Wonder of Wonders

Alright Warner Brothers, you have my attention. The coveted high-profile Hall H panels at San Diego Comic Con as always boasted the very shiniest footage from big studios’ upcoming extravaganzas, but by far the most promising was our first proper look at next year’s WONDER WOMAN.

One of the only people who managed to escape the abysmal an po-faced BATMAN V SUPERMAN with dignity was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, who shone at every turn. From the trailer, which has the Amazon warrior running around the battlefields of WWI after pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes on her island, it looks like we’re in for quite the ride, a colourful (tonally speaking, not literally colourful as Warner Bros will insist on desaturating everything) juxtaposition of the real and the fantastical. Gadot looks to be utterly inhabiting the role and giving WW the power and poise she needs; the way this literal divine stands out against the grey ugliness of trench warfare really is quite striking.

Having an out-there character taking part in a real conflict immediately brings to mind CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and the strange and advanced “other world” on the periphery of our own might make you think of THOR, so Marvel is clearly the model here. Wonder Woman herself predates both of those properties on the page though, and she has a long and rich history and fascinating mythology to draw upon. I ashamedly admit that I’ve never read a Wonder Woman comic (I haven’t really read much DC, Batman aside) and my knowledge of her is mostly from her appearances in DC’s Animated movies, video games and her status as a pop cultural icon.

Unless I missed it, there’s still not much indication of what villain Diana might be facing, though her involvement in a very human conflict (notably one of the most wasteful and pointless wars in history) has real potential. From the footage it looks like she’s defending both her Amazonian home of Themyscira (watched over by Connie Nelson’s Queen Hippolyta) and fighting against Germany in the world of men. You have to think she will end up taking a stand against all forms of war, accounting for her being disillusioned and in hiding by the time Batman v Superman takes place.

The trailer indicates that a lot of the film’s humour might come from Pine’s period-appropriate incredulity at an all-female liberated society. They might not want to lean too heavily on that, but director Patty Jenkins (MONSTER) is a talent known for bringing complex characters to life, and the writers have a good track record in the comics industry, not to mention trying their utmost to get this property to the screen for years, so I’m sure they know what they’re doing.

I’ve got to reiterate how awesome Wonder Woman’s electric cello theme from BvS is, and I hope it’s used liberally (no word on whether MAD MAX’s Junkie XL is back to score) and becomes as iconic as John Williams’ theme for SUPERMAN. It’s been a long time coming, but finally we’re getting the Wonder Woman movie that is (hopefully) everything we’ve been yearning for. All signs at the moment point to it fulfilling expectations and then some. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

I'm not paid to write about film - I do it because I love it. Favourites include Sam Mendes, Guillermo del Toro, Bong Joon-ho, Steven Spielberg, Danny Boyle, Edgar Wright, Taika Waititi and the Coen Brothers. All reviews and articles are original works owned by me. They represent one man's opinion, and I'm more than happy to engage in civilised debate if you disagree.
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