[WARNING: This article may contain SPOILERS for Wonder Woman]
The second look at Wonder Woman has just recently arrived in an action-packed trailer, but the early glimpse has done more than reveal the kind of big screen spectacle fans can hope for. As tends to be the case with comic book movies developed under intense secrecy, even the most innocuous snippets of action or settings can get fans’ imaginations pumping. And believe us, the trailer may have revealed a whole lot more than the movie’s place in the DCEU timeline.
For all that we know about the movie’s setting, time periods, main characters and how it may plant seeds for the larger DC Movie Universe, not a whole lot is known about the villain. That may have just changed in a big, irreversible way – so those looking to keep the secrets or reveals under wraps until seeing the film for themselves should stop reading now. SPOILERS lie ahead.
Some of you may be thinking: “Of course we know who the villain of the movie is – it’s the German officer played by Danny Huston.” While that’s technically correct, a shockingly small amount of information has even been rumored about Huston’s role, without even a placeholder name for his officer character. Still, an aggressive or warmongering German officer in World War I doesn’t exactly need more justification in the eyes of western audiences.
Still, the second trailer may have revealed just why his character is shrouded in secrecy – and why he’s uniquely placed and motivated to plunge the world of man into the worst war in modern history. And it all starts with a single glimpse of Diana putting her magic lasso to good use.
It doesn’t actually need much explaining, since it’s hard to believe that Diana would find it necessary to wrap an aging German officer in her lasso, fling him into the air, and slam him down onto the roof of a warehouse. Were the officer any normal man, such an attack would probably kill him. So unless director Patty Jenkins has decided to turn Diana into a savage man-beater, there’s only one explanation: this officer is no normal man.
Thankfully, the list of possible explanations is both short and, admittedly, obvious when it comes to Wonder Woman villains. If you’re looking for a character who can go toe-to-toe with Diana (as he literally takes a kick from her later in the trailer), has a habit of operating under assumed names or forms, and is generally in favor of sparking wars around the world – the answer is Ares. The God of War in the ancient Greek and Roman pantheon has given the Amazons a number of headaches in the past, and considering everything we know about the Wonder Woman movie, this explanation solves more riddles than it creates.
For starters, it offers a historically meaningful message: who but war itself could possibly have desired to launch the bloodiest conflict in modern history? Secondly, it would explain why Diana’s mission causes her to turn her back on the world for the following century: she saved the day, but Ares had awoken a hunger for death in mankind, insisting on tearing itself apart for decades to come. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it could deliver an emotionally devastating blow to Diana personally.
Producer Charles Roven let it slip early on in production that in the DCEU’s take on the superheroine, her new “demigoddess” origin story from the New 52 was being adapted. In that version of the story, Diana wasn’t conjured up out of clay as a gift from the gods to her mother, Queen Hippolyta… she was created the old fashioned way, between Hippolyta and Zeus (the father of the gods had a habit of that kind of thing). If that’s truly the story being adapted, then Ares would likely know Diana’s true parentage – and would be able to expose her to the lies she was raised believing.
Whatever the case, Danny Huston’s mystery officer – whether based on a historical figure or not – just got a whole lot more, or less mysterious, depending on your perspective. He’s more than he seems, and if the filmmakers have found a way to work Ares into human history then we’re on board to see it play out. Or who knows, maybe this is just Steppenwolf’s first crack at world domination prior to Justice League.
We’ll keep you updated on more Wonder Woman details as they arrive, and stay tuned as we break down even more secrets and hints revealed in the new trailer.