[WARNING: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Wonder Woman]
After making a surprisingly polished and action-packed debut in the Comic-Con trailer, hopes and expectations for Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman were higher than ever. That being said, the trailer contained enough iconic action scenes and glimpses of the larger DC Comics history to keep the existing fans salivating. But the trailer train must keep rolling, which meant another look at the superheroine adventure was on the way, showcasing more of the film’s cast, setting, fight sequences, historical fiction – you name it.
The trailer may have revealed even more than fans have come to expect, giving serious hints towards its ties into the larger DCEU timeline and even the supervillain who may have been hiding in plain sight this whole time. But those are only a few of the noteworthy moments and details found in the footage – and the rest of them may be just as easy for viewers to miss on a single viewing.
Needless to say, there will be potential SPOILERS in our look at the Wonder Woman Trailer #2: Every Reveal & Hidden Detail.
17. Trip To The Louvre
As proof that just about every movie trailer looking to add some scale and class to the equation should open in Paris, the very first shot shows Diana (Gal Gadot) taking a trip to The Louvre Museum, the world famous museum and historical monument. The clothing and unforgettable Louvre Pyramid confirm that this section of the film is set in the present day, likely following the events of Batman V Superman.
So, what has brought Diana to the Louvre… has she learned the way of man’s world by finally reading through Dan Brown’s sensational novel “The Da Vinci Code”? Unlikely. But the Louvre carries more than just art inside its walls and many storage sites, as a number of items deemed significant to history have been preserved by the institution. Considering Diana’s age, that makes it seem like a useful resource for any number of reasons. Given her previous presence in Paris, and her knack for intelligent discourse and history, she may even work there.
16. A Familiar Photograph
Fans don’t need to wonder long just what has brought Diana to the Louvre, since the following shots show her opening up a protective briefcase containing a photograph now familiar to all DCEU fans: Wonder Woman in full armor alongside her World War I companions. If this actually is how the film begins, it would make sense – book-ending the modern day film with so clear an entry point into her origin story. But there are more details revealed in this scene that you might realize on first viewing.
For starters, the background behind Diana as she opens the briefcase looks more like a loft apartment than a museum. Assuming Diana is living in Paris, then a job at The Louvre makes sense for a number of reasons (is it cheating if you were there when the history was made?). But pay special attention to that bit of paper recently placed on Diana’s desk – the one bearing the “Wayne” company letterhead and a handwritten note. Considering the back and forth that Diana and Bruce have had over this photo already, it’s plausible he would leverage his fortune and power to not just acquire the only original of the photograph confirming Diana’s immortality, but send it along to her with a playful note.
15. The Amazons Are Discovered
This shot needs no explanation for longtime fans of Wonder Woman, since her story of venturing out into man’s world – for better or worse – always begins with man first discovering the world of the Amazons. It’s usually some variety of attack or mechanical failure that brings brave, courageous pilot Steve Trevor crashing into a mysterious island (found on no known map) populated only by ancient warrior women with no desire to be crashed into by anyone. The island is Themyscira, and Steve Trevor’s arrival brings with it a world of trouble.
The actual rescue of Steve by Diana was used to open the movie’s first trailer, having dragged him from the wreckage and onto the shore. But the sequence of events that follows implies that a squad of German soldiers are hot on his heels – putting other shots into a different context. It may be that the daring airstrike on a German base doesn’t actually take place alongside the other climactic scenes. If Trevor were to attack in an aircraft, take damage and be pursued, then crash landing near an island with enemies close behind makes sense. If the film follows that plan, then expect to be introduced to both Diana and Steve before they actually meet.
14. Germans Attack
We’re taking a few disparate scenes and shots and placing them in a larger context here, thanks to the establishing shots of German soldiers arriving in boats on the beach of Themyscira. a few things to note here: first off, the boats are stenciled with the name “SCHWABEN” – a reference to the very real historical dreadnought battleship SMS Schwaben. Launched in 1901, the ship operated before and during World War I as a guard vessel, so the timeline fits.
As for the battle itself, the two trailers show what looks to be the first action sequence truly showing how lethal the Amazons can be in combat. Combining high flying ropework with archery, spears, and good old fashioned swords, these soldiers aren’t prepared for the resistance they meet. The presence of horses may seem a bit anachronistic, but that’s in keeping with the real war, as well. Judging by the flying sand, the Amazons may learn the same lesson as the European powers: that the age of bullets and artillery shells changes everything we know about armed combat.
13. Dodging a Bullet
It’s hard to miss this shot, since it takes a dip into slow motion territory to guarantee that the audience can process two different ideas at once. First, that Diana’s senses are heightened enough to actually track the bullet as it flies past her, turning her eyes and head to follow it. Secondly, judging by her reaction after Steve – who only has eyes for Diana – pushes her out of harm’s way, the bullet continued on to strike her Amazonian sister swinging in to protect the Princess. To really grasp the significance of the shot, you have to remember that at this point in time, Diana, as well as most (if not all) of the Amazons have never even seen a bullet before.
If it inflicts the damage the shot suggests, or even draws blood, it’s a brutal introduction to the relatively new technology. And if her first instinct – observing it missing her by inches – resulted in the death or injury of her sister, you had better believe she won’t let another bullet pass her by ever again. The potential for symbolism and meaning is there for the taking: the young, naive Diana takes the role of spectator to the battle around her, and decides she’s done letting events pass by. She’s stepping up, stepping in, and not only blocking as many bullets as she can, but downright inviting them towards her alone.
12. Not All Bullets Were Dodged
The previous trailer featured one image that stuck in our memory: Diana, sitting atop a stone table in a darkly-lit chamber receiving what looked like medical attention from an Amazon healer dressed all in white. The fight scene seemed a likely candidate, and it appears that can be confirmed, since Diana appears without any injury to her arm in the scenes prior to the assault – and even prior to her sister being harmed – but is later bandaged. Apparently, something in the fight throws her into action.
This also seems as good a time as any to point out one feature of director Patty Jenkins’ team of costumers and hairstylists. Actress Gal Gadot is pictured here with her hair up, clearly a look the audience is meant to read as Diana, a perhaps naive and youthful daughter. That hairstyle continues in nearly every shot where she’s ‘in disguise,’ only letting her hair down in full Wonder Woman armor. The implications are intriguing, suggesting that Diana isn’t so much in disguise while dressed down, but herself – the version of herself that her upbringing has shaped. Hair down, and she’s taking her steps into becoming a superheroine. Worth keeping an eye on.
11. Infiltrating The Airbase
The presence of British, German, and in the case of Steve Trevor, American soldiers and officers implies that the story of the film will be a bit more complicated than some might assume. However, it’s unknown just how much of the plot will be set prior to the outbreak of the war, and how much after it has already begun. Whatever the case, the evidence is mounting that Steve will be going undercover to gain some intelligence about exactly what the German soldiers under the leadership of the unknown German officer (played by Danny Huston) are up to.
It looks to be this same installation that Steve will later escape from, but going by his narration and the flurry of images flashing before the viewer, the answer is chemical weapons. The use of chemical weapons by actual armies has brought about serious controversy to this day, so this could be a sign of some more historical fiction at work. If Steve Trevor arrives on Themyscira and seeks help to end “the war to end all wars” before it begins, the idea of chemical weaponry as a nightmare creation will play especially well with the sword and spear-wielding nation.
10. The Masked Maiden
If there’s one member of the film’s cast whose ratio of ‘things we know’ to ‘inability to look away whenever she is on the screen’ is higher than the masked woman seen here, we’ve yet to see them. After making a stunning entrance in the prior trailer as one of the more memorable guests at the high class party Diana and Steve attend with the mystery villain, she returns here, in the trenches of chemical weapon design. Fans can assume that the mask worn on her lower face is to conceal an injury, and given her work, most likely a chemical burn.
Her identity isn’t hard to guess at, since the character description of a ‘masked woman who’s into poison and an enemy to Wonder Woman’ returns one prime candidate from DC Comics history. Sure, ‘Doctor Poison’ isn’t the most inventive or original name for a villain – even more reason for the filmmakers to riff on the idea, not copy it. Doctor Poison a.k.a. Princess Maru was also out to poison American troops, but from the pained expressions actress Elana Anaya has already brought to the character in a handful of shots, we suspect there’s more to her story.
9. Friendly Fire?
It wouldn’t be a war movie without some political intrigue, and fans of Captain America: The First Avenger should be well aware of just how treacherous a military madman can be. All we know about the film and its cast suggests that the German officer played by Danny Huston will be the primary antagonist – as such, you might assume ‘the German military’ would be a villain as well. But this sequence of shots suggests something else. Or, at least, something more extreme.
The brick bunker is clearly a German location – as noted by the portrait of what appears to be Kaiser Wilhelm II, the German Emperor – implying our villain is consulting with other officers. What follows is his impassioned claim that “the war can be ours” (possibly “world,” but it sounds like “war”)… a strange statement, since the idea of wanting war and not what victory brings is a little twisted. Well, unless war itself is what he’s after… but we’ll get to that soon enough.
The meeting clearly doesn’t go as he had hoped, judging by his masked henchwoman tossing a canister of gas into the building before quickly exiting. Whatever the villain is after, he may be going it alone.
8. An Explosion in Blue
As any fan of trailer dissection knows, breaking things out of order is key to unlocking the real story being teased. Case in point: this eruption of blue energy shocking and blinding what looks to be a squad of gas-mask-wearing soldiers (seeing the theme of chemical munitions?). The most obvious solution is that a supernatural – dare we say downright Amazonian – phenomenon has struck, but make sure you take a close look. The site of the explosion is a guard tower that we’re going to be seeing later in the trailer, and the energy being blown out should look a little familiar already.
No, we’re not talking about the last time we saw a strange blue eruption of light signaling the presence of an otherworldly god in the DCEU (she preferred the name ‘Enchantress’). It’s still difficult to even identify the kinds of energy or attacks that Wonder woman herself will possess, or the ones her magical armor will make possible. When Diana smashed her vambraces together in Batman V Superman the resulting shockwave was white light – could this be the version seen in her solo film? Either that, or it’s some kind of energy output from the person she’s fighting… but they would have to be superhuman too…
7. The New Themyscira
With each new “Wonder Woman” comic book origin story or re-imagining comes the reveal of a writer and artist’s conception of ‘paradise island,’ the home of the Amazons untouched by time or progress. The version seen here is completely in keeping with traditional designs, embracing a blend of classical, culturally-ambiguous architecture. It wouldn’t be a paradise without lush vegetation and waterfalls wherever possible, either.
Two questions immediately arise: first how is it that the island has remained hidden? The comic books have relied upon some silly or supernatural explanations to quite literally “hide” from the world outside, but Steve Trevor seems to find it just fine – as do the soldiers in pursuit. Secondly, the massive stone citadel soaring into the sky and taking up almost a third of the visual real estate demands questioning. Is this the location the women flee to in times of siege? Or is there a deeper meaning? Only time will tell.
6. Amazonian Weapons & Armor
Once Diana decides that her true calling lies outside of Themyscira, she goes shopping for the tools she’ll need to accomplish her mission. First comes the shield followed by her sword, and as much as we would love to go into detail about the rich mythology behind each of them, there’s actually very little canon history agreed upon for Wonder Woman’s arsenal. We know, it’s surprising. But traditionally, the shield and sword are simply Amazonian, with possible backstories, powers, or special attacks completely relying on the storytellers of a given arc (including Zack Snyder’s ‘Sword of Athena’ in BvS).
That being said, there’s clearly some kind of history fans can look forward to, with both the sword and shield held in specialized displays, as if they are historical artifacts instead of regular weapons. That fact only raises more questions about the classic red and blue armor already fashioned and stored in the same armory. In the traditional origin, all three items are presented to Diana after being chosen as Amazon’s representative to the world. So what’s she doing picking them out on her own – and why does she take such a sizable drop to find them (note the impact in front of the sword)?
5. Bullet Catch Homage
Superhero fans were probably hoping to see some easter eggs or reference to iterations or storylines of Wonder Woman past, but few expected to see a clever homage to Richard Donner’s Superman (1978). In the trailer, Steve Trevor finds himself the target of an assassination (his role in the war is obviously more interesting than a run of the mill soldier). His gesture of throwing out an arm to shield Diana is admirable, but it’s her quick thinking that saves the day, rocketing one of her vambraces into the path of the bullet, saving Steve’s life… and redirecting the bullet into the palm of his hand.
It’s impossible to be anything but a loving homage to the superhero movie that started them all, in which Christopher Reeve catches a bullet in the palm of his hand from the same position. Sure, he pulls off the feat without so much as a (genuine) complaint. And yes, Diana does go on to deflect a handful more bullets in the ensuing melee. The times may demand a bit more pulse-pounding action, but homages to the past are more than welcome.
4. The Supervillain Revealed?
Finally, we can help break down the real villain of the piece: the aforementioned, unnamed German officer. There are a few hints that we’ve alluded to already, but the biggest piece of evidence that Huston’s villain is more than he seems is the above image. Showing Diana battling the officer by wrapping him in her lasso, propelling him skyward, then slamming him down into the rooftop is proof he’s no ordinary man. A closer look even reveals the outline of their fight sequence, with other shots showing them fighting hand to hand inside the guard tower, leaving a hole in the ceiling as they head skyward, and finally disintegrating the structure in that burst of blue light.
So, who is the villain in his true form? The most popular and likely answer is Ares, the God of War. Not only is he a standard antagonist for Wonder Woman, but his overall mission – to plunge the world into death and destruction – actually becomes more powerful given real history. Frankly, the outbreak and devastation of World War I would make more sense if some malevolent figure engineered the entire meat grinder, and pushed the world into it. Ares is just the guy to do it, too.
3. Wonder Woman… Flying?
A few key images are easy to miss in the montage of action shots and attacks, including the one shown above. As cement is torn out of the ground (an exhibition of Ares’ powers, perhaps?) Diana blasts her way through it, eventually standing atop a piece of erupting rubble before lifting herself off of it and into the air. Now, previous comments from Gal Gadot claimed that Wonder Woman could practically fly given her superstrength leaping, but… what’s shown in the trailer is no jump. What’s shown is Diana pushing off from the surface, and rising into the air as seen above.
There are some explanations possible, with the admitted twist of the ground itself heaving and falling (her “rising” could simply be the appearance as she slows her launch upward, rising faster than the rubble). But it’s a powerful image all the same, especially if it comes before the following shot. On the other hand, if Wonder Woman can fly limited amounts, then movie fans just have even more to look forward to in future DCEU adventures.
2. Brace For Lightning
The final image before Wonder Woman’s famous music kicks in is a memorable one, depicting Diana in her classic vambraces-crossed pose. But the lightning crackling against them seems far more important than a simple visual effect. For starters, the lightning/electricity seems to be coming from two different locations off-screen – meaning it can’t be an attack from a single villain that’s being deflected or absorbed by Diana’s magical cuffs. And we do mean magical – not only were they able to absorb Doomsday’s attacks in BvS, but even the deflection of the earlier bullet coming at Steve Trevor shows the vambraces glowing, and radiating the magical energy used to block the projectile.
We’re open to theories on this one, since it’s just as plausible that Wonder woman is actually charging her famous defensive accents for an unknown attack. It would be something new for them on screen, but it isn’t that far of a leap from smashing them together to create a massive shockwave. But your guess is as good as ours.
While we’re speculating, let’s add a bit of our own hopes in here: if the villain is Ares, and he seems to be, and if he informs Diana that she’s actually the daughter of Zeus, which she is… maybe she decides to try out a bit of her father’s signature power?
1. Etta Candy
We’re taking our cues from the studio here, and refusing to end our breakdown on anything but Etta Candy, played by Lucy Davis. The plucky ‘secretary’ has become something of a fan favorite over the years in DC Comics history, shifting from a second fiddle to Steve Trevor into a regular coworker of Diana Prince’s. And while the setting of the film means Etta will, unfortunately, be unable to interact with the other members of the Justice League, she looks to be a particularly bright spot of the film so far. After all, her comedic moments have been used to punctuate each of the film’s trailers.
It’s too early to say just how much of the film will factor into Etta Candy’s own subplot, but even if she’s relied upon for these sort of “My Fair Lady” sequences, schooling Diana in the ways of the world, what we’ve seen so far has us confident she’s up to the task.
So there you have it, our breakdown of the many plot twists, teases, reveals, and homages contained within the second full-length trailer for DC’s Wonder Woman. If you’ve spotted anything we’ve missed, or have questions unanswered by our analysis, let us know in the comments!