A big-screen feature based on DC Comics’ Wonder Woman has been in the works for more than two decades now, and the movie is finally arriving in theaters this week.
Helmed by Patty Jenkins, the Emmy-nominated director of The Killing television series and 2003’s critically acclaimed drama Monster, Wonder Woman stars Fast and Furious franchise actress Gal Gadot as the Amazon princess Diana, who becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes. The fourth film in Warner Bros. Pictures’ cinematic universe based on DC Comics heroes and villains, Wonder Woman provides an origin story of sorts for the iconic character who stands alongside Superman and Batman as one of the publisher’s famous trinity of superheroes.
Gadot leads a cast of impressive talent that also features Star Trek franchise actor Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, the World War I military pilot who washes up on the shores of Diana’s secluded island. They’re joined by Gladiator’s Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Ewen Bremner, and many others. With Wonder Woman’s solo debut hitting theaters June 2, 2017, here’s everything else we know about the movie.
The reviews are in
DC and Warner Bros. have dealt with some less-than-stellar reviews for their recent superhero flicks, but Wonder Woman has broken the mediocre streak. Critics had plenty of positive things to say about the new movie, to the point that Wonder Woman has a 92 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer at the time of this writing. That is head and shoulders above fellow DC Extended Universe films Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which have ratings of 25 and 28 percent, respectively. Only 2008’s The Dark Knight (94 percent) and 1978’s Superman (93 percent) have “fresh” ratings that top Wonder Woman.
The response is exciting. It seems that the film does justice to one of the most beloved superheroes of all time and that DC and Warner Bros. may have found their stride. That would bode well for the many other films they have in the pipeline, so we are hoping that is the case.
The roots of an altered origin
Traditionalists might have been miffed to discover that Wonder Woman has tweaked the origin story of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), but the film’s screenwriter, Allan Heinberg, and director Patty Jenkins had their reasons for having her enter the world of men decades earlier than she does in the original comic books. DC Comics did the same when it relaunched its comic books with “New 52” in 2011, and that may have cleared the way for the change. Heinberg and Jenkins said they put serious thought into the matter.
They recently explained their decision to Entertainment Weekly, indicating that Heinberg and producer Zack Snyder were early supporters of the idea. They both found the earlier time period intriguing because of how war changed, with the machine gun and gas being introduced, for example, as well as the parallels to present day.
“We are in a very WWI world today, with nationalism and how it would take very little to start a global conflict,” Heinberg said.
Jenkins, on the other hand, was less sold on the idea of altering Wonder Woman’s original origin story at first. However, she eventually saw what she calls the “genius” behind the idea and came around to it.
“World War I is the first time that civilization as we know it was finding its roots, but it’s not something that we really know the history of,” she told EW.
In particular, she thought it was interesting to “take a god with a moral compass and a moral belief system, and … drop them into this world.”
Power (and screenings) to the ladies
To celebrate the big-screen debut of the world’s most famous comic-book superheroine, popular theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced plans in May 2017 to hold several women-only screenings of the film at its New York and Texas locations, some of which sold out.
“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying, ‘No Guys Allowed,’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” reads the announcement from the theater chain. “And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.”
While the decision was celebrated by a large portion of the theater-going population (men and women) on social media, it also met with indignation from some critics — mostly (almost entirely, in fact) men — who accused the chain of sexism. Iron Man 2 actor and Marvel Studios veteran Don Cheadle was one of several filmmakers to voice his disagreement with naysayers and support of the women-only screenings on Twitter in a series of updates.
Stupidly. There's no point to men making a point about celebrating themselves. That's called "the planet." Claro? https://t.co/DyaIS3iIaq
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) May 30, 2017
Alamo was quick to respond to the criticism by, well … announcing more women-only screenings.
— Alamo Drafthouse NYC (@AlamoNYC) May 26, 2017
You can get more information about the women-only screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse website.
More footage, more action
Although Warner Bros. Pictures remained curiously quiet on the Wonder Woman promotional front throughout the early months of 2017, the studio released some additional footage from the film in May 2017 during the broadcast of the MTV Movie and Television Awards ceremony.
Titled “Rise of the Warrior,” the new teaser for Wonder Woman features quite a bit of new footage featuring Gadot in action as the DC Comics superheroine, and a brief scene explaining how Diana, princess of the Amazons, ends up with the surname “Prince.” There’s also some footage that seems to depict how she acquires her lasso and sword from the Amazons before departing with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor for the war-torn world of men.