This is a first for me, and I’m a little uncomfortable. Like a 120 pound woman crammed into a plastic bustier that’s three sizes too small uncomfortable. So bear with me because I’m about to defend Zack Snyder. It helps that he has the comely and talented Amy Adams on his side. In a recent interview with MTV for American Hustle she was, naturally, asked a lot of questions about the upcoming Batman Vs. Superman film. Because why would she want to talk about the two high-profile movies she’s in right now when she can talk about the alleged boniness of another woman’s ass? When asked about Zack Snyder’s “controversial” choice of the slender Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman, Amy Adams responded thusly:
I’m not familiar with her body shape…I don’t buy into that…Not that I [don’t] believe that it’s happening, but I’m certainly not a classically drawn woman as they exist in comic books, so I had to embrace that I just had a baby, I still hadn’t gotten my waist back. Lois is not about proportions, Lois is about her intellect and her savvy reporting skills and her empathy for Clark, and so I just didn’t think about it.First of all, uh, Amy Adams may not have cartoonish Lane curves, but if she’s looking for her post-pregnancy waist in Man Of Steel, I found it. Amy it’s right here.
I thought the succession of sassy vests Lois sported in Zack Snyder’s film had to do with her role as professional journalist and not with correcting a (non-existent) problem with her (non-existent) lack of a waist. Now I want to rewatch the movie and see how many tables they stick her behind. As to her second point, I think we can all agree that the physique of Superman’s love interest is less relevant that the physique of an Amazonian superhero and, inarguably, the most famous female comic book character of all time.
But here’s the part of the MTV interview where Adams hits the nail right on the head and forces me, against my will, to side with Zack Snyder. “I know anybody who’s working with Zack, if she’s working with Zack, and she’s going to be Wonder Woman, she is going to be yoked, man. He is going to make her a beast.” Ding. Gal Gadot may resemble a very lovely stick insect now, but Zack Snyder hasn’t gotten his hands on her yet. (Did that phrasing gross you out, too? Good.)
You may recall that before Snyder and his team of trainers put Henry Cavill through his paces, the British actor looked merely god-like.
After Snyder was done with him, Cavill basically looked like he had wings made of back meat. Seriously. This is the very definition of “yoked.”
What’s even more significant about this physical transformation (and the difference a sprinkling of chest hair can make) is how Zack Snyder thinks that process allegedly helped Cavill in his performance as Superman. In the (widely circulated back in the spring but much more pertinent now) video below, Cavill, his trainers and Snyder all comment about the way in which the actor pushed his limits in the gym helped him understand they way in which Clark Kent has to push his limits to become Superman. Now, to be completely honest, I didn’t see any of that character work translate to the big screen and Cavill’s Superman remained a distant (if destructive) cypher to me, but I think what Snyder has to say here is interesting. Yes, it actually caused me physical pain to write that.
If you can’t watch the video (and that means you’re missing out on some genuinely sweaty pec shots), here’s what Snyder has to say:
These actors, when they train, they’re contemplating and experiencing a physical manifestation of their character: the pain, the goals, the failures, the successes all these things are like this mini-crucible they go through. It’s a cool way to make a movie.So the slenderness of Gal Gadot is possibly intentional!? It’s all part of Snyder’s “cool” process? Even more relevant to the discussion at hand is that the above video also includes Antje Traue who played the ass-kicking Faora-Ul in Man Of Steel. I had a lot of problems with Zack Snyder’s take. (A. LOT.) But the depictions of Lois Lane and Faora-UI were, surprisingly, not one of them. Is that enough to give me hope that Snyder’s Wonder Woman will be everything we’ve been waiting for since the (equally twiggy) Linda Carter hung up her lasso? Well, no.
Because even if Snyder had cast someone as meaty and yoked as this…
…or even meaty and yoked and possessing a little more range like this…
…I’d still be worried. Because as Film School Rejects’ Scott Beggs put it, Zack Snyder is the real problem here. Beggs wrote:
Men get a million shots at being lead superheroes on screen. Women will probably only get this one, and it’s not hard to imagine a studio system that sees failure (or even lower-than-record-breaking performance) as reason to avoid “taking a chance” with a female superhero again…[Snyder] has an abysmal record of directing better-than-bad female performances, even from highly talented actresses, and that’s a hypothesis that doesn’t require a lengthy defense. It’s something almost universally accepted by now. It took Amy Adams to push into the realm of decent acting (in an emotionally disconnected film), so if an Oscar darling can barely survive, how will a neophyte fare?
I think Sucker Punch and its inexplicable defenders constitute one of the hugest missteps in the cinematic effort towards female empowerment in the 20th century. I believe Snyder thinks he made a pro-female film. That might be the most troubling part of all. That in Snyder’s view, women in skimpy outfits, excessive rape (is there any other kind?) and sexual gyration as the ultimate weapon are tantamount to empowerment or a “clever” commentary on societal norms is deeply upsetting. So, yes, I’m still worried about Wonder Woman, but not because of the circumference of her biceps. I’m with Adams (and I guess, Snyder) on this one. Get off her jock and out of her face. Once Snyder is done with her, I’m sure she and her dead eyes will be able to wipe the floor with you.