“Wonder Twin powers… activate!” Saturday morning TV embedded those words into the minds of millions of Gen-X kids who grew up watching Super Friends. The alien siblings Zan and Jayna were the teen sidekicks to the animated Justice League. When they fist-bumped each other, they could turn on their powers. Jayna would turn into any animal, while her brother Zan transformed into water-based things. (Yeah, not as cool). Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the brother and sister from Exor are getting the movie treatment. Adam Sztykiel is officially writing and directing a Wonder Twins feature for HBO Max. (And we assume their space monkey, Gleek, shall join them.)
Deadline reports that KJ Apa and Isabel May will take on the roles of the super twins. It is news that’s been met with some squinty eyes considering there isn’t a version of the Wonder Twins who present as white. However, it should be noted that Apa is of Samoan descent.
There’s no word yet about the plot of this film. Or if it even plays into the larger DCEU or not. The Wonder Twins are technically DC Comics heroes, although it took decades for them to join the DC Universe proper. They first appeared in The All-New Super Friends Hour in 1977 during the show’s second season.
They replaced the Super Friends’ original teen sidekicks, Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog. That trio had no powers, and were basically knock-offs of Shaggy, Daphne, and Scooby-Doo. The heroic Wonder Twins proved to be a far better fit for the show. Created by Hanna-Barbera, their inclusion in Super Friends automatically made them DC characters. They appeared in TV tie-in comics, but it took them almost twenty years to make it into the DCU proper.
Writers tried to make the alien twins from the planet Exxor less cheesy, but their association with the cartoon always limited their potential. Too many people saw them as a joke. Still, DC tried as recently as three years ago, when the Wonder Twins got a DC series all their own.
After years of memes poking fun at them, we think it’s time the Wonder Twins showed everyone that turning into an elephant and a bucket of ice is nothing to make fun of.
Originally published on February 14, 2022.