The early reviews for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice are… well, not great would be putting it mildly. But while critics are roasting Zack Snyder’s $250 million superhero grudge match for its direction, tone, screenplay, acting and even length, at least there seems to be positive consensus among at least one aspect of the film: Wonder Woman steals the show. Gal Gadot’s avenging Amazon may not play an especially large role in the film (more of a special-guest cameo than a co-star), but she does get to participate in its biggest action scene – and even gets her own signature heavy metal guitar riff theme music. Not a bad tease for the solo Wonder Woman movie due to hit theaters June 2017.
The first image from the Wonder Woman solo film has now been released. Fittingly enough, it shows Diana in her pre-Wonder Woman days – alongside the team of Amazons who set out to help Diana find her heroic destiny.
The image (courtesy of EW) marks the first look Warner Bros has afforded at any of the film’s Amazon characters outside of Wonder Woman herself, revealing that while the film preserves touches of the DC Universe Amazons’ traditional grounding in the Greek myth on which they’re based, a broader fantasy/action aesthetic has been adopted as well. The armor and weapon designs in particular bear a strong resemblance to those seen in the Thor movies, but also the prevailing visual-style of many modern video games and comics as well. Exlains producer Charles Roven:
“Themyscira is influenced by the Greek but it’s clearly more then that. It’s a place that has the ‘you’ve never been to’ kind of feel. But once you’re there you’re not so sure you really want to leave so fast.”
This also counts as the first official look at Connie Neilsen, Robin Wright and Lisa Loven Kongsli as the three Amazons who will figure most prominently in Diana’s development: Neilsen plays Hippolyta, Wonder Woman’s mother and Queen of The Amazons, while Wright’s General Antiope and Kongsli’s Lieutenant Menalippe are in charge of her training. In the original versions of the story, The Amazons living on the secret island of Themyscira are the originals of Greek myth; an exclusively-female warrior race who rebelled against their enslavement and subjugation by the armies of Hercules (as in the myth) and established a hidden society away from Man’s World.
In keeping with the character’s conventional comic book origin, Diana is the only child to have been born and raised on Themyscira, while the others are immortals who have existed since the days of ancient Greece. Traditionally, Diana is “born” from her mother forming a baby out of clay and bidding the goddess Aphrodite to imbue it with life, though recent stories in DC’s “New 52” comic book continuity have imagined her as a daughter of Zeus. It is not clear which variation (if any) will turn up in the finished film.
Sharp-eyed fans, however, will notice that The Amazons are adhering to at least one decidedly old-school comic book trope when it comes to their costuming: their battle-armor comes equipped with plenty of bare skin and high-heels. And while “impractical” costumes for female superheroes are the subject of frequent criticism today, according to the film’s director Patty Jenkins and costume designer Lindy Hemming, the look is intentional – and serves a purpose.
Said Jenkins, who also clarifies that the heels do in fact get swapped for flats for “heavy fighting” sequences in the Wonder Woman film:
“To me, they shouldn’t be dressed in armor like men. It should be different. It should be authentic and real—and appealing to women.”
“It’s total wish-fulfillment. I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs.”
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019;Cyborgon April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.