient mythology of Brazil. Beyond that, there are countless other Amazons gracing the pages of DC, each with narrative potential that could (or, in some cases, already is) being fleshed out.

The Trials (and Tribulations) of the Amazons

On that topic, DC's publishing arm has been taking great lengths to flesh out the lore of the Amazons — given Nubia multiple long-overdue comics and having her join the Justice League, firmly establishing Yara in her own Wonder Girl series, and giving the Wonder Woman family its first official event with Trial of the Amazons. Even outside of that, Wonder Woman: Historia has been providing a comprehensive and definitive take on the history of the various tribes, with drama and aesthetics that have felt downright revolutionary.

Despite the increased presence of Wonder Woman's supporting cast, they have been grossly underrepresented onscreen. Outside of Conor Leslie's portrayal of Donna on Titans (which, while great, still had what might be one of the most inexplicable character deaths in the history of superhero fiction), none of the characters previously listed have appeared in live-action. That isn't necessarily for lack of trying, as The CW very briefly tried to make a Yara-focused Wonder Girl show happen, but that lack of successful appearances doesn't mean that the characters can't possibly be adapted.

Capable of So Much More

Not only can the members of the Wonder Woman family be adapted into the live-action DC Universe — but honestly, they need to be. Despite being one of the cornerstones of the franchise with several appearances under her belt, Gadot's take on Wonder Woman remain frustratingly underbaked. Perhaps the most frustrating might be her lack of a support system or friends, as all of her existing DCU appearances have shown her either ignoring social advances, fixating on her long-dead first boyfriend, or befriending people who either die or betray her. Sure, part of that absence can be attributed to Diana's narrative ping-ponging back and forth between the wildly-different visions of Jenkins and Zack Snyder, which created a decades-spanning cavern of her being lonely under the guise of "shunning humanity." But it shouldn't be too much to ask for Diana to have some sort of companionship — if not in the form of random civilians in her orbit, then at least in other female allies who can understand having her kind of power. Instead, Wonder Woman 1984 left Diana pensively drinking wine alone, discovering new powers alone (and offscreen, no less), and only finding "love" — romantic, platonic, or otherwise — through Steve Trevor's problematically-resurrected corpse. At times, her portrayal has only felt a few steps beyond Wonder Woman infamously sobbing on the couch and eating ice cream in her failed 2011 television pilot.

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Despite the unprecedented cultural significance of Wonder Woman leading her own movies, Jenkins' take on the first two films has absolutely been met with criticisms of being "white feminist." While that's a whole separate conversation in and of itself, the fact that Gadot's Diana has been treated as this isolated, precious token female within the DCU certainly hasn't helped. Weaving in characters like Nubia, Yara, and Donna — either in Wonder Woman 3 or in some other context within the larger universe, as each of the aforementioned characters could easily stand on their own in another DCU title — could absolutely help remedy that. Not only would it expand the positive racial and LGBTQ+ representation within the onscreen world of the Amazons (and within the DCU itself), but it would be able to tell different types of stories using the complex, euphoric possibilities that the Wonder Woman mantle has represented for decades. In the process, it would add a new — and to some degrees, necessary — novelty to Gadot's ongoing take on the Princess of Themyscira.

Do you want to see the Wonder Woman family in the DCU? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!