Forget Batman and Superman: Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Should Lead the DCEU’s Justice League

It might be taking longer than fans’ hoped. But the DC Extended Universe is still waiting in the wings. Wonder Woman 1984 will — as of this writing — hit theaters on Oct. 2, 2020. Yet, the anticipation for the new film raises an interesting revelation: Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman should lead the big-screen Justice League.

Gal Gadot at the 'Justice League' photocall
Gal Gadot at the ‘Justice League’ photocall | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Batman and Superman traditionally lead the Justice League in DC Comics

In DC Comics, the Justice League is the most high-profile superhero team. Comprised of all the biggest marquee DC heroes, the Justice League features a revolving line-up of heroes that often includes The Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter.

But while some characters come and go, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman — DC’s “Trinity” — are almost always at the forefront. Typically, Batman and Superman serve as co-leads. Batman serves as the tactician doing research and forming the team’s strategy. Meanwhile, Superman is the symbolic leader and hopeful public face of the team.

Yet, Wonder Woman carries the best qualities of both her colleagues. Like Superman, she represents the solid moral center and godly power that the Justice League is known for. Yet, much like Batman, she’s a cunning warrior capable of bringing as much ingenuity into battle as physical strength. Gadot’s performance captures all of that.

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The DCEU set up Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman as the new leader

Moreover, the DCEU has already teased Wonder Woman will take a leadership role on the team. Even in the ill-fated theatrical cut of Justice League, Diana and Bruce (Ben Affleck) argue over her hesitation to step up and lead the team. The stage is set for her to do so in the inevitable sequel.

And since the DCEU futures of Batman and Superman are up in the air, she’s the perfect choice to anchor the Justice League. Robert Pattinson’s The Batman will (yet again) reboot the Dark Knight, and Henry Cavill’s Superman might not be around for much longer. But Gadot is committed to her character.

Besides, Gadot’s Wonder Woman is a fan favorite who — unlike the two other heroes — can reliably deliver a crowd-pleasing movie. Wonder Woman 1984 might put that reputation to the test, but the movie retains the same creative team. So chances are strong it will please fans of the 2017 original movie.

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How will ‘Wonder Woman’ director Patty Jenkins fit in with those plans?

The only major obstacle standing between Gadot’s Wonder Woman and the title of Justice League team leader is behind the scenes. Director Patty Jenkins is committed to the character’s big-screen future but only in her solo movies. As the filmmaker recently revealed, she just isn’t interested in playing within a shared universe.

While Gadot turned in a respectable performance, her Justice League role didn’t quite capture the same pop as either of her previous appearances. Jenkins is unlikely to return to helm a Justice League movie. In fact, she’s already turned such a project down. So another filmmaker will have to develop Jenkins’ understanding of the character.

Once that happens, Wonder Woman will be ready to assume leadership with no problem. Jenkins could stick around as a producer on the potential Justice League sequel. She notably had nothing to do with Snyder’s first film. Whatever the case, fans should keep an eye on the DCEU. The future of the Justice League is most definitely female.