Director Patty Jenkins explains why she felt like the Wonder Woman solo film had to feature Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince facing off against the God of War himself, Ares. No superhero film this year has been on quite the same receiving end of positive praise and financial success that Wonder Woman has. Ever since its theatrical release back in early June of this year, Wonder Woman has broken several box office milestones, shattering even the most optimistic of box office predictions prior to its release. And as a result of Wonder Woman‘s success, Gal Gadot’s presence in the DCEU has already grown exponentially among fans and in the universe’s planned future.
The film — which follows Gadot’s Diana when she journeys into the world of man for the first time during World War I — has received a whole lot of praise, in particular, for its faithful and thoughtful interpretation of the Wonder Woman character from the comics. And one of the biggest ways that Wonder Woman goes about defining Diana’s principles and core beliefs, is through her third act confrontation with Ares, whose true identity is kept a secret until a last-minute twist during the film’s climactic airfield confrontation.
In the Blu-ray special features for Wonder Woman (via CinemaBlend), Patty Jenkins talks about why she thought it would have been a mistake to have Diana face off with any comic book villain other than Ares in her first solo live-action outing on the big screen:
“In my opinion, it would’ve been a mistake to make a first Wonder Woman film without her absolute arch rival nemesis Ares, who is the most classic villain from the lore and is her counterpart of her point of view. She’s a god and he’s a god, and he knows something she doesn’t know and made a choice based on that. He saw the weakness in his father’s creation and is trying to show the world how bad mankind is and therefore annihilate them and get rid of them. She, in the course of her journey, learns the same thing and ends up saying ‘oh my god they are all of those things,’ but she makes the opposite choice. If her story is about a shift in point of view, his storyline is a participant with that story, instead of being a villain bad guy, which is the point of the movie.”
While there has been some debate amongst fans and critics about how well Wonder Woman pulls off its third act, there’s no doubt that Ares works as a thought-provoking counterpoint to Diana’s initially naive beliefs about mankind in the film. His belief that humanity causes more destruction and violence than they do love and peace actually winds up being shared by Diana at the end of the film, and turns out to be a key component in forming her overall view of humanity. Not that what Ares says about them isn’t true, but that love is a powerful enough force in the world to continue fighting for anyways.
The end of Wonder Woman leaves the possibility of villains for Diana to face off against in Wonder Woman 2 wide open. And with the Wonder Woman sequel script still being written, it’s hard to know if Jenkins and co. have even decided on Diana’s next cinematic foe yet. But with a late 2019 release date already set, and Patty Jenkins close to signing on as director, fans won’t have to wait very long to see how the DCEU creative team plans on continuing Diana’s onscreen journey moving forward.
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