Before you get your hopes up, there isn’t a whole lot to Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara’s recent statement that the studio stable that houses all the DC superheroes needs to hurry up and make a Wonder Woman movie. In a lot of ways, Tsujihara’s insistence that a Wonder Woman project could turn into a major studio franchise is the same vague studio response to increasingly loud discussions about how the superhero genre has largely avoided female protagonists. Then again, apart from some scattered reports about possible Wonder Woman projects, Tsujihara’s statement is all the assurance we have that studios are taking criticism of their phallocentric superhero universes seriously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tsujihara spoke Saturday at an entertainment law conference, mostly addressing the studio’s most recent gamble, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (which will probably, by the way, end up making somewhere close to $50 million this weekend). Tsujihara was talking about the economics of so-called tentpole movies, which, thanks to recent Disney duds like John Carter and The Lone Ranger, have attracted attention as an increasingly risky business model, which is precisely why Warner Bros. will be looking to make as many Harry Potter spin-offs as the movie-going public can choke down.
The economic dubiousness of the traditional tentpole movie, with its reliably white male protagonist, may be part of the reason why a studio like Warner Bros. might want to develop a Wonder Woman project, which, by virtue of its protagonist alone, could help freshen up superhero movies. Honestly, how many more white dude hero journeys can we watch that do not feature Robert Downey Jr.?
Tsujihara addressed Warner’s failure to move beyond the Batman and Superman franchises, calling it a “missed opportunity,” and adding “we need to get Wonder Woman on the big screen or TV.” Maybe that’s a hint that there’s already a Wonder Woman project in the pipeline, or maybe it’s just Tsujihara trying to actualize his desire for a Wonder Woman movie by saying it out loud several times. Either way, it’s at the very least pretty encouraging that, of all the possible DC superheroes, the Warner Bros. CEO said the studio needed Wonder Woman, and not, say, a Green Lantern reboot.
Image via Getty, Amy Sussman