Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman teaser poster

I’ll admit it. I wasn’t impressed with the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. All I’d seen her in was the “Fast and Furious” movies, and she wasn’t more than eye candy.

One could argue that’s all women do in those movies, but that’s a hollow argument. Look at the meaty role Michelle Rodriguez forced her way into. And why would the likes of Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron want to dive into the series if the women parts were flat?

No, Gadot didn’t seem credible for a part as important culturally as Wonder Woman.

Important, you ask?

Wonder Woman as cultural icon

Besides Catwoman and maybe Batgirl (who got totally screwed over in “The Killing Joke” movie, but I digress), there is no super-heroine as well-known as Wonder Woman. She’s been around as long as Superman and Batman, actually outsold both of them (in her earlier years) and became a feminist icon. And brought us the beautiful Linda Carter as the character on a silly seventies version of the character. (To Carter’s defense, all the superhero shoes back in the seventies were silly.)

Wonder Woman means something to people, particularly women and girls. She is the shining beacon of what they can aspire to, never sacrificing her femininity and beauty in pursuit of doing what’s right by the world around her.

And she’s not afraid to get in the muck and duke it out with the boys.

All this, and Wonder Woman has never gotten a movie, while Batman and Superman have screwed up fifteen between them (not including serials and TV shows).

Then came the “Batman v Superman” movie

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman"

(C) Warner Bros

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was the best thing in the movie.

I was wrong about Gadot, and I’m man enough to admit it.

What won me over with Gadot was the moment during the climactic Doomsday fight in which Doomsday knocks Wonder Woman back. She gets up, smiles, and charges back into the fight.

That was so Wonder Woman, and that was all Gadot. Director Zack Snyder hadn’t planned that for her, but wisely kept that take in the movie.

Full disclosure – I still wish they’d done a Wonder Woman movie back in the early 21st century and cast Lucy Lawless. True, it’d be too close to her Xena role, but she looked the part and damn sure had the gravitas.

And yeah, I slip into the unfortunate body shaming trap in that I think a more athletic build for Wonder Woman would be appropriate (sorry!).

But the most important thing about the character is her poise and grace, not her looks. Gadot has proved she’s got poise and grace (and the athleticism, frankly) in spades.

I’m now more excited for Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” movie than I was for any of the Batman movies. And I’m a huge Batman fan.

“Wonder Woman” premieres June 2, 2017. Can’t wait… but I’ll have to.

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