Even before the long-awaited "Justice League" movie swoops into theaters Friday, one of the crime-fighting teammates is poised to fly away with the show.
Forget about the DC all-star flick's looming battle with Marvel's "Thor: Ragnarok" for box office supremacy: The biggest superhero news of the week is that the sequel to summer smash "Wonder Woman" will arrive six weeks earlier than originally announced – two years from now.
Meanwhile, "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot earned additional headlines amid a report she threatened to skip the sequel if Brett Ratner, among the latest Hollywood elite accused of preying on women, is involved. (Ratner's lawyer denied allegations reported by the Los Angeles Times, which also noted the director and producer was unlikely be part of the next "Wonder Woman" film.)
During a period of change and turmoil in Hollywood, Wonder Woman is clearly in a Justice League of her own.
Chalk it up, in part, to fresh memories of the strongest DC superhero outing since "The Dark Knight" nearly a decade ago. "Wonder Woman," largely on the strength of Gadot's performance as a once-sheltered butt-kicker, emerged as the summer's box office champ.
Perhaps more significantly, director Patty Jenkins' film struck a blow for women – historically starved for female movie heroes and more recently primed for action by the likes of Hermione Granger, Katniss Everdeen and Rey, who makes her "Star Wars" return next month in "The Last Jedi."
(The "Wonder Woman" sequel apparently switched dates to avoid a clash with Rey's next and possibly final outing.)
The impending return of Wonder Woman, even in an ensemble effort with Superman and Batman, packs a new resonance as accounts of entertainment world sexism and far worse mount.
Movies, particularly would-be holiday blockbusters, offer a chance for escapism. But an Amazon warrior who flies an invisible plane is overshadowing the most anticipated non-"Star Wars" action film of the year, inside and outside of theaters.
That's a wonder worth celebrating.
U.S. & World