Gal Gadot has just been cast as the next onscreen Wonder Woman — nabbing her the hottest up-for-grabs role in Hollywood, and officially catapulting her past Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Bar Rafaeli as Israel's most famous industry export.
The actress, model, former Miss Israel and little-known record-holder as Most-Followed Israeli on Facebook has grown a considerable fan base as the hot, hard-driving Gisele in the "Fast and Furious" franchise.
But an upcoming role alongside Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in "Batman vs. Superman," the sequel to "Man of Steel," lands her squarely on the A list.
Judging by online reactions to Gadot's new role, director Zack Snyder's pick for Wonder Woman is almost as controversial as his choice to cast Affleck as Batman. I haven't seen the BDSers out in full force (yet), but news stories on the casting have been indundated by Lynda Carter diehards who find Gadot to be too waifish for the role.
Snyder pre-defended Gadot via press statement:
"Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character."
What he forgot to mention is that she's among the biggest badasses in the game. Not only did Gadot spend two years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), completing combat training and serving as a fitness trainer (Maxim took notice), but she's done all her own stunts for "Fast and Furious," according to the following interview:
"I always told [director Justin Lin], 'I want to be a badass' — can I say badass?" she asks. (Kind of like 10 minutes ago, when I asked my editors about this headline.) Gadot then goes on to describe what she admires about her "Fast and Furious" character, which also sounds like a pretty ideal description for the modern Wonder Woman: "She's very strong, but she lets herself be soft, and be happy, and be feminine at the same time. She's very clever, she's very sophistocated, she's smart — she can see a few steps ahead. And she's one of the boys, which I always love."
Gadot's second life, her Clark Kent storyline if you will, is in Tel Aviv, Israel, with her young daughter and husband, who owns The Varsano, the poshest hotel in Tel Aviv's poshest part of town.
In response to the news of her casting as Wonder Woman, Gadot posted to her 1.5 million Facebook followers (up from 1.2 million earlier this week): "Had to share this with the best fans in the world — I Can't express how happy and excited I am to be part of this amazing project! Thank you for all your support! Love you all! xoxo."
And on Twitter, she wrote: "Wonder Women! So exciting!!! Can't express how happy I am."
It's a sweet ending to a bitter week for Israel's darling, who just lost friend and "Fast and Furious" co-star Paul Walker in a fiery L.A.-area car crash last Sunday.
Update: In case the people would like to get to know their new Wonder Woman better, here's a choice scene with Vin Diesel from "Fast and Furious." And one of Gadot dancing around in her underwear, for good measure.