So, it’s official. After a month of rumors and short lists, it’s been announced to the world that Israeli model-turned-actress Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman in the upcoming superhero movie “Batman vs. Superman.” Israelis are of course celebrating. But what of the U.S. reaction? Some questions about it leapt to mind - faster than a speeding bullet - after hearing the news and checking out the initial reactions:
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Blue and White and Red?: At first it sounded somewhat sacrilegious, putting an Israeli in that red, white and blue costume in what feels like the quintessential all-American girl role. Might it encourage the conspiracy theorists who are convinced that Jews, and by proxy, Israelis, run Hollywood? (Beliefs that recent revelations by producer/spy Arnon Milchan surely encouraged.) But on second thought - if a British actor like Henry Cavill can play the equally all-American man of steel, Superman, what was to stop Gadot being cast as Wonder Woman, right? We live in an age of equal global opportunity, after all. And hopefully no one will suspect the super-heroine of being a Mossad agent.
Will she wear the role well? Interestingly, most of the negative online reaction I have seen so far doesn’t involve Gadot’s nationality, but her physique. Folks are unhappy that a waifish skinny relatively flat-chested model type got the part of Diana Prince, the tough but kind military woman with the secret identity. They feel the character should be more Amazonian and, well, endowed with more womanly charms in the cleavage department, like the memorable Lynda Carter who played Wonder Woman in the iconic 70’s American television series “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman”.
Do blondes really have more fun? Because in Israel, it seems like it’s the brunettes who have the last laugh. First it was Ayelet Zurer getting the small but pivotal role of Superman’s mom in the first “Man of Steel” film, and now Gal Gadot has graduated from the “Fast and Furious” movies, moving from fast cars into the faster invisible plane (Israeli military intelligence technology, anyone?) flown by Wonder Woman. And where are the blonde beauties supposedly sitting at the top of the Israeli desirability food chain - Bar Rafaeli and Esti Ginsburg? They are stuck back here in the provinces, hosting reality singing competitions “Rising Star” and “The X Factor.” Certainly, they’d rather be hanging with the A-list on the set of a major Hollywood feature film, getting ready for their close-up.
Another reason to boycott? As a friend of mine has pointed out, there has already been a significant amount of outraged virtual ink spilled over the decision to cast Ben Affleck in the role of Batman from purists who think Affleck is all wrong for the role in many ways. The protests have run the gamut from online petitions to a (hopefully) joking threat of mass suicide when the film comes out. Now, on top of that, might there be a BDS issue over Gadot’s participation? I’ll venture a ‘no’ on that one. These movies are targeting a young male audience that is surely anything but political. A move to boycott the film would surely be a lost cause - and presumably one that would have been tried already with Zurer, Gadot’s Fast and Furious series, and any of the myriad products advertised by Bar Rafaeli, or media she’s been featured in. Hot women don’t appear to be high on the boycott list.
Gal, herself, by the way, is understandable thrilled with the news, as she let us all know on Twitter, before, in all likelihood, she headed off to the gym to build some muscle and get ready for that bodysuit and those boots, and a session with her dialect coach to polish up her American accent: