The world needs Wonder Woman right now.
Dark times call for a virtuous hero, and not since 1978's ground-breaking Superman movie has a big-screen comic book character embodied such unfettered goodness.
"Everything that she stands for is something that is eternal, that will always be relevant," says Gal Gadot, the Israeli actor portraying Wonder Woman in the new movie hitting theatres this week. "She's all about love and justice and truth and compassion and those values are values that are always relevant."
It's hard to argue with Gadot's casting as the iconic Amazonian Princess - in person the actor positively radiates ethereal warmth and quiet power. Although an undoubtedly intimidating presence, her gargantuan, empathetic smile puts all around her at ease.
"I always believe that the spirit of the actors you cast is important," Patty Jenkins (Monster), the director behind the new Wonder Woman, tells TimeOut. "We needed someone who could really embody Wonder Woman on screen, and we got somebody who plays her on and off the screen, and that's a magical thing. All of her automatic instincts, she's actually so kind and so open and so inclusive. She's completely in the know. She's not delicate or fragile. And she's so kind and funny and fun. She was a special wonderful Wonder Woman to us."
When TimeOut later presents this assessment to Gadot herself, the actor demures.
"I don't know what to say about that because then it's weird, like 'Yeah I'm a great person ...' I truly love Patty and I think that we had really good chemistry and we've bonded not only in a professional way but on a personal level. And that made this entire process really easy for us. Because it was a very intensive project. I think that if you don't work with people who you love and you enjoy spending time with, it can be really challenging. But we actually hit it off from the get-go."
The world may need Wonder Woman right now, but DC Cinematic Universe needs her even more. Although last year's Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice made a lot of money, it didn't especially endear itself to the greater film-going public and was deemed to be overly dour. It featured Gadot's debut performance as Wonder Woman, and her relatively minor supporting presence was the film's unquestioned highlight.
Now the focus of her own origin movie, it's clear that everybody involved is leaning into the hope and positivity that Wonder Woman represents.
"Strength and power are usually connected with males," says Gadot. "And I think that she has that, but we also kept all of her feminine qualities - her vulnerability and her compassion and love and emotional intelligence and I think that once you combine both worlds together, the strength and the power and all of the feminine qualities, then you have a very special character, a whole one."
The film also represents the culmination of a ridiculously long wait for a big screen outing centred on the world's most famous female superhero.
"I just think that it's crazy that this iconic character has been around for 75 years and we've never gotten to see her origin story [on screen]," says Gadot. "It's weird. Like, it's crazy. Men and boys, growing up they had Superman and Batman and Spider-Man to look up to and we didn't really have a strong female figure to look up to. That's why I think it's so important that finally they're going to have a strong female figure to look up to, and not only for girls, but also for boys. Everyone keeps talking about women-empowerment and I think that you can't empower women without educating men. You need to be inclusive. So being a mother of two girls, I'm just thrilled that finally it's happening and I'm hoping there will be more and more strong female figures."
The first third of the film takes place on Wonder Woman's home, the island of Themyscira, where there are no men at all.
"It was amazing," says Gadot. "For me, when I first saw the movie, it just hit me how crazy is it that it's the very first time that I've seen such a big battle sequence driven by woman. Fighting in their style and owning it. It was just mind-blowing to me, so original."
The sets of blockbuster movies have also always been something of a boys' club, and Gadot (who co-starred in several of the Fast & Furious movies) says she appreciated how Wonder Woman bucked that trend.
"I must say that I've worked a lot in male-dominated environments with big franchises, and I feel like the energy that we had on [the Wonder Woman] set was very inclusive. It was like a sisterhood type of vibe. There was no envy or jealousy. It was just super fun. It felt like one big happy family."
Who: Gal Gadot
What: Wonder Woman
When: In cinemas today