Canadian duo behind Wonder Woman comics buoyed by film's box office success
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman." (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)
Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 7:22AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 12, 2017 7:23AM EDT
TORONTO -- Canadian comic book author Meredith Finch says she hopes the box office success of "Wonder Woman" will help open her traditionally male-dominated industry to more female writers like her.
The Windsor, Ont., writer is one of the few women to helm a Wonder Woman series for DC Comics, and was among a select group of insiders invited to the star-studded film premiere in Hollywood last month.
Finch says she's not surprised the high-octane feature -- starring Gal Gadot as the super-powered warrior princess -- has gone on to wide acclaim and record-breaking ticket sales.
"I knew this was going to be a good movie," says Finch, who was a stay-at-home mom with just a couple years' writing experience when tapped by DC on the strength of her pitch.
"There really is a need and there's a yearning out there for women to see movies that speak to them and for people to see movies that speak ... to their heart and that's what this movie does."
This is the first time the raven-haired heroine has gotten her own feature film, despite being among the most famous DC characters, which include Superman, Batman, The Flash and Green Lantern.
Finch attributes some of the film's success to director Patty Jenkins, suggesting that female directors have an innate sense of what makes female characters tick.
"There is something about being a woman where you understand the nuances of femininity and female relationships that I think Patty brought to the table," says Finch, nevertheless pointing out that male directors like Joss Whedon of "The Avengers" can get it right too.
"Otherwise, you're just looking at it through a window if you're not in that world."
Finch is not the first female writer to tackle the 75-year-old character, but she did try to offer her own view of the longtime feminist icon for her monthly books, published from fall 2014 to spring 2016.
"She can be a very difficult character to write in that she gets written more as a super-hero and less as a woman and that was really what I wanted to focus on for our run ... I really felt that Wonder Woman approached everything she did because she just had this enormous love for humanity," says Finch, who teamed with husband and longtime DC illustrator David Finch for the 18-issue run.
The 43-year-old mother of three boys says she was heartened to see the Warner Bros. film take a similar approach.
"It's just about being the best version of yourself," says Finch, who considers the character more "humanist" than "feminist."
"She's one of those characters that can really evolve in a way that I think some other super-hero characters don't. She changes with the times. She is the version of feminism that we need at that time."
David Finch says stories can only improve when new perspectives are welcomed. He says the comic book industry has changed a lot in recent years and is often more radically liberal than mainstream feature films.
"We're having to be much more aware of the fact that we're playing to everyone's sensibilities and not so much to young repressed men," he says, chuckling.
"We've seen more and more stronger female co-stars and supporting roles and that's been great, but this is really the first time, I think, where it's been a completely female-driven movie, female lead, super-hero movie that has done incredibly well. So it's definitely a milestone."
Meredith Finch credits big-screen adaptations with helping the comics reach new audiences, and that in turn can help diversify both film and comic book characters, creators and storylines.
"This is really going to change things within the industry, especially for super-hero movies, because there are some great amazing female super-heroes," says Finch, lamenting the lack of a Black Widow film.
"I do think they're starting to listen and become more aware of the fact that female viewers don't necessarily just want to see a romantic comedy."