Bleeding Cool got a chance to speak with another of the upcoming guests for the New Jersey Comic Expo about the impact of Wonder Woman on them and how the recent film can affect the DC slate of movies and Hollywood in general. We chatted with Erica Schultz, who is best known for her run on the Charmed series for Dynamite Entertainment, her creator-owned crime series M3, and being part of DC Comics's first Writers Workshop. She will be a guest at NJCE, which is taking place this weekend, November 18th and 19th at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center.
Bleeding Cool: What does the character of Wonder Woman mean to you?
Erica Schultz: I had always read comics and watched Superfriends and Lynda Carter's portrayal, but it wasn't until the Justice League animated series in 2001 that Wonder Woman really held a special place in my heart. Susan Eisenberg's portrayal of Wonder Woman (as well as Maria Canals's portrayal of Hawkgirl) struck a chord. Maybe it's because I was in my early 20s and looking for something awesome in my life. Sometimes things just hit you at the right time. That version of Wonder Woman was beautiful, sassy, smart, and didn't take any flack. She was figuring out who she wanted to be in "man's world," but she owned that.
BC: What were your thoughts on the film and its success?
ES: I enjoyed the film. As with everything, no film is perfect, but I believe they did a really great job. The film was beautiful, from an artistic standpoint, and I do believe the set designer and costumer should be nominated for an Oscar for their work. I'm very excited at the film's success both financially and critically, as it shows the naysayers that a female led action film revolving around mythology can be commercially successful (take THAT, Thor!).
BC: How do you think the film should guide DC's film making going forward? What should other filmmakers take from its success?
ES: DC has taken a very cynical and dark tone in their films from Man of Steel to Batman v Superman to Suicide Squad. Though Wonder Woman had its fair share of depressing moments, especially those surrounding the complications of war, the overall takeaway was hope. I believe that in this day and age (in ANY day and age, actually), hope is something that should be instilled in everyone. I think DC should take this lead and run with it, making their universe more hopeful. And I believe that filmmakers should get behind doing more hopeful films with female leads.
BC: Why do you think, in this day and age, that Wonder Woman connected so well with audiences and what of her message do you think the world could use to hear right now?
ES: [SPOILERS] In the climax of the film, when Diana and Ares have their super boss battle, it was simply a pile on of the horrors of humanity (the time period the film is set in notwithstanding, as we can pull horrors of humanity from any time in our history). Diana momentarily succumbs to the rage and anger at humanity for their numerous failings, but then she remembers Steve Trevor…the bright light in all that darkness. Rather than focus on that, she focuses on him, what he meant to her, and how she gave HIM hope. She even says (I'm paraphrasing) how humans are blind and violent, but they're so much more. With someone to look up to, a paragon of justice and hope, humans CAN be better. I believe that's a message Wonder Woman has always had. As I said before, this film came at the right time, and I hope to see more films like it with the same message of hope over despair.