‘Wonder Woman’ Short Film Takes Diana in the Right Direction

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 1st, 2013 at 6:19 am,

Warner Bros. got their shared movie universe off to a strong start with Man of Steel, and with the upcoming sequel adding not just Batman, but possibly Wonder Woman as well, DC’s most famous heroine’s drought may be over. Unfortunately, while fans are furiously debating if Diana will exist in Zack Snyder’s movie universe, no one is stopping to wonder exactly how she can exist. How can a demigod from a fantasy realm be taken seriously alongside Batman?

That’s the question that the team at Rainfall Films sought to answer with their short film/concept pitch, featuring a live-action Wonder Woman (Rileah Vanderbilt). The short film won’t be for everybody, but in terms of design direction, it’s one of the first pitches for a big screen Wonder Woman that’s had us nodding our heads, not shaking them.

Featuring a look at Wonder Woman in both a Nolan-esque urban setting and a mythical fantasy that could be pulled straight out of a Zack Snyder movie (300, Sucker Punch), the short film approaches the idea of what a Wonder Woman film could be in a way not often seen. That is: embracing the unbelievable, mythical facets of the superheroine, rather than trying to cast them aside in the name of a ‘grounded’ approach. It’s a significant question of style, and one that Warner Bros. will need to answer – soon.

Wonder Woman Short Film Rainfall Films Wonder Woman Short Film Takes Diana in the Right Direction

When faced with the idea of a Wonder Woman movie, comic book fans like to get themselves worked up over which actresses would be perfect to bring Diana to life (and we’re no exception), but many overlook the fact that ‘the Wonder Woman story’ is one of the most ambiguous in all of DC’s main roster.

While most superheroes have a conventional origin story – they are born, encounter hardships, acquire powers, and take up a mission – Wonder Woman defies that structure. She has powers, of course, but they’ve been with her since the beginning; and as a princess of the Amazons, she was bound for greatness from the start.

We’re positive that the mythology of Wonder Woman is too rich to be overlooked entirely, but at what point in that story should a conventional superhero film be set? It’s that wealth of storylines and the lack of a single, compelling arc that DC’s President of Entertainment claims is keeping a Wonder Woman adaptation from gaining speed, be it on TV or in a feature film.

Christina Hendricks Talks Wonder Woman Wonder Woman Short Film Takes Diana in the Right Direction

The CW recently had to go back to the drawing board with their Amazon origin TV series, and Joss Whedon’s failed attempt to make a Wonder Woman movie has been well-documented. But even as Warner Bros. attempts to bring Diana’s story to TV audiences, Whedon (who is currently bringing the superhero world to ABC with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) doesn’t see the character working on such a small stage.

The director admitted to EW that the world’s greatest superheroine is always a challenge:

“It is hard. She’s a tough nut to crack. I know she’s famous as a television show, but I don’t think she lends herself to television. I think she only works on an epic scale. I saw a bit of the David E. Kelley [NBC pilot]. That was not a good marriage.”

The reason NBC’s Wonder Woman pilot failed (or one of the reasons) was the fact that its take on Diana, princess of the Amazons, was completely un-epic. The attempt to make Wonder Woman ‘just like a regular person’ was not only unsuccessful, but as Whedon points out, it sold the character short. And it’s in this respect that Rainfall Films’ concept film has us optimistic.

For starters, it’s nice to see a Wonder Woman cast in a beautiful light, not just a sexual one (again, there are plenty of examples of tastelessness to choose from). And while the presence of enormous monsters might turn off some viewers, the dichotomy of colossal beasts and masked gunmen hits one aspect of the character dead on; this woman is not threatened by human beings, guns or no.

Wonder Woman 1 Wonder Woman Short Film Takes Diana in the Right Direction

So far, WB is setting up two pillars of their shared movie universe: Man of Steel offered a superpowered Kal-El dealing with human problems, and Zack Snyder’s Batman will likely be every bit as grounded as Christian Bale’s incarnation. But with a near-immortal warrior woman from a secret island of mythical monsters (who may or may not fly, with both being completely plausible) possibly being added to the mix, the studio has their hands full.

Will WB take the Thor route and embrace the less believable aspects of Diana? Or will the most impressive aspects of her back-story be sacrificed in the name of a consistent movie universe?

For our money, this short film proves that Diana taking on massive beasts can work on film, especially if Snyder is involved. More than that, it has us thinking that a mixture of flashbacks could actually be all that’s needed to do Themysicra justice.


What do you think of the film’s approach? Is a balance between realism and fantasy one you feel could work for a live-action Wonder Woman, or is the studio smarter to pick one and stick with it? Leave us your own thoughts in the comments.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: GoldenLasso.net, EW

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Other than the slow-mo overkill, pretty good effort for a fan film. I do think they got the right idea from a visual perspective. Wonder woman should have had a film by now. They’ve spent money on freakin Jonah Hex..and don’t even get me started on that pile of feces called Green lantern. There’s really no excuse for not having her on the silver screen.

  2. Never have been a big fan of Wonder Woman, but that was pretty awesome.

  3. This was.. odd. Until Wonder Woman becomes a big budget film, no one will be able to a justifiable WW. She’s just like Superman. And imagine some fan made Superman film..

  4. Put Jennifer Lawrence in a better suit, get David Yates to direct, and Hans Zimmer to score, and bring the Amazon mythology to the big screen with 100-150 mil budget, you’ve got yourself a 500mil hit.

    • Similar statements were made before Green Lantern came out.

    • Well done for a low budget short. My head is nodding too.

      • Stupid tablet….

  5. I think you could tell her story and keep her WW2 story ARC of her serving in the US Army. The fact that she is hundreds if not thousands of years old she has already lived and learned of the world of men and the United States. She has loved mortal man and seen the world. In a way that Wolverine has done. That she came into the world of men as science and technology became a problem for her and her people. To find the answer if science could be more powerful than the mystical world of the Amazon woman. To add science and technology to the arsenal of weapons and magical power of the old world. Just an idea…

  6. It’s definitely well-made for a short film/fan trailer, although I didn’t quite like the 300-esque style, music, or the women screaming in slow motion. I really dig her costume though.

  7. Not bad, but the WW actress doesn’t really sell it. She just screams “actress trying to play the part” instead of really owning the role and making me believe she’s Wonder Woman.

    • It’s a two minute short film. Let’s not get too nitpicky with the acting chops of a woman who doesn’t speak a single line of dialogue.

      • Problem is, the Actor in this short looked plain ugly and did not fit the Picture of Diana.

      • It’s not about the dialogue, the action parts are bad. Like the way she threw the spear for example. That does not look like someone who has been a warrior for many many years.

        Sure, it’s a low budget short, but if you take on a famous character and try to make it look professional, at least give the actress a bit of fight training (or get someone who can already).

        • As I was watching that scene I was thinking, she’s holding that spear all wrong and then when it ended up in the beast’s head, I thought, there’s no way it could’ve ended up there given the angle she was holding it.

          Anyway, needless nitpicking, this short has convinced me a WW movie can work and it must contain aspects of greek mythology.

  8. I agree, this is a great short film. But if you’re gonna do it PLEASE no flashback like MOS. That was annoying.

  9. Said it before and I’ll say it again. Wonder woman can work on the Big screen with the right director with the right vision for her. This short trailer proves that. I’m not a huge ww fan, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a movie about her if it’s done properly. I think we’re getting close to seeing it become a reality.

  10. GREAT JOB ! Wake up hollyweird and give us an epic WW movie already !

  11. well other than the lame chick poses and wannabe tough girl attitude which is awful by the way, the visuals are pretty good.

  12. I think Wonder Woman has been such a missed opportunity for so long. I think DC would be wise to hire a woman to direct the Wonder Woman movie, Kathryn Bigelow maybe. I think DC’s biggest challenge is to make her not come off as Thor in a skirt or with the WW2 arc, Captain America in a skirt. The story of Wonder Woman doesn’t require the budget of Superman. She doesn’t have to destroy a city or come from an alien world. Wonder Woman needs a new origin story, set in present day that touches on all the hallmarks of her mythology.

    • I second the nomination for Kathryn Bigelow!
      She knows how to do two things, make a war film, and show the power of the woman in a man’s world.

      Let us see how Bigelow shows “Truth” in Wonder Woman.

  13. Not bad. Costume was pretty good, but the actress was horrible.

  14. Too bad miss Megan Fox is not that muscular and has a bad reputation on set.
    For me she is the nearest thing of a Wonder Woman.

    • Jamie Alexander would be much better than Megan Fox.

    • She mostly has bad rep as a lousy actress. But strictly physically speaking, you’re right, she’d be the perfect fit for the role.

  15. Never have been a big fan of Wonder Woman, but that was pretty awesome.

  16. It was good for fan film but it wasn’t right direction for the big one. You should read New 52 to see the right direction.

  17. I’ll admit, even though I hated Man of Steel, I actually quite enjoyed that, even if it was a bit goofy at times.

  18. good short film.
    if they do make a movie, i want them to make WW not superman strong but lifts a car at most strong. don’t make her fly at the first movie, otherwise she’ll just be a female superman with the heat vision being replaced by the lasso and tiara.
    oh and no invisible jet.

  19. That was pretty freaking good. Easily the best ww live action incarnation I’ve ever seen. I liked the costume and the actress. Not overly sexual and she came across pretty bad ass. This is definitely the right path. I even liked the flashbacks kind of mirroring her Amazonian mythical past and her present real world situation. Good way to balance it.

  20. Very, very, very good job. I’d pay to see this with a little less slow-mo. Great costume concept too.

  21. Transformers 4 Age of Extiction will be awesome

  22. Lol.

  23. Meh… but yeah, I’d like to see a real WW movie. Just maybe not in a slow-motion, blue-grey urban setting. That’s been done to death, hasn’t it?

  24. Pretty good fan film

  25. I love WW a lot and totally anxious for an enjoyable film to be on screens. They need a really good actress for the heroine role. She needs to be muscular (at least a bit on the arms) and strong yet beautiful features. Megan Fox is great for it but too bad she lacks the bulk and hates WW.

  26. I’m sorry, but as soon as she jumped into the air I lost interest.

  27. If people don’t like the fantasy aspect of these characters and their back stories, then don’t watch the movie! I don’t think that people like the fans who supported all these comics for years should have to be scared or subject to people’s opinion’s about characters they would rather see than the characters that they are! Nuff Said!

    • +1

  28. Well done for a low budget short. My head is nodding too.

  29. WW needs to be more muscular, less runway model… How bout Brienne of Tarth?! lol