I got into see the Wonder Woman movie last weekend. I got the tickets online in advance, and the theater was nearly already sold out (but at least my seat wasn’t in the front row!).
I won’t give any spoilers away, but the movie doesn’t something that most wouldn’t have: it assumed that women wanted to see the movie, and it was made with that audience in mind.
Most movies are made with men in mind. Get the men into the theater and they’ll bring their dates, wives, and families.
But it effectively leaves women out of the experience. The movies have things that appeal to the men, but little for the women. Usually the studio will toss in a romance for the women, but it’s still a movie for men.
But Wonder Woman … she’s a hero. And she has adventures that feel like things that women would do. There’s a stunning battle of the Amazons, who should be outclassed by the Germans with the guns, and win the battle through cunning and pure skill. But it’s skill that’s available to women, not taking a man’s skills and giving them to a woman.
The studio waffled on the movie after it was made, thinking it wouldn’t be a success. How do you spend $150 million and then want to write it off before a movie even premieres? It scared the head honchos because it wasn’t made to fit the men’s experience.
Several years ago, I was writing a Civil War thriller, which was pretty much Most Dangerous Game. Man Hunts Man, or in the case of this story, man hunts man and women. A professionally published male writer reacted extremely badly to it like I had offended him personally.
I’d like to think that he believed the men in the story would be short-changed in favor of having the women.
I’m all for equal opportunity. Everyone gets into trouble and has to be a hero, no matter their gender. Part of the fun of a really good story is having all the characters participate to the best of their abilities and have agency.