Mamo #331: Tears of the Goddess

One seems like a situation where there’s no way to get it right; and the other a scenario where the studio is determined to get it wrong. Mamo assembles to discuss the future of two Hollywood franchises: The Fast and the Furious in the wake of Paul Walker’s death, and the Warner Brothers clusterfuck of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo331.mp3

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Sean Kelly
Guest

You do know that the first thing I did when I heard “Darth Vader Selfie” was search for it, so I can post it to this comment thread (yeah, I’m a geek).

Adam
Guest

I wonder how popular, or even recognizable – if at all – Wonder Woman is outside North America. I have never heard of her when I was a kid. Even now I have a very vague idea about who she is and what she does. I know she’s tall and strong, she wields a whip and flies in an invisible thingy. And that’s all. So how do you sell a movie based on this strange character without alienating the audiences unfamilliar with her, especially since she doesn’t seem to be tied up with anything universally recognizable, at least at the first glance. With Thor – who I guess is a simillar character – you at least have the name with its immediate connotations to norse mythology. 
Wonder Woman being a female character in a sub-genre aimed mainly at (relatively) young male audiences is probably an issue for WB, especially since there’s no (successful) female superhero movie made in the past, but I doubt it’s the only one or the biggest one.

DavidMerryweather
Guest

@Adam Well, in the UK at least, she’s mainly known as something of a slightly naff camp icon, stemming from the Linda Carter TV series. Fact is, Wonder Woman has something of an image problem – starting with the fact that she’s called Wonder Woman. 
It’s a problem that could be solved by casting Jennifer Lawrence, but short of that, it’s easy to see why they are cautiously introducing the character in a sure-fire hit movie, and waiting to see how the character plays.

Rick Vance
Guest

Wonder Woman is a sticky wicket. I don’t entirely disagree with the outrage however there are bits and pieces of it that fall flat for me for a variety of reasons based on the history of the character and the handling of it by DC. 
The problem is when you look at Wonder Woman from a source material standpoint it is really pretty flimsy. There isn’t the handful of things you can straight point to and send everyone too, there isn’t even really one thing that you can do that with. Even the more modern perspective with the hard focus on the mythology is really getting away from the core of the character in some way. Which is the other problem the core of Wonder Woman is a strangely rotten thing that wouldn’t really play for modern people at all. Which is further complicated because these superhero movies have a way of peeling away the layers to try and get to the core of the characters and using that (at least the good ones) and there really isn’t a solid core at the center of Wonder Woman. Then there is the fact that straight up she isn’t as good of a character as the two that she frequently gets put on the same level as.
However all that means Wonder Woman is great place for the films to just break away and run with it in there own direction, which is where I agree with you guys because Zach Snyder is far down the list of people whom I feel could get a good groundwork for a new look at Wonder Woman.
Secondly comics has a bigger problem with introducing the characters than you guys seemed to make out of it. Miles Morales is a Spider-Man but he isn’t THE Spider-Man which is a small distinction but an important one, (especially when the Ultimate Universe hasn’t mattered in like a decade) likewise John Stewart is the third string Green Lantern from earth out of 4 the other 3 of which are white dudes.

It is funny this all comes back to the JLA/JLU DCU show which got the entire universe pitch perfect at every single turn and it is amazing watching them stumble so much when they have such a perfect template already done. However it maybe that they don’t want the films to be copies of the animated series so they are deliberately trying to find other ways to come at things. 
This was longer than I thought it would be.

Rick Vance
Guest

Writing that has me remembering just how good JLU was as a DCU thing and it is amazing me. The arc that show goes through in Season Two when it drops the monster of the week and does a full season story with checkmate is probably the best the DC stuff will ever be outside the comics.

tederick
Guest

Rick Vance You make a good point about the non-white characters, I chose not to get into it in the show because I was all pissed off about something else, but it’s true. Comics have been pretty willing to launch secondary and tertiary characters who are non-white, non-male; but there are usually “exceptions” that make them not the main version of whatever character they’re inhabiting. 
Still, an Arab Green Lantern and a Muslim Ms. Marvel, in the space of a year… even as secondary characters, that’s the sort of thing Hollywood would be scared shitless of.

tederick
Guest

@Adam Another good point. I’m not really familiar with how much of an icon Wonder Woman is overseas. That said, when Batman was launched in ’89, there was no overseas opportunity for him, either. That market had to be built up over time – the Dark Knight Rises was the real breakthrough from a global box office perspective. That’s twenty years of build.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Justice League & Justice League Unlimited were two hugely successful cartoon shows, with Wonder Woman as a main character. The series started 12 years ago, so any kids who watched the show would be teens or young adults now.
That said, I have no idea how successful they were overseas (however, I see in the France they were called “La Ligue des justiciers” airing on a channel called F3X ).

Marvel managed to do a decent job with Iron Man, who wasn’t too recognized so I don’t think that it can’t be done.
Looking up what the audience make-up of Avengers was and found this breakdown, which I imagine is the US audience:
– 50% over 25, 50% under 25; 60% male, 40% female; 55% couples, 24% family, 21% teens
More male than female, but a split of the under and over 25.
All the female superhero movies made so far were complete garbage, so I don’t buy that argument that it couldn’t be done. I think it will be done, just a question of when.
Will WB finally make Wonder Woman, or will Marvel beat them to the punch with a Black Widow or Captain Marvel movie? I hope it’s Marvel as they seem know more what they are doing and I wouldn’t trust a WB Wonder Woman movie not to be a complete mess.
That’s the thing, if say Marvel sneaks a little cameo of say Captain Marvel into Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s likely to be a completely different response from the public. As people would see that as more long term planning that Marvel does.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Sean Kelly Wow… that’s horrible. With the screen facing away from Vader so that he can’t even see what kind of photo he is taking. “USE THE FORCE…. to take a selfie”.

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