Wonder Woman 3, the next installment in Gal Gadot’s superhero franchise, will not be happening. According to a report from Variety, the film has been shelved, contradicting Gadot’s previous claims that DC Studios bosses were eager to continue the Amazonian crime-fighter’s story. Gadot has already starred in two Wonder Woman films, the well-received 2017 film and its somewhat disappointing 2020 sequel, as well as appearing in other DC films. So what exactly are we missing out on here?
This development has brought up past grievances for DC fans, particularly the removal of Henry Cavill as Superman. When James Gunn and Peter Safran took over as co-chairmen and co-CEOs of DC Studios, fans hoped they would bring a new sense of direction to the franchise, similar to what Kevin Feige did for Marvel. However, while some elements from the previous regime, like Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, have carried over, Cavill’s Superman has been left behind. In the upcoming film “Superman: Legacy,” directed by Gunn, the role will be played by David Corenswet. This decision has upset many comic book fans who defended Cavill’s performance despite the poor material he was given. But the truth is, no one owes Cavill or Gadot anything.
There seems to be an increasing sense of entitlement among fans when it comes to franchise films. They believe that actors who invest their time and effort should be rewarded with their own standalone projects. Sometimes, this does happen. Scarlett Johansson received “Black Widow” after years of playing a supporting role in the Marvel universe, and Margot Robbie got “Birds of Prey” after standing out in “Suicide Squad.” However, these roles are still jobs, not handouts. Movie studios are not obligated to give actors their own movies just because they’ve put in the hours. If a previous film in a franchise didn’t meet expectations, that doesn’t mean the actor deserves a second chance. It’s the opposite, really. Audiences keep demanding more of the same, hoping it will eventually improve.
This entitlement complex reached its peak with the release of the “Snyder cut” of “Justice League” in 2021. After a fan campaign, a black-and-white re-edit of the film was produced as a way to fulfill director Zack Snyder’s original vision. However, despite its cult following, the Snyder cut was not embraced by critics or the mainstream audience. It remains more of a curiosity than anything else.
While the cancellation of “Wonder Woman 3” may be disappointing for director Patty Jenkins, who established herself as a prominent female blockbuster filmmaker with the first film, she will surely find other opportunities. The third film was not a passion project, but a commercial endeavor. Gadot, Cavill, and the rest of the cast are not entitled to anything more than a paycheck. Ultimately, movie studios are not charities, and decisions about which films are made and who stars in them are based on commercial considerations.