Via my friend Sean, Bleeding Cool has a bunch of pics up from the new Wonder Woman tv show shoot. Most of the pictures are of Adrienne Palicki, but there are a few of her stunt double, Shauna Duggins as well.
A couple of things. One, I’m glad the promo shots of Palicki in high heeled boots and plasticky pants are not the actual costume. I’m also glad she’s wearing pants — in this day and age, blue hot pants with stars would just look silly (sillier? We are talking about a superheroine here).
Second, the contrast between Palicki’s and Duggins’ physiques jumps out at me. Duggins is muscled — not “toned” — which is totally to be expected for a job that requires leaping, fighting, and just generally being physically strong. Palicki, who is clearly fit, doesn’t actually have much muscle to speak of. And it reminds me of how, 10 years ago, Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing Buffy, a woman who was supposed to be able to fight men twice her size, had very little muscle tone. Sure, she was obviously fit, but check out the arms on one of her stunt doubles, Sophia Crawford. But this is nothing new: ’70s Wonder Woman Lynda Carter wasn’t particularly buff, either.
I guess you could argue that, as superheroes, neither Buffy Summers nor Diana Prince need big muscles to do their jobs. They’re inherently strong. But their male counterparts are heavily muscled. Tom Welling is pretty cut on Smallville (am I the only person shocked that that show is still on?), as was Tobey Maguire when he played the somewhat lithe Spider-Man.
My suspicion is that live-action women superheroes aren’t buff because in order to be traditionally sexy and feminine, they just can’t be. A Wonder Woman with powerful muscles would be intimidating to fanboys, not attractive. Plus, as a working actress, Palicki can’t afford to be “too buff” when she wants to be cast other roles — a problem I doubt many actors have.
Anyway, I’m tempted to call this a moot point, since it’s entirely likely that Wonder Woman will be terrible and won’t make it out of the first season. Still, it’s worth noting, since we’ll probably continue to see this disparity in superhero build.