Joss Whedon’s takeover of Zack Snyder’s Justice League resulted in significant changes to the film’s original vision. While the full extent of Whedon’s influence on the final product was not immediately apparent, a closer inspection of Wonder Woman’s character shows the impact he had. In Justice League, Wonder Woman’s role differed from anything she had ever done in the DCEU or her character’s history. Unfortunately, Whedon’s history with directing women did not bode well for the Amazonian warrior. He managed to undermine Wonder Woman’s character, just as he had done with many others. His version of Justice League did more harm than good to this beloved character, and his inclusion of camera angles designed solely for gratuitous body shots added insult to injury.
Joss Whedon’s Justice League presented Wonder Woman’s costume and armor in a way that objectified her through the male gaze. The tight and skimpy outfit featured numerous upskirt shots of Diana in both civilian and action scenes, which was disappointing given her status as a powerful female character. Unfortunately, this trend continued throughout the film, with gratuitous shots of her body parts during every action sequence. Furthermore, the Amazon’s armor was designed without consideration for practicality, featuring exposed midriffs and legs that left them vulnerable in battle. It’s disheartening to see such a beloved character reduced to a mere sexual object.
Prior to the premiere of Joss Whedon’s Justice League, concerns were already raised regarding the impracticality of the skimpy attire worn by the Amazons on Themyscira Island. Despite arguments that the loungewear of these female warriors also exposed their torsos, it was evident in the movie that even when they donned armor and engaged in battle, their torsos were still left unprotected with hardly any coverage. It appears that there is no logical justification for such unrealistic armor on a tribe of warrior women who are always prepared for combat, and it’s doubtful that Diana, who has resided in the world of men, would unnecessarily subject herself to exposure during confrontations with supernatural beings. In fact, the costume team appeared to have given up on outfitting Princess Diana altogether.
Diana Prince’s wardrobe has always been a talking point in her previous movie appearances, particularly in the Wonder Woman solo film and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The costumes were incredibly detailed, perfectly capturing the essence of each character and location, be it soldiers on the battlefield or the streets of London. However, the recent DC Extended Universe addition, Justice League, fails to match this level of detail. Diana’s outfits are underwhelming, with an excess of brown and needless exposure of skin that doesn’t match her impeccable fashion sense. Even her regular clothes feel out of character, and her armor is impractical and lacks the finesse we’ve seen before. Additionally, some viewers were puzzled by the hints of a romantic connection between Wonder Woman and Batman, which seemed unrelated to the main plot.
The movie “Dawn of Justice” featured a subtle flirtatious dynamic between Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne, but their relationship was not intended to turn romantic. They both used their charm manipulatively throughout the film. Towards the end of the movie, it was obvious that Diana, Clark, and Bruce were meant to become close friends and allies, as is often depicted in Justice League adaptations. However, when Joss Whedon took over for Justice League, he completely changed the romantic interests of the characters. Bruce and Diana were forced into several uncomfortable flirting scenes that made them appear hostile towards each other. In one instance, Bruce even brought up Steve Trevor’s name just to provoke Diana, which was harmful to both characters. As a result, Diana’s character was reduced to a nagging female who only served to bother the male leads.
Joss Whedon’s Justice League film adaptation features an odd portrayal of Wonder Woman as a nagging mother-figure to her male teammates, despite her lack of any reason to conform to gender stereotypes. Throughout the movie, she persistently criticizes and belittles her male counterparts, while Batman acts as her tough mentor despite her superior experience and longer tenure. It is quite unfortunate that the sole female member of the squad is pigeonholed into such a stereotypical role and stripped of her power in this manner.
It’s worth noting that Joss Whedon hasn’t shown much respect for female characters, even Wonder Woman. In the movie Justice League, Batman takes over as team leader despite Diana’s vast combat experience and god-like abilities, and there’s no real reason given for this decision. Even worse, Wonder Woman herself says she’s too emotional to lead effectively, which feels like a cheap shot and undermines her character growth and the overall dynamic of the team. On top of all that, many of her action scenes come off as gratuitous and only included to please fans. All in all, it’s a disappointing portrayal and doesn’t do justice to the original material.
When Wonder Woman finally got to participate in Justice League, she didn’t quite feel like the strong warrior that her homeland had trained her to be. Even though she tried her best during battles, it seemed like her role was reduced to just posing seductively rather than being an efficient fighter. This is similar to how Black Widow was depicted in Joss Whedon’s Marvel films. There are some viewers who might perceive Wonder Woman as too formal, uptight, and excessively aggressive.
The way Wonder Woman is depicted in the DCEU movies is all about her love for the world she lives in. She’s shown to be fascinated with combat training on her home island and thrilled when she first discovers London in Wonder Woman. She’s portrayed as someone who finds joy in the simple things. However, in Joss Whedon’s Justice League, her personality seems to change. She appears more tense and angry, which is unusual since there’s no apparent explanation for her to join forces with the Justice League.
Before the events of Justice League, Wonder Woman was considered the world’s most prominent superhero. She had successfully defeated the God of War during World War I, proving to be an unstoppable force. Despite initial tension between her and Batman and Superman when they first met in Dawn of Justice, they managed to overcome their differences and worked together as a team.
Although Diana enjoys working as part of the Justice League, she lacks motivation to cooperate with the male members of the group in Justice League. Batman is the only member with practical experience, yet he often undermines her abilities or is on the receiving end of her belittling. The other members treat her like a motherly figure and tend to overlook her contributions.
However, there seems to be a disconnection between the character of Wonder Woman and her portrayal under Joss Whedon’s direction. In contrast to her complex and empowered persona, she appears one-dimensional and lacking in depth. This is a recurring issue faced by female characters in media, which is particularly disappointing for such an iconic character.
The problem with Wonder Woman’s portrayal in Justice League can be attributed to Joss Whedon’s limitations as a writer. While characters like Bruce and Barry feel authentic, Diana lacks realism and behaves in ways that don’t align with real human behavior. Whedon has a history of struggling with writing and directing female characters, so it’s unrealistic to expect him to excel with such an important character in a major film. This isn’t the first time Whedon has faced issues with female characters, as seen in his work on the MCU. His handling of Wonder Woman only highlights his shortcomings in this area.