After a television series in the 1970s, multiple announcements about a solo film over the years, an appearance in The Lego Movie (2014), and a memorable inclusion in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), moviegoers will finally get to watch Wonder Woman on the big screen on June 2.
Not only is this the first movie to star the Amazonian warrior as the lead, it is also one the first superhero films with a female protagonist after Elektra (2005). Development for a stand-alone Wonder Woman film began as early as 1996, but it wasn’t until the final script was completed in 2015 (by Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns) that prduction seemed a real possibility. With a noteworthy appearance in Batman vs Superman in 2016 that included her own signature musical cue, it was clear that audiences were yearning to see Wonder Woman’s story on the screen.
In director Patty Jenkins’s film, Princess Diana of the Amazons (Gal Gadot) trains to be a fearsome warrior on the island of Themyscira. When American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) arrives there and tells them about the “Great War” (the reference is to World War I) that is raging beyond their shores, Diana accompanies him to fight his cause, transforming into Wonder Woman in the process.
Gadot, a 31-year old former combat trainer in the Israeli army and fashion model, described the film as a coming-of-age tale. Diana “has the heart of a human so she can be emotional, she’s curious, she’s compassionate, she loves people”, Gadot told Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “And then she has the powers of a goddess. She’s all for good, she fights for good, she believes in great. I want to be her.”
Gadot, who underwent intensive training for six months for the part, also addressed the chatter about whether Diana is bisexual. She told Variety, “It never came to the table, but when you talk theoretically about all the women on Themyscira and how many years she was there, then what he said makes sense. In this movie she does not experience any bisexual relationships. But it’s not about that. She’s a woman who loves people for who they are. She can be bisexual. She loves people for their hearts.”
The cast includes Connie Nielsen as Diana’s mother Hippolyta, Robin Wright as her aunt Antiope, and David Thewlis as Ares, the son of Zeus, who wages a war on humanity. Said Taghmaoui, Elena Lucy Davis and Danny Huston complete the cast. Pine has a meaty but secondary role as the dashing pilot who steals Diana’s heart, and he told Total Film that he was happy to stand alongside the golden lasso-wielding heroine: “I think in the world today we’ve had plenty enough of male-driven everything and it’s finally time to see how wonderful the world can be with beautiful, strong intelligent women kicking some major ass.”
Wonder Woman was created by William Marston in 1942. The comics are set in World War II, while the movie takes place during the first world war. Producer Chuck Roven explained the changed setting: “Man does have an ability to do horrible things to themselves… what was unique about World War I, it was the first time that war was fought from a distance… We can drop bombs from the air, so we don’t actually have to see the casualties. We just felt that that was a really important time period, because it started then with that war”.
Filming took place in the United Kingdom, France and Italy. When reshoots occurred in late 2016, Gadot’s pregnancy – she delivered her second daughter in March 2017 – was hidden by a green cloth placed over her stomach that was edited out during post-production. Rupert Gregson-Williams handled the film’s music. The soundtrack includes new songs by Australia singer Sia (of “Cheap Thrills” and “Chandelier” fame) and English musician Labrinth.
Even before the film’s release, there are talks of a possible sequel. “I’d like to bring her a little farther along into the future and have a fun, exciting storyline that is its own thing,” Jenkins said in an interview. “Wonder Woman 1 is so much about her becoming the person she is. I can’t wait to spring forward with who she is and have another great standalone superhero film.”