With Wonder Woman 1984 finally releasing, the conversation now turns to the future of the world’s premiere superheroine. Director Patty Jenkins has confirmed she has an outline for a third Wonder Woman film with writer Geoff Johns. And she seems pretty committed to making it. Only thing is, she’s got that little Star Wars movie, Rogue Squadron, on tap as her next film.
With that film releasing in 2023, that means it will be at least five years before we see another solo Wonder Woman film starring Gal Gadot. And that feels way too long a wait to see the Amazing Amazon in action again. But we have a solution, and it’s one that kills three birds with one stone: a Wonder Woman and Superman team-up movie.
First things first. We believe that Patty Jenkins should 100% get the chance to finish her Wonder Woman trilogy. But we propose this solution while we wait, featuring both Wonder Woman and Superman, once again played by Henry Cavill. Not only that, we think this team up should serve as the DCEU introduction to Supergirl. And there is a perfect story in the DC comic book and animation canon that could be adapted: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. But hear us out—we think Batman should actually sit this one out.
The origins of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse started in 2004, in the pages of DC Comics. Writer Jeph Loeb and artist Michael Turner decided to reintroduce the Kara Zor-El incarnation of Supergirl back into DC continuity. At this point, the iconic character had been removed from DC continuity for nearly two decades. The saga ran through the pages of the Batman/Superman title, in the story called “The Supergirl from Krypton.” Then in 2010, the story was adapted into a direct-to-video animated film that kept the broad strokes of the story intact.
Warner Bros. Animation
The story features a mysterious meteor crashing to earth, and from its wreckage emerges a teenage girl with extraordinary powers. Powers exactly like Superman’s. Not knowing a word of English (or any Earth language), she accidentally wreaks havoc with her uncontrolled abilities. Soon, Superman arrives and takes her in. Realizing she is Kara Zor-El, his first cousin and only living relative, he plans on raising her as a regular Earth girl. He thinks she should be brought up just as he was in Smallville. But Batman is far more skeptical of this latest strange visitor from another planet and suspects danger.
Warner Bros. Animation
So what does this story have to do with Wonder Woman? Despite the Superman/Batman of the title, she plays a very important role in this story. She knows that Kara’s raw power needs training for her to be able to control it. And where better on Earth for a young lady to train in combat than Themyscria? This creates a conflict between her and her friend Kal-El, who simply wants to recreate his own upbringing with his cousin. But Diana knows better, and realizes Kara needs some Amazon guidance.
Eventually, the evil god Darkseid seeks young Kara as a weapon to mold, and launches an attack on Themyscira to retrieve her. He brainwashes her in the Fire Pits of his home planet Apokolips. Soon, the trio of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have to go rescue her. Ultimately, she is deprogrammed and sent back to Earth. And after further training from the Amazons, she makes her debut as Supergirl.
Warner Bros. Animation
This storyline could be the perfect interim film while we wait for the inevitable (but far off) Wonder Woman 3. It solves a ton of problems for the DCEU in general. First, it gives us Wonder Woman’s presence on the big screen during the wait for a third film. Second, it is a perfect vehicle for the return of the Henry Cavill Superman, which is something fans have been clamoring for. And third, it introduces a new Supergirl to the DCEU. As a bonus, it could legitimately follow up all those Darkseid teases seen in Justice League.
As for why I’d leave Batman out, there are a lot of reasons. First off, the minute you have all three members of the Trinity present, it becomes a de facto Justice League movie. Second, Wonder Woman could easily serve Bruce Wayne’s role in the original story as well as her own. And lastly, Batman is overexposed enough these days. We don’t need one more Batman-related movie or show on the docket. Better to make this story chiefly about how the world’s two most powerful (and idealistic) beings decide they’re going to train a new hero.
As a story, it could highlight the differences and similarities between Superman and Wonder Woman, two characters that have barely had any real screen time together (despite starring in two film togethers). Superman is the world’s ultimate firefighter, and Wonder Woman its ultimate teacher. How would they deal with molding the next generation of hero? It would make for a great premise, and one we hope the folks at Warner Bros. and DC consider.