BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and SUICIDE SQUAD were both financial success in 2016, but fell short of the kind of critical success that usually follows those numbers. While those films most certainly created a burgeoning fanbase of the DCEU, it has also created detractors. With a full slate of films ahead of them, the pressure is certainly on to deliver future films that are able to generate a bigger wave of accolades to accompany the box office receipts. In short, WB has heard the complaints (and the compliments) and is full steam ahead and shaping up their next comic book endeavors to fit all comers.
And, perhaps no film on their roster is more in need of positive attention than WONDER WOMAN, the first big-budget, live-action film featuring the famed Amazon Goddess, member of The DC Trinity, and one of the most well-known comic book icons in history, having just celebrated her 75th Anniversary last year. Our first introduction to the big-screen version of Wonder Woman came in the form of Gal Gadot in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, having one of the most heroic moments of the entire film and leaving everyone hungry for more. The announcement that they were making her first solo outing with MONSTER director Patty Jenkins was a welcome surprise and filled fans with both hope and dread, depending on their reaction to both BVS and SUICIDE SQUAD.
Since then, we’ve seen Gal’s WONDER WOMAN pop-up in promo’s for the solo film, as well as for Zack Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE, which hits this November. The reception for those has been mostly positive with some genuine excitement in seeing all of those characters come to life on the big screen, but with some apprehension lingering.
So, in an effort to share more about WONDER WOMAN and what audiences can expect in terms of characters, setting, action, tone, and story, the studio invited us to visit the edit bay in London to get a glimpse at a few scenes and talk to the director, Patty Jenkins, about her approach to the film as well as her many insights and goals in delivering the final product.
Before checking out the scenes, we were given an extensive breakdown of the overall story from Production Liason Anna Obrupta, which focused mainly on the first third of the film, from the very origin of Diana and her family on Themyscira to her eventually leaving with Steve Trevor to London during WWI on a mission to save mankind and the Amazons. With that, here’s a breakdown of the overall story with some key details to keep in mind before jumping into the scene descriptions and our chat with Patty Jenkins.
THE WORLD OF THEMYSCIRA & BEYOND IN WONDER WOMAN
- WONDER WOMAN will open in present day with Diana working at the Louvre in Paris. She receives a package from Bruce Wayne, which contains the physical picture of Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor and their team that he had e-mailed her in BVS. This causes Diana to reminisce over the image, leading to the beginning of the film’s story in Themyscira.
- Themyscira concept art is shown, which is a lush, mountainous island with living quarters and buildings built into the landscape. Waterfalls, greenery, and magnificent structures with living quarters and buildings built into the landscape. Very reminiscent of Rivendell in LOTR, but on a larger scale.
- WONDER WOMAN’s origin will tie into Greek mythology with Zeus as her father.
- We first meet Diana at 8 years old, playing in the streets of Themyscira, where she is being raised by her mother Queen Hippolyta (played by Connie Nielsen), along with thousands of other Amazons.
- Hippolyta reads young Diana a story about the origin of the Amazons, which comes to life in an animated sequence. The story goes back to when Gods ruled the Earth and when Zeus creates mankind to be companions to the Gods. But Zues’ son, Ares, the God of War, becomes jealous of this relationship with mankind and begins to corrupt them with war and hatred, eventually killing off other Gods as well.
- It is revealed that Zeus created the Amazons to fight Ares, who has taken it upon himself to kill all the Gods. The Amazons fight Ares back, but not before they are enslaved by mankind. Before Zeus is slain by Ares, he creates Themyscira as a safe haven for the Amazons, while also wounding Ares severely.
- Zeus also has created the “God Killer” sword, which is the only weapon that can kill Ares, which he leaves to The Amazons.
- While Ares has seemingly disappeared, The Amazons continue to train in preparation for his return. They are essentially a warrior race to begin with, so it’s within their nature.
- Diana’s mother does not initially want her to be trained in combat as she fears that Diana will seek out Ares to attempt to fight him.
Diana is trained in secret by her Aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright Penn), but eventually her mother finds out and after some arguing, they both agree that not only should Diana be trained in combat, but she should be trained to be the greatest Amazon warrior to ever live.
- In her training, Diana discovers that she is stronger than she knows, having unique abilities such as the power wave she can send by crossing her arms and superhuman strength and speed. She is more than just an Amazon.
- Steve Trevor happens upon Themyscira when his plane crashes there after fleeing with stolen intelligence about a secret weapon being developed by the Germans during WWI.
- Diana witnesses the crash and saves Trevor, who happens to be the first man she’s ever seen. She brings him to her mother, where he reveals he’s an American fighter pilot working with the British government.
- One of the villains of the film, a German General played by Danny Huston, is operating outside of his command to develop a deadly gas to use on allied forces with the evil Dr. Moreau, a deformed scientist, doing the dirty work
- Shortly after Trevor is captured, a battleship of German soldiers shows up at Themyscira to retrieve him, but The Amazons respond in kind and battle the soldiers on their own shores
- Trevor is concerned for The Amazons as they have no guns, but quickly sees that they are very well prepared and employ a unique fighting style that relies on a “collaborate” fighting style, working as a team to take down the Germans. They end up winning the battle, although take some casualties regardless.
- They use the Lasso of Truth on Trevor after the battle to discover where he’s from and what he’s up to, where he reveals what’s really going on in the world with WWI and how important the stolen information he has. Trevor implores Hippolyta to help him get back to London to help mankind, but she is still bitter over mankind enslaving them long ago.
- Diana, however, looks back to the story that her mother read her and says that The Amazons were created to bring peace and order and should thereby help Trevor. She also believes that Ares must be behind WWI and he must be found and defeated.
- Queen Hippolyta forbids Diana to get involved in the WWI plight, but Diana defies her, setting out with Steve Trevor to find the most violent place that the war is taking place, as she believes that’s where Ares will be.
- Diana breaks into the Amazon armory to steal “The Godkiller” sword, shield, lasso and the traditional armored outfit. Many of these items are supposedly gifts from the Gods.
- Diana and Trevor show up in London in 1918, which is where Diana is exposed to a world very different than Themyscira. She is very much a fish-out-of-water. She tastes her first ice cream, sees her first baby and encounters a world where woman are treated very differently than they are on Themyscira
- Steve and Diana eventually make it to the war council in order to deliver Trevor’s secret intelligence about the deadly gas being developed. This is where we meet David Thewlis’ Sir Patrick Morgan, who tells Trevor that they need to stand down, while the allies deal with the problem.
- Trevor and Diana enlist some soldiers to help, including Ewan Bremmer’s British sharpshooter, Saïd Taghmaoui’s Sameer, a flirtatious master of disguise, and Eugene Brave Rock’s Chief, who is a tradesman that’s good at moving people and goods through treacherous locations. They are initially leery of working with a woman, but they eventually warm up to Diana.
- As Diana continues her trek to find Ares, she is also developing her powers, which come in many forms; she is able to use her gauntlets to block bullets (as well as her shield), she’s super fast and strong, able to jump massive heights and strong enough to throw tanks.
- While Steve Trevor has no powers, he is still very heroic in his own right. He’s very much Diana’s guide in the world outside of Themyscira and she needs him as a partner in achieving her goal.
- Wonder Woman can speak hundreds of languages, as they are a bridge to all of mankind.
WONDER WOMAN smashes into theaters on June 2, 2017