Gal Gadot’s Conditional Return as Wonder Woman Sends the Right Message to Hollywood

Gadot will reportedly only reprise her role as Diana of Themyscira if disgraced director/producer Brett Ratner is completely excommunicated.
Wonder Woman
By  · Published on November 13th, 2017

Gadot will reportedly only reprise her role as Diana of Themyscira if disgraced director/producer Brett Ratner is completely excommunicated.

Over the weekend, sources told Page Six that Gal Gadot has drawn a line in the sand against Warner Bros. Gadot has reportedly refused to make Wonder Woman 2 unless the production company cuts ties with accused sexual assaulter Brett Ratner.

Ratner’s company, RatPac Entertainment, has had a big stake in the DC cinematic universe thus far, having co-produced and profited from Warner Bros.’s DC slate for years. Besides playing a major role in producing the first Wonder Woman film, RatPac-Dune co-produced the upcoming Justice League, which arrives in cinemas later this week.

Since standing accused of sexual harassment and assault, Ratner has released a statement declaring that he would cease involving himself in Warner Bros. projects, saying: “In light of the allegations being made, I am choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities. I don’t want to have any possible negative impact to the studio until these personal issues are resolved.”

However, existing deals with RatPac remain intact, and Gadot has evidently taken a stand against that. According to Page Six, a Warner Bros. insider revealed that Gadot “won’t sign for the sequel unless Warner Bros. buys Brett out [of his financing deal] and gets rid of him.” Her decision also comes less than a month after she backed out of presenting Ratner an award at the Jewish National Fund amidst sexual assault allegations leveled against men like Harvey Weinstein and James Toback.

According to the aforementioned insider:

“She’s tough and stands by her principles. She also knows the best way to hit people like Brett Ratner is in the wallet. She also knows that Warner Bros. has to side with her on this issue as it develops. They can’t have a movie rooted in women’s empowerment being part-financed by a man ­accused of sexual misconduct against women.”

A Warner Bros. representative has simply delivered a single-word reply to Page Six’s request for comment: “False.” But nonetheless, the company is thrust into the spotlight either way as outlets continue to pick up the story and spread the word. The act of not buying out RatPac’s hefty deal at this point sends a detrimental message about Warner Bros.’ values, especially when it comes to making a film to follow-up a high-celebrated film that champions women empowerment.

Wonder Woman has been a gargantuan financial success, and Ratner, via his company, has obviously made a ton of money from co-financing the film. And while excising his presence from future films is an obvious step to retain some kind of credibility, the knowledge of any remaining deals with RatPac keeps Warner Bros.’ image in jeopardy. To add fuel to the fire, Warner Bros.’ TV arm has had to deal with new sexual misconduct allegations in the last week as well. The company has recently suspended Andrew Kreisberg from his post as executive producer on Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow and are internally investigating accusations against him as they had with Ratner.

But Gadot’s worth to the franchise is undisputable and her influence is undoubtedly strong. Rob Hunter writes, “Gadot is the heart and soul of the film and this character now.” And there’s some credence to the joke that Diana is single-handedly carrying the weight of the DCEU on her shoulders at this point. Gadot’s smaller role in Batman v Superman was basically everyone’s main impetus for seeing that film. Moreover, after the stellar reactions to Gadot’s performance as Diana in her own solo film, she became absolutely synonymous with the part.

The act of Gadot pointedly distancing herself from a powerful producer like Ratner is in itself an assertion of worth that women in Hollywood haven’t been afforded before. This is one of the biggest indicators of a change in the film industry that will hopefully be enough of a push to scrub the slate clean of men like Ratner and their offenses.

For the longest time, men loved peddling the myth that women-led films were basically box office poison even though time and time again, they have been proven wrong. Gadot is a prime example of how women can hold power in the industry and wield it for change, and it actually feels like the tides are turning for the better. All eyes are now on Warner Bros. to do the right thing and be the champion for change that Diana Prince would be proud of.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)