Last year, comic book writer Greg Rucka went on the record saying that he firmly considered Wonder Woman to be bisexual, using the rationale that she and her fellow Amazons lived for millennia in isolation on the island of Themyscira separated from men. In this year’s film, Steve Trevor is the first man that Diana ever lays eyes on. What could have happened in the centuries before this?
One fan wants Warner Brothers and filmmaker Patty Jenkins to incorporate her open sexuality into the sequel to ‘Wonder Woman’. Gianna Collier-Pitts acted as the GLAAD ambassador for New York University. She has started a petition on Change.org in an effort to convince the studio to openly address her sexuality.
As she wrote:
Earlier this summer, Warner Brothers released their latest DC Comics franchise film Wonder Woman, and women young and old finally saw an image of themselves reflected in a superhero on the big screen. WB also raked in a pretty penny with a gross of over $817 million worldwide (and counting), ranking the film as the third highest grossing film in the studio’s history. Needless to say, it was a success for everyone…except the bisexual community.
She then goes on to stress the importance of having idols to identify with:
The majority of the LGBTQ+ community identifies as bisexual or as having attraction to more than one gender, and yet it is the least understood of any identity. We are oversexualized and underrepresented. We are called greedy, dishonest, and confused. We are the least likely to come out and the most likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, on top of experiencing higher rates of sexual/intimate partner violence. We are made to feel invisible and in doing so we begin to see ourselves as invisible. Making Wonder Woman canonically bisexual on the big screen would make her the first openly LGBTQ superhero of any gender from either DC or Marvel’s cinematic universes, and would solidify her place as a true role model for women of all ages and identities.
This is just the latest movement to include gay, lesbian or bisexual characters in big budget franchise movies. Previously, there have been efforts to present Poe Dameron and Finn as lovers in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise and to give Elsa a girlfriend in the sequel to Disney’s ‘Frozen’. Previously, some have read into Captain America’s relationship with Bucky and urged Marvel Studios to explore that in future films.
Not to be counterproductive, but what many fans, especially those in the U.S., seem to fail to realize is that these types of movies aren’t just movies and can’t only be successful in the U.S. Presenting an LGBTQ lead character would automatically alienate a large percentage of U.S. viewers, possibly as high as 50%. And such a film would not even be allowed to open in China or other parts of the world where homosexuality is illegal or actively persecuted. Losing China is enough to cripple the average tentpole movie.
And ticket sales aren’t everything. I can’t even speculate how much money Disney made on ‘Frozen’ merchandise, but it surely dwarfs the amount that the actual movie took in. Wonder Woman isn’t quite in the same league, but licensing is a large part of her strength. Warner Brothers isn’t just interested in selling the movies, but in fans snapping up tee shirts/apparel, posters, toys, decor, breakfast cereal and whatever else they can slap a golden WW logo on. They’re not going to risk losing out on all of that ancillary cash to appease any minority.
Before its premiere, ‘Wonder Woman’ was viewed as a risky movie simply because it starred a female action hero. There was buzz that the film might even flop following the disappointing performances of ‘Batman V Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’. ‘Wonder Woman’s exceptional performance was a sweet victory, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted that a sequel will be just as well-received.
That said, representation is very important. Already, the African American community including those in Hollywood are rallying behind Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’. Just as Wonder Woman wasn’t actually the first female comic book character to star in a movie, Black Panther won’t actually be the first black superhero in their own movie. But it very well might be the first GOOD one.
There should be more diversity in big films, but sadly Hollywood will only take baby steps. It’s much more likely that an LGBTQ character will be used as part of a team before headlining a solo movie.
At any rate, a couple of characters that are bisexual in comics have appeared in films. Most successfully is Harley Quinn, but the only romantic subplot in ‘Suicide Squad’ was between her and The Joker. Catwoman is also considered bisexual and was most recently depicted by Anne Hathaway in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Harley is expected to share a movie with both Catwoman and Poison Ivy, ‘Gotham City Sirens’. Perhaps there will be some exploration of her same-sex interests in that film.
However, if you think ‘Wonder Woman 2’ is a perfect opportunity to present an openly bisexual character, you can sign the petition HERE.