The portrayal of the Amazons in Zack Snyder's Justice League is being called into question after a behind-the-scenes photo emerged online that indicates a potential sexualizing of the characters.
We first saw the warriors of Themyscira in Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman earlier this year, properly clad in metal-and-leather armor as they trained and later, as they battled invading German soldiers.
Now, some are wondering if the DC Extended Universe is taking a step back with the costumes, or lack thereof, we're seeing in Snyder's new movie. However, can we really judge things by this one photo?
In case you wonder: Here's a picture of how the Amazons looked in Wonder Woman...next to pic how they look in Justice League. First designed by Lindy Hemming, second by Michael Wilkinson.— Atte S. Pumpkins (@Rosgakori) November 12, 2017
Some steps backwards, methinks. pic.twitter.com/IVqeX7PBso
Simply put, no.
First, this tweet (showing them in Wonder Woman on the left and in Justice League on the right) is presenting the new image out of context. We don't know when the depiction on the right is set in the movie, or if it's even from a scene in the film at all. For all we know, it's simply a photo taken on the set before the actors were 100% geared up for their scene, or before they filmed a sequence which doesn't require them to be dressed and ready for war.
Secondly, we can't even confirm if this is indeed their battle gear. An earlier BTS photo showed the Amazons and Atlanteans together, and here the women seemed dressed similar to how we saw them in Wonder Woman. Could the image under scrutiny be sparring gear, or even casual wear? We literally have no clue why their costume has been altered, or for what reason. We don't even know if the warriors being clad in this fashion even makes it into the final cut.
Justice League will feature the Amazons fighting alongside an Atlantean army at some point in the past, repelling an early invasion from Apokolips' Parademons, so if this is set such a long time ago, before the events of Wonder Woman, then it would make sense that the Amazons' leather-only attire is, well, less advanced, relying more on toughened leather than metal plating.
Michael Wilkinson has been Snyder's costume designer of choice for years, working on 300, Watchmen, Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and now, Justice League. Yes, it's possible they're over-sexualizing the women (they worked together on Sucker Punch which did just that to its female heroes), but in this case, it really feels like people are jumping the gun.
It's important to be fair when assessing leaked, behind the scenes images from major movie projects, especially with such a sensitive issue as to how the film will portray women. While it does remain possible that the conclusions many have come to are the correct ones, it's equally likely that the other photo of the Amazons is the more accurate version of what we can exact to see in the film. After all, the earlier photo shows Snyder actively directing his cast, including Amazons in full battle gear, indicating that it's an image of an actual scene being shot for the movie.
Justice League hits theaters on Nov. 17 and stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.