Since the battle over this role between Oprah Winfrey, Viola Davis, and Angela Bassett, many non-comic book fans had never heard of the name Amanda Waller, nor did they have any idea of the level of bad-assery this woman held. The fact that Viola Davis was cast as the powerhouse put into question “Who is this Amanda Waller?” and why would Davis, an A-lister, be willing to say yes to a role that was previously unknown to the general public.
Because, this Emmy award winning actress knows a good character when she reads it.
Here’s a short history of Amanda Waller.
Her nickname is “The Wall” as in “hitting the WALL“. On the show Arrow, she’s the director of A.R.G.U.S. (Advance Research Group for Uniting Superhumans). She created Task Force X (aka the Suicide Squad – part of Checkmate) while she was a congressional aide and a government agent. She was also head warden at Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary (Young Justice). In Batman Beyond and Justice League, Waller ran Project Cadmus. I should mention that all the while, she’s doing all of this on behalf of the united government and is portrayed as a villain. She is as smart as Batman, as cunning as Sinister, with the power and limitless resources of Nick Fury, but with the “the ends justify the means” approach, even if it means partnering up with super villains.
She has freaked out Batman, hinting she knew “rich boy’s” secret identity before most of his Justice League teammates, almost went toe to toe with Superman (not before attempting to clone him, super girl and other league members for her purposes), and helped take down the Justice League Sky base, without even flinching. She’s done all of this WITHOUT actually having any abilities.
Viola Davis was right when she described Waller on Jimmy Kimmel Live as being able to make “Superman quake in his tights“.
She even successfully cloned a new Batman (Terry McGinnis), and succeeded in “Project Batman Beyond”, continuing Bruce Wayne’s legacy, whether he wanted to or not (NOT IN THAT WAY!!!).
What makes Waller so dangerous? The League can’t arrest her because everything she’s doing is with the government’s blessing, she has virtually no fear, she can, and will do whatever is necessary to get what she needs to done, even if it requires taking down anyone from either the Justice League or The Light (including presidential candidate, Lex Luthor).
Fear her. Fear the Wall!