Why Beyonce should play Wonder Woman

beyonce-is-wonderwomanImage Credit: Kent Miller/PR Photos; DC ComicsCasting a superhero is a tricky. The actor has to personify a character with decades of history, but also look fantastic in skimpy attire. (Most of the best mainstream comics ever made could easily be subtitled “Muscular People with Personal Problems.”) Christian Bale and Robert Downey Jr. have done it, but there’s a whole graveyard of Brandon Rouths and Jennifer Garners who tried and failed. Playing a superhero is just plain hard, but it also has to be fun. And that’s why, when the time comes to finally cast the long-developed Wonder Woman movie, there’s only one real choice to play the Amazon: Beyoncé Knowles.

I caught some flak for making that suggestion over on our gallery of superheroines who deserve their own movies. Conventional wisdom says that musicians almost never give good performances in movies (except when they play themselves, like Eminem in 8 Mile or David Bowie in Labyrinth). But when you really ponder Beyoncé as Wonder Woman, there are only two major issues that come up:

1. Beyoncé can’t act. I refute this. Cadillac Records wasn’t a good movie, but Beyoncé’s Etta James was a magnetic revelation. She owns the screen. That’s also true of her role in Obsessed: the movie is ridiculous, but Beyoncé is such a snarling force of energy – “I’ll show you crazy!” – that she raises the whole project above shallow absurdity into gorgeous camp.

Would I want to see Beyoncé star in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie? No. But Wonder Woman is not a character who requires a Chekhovian level of emotional realism. She requires something far more challenging: presence. Wonder Woman is a ravishingly beautiful princess, but she’s also a warrior. She doesn’t just have to be gorgeous. She has to be believable in a fight. She has to be a brawler.

Watch Beyoncé sing “If I Were a Boy” at this year’s Grammys. She’s majestic, sexy, cocky, and brutally powerful (and all in heels). This is a woman who could lead an army of screaming Amazons into battle.

2. Wonder Woman is white. There’s a simple answer to this problem: Big Fat Who Cares? Wonder Woman’s creators don’t care, because they’re dead. Wonder Woman doesn’t care, because she’s not real. Speaking for all white people everywhere, I can affirm that we don’t care. And let’s be honest: Wonder Woman’s character history is so rife with reboots and retcons, hiring an African American to play her in a movie would be the least crazy change to make to the character.

No less a writer than Joss Whedon has already tried and failed to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen. It’s tricky: Wonder Woman was designed to be a pro-feminist icon, but she’s also a six-foot hottie wearing bright red boots. Beyoncé navigates that same curious gray area between girl-power feminist and booty-shaking bombshell every time she strolls onstage.

You might find that mixture problematic, but it’s infused in Wonder Woman’s DNA. A movie that owned the two sides of the character could finally break through the boys’ club of comic book movies. Hit Girl doesn’t have to be the only three-dimensional female movie superhero, right?

What do you think, PopWatchers? Am I crazy (in love)? Do you have a better actress? And do you think that your actress could defeat Beyoncé in a fight? Sound off below!

Comments (458 total) Add your comment
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  • DW

    No. NO. NO! Beyonce’s acting isn’t awful when it’s a more serious role, but as soon as she is asked to “act” funny or campy, it devloves into Foxy Cleopatra very quickly…

    • talkin’

      Foxy Cleopatra was the only good thing about that movie

      • Kristina

        Really? It was? She was horrible.

      • Celia

        “I’m Foxy Cleopatra and I’m a WHOLE lot of woman.” lol.

      • HAHAHA—

        Kristina GO TO $%&$%&$%·$\\|#@# OK?

      • Bob

        It is like casting Halle Berry as Catwoman. Wow! That was successful.

      • DC fans

        Well you can always cast -

        Jon Stewart Green Lantern as Jackie Chan.

        Black Lightning as Jet Li.

        Black Panther as Daniel Craig.

        Luke Cage as Nicholas Cage.

        It is ridiculous right!

        Megan Fox or Evangeline Lilly are potential choices for Wonder Woman. So please don’t screw this thing up.

        We love Wonder Woman, but take things seriously.

      • thesepretzelsaremakingmethirsty

        Michael Richards from Seinfeld–he’s tall like an amazon

      • facesnickersbook

        Betty frickin White, she’s already a “golden” girl

      • HARPO

        Okay, so Wonder Woman is the most powerful woman in the universe, why not have the most powerful woman in the universe play her? OPRAH, OPRAH, OPRAH, OPRAH, OPRAH

    • דידי

      That’s a GOOD thing. Wonder Woman should be neither funny nor campy. Especially not campy.

    • Brian

      And really, the moment this article suggested Beyonce could raise something from bad to campy, I lost interest. Just because these characters are based on comic books does NOT mean they should be slapped together like live-action cartoons. They can and should have an element of fun to them (a feel somewhat akin to Abrams’ Star Trek), but campy is death to comic book properties. That only gets us “Batman and Robin” (it’s very hard to act when someone keeps yelling “this is a cartoon!”, which is apparently what Schumacher did). The key to comic book movies is to take them seriously, but not so seriously you suck all the fun out of it. It’s a hard line to walk, but campy is the last thing any comic movie should be shooting for.

      • glen morgan

        your right the same idiots that thought Electra and Catwoman would be hits wasted millions, and now are even considering pissing off the fans even more with this joke. hollywood keeps deviating from hero characters and wonder why people are always skeptical about who is playing roles of their favorite hero. The Ideal of Beyonce playing this is juct plain a waste of thought.

    • jason

      the ALIEN LADY FROM V would be PERFECT!

      • Brian

        Morena Baccarain? She could pull off the emotional components of Wonder Woman, but I’m not sure she’s built enough. Maybe though.

    • WW is white !

      Darren Franich .. Do not speak for all white people !!!

      • Phyllis

        Wonder Woman is “FICTIONAL.” I could see where her race would be of importance if it somehow was a part of her character’s action, or was relevant as to her existence. But, I can’t think of one script where a White, oriental, Indian, Hispanic, Black, or any other race would be essential to the character of Wonder Woman. God created many different races, do you only like one kind of flower, or can you appreciate a bouquet? Try thinking of humanity as a bouquet. If our creator saw fit for variety in everything from flowers, animals, foods, people, and the list could continue on and on….shouldn’t we be able to also have an appreciation for the variety in life? You would’nt like only one food as nourishment or only one color, say grey, everywhere you looked would you?

      • Grammar

        Wonder Woman is Greek, period. Her mother was Hippolyta, Queen of the Greek Amazons. Though the the article erroneously suggests that Wonder Woman has been subject to many, many reboots, her common origin is that the she was sculpted from clay by her mother and given life by the Greek Gods. That’s why Asian, African, etc. don’t work. Wonder Woman DOES have an ethnic identity, and it is GREEK.

      • James

        Umm, 3 things.

        1st, IT’S A COMIC BOOK CHARACTER!

        2nd. The Amazons were there OWN race.

        3. Grammar, you’re obviously not a true Wonder Woman comic fan cause you’d know that there were in fact BLACK AMAZONS…(Phillipa anyone?) Get a clue you narrow minded jerk

      • Dr. Ivo Robotnik

        I have an even better idea! Let’s make the entire main cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender, who are both of Inuit and East Asian descent, white! I mean, they’re fictional, right? It’s not like the creators of the show actually intended them to be of any particular ethnicity, or stated that in interviews and such! Hell, let’s give the role of that burnt-eye kid to someone with dark skin! Hell, let’s make all the evil characters dark-skinned!

      • Josh

        Isn’t Wonder Woman’s current origin that she wasn’t made from clay, but is the daughter of Zeus and Hipployta?

    • Aisha

      Beyonce is a talented and beautiful woman. B if your out there and listening, my name is Aisha. I live on Fairgreen Dr. Please come over and talk to me. I don’t want nothing from you.Just to talk. Only if you want to talk to me.

      • Joey

        Creeepppyyy.

      • me

        what the hell…

    • Terri

      One thing: Hollywood already tried color-blind casting with another iconic female character from comics,and failed miserably: Halle Berry in Catwoman. Sure, the film’s star was the least of it problems, what with a terrible script, uninspired direction, and a beyond-ridiculous (even by the spandex-tights-and-capes crowd standards) costume, but I doubt they will try to reinvent the ethnic origin wheel again in their attempt to bring a female superbeing to the screen. Especially with THE female superbeing, Wonder Woman. Not to mention that Beyonce is a terrible actress. I don’t know what OBSESSED you watched, because the one I did (with Igris Elba and Ali Larter) was an atrocious mess and Beyonce was at its center with her ridiculously campy line readings.

      • darclyte

        Catwoman was played VERY effectively by Eartha Kitt back in the classic 60s Batman tv series, and she was black. That movie failing had nothing to do with Halle’s color, but because the movie sucked. It wasn’t even the “real” Catwoman.

      • DiMi

        Terri – 1. Eartha Kitt, a black woman, was a FANTASTIC catwoman in the 60s, but you are probably too ignorant to even know who Eartha Kitt is.
        2. ONE black woman performing poorly in ONE bad movie does not justify getting rid of colorblind casting? That’s an excuse. You’re just a racist who can’t stand to see a black woman get something you think a white woman should have. Next thing you know you’ll be saying black people should give up their seats to whites on the bus…

      • Karyn

        So they tried got it wrong once and they shouldn’t try again? Come on. I can think of a bunch of stupid movies with mostly white casts and yet no one stops making those things, lol. Beyonce can’t act, sorry OP, so she isn’t the ideal actress for the role but why not cast a wide net, why limit the part to only white actresses with black hair and blue eyes?

      • glen morgan

        my point exactly, i posted before i read yours

    • rob

      darin, you pulled her out your ass,you keep talken like that that ,ask what happened to josh weeden.can u say black balledd!

    • darclyte

      As a HUGE superhero geek, I don’t think of the problem as her not being white, (Wonder Woman isn’t necessarily white,) nor her acting. For me, she’s too old. She’s pushing 30 and I think whoever gets cast to be WW should be under 25.

      • Dr. Claw

        While I’ll agree with not casting Beyonce, this is Wonder WOMAN were are talking about, not Wonder Girl.

  • Bobby’s Robot

    I don’t think she has the chops to play an action heroine.

    • Sina

      And she’s not an Amazon! WONDER WOMAN IS AN AMAZON SO AN AMAZON SHOULD PLAY HER!

      • Marph

        Would that be a native of Amazonia? What the heck are you talking about, Sina?

      • Dr Zechariah Zenith

        Are natives living near the Amazon river counted as Amazonians?

        I recommend Megan Fox as my first choice.

    • HAHAHA—

      =S -,-

      • Hepburn

        Firstly Megan Fox cannot act except to play simpering girl friends in trouble and secondly she stated herself that WW is a LAME (ie; stupid superhero) character that she would never play and thirdly she would be JANK!

      • Hepburn

        I would like to amend what I said.
        It was Perseus who rescues Andromeda not Thesus. My bad, sorry.

  • sparkle the gym bag

    love everything about Beyonce but i hope this person is joking one of the greatest iconic comic heroes ever nope not even in the conversation color not an issue G. Union, Kerry washington fine, but this has to do with being wonder woman not looking fake fierce

  • Aaron

    Wow, I actually never thought of Beyonce. Come to think of it, I think it would actually be an awesome choice! Nice suggestion :)

    The only other actress that I think could possibly pull it off would be Evangeline Lily, but even that’s kinda a stretch.

    • ted

      I second Evangeline Lily. She would be awesome and super hot!

      • James

        Evangeline Lily???? I’m sorry but that chick has some SERIOUS OLD FACE going on…what is she like 45???

      • texgeekboy

        EL is 31 or so. You must be thinking of your mama.

    • lls

      i LOVE the idea of beyonce but def NOT evangeline lilly. i’ve been a complete lost addict for a long time, but there is one person from that show i don’t care if i ever see again it’s her. she has gotten better, but i’ve been secretly wishing for kate’s death since day 1. her episodes are always some of my least favorites of the season.

    • Brian

      Eva Green could pull it off. Beyonce would crash and burn-she can’t act.

      • Dan

        I can see Eva Green too but Jessica Biel has the physicality for the part.

      • HAHAHA—

        Brian go to hell

  • elena

    “Speaking for all white people everywhere, I can affirm that we don’t care.”
    Amen. If Beyoncé really is in talks to play Wonder Woman (or this is just a loving Popwatch Confessional), I wouldn’t mind. I think the girl has the balls to pull a role like this off.
    Although, if we’re talking strong, African-American female actresses, can I offer you a Gina Torres? I want to see her more…

    • Brett

      “Speaking for all white people everywhere, I can affirm that we don’t care.” Nope. You’re NOT speaking for all white people everywhere. Second: while I agree she gave a decent performance as a drunken junkie in “Cadillac Records,” I would hardly call Beyonce’s other film work to be any real acting. And before you say, “Oh, the role of Wonder Woman doesn’t call for the performer to be much of an actor” – the reason that superhero movies have been successful recently is because the filmmakers have taken the movies seriously. They have cast quality actors in the roles who were good for the part.

      • elena

        ?!
        Wonder Woman’s race was never a defining aspect of her characterization, so I’m with Darren Franich, it doesn’t matter what race the actress is who is considered for this role.

      • Temp

        I think wonder woman’s race certainly matters to a degree. Sure she is fictional, so its not quite the same as having a black person play abraham lincoln or something, but her heritage certainly DOES matter. One of the main story points of wonderwoman is that she is a part of the greek mythology universe. ACTUAL greek mythology just did not have many black people according to surviving art, statues, historical record. Would it make narrative sense to have Brad Pitt play a Zulu Cheiftain in a fictional story? Or how about Sandra Bullock can play Storm in the next xmen movie, even though the characters African Heritage is very important to the character?

        Fiction is make-believe, true, but sometimes if your going for belivability you need to stay within certain realistic paramaters.

      • Jenn

        Race doesn’t matter, but the fact that she supposedly is an Amazon…or Greek or whatever, it’s NOT CAUCASION, both of those are olive complexioned. Regardless, it doesn’t matter that Beyonce is African American (A term I actually despise being a black female) she can’t act. Plain and simple. There are just so many other beautiful talented people who could do that role better.

      • e-man

        I agree with Temp. Wonder Woman isn’t Nick Fury, or The Kingpin. She isn’t a race-neutral character. Her roots are firmly planted in Greek mythology. She has to be white. And I’m saying this as an African-American.
        On another point; I’d really like to see them cast someone with a bit of physical strength, similar to the Alex Ross version of the character.

      • James

        Maybe he was speaking for “all white people everywhere” who don’t suck.

      • James

        And as I noted earlier…This is a COMIC BOOK MOVIE…THERE WERE BLACK AMAZONS IN THE COMICS!!!!!

      • Karyn

        Interesting, but I would point out that race only doesn’t matter when the actor is white. For instance, Jake Gyllenhal (sp) playing the prince of persia, or Nicholas Cage playing the black man who saved all those people on 9/11, or the live action rendition of Airbender which is asian and native american being cast with all white actors. If it’s okay to cast white people in those specific ethnic roles, why can’t a black woman play WW?

      • Hepburn

        Hello Temp contrary to what you may think you know about Greek mythology a lot of it was “white washed” per se especially the story of Thesus and Andromeda who was the Princess of Ethiopia but is ALWAYS portrayed a a white blonde female. Also Greece is very close to Africa and there was a lot of trading and mixing going on between peoples and cultures, but I guess you think that the Greeks put up a Whites only boarder around themselves?
        Also if you checked out the DC comic book (the modern issues) you will see that the Amazons are comprised of women of many shades and colours, some look Asian, some look African and some look European.
        Beyonce is fierce I could see her being an Amazon like maybe General Phillipus who is Queen Hipployta’s (WW’s mother) right hand. WW is of Greek Amazon descent she is not White European looking so please lose that jank idea.
        Thanks.

    • talkin’

      Gina Torres – good call!

    • Daisy Steiner

      Yes, yes, yes. I’ve been saying this for some time now. If you’re going to forgo the “Wonder Woman is white” rule, please relax it for Gina Torres. The girl can kick ass (see Alias and Firefly), and has the physical presence needed for Wonder Woman. Seriously, who’s gonna mess with Anna Espinosa?

      • BG 17

        I say that based on the artist’s rendering included beside the pic of Beyonce here that the only choice to play Wonder Woman should be Patrick Warburton!

      • Terri

        GINA TORRES is talented and fierce, but let’s be honest…you don’t think “blessed with the beauty of Aphrodite” when you look at her. Her jumpy eyes and weird look are all fine and dandy in and of themselves, but for a warrior princess that is supposed to be the most stunningly beautiful of all the amazons, and whose beauty was given by the goddesses of Olympus, Torres is not the right choice. At least Beyonce is gorgeous.

      • Tick Fan

        I agree with BG 17, Patrick Warburton would be perfect–just like southerners did not want a yankee to play Scarlett O’Hara, comic fans won’t be happy unless there’s an amazon cast as Wonder Woman–I loved Lynda Carter but come on, she’d snap in two if she had to lift something heavier than a brick

  • robinepowell

    Beyonce is NOT the right person to play the role. I’ve said this before, how about an unknown actress?

    • Brian

      I agree–an unknown. If we’re going with a known person, Eva Green is my pick.

    • HAHAHA—

      ha. =S

  • Dan

    what about zhang ziyi?

    • Michael

      Zhang Ziyi would be awesome! I second that!!!

      • therealeverton

        I love Ziyi Zhang, almost literally! However she’s just too small.

        WW is one of those characters whose size is actually a big part of her character. Michelle Yeo would be better, but again, too old unfortunately.

      • Dr Zechariah Zenith

        I would rather have Zhang Ziyi than Beyonce.

        But Megan Fox is the girl I have in mind.

  • pop

    please no to beyonce. she doens’t need another starring role in anything but her music videos.

  • Madd

    David Bowie was good in The Hunger…

    • Madd

      And don’t forget that Courtney Love CAN act!

      • JImi

        And I’d rather see Courtney Love be Wonder Woman over Beyonce. Fact.

    • Jenn

      He so was!! I agree, but that’s not what we’re discussing here.

  • PDT

    Wonder Woman is Greek, and Greek mythology is a huge part of her character. Not to mention that Beyonce couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag.

    • Steph

      Exactly. WW is GREEK! What, we’re suppose to forget that? I don’t think so.
      Beyonce, and Megan Fox for that matter, would be terrible for the role.

      • Brett

        No, she’s not Greek. She was created from clay by Greek gods, but that doesn’t necessarily make her Greek.

      • Mo

        Good call Brett, she was formed by the Amazons from clay. Which doesn’t state what ethnicity she is…..maybe clay:)

      • PDT

        @ Brett – okay, you have a point…but why would Greek gods create a being out of clay and NOT make her in their likeness? I’m fine with Halle Berry as Catwoman (in a better movie – not that suckfest she was in), Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and even Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin. It doesn’t change their origins at all. Wonder Woman is steeped in Greek mythology…but she’s black? Nah. Sorry.

      • pastafarian

        Who’s that leave us with then, Nia Vardolos? No thanks.

      • Sauce

        @PDT – Just nitpicking, but mentioning SLJ as Nick Fury in that context isn’t quite accurate, because if you read the “Ultimates” comics from Marvel, you’ll see that they drew Nick Fury in SLJ’s likeness for that universe. (And I may be mistaken, but I believe they got permission from SLJ to do so.)

    • Devin

      While I’m all for diversifying superhero rolemodels, I think that making WW black would be an injustice to Greek Americans, who have very few iconic figures in pop culture.

      Wasp in an Avengers movie? Sure thing (hey, even include a name about the ironic code name). Oracle? Awesome! And don’t even get me started on how great of a Star Sapphire I’m sure Beyonce can be….

      • Devin

        Okay, maybe Beyonce couldn’t pull off Oracle, but another black actress could.

      • DiMi

        Linda Carter wasn’t Greek, but you didn’t have a problem with her playing Wonder Woman. You just don’t like black people.

      • glen morgan

        IT’S SIMPLE FOLKS SHE DOES NOT FIT THE PART, PERIOD, THOSE OTHER CHARACTERS MENTIONED HISTORY IS NOT AS INDEPTH AS WONDER WOMAN’S, THIS MOVIE WOULD FLOP,I KNOW IT WILL,THEN WHAT?

    • DiMi

      Wonder woman is not Greek. She is a FICTIONAL character from a FICTIONAL culture that is a hybrid of a number of different cultures and myths.

  • harry

    Beyoncé hell yeah!!!

  • Keisa

    Didn’t Beyonce already play Wonder Woman in that Lady Ga Ga video??? Oh and she would need some speech therapy to get rid of her southern drawl. They could go another route, into a comedy, if they got Kim Kardashian to play her or one of her sisters!!

  • Jon

    No.

  • Jess

    I wont’ watch if she plays her. She can’t act in a believable way. I vote Megan Fox or Emily Blunt

    • Ellie

      AUGH! Don’t even suggest Megan Fox! Have you not seen her body of work? (and I don’t mean in THAT way).

    • Michael

      Megan Fox? Are you kidding me? No. SHE can’t act. Hotness isn’t everything. Emily Blunt on the other hand, that would be good. I like her.

    • Whatevs

      WHAT ? You refuse Beyoncé because she can’t act and you talk about Megan Fox ? °°

    • Brian

      Plus, Megan Fox said she hated the Wonder Woman character, didn’t she? Not exactly the person I’d want playing her.

      • therealeverton

        No talent comparison here, but it worked for JJ making Star Trek.

    • Lily

      Just because Beyonce wore a Wonder Woman costume in Lady Gaga’s video doesn’t mean she could play her. B does have a statuesque body fit for an Amazonic woman, but let’s admit it – the girl can’t act. If they want a woman of color, then I think Jennifer Lopez or Rosario Dawson would be a better choice. The actress who played her on the tv show was Latina with Caucasian features, so if they want to go that route they can cast Christina Aguilera, Cameron Diaz, or maybe even Fergie.

  • Icon

    Why are you pushing Beyonce so hard for the role?

    • Vicky

      No No No No No!!! Beyonce should NOT have this role!
      I love wonder woman!
      I dont undestand why they choose beyonce!
      this movie will be a disgrace.
      beyonce is NOT a good actress..actually scratch that! she isnt an actress!
      they shouldnt change a legend! and yea the creators might be dead but how about the rest of us who grew up with these stories and the shows and read the comics!
      I dont understand why they have to go switch it all around like that!
      This whole idea is nauseating and disgusting and NO ONE will go and pay to watch beyonce TRYING to be even remotely close to wonder woman. SHE is NOT wonder woman!
      Ohh and one more thing !wonder woman was GREEK!!!!
      Seriously they shouldnt change the story of wonder woman!

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