Gal Gadot's casting as Princess Diana aka Wonder Woman is arguably the most popular choice that the DCEU has taken in terms of casting so far. The character first appeared in a supporting role in Batman v. Superman. The film's director Zack Snyder handpicked Gadot for the role after a stellar audition. In an interview with TheFilmJunkee, Snyder revealed that Gadot's commanding performance in her audition scene with Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne made the director certain he had found his Wonder Woman.
"When we did the casting of Gal... They were doing a scene that's not in the movie, we had just written it for the audition and she was just confronting [Ben Affleck] about his drinking, or, I don't know, something intense, and so she says something to him at the end of the scene - it's kind of a riff on the "you've never known a woman like me." And then in casting, he's doing the scene like this [serious face], and then she says it and he goes [looks at the camera and raises eyebrows] "whoa." And it was awesome because we were just like "I guess this is Wonder Woman. You kind of got checkmated there, so, I guess we're done with the casting."
While Gal Gadot became an instant favorite with fans through her small role in Batman v. Superman, it was with filmmaker Patty Jenkins' solo Wonder Woman film that the actress truly cemented her place as the DCEU's top hero. In a previous interview, Jenkins had revealed she had been initially doubtful about working with an actress in the lead role who she had not personally chosen, but watching Gadot in action erased all doubts from her mind.
"I remember when I read in the news that Wonder Woman had been cast and my heart sank. I had been talking to the studio for so long about doing it and I was like well 'that's that.' I'm sure we wouldn't have made the same choice. And then I started paying attention to her, and watching her and looking at her and it was just unbelievable. Frankly, I think they did a better job than I could have because I don't know that I would have scoured the earth as hard to find her. I don't know that I would've looked internationally. I would have just looked for an American girl. The fact that they found Gal and chose her is a magical gift to me."
Jenkins and Gadot's next team-up is for the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. Directed and co-written by Jenkins, the movie stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Natasha Rothwell.
Wonder Woman 1984 takes place several decades after the events of 2017's Wonder Woman, and sees Princess Diana taking on the combined threat of Maxwell Lord and The Cheetah. The film arrives in theaters and HBO Max in the United States on December 25 and is currently in theaters in international markets.