- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2013

And the new Wonder Woman is … Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress who scored fame for her role as Gisele in — coincidentally enough, given the recent death of Paul Walker — the “Fast and Furious” film series.

The announcement of Miss Gadot’s casting as the leading female superhero in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie was kept secret until Thursday. It wasn’t even clear until late Wednesday to movie industry watchers that the Wonder Woman role would be included in the upcoming film, Time reported.

Why? Apparently, a controversy erupted over the idea of Wonder Woman playing a leading character rather than a supporting role to Batman, played by Ben Affleck, and Superman, acted by Henry Cavill.

Film critics have complained bitterly over the past few years that recent movie versions of comic book dramas — there have been 40 since 2002, Time said — have focused on all the male characters and largely ignored the leading female roles. Catwoman’s casting doesn’t count, they say, because she wasn’t given a leading role. Movie executives, for their part, have agonized about the risk of casting a female comic character in a leading role, guessing that filmgoers wouldn’t shell out the big bucks for a movie about a superheroine, Time said.

But the movie industry apparently has switched gears and signed Miss Gadot to a prominent Wonder Woman role, played and popularized by Lynda Carter in the 1970s television series. Part of the reason for the change of heart: the popularity of the female-dominated “Hunger Games,” Time said.

Stylist.com reported that Miss Gadot was Miss Israel 2004.

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