Wonder Woman's badass No Man's Land scene was almost a no-go

Holy shit, WONDER WOMAN is a blast! If you haven't seen it yet, you should. And look - I get it. The DCEU has broken the hearts of many comic-book fans (for some it's already a "three strikes and you're out" thing). However, the complaints commonly lobbied against the current crop of DC films, such as them being overly grimdark, depressing, nihilistic, etc. are nowhere to be found here. Not only is it fun, inspirational, and - above all - funny, it is at its core something fundamental for a straight-up superhero film: it's hopeful. And while it indeed sometimes goes to some dark places, it never revels in it, and it always serves a thematic purpose.

One of those scenes that deals with dark subject matter (trench warfare in WWI), but ultimately is about hope, sacrifice, and heroism, is the now-famous "No Man's Land" scene. However, this awesome sequence almost didn't make it into the film (and was almost nixed in the script stage). Here's what director Patty Jenkins had to say about the whole ordeal:

I think that in superhero movies, they fight other people, they fight villains. So when I started to really hunker in on the significance of No Man's Land, there were a couple people who were deeply confused, wondering, like, ‘Well, what is she going to do? How many bullets can she fight?’ And I kept saying, ‘It's not about that. This is a different scene than that. This is a scene about her becoming Wonder Woman.’...It's about her, we're not angry at the Germans. We don't care about the Germans and neither does she. This is what she needs to do to get across [No Man’s Land], and so it's about her.

To help prove her point to the suits at the studio, Jenkins had to put matters into her own hands:

You have wonderful storyboard artists and a great second unit director and different people that you collaborate with, but in this case I just said, ‘I'm going to treat this like I would a very simple drama and let me paint you a picture of what it is that I'm trying to do before we move on to working on it in this other way.’

She essentially storyboarded the entire scene herself, to get across what she wanted to convey with it. Even then, like Wonder Woman, it still was an uphill battle with a lot of opposition for. But ultimately Jenkins prevailed, stating: "I take deep gratification that, ultimately, all of us together were able to turn it into that scene. It was always the most important scene in the movie to me in that it is the birth of Wonder Woman."

And she should be proud. The audience I saw it with and I clapped and cheered during that part - just rapturous applause. The scene was so moving and powerful and badass and awesome and, above all wonderful, that I was moved to tears. It's by far my favorite scene in the film (and there are a lot of favorite scenes, trust me). So I'm glad Jenkins stuck to her guns and gave us what, I'd argue, might go down as one of the quintessential superhero sequences, alongside Superman saving Lois from a helicopter crash in the '78 Superman, the "I'm Batman!" scene from Tim Burton's '89 BATMAN, and Spider-Man stopping the speeding train in 04's SPIDER-MAN 2. It's that good.

Meanwhile, WONDER WOMAN is playing right now! Go see it!

Extra Tidbit: Wonder Woman is one of the few superheroes to unequivocally beat Batman up - even going so far as to put her boot on his head and threaten to stomp it. Swoon.
Source: Fandango



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