Perhaps the biggest film of the year has been Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. Having grossed more than $700 million worldwide, it’s beat out Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the most successful movie of the summer, and plans for the sequel were just announced earlier this summer.
It wasn’t just the public that enjoyed Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman either: critics raved about the female-led superhero flick. It has been proven to be one of the most critically successful comic book movies in recent memory, currently sitting with a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
However, what if the Wonder Woman the world has grown to love and enjoy this summer had never come to be? Recently, the Internet has been abuzz over an allegedly leaked screenplay draft of Wonder Woman from the one and only Joss Whedon.
With the draft dated all the way back to 2006, Whedon has since moved on to work on projects within the Marvel universe. All the same, the online community hasn’t been able to resist taking a peek at what could have been with Whedon’s leaked draft, especially because Whedon is all set to direct the upcoming Batgirl movie.
The differences are fascinating – and a bit shocking. Here are the 15 Shocking Differences Between Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman And Joss Whedon’s Alleged Script.
15. It’s Set in Modern Day
While Patty Jenkins’ film is set during World War I, Whedon’s version would have taken place in modern day. Though Jenkins’ 20th century setting was purposely used to explain Wonder Woman’s backstory– and the photo that she’s in in Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice-– the choice for World War I is thematically relevant too.
Mankind (along with Ares’ help in the movie) unleashed a newly dangerous type of total modern warfare into the world with World War I. Diana’s journey discovering herself as a hero who heralds hope and love above all parallels nicely with the grim nature of World War I, a conflict that had the world in need of hope like never before.
14. Diana’s Entire Childhood and Backstory are Left Out
Arguably one of the strongest parts to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is the entire first act, which is largely dedicated to showing Diana Prince’s childhood and the lifestyle of Themyscira.
This narrative choice gave Jenkins’ room to explain the legend of the Amazons, the concept behind the so-called “God Killer” sword that Diana later wields, and sets up the appearance of Ares later on (not to mention she also includes some amazing Amazon training sequences).
However, that’s not all: Jenkins also uses the first act of her movie to get the audience to become familiar with Diana as a character before she sets off on her journey to become Wonder Woman.
Meanwhile, Whedon’s script cuts all of this out. The script indicates plans to have a brief and basic explanation of the Amazons, but that’s just about all that Whedon’s draft provides for laying character groundwork.
13. The Movie’s From Steve’s Point of View
Another reason Jenkins’ film decides to spend time with Diana Prince before Steve’s arrival is that it situates the viewer with Diana’s point of view. However, because Whedon’s alleged draft cuts right to the chase and opens on Steve’s crash landing on Themyscira, his script aligns the viewer differently.
Jenkins’ Wonder Woman depicted Steve’s plane crash by keeping the camera by Diana’s side, making the audience feel as though they are watching Steve crash right alongside her. The same scene in the leaked script is written from inside the cockpit itself, placing viewers with Steve instead.
This choice changes how Wonder Woman herself is presented. When Steve meets Diana shortly after he crashes, the audience is meeting the hero of the film through Steve’s point of view, instead of Jenkins’ approach of meeting Steve from Diana’s perspective. This is an interesting choice by Whedon, considering the fact that the film is titled after Diana, not Steve.
12. There’s No General Antiope
If there’s a character that’s even tougher than Diana Prince in the recent Wonder Woman, it’s Robin Wright’s General Antiope. The General was an important part to the 2017 movie, providing early tension and conflict in the storyline by training Diana against her mother’s will.
Antiope’s fighting sequences were among the most impressive, and it was her death that acted as one of the important catalysts for Diana’s journey.
However, Joss Whedon’s story focuses on Wonder Woman’s experiences out in the world of man, with the script working to get the story out of Themyscira as fast as possible. Because Whedon’s leaked draft essentially ignored Diana’s role in her homeland – and the other Amazon warriors as a result — it chose to go without the formidable Antiope.
11. There’s No Beach Battle Scene
The battle scene between the Amazons and German troops on the beach of Themyscira ranks as one of the most iconic parts to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman – between the thrilling Amazonian combat skills, the tragedy of Antiope’s death, and the awakening of Diana’s call to arms, the scene is an integral part to the movie as a whole.
This is yet another aspect where Whedon and Jenkins experience a divide in their stories of Wonder Woman, however. It makes sense that there would be no invasion of German troops in Whedon’s draft, considering it takes place during modern day.
Additionally, there’s no big Themyscira combat scene whatsoever in Whedon’s leaked script, meaning that Whedon leaves out all the things that made the first act of the 2017 Wonder Woman so compelling.
It also means that neither Diana nor Steve get to see each other fight before they reach the real trouble in the rest of the world – which changes an important aspect of their relationship. While Jenkins’ Diana/Steve duo know they can count on each other when they reach World War I’s Western front, Whedon’s Diana/Steve spend a lot of time second-guessing each other.
10. Diana Doesn’t Sneak Into the Temple and Steal the “God Killer” Sword
When Gal Gadot’s Diana decides to steal the “God Killer” sword in order to leave Themyscira with Steve is a huge moment. Not only is she explicitly defying the rules set by Themyscira’s Queen (and her own mother) and breaking into the forbidden holding place of the great sword, but she’s taking hold of her fate and proclaiming herself the legendary hero that will wield the “God Killer.”
Later in the movie it’s revealed that Diana herself is the God killing weapon, but the weight of this scene is still significant, and is yet another moment that Whedon does not apply in his own alleged draft.
Instead, Whedon writes his Wonder Woman as already decked out in all of her combat gear – legendary sword included. She’s even wielding it when she first encounters Steve on Themyscira, making the sword hers from the start, as opposed to Jenkin’s choice to have Diana decide to take it for herself.
9. Diana Fights Her Own Mother To Save Steve’s Life
Whedon’s choice to have Diana start a sword fight with her mother, Queen Hippolyta, to save Steve’s life might be one of the most interesting differences between Whedon’s and Jenkins’ versions.
Jenkins’ version of Diana Prince often secretly defies the Queen, sneaking behind her mother’s back to plan Steve’s prison break-out. In contrast, Whedon writes his Wonder Woman a bit bolder. When Steve is brought before the Amazons after his crash-landing, it’s decided that he’ll be sentenced to death, and when the Queen is about to carry out the sentence, Diana brazenly intervenes, challenging her mother to trial by combat.
8. The Villain is Strife, Not Ares
While Ares is the traditional archenemy of Wonder Woman’s, Whedon decided to go a slightly different route and write Strife as the villain of his draft. Strife is usually a woman in the comics and serves as either the daughter or sister of Ares, but Whedon wrote Strife differently in his Wonder Woman script.
Instead, the writer/director turned Strife into the nephew of Ares in his leaked draft. Whedon’s Strife works with an evil corporation called Spearhead and its CEO to wreak havoc on the fictional third-world city of Gateway.
While Spearhead wants to claim the city for its own uses, Strife simply revels in the chaos. While Jenkins’ movie focuses on the wartime terrors that World War I created and what they represented for the world, Whedon’s script is more concerned with the effects that modern corporations have on the societies around them.
7. Dionysus and Ares Make Brief Appearances
Patty Jenkins kept her Wonder Woman’s involvement with Greek mythology down to a minimum, with Ares serving as the only Greek god who appears through the whole movie.
Whedon’s script was a little more involved in the Greek god area. When Diana and Steve are following their investigation to hunt down a crime boss of Gateway that will allow them to get closer to Strife, they find themselves in a nightclub (aptly named Olympus).
At one point, Diana is pulled aside by a strange looking man who reveals himself to be Dionysus, living under the name Bacchus. Dionysus, tired of Strife’s antics, points Diana in the right direction and tells her to investigate Spearhead.
Also, while Jenkins gives viewers a big show of Ares in her final act, Whedon only has Ares appear as an apparition after Wonder Woman’s defeat of Strife. Ares threatens Diana, telling her that he’ll come back to avenge Strife, potentially serving as Whedon’s set-up for a Wonder Woman sequel.
6. Steve’s A Completely Different Guy
One of the most drastic differences found between Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and the old Whedon draft is how Steve’s character is written. One of Whedon’s trademarks when it comes to writing characters is sarcasm, and his supposed leaked draft certainly writes Steve with plenty of sarcastic quips.
Jenkins’s Steve has his fair share of amusing lines, but there’s something about Whedon’s Steve that is far different. Besides the obvious differences, like the fact that Whedon’s Steve is an ex-soldier transporting supplies to countries that need help versus an Allied spy carrying German secrets, the Steve that Whedon drew up is far more apathetic and bitter.
When the Steve of Jenkins’ film crash-lands on Themyscira, he certainly isn’t happy about it, but it’s his passion and empathy drive him forward to ask the Amazons for help and finish his mission.
In Whedon’s leaked draft, while Steve cares about the citizens he aims to help with the food and supplies he’s carrying, he’s disgusted over the Amazons’ privileged lives on Themiscyra and bitter over Diana’s attempts to help him and understand the world. Whedon’s character is a far colder counterpart to the Steve played by Chris Pine.
5. Steve and Diana’s Relationship is More Hostile
As a result of these different versions of Steve, there are some changes in Diana and Steve’s relationship in Whedon’s version as well. Although both Patty Jenkins’ movie and Joss Whedon’s leaked script have Diana and Steve become romantically involved, the basis of their relationship is completely different.
Jenkins’ Steve and Diana have a relationship of mutual admiration for each other’s abilities and caring personalities. Whedon’s Steve and Diana coupling starts out a bit rockier – Steve routinely insults Diana, is resentful of her sheltered lifestyle and naiveté, and for the majority of the script, he doesn’t believe that Diana has what it takes to be a hero for mankind.
4. Diana Surrenders to Strife and is Kidnapped by Rebel Soldiers
There’s one part in the leaked draft where the story of Wonder Woman takes a very different turn. During a battle with Strife, the villain manages to get ahold of Steve and threatens to kill him if Diana does not submit and agree to be bound by the same chains that first took the power away from the Amazons back when they battled Ares.
She agrees to surrender, and Strife transports her to some unknown rainforest, leaving her there chained and powerless. She is later found by some natives in the forest, who take her to their village and care for her.
The village is then attacked by rebel troops, who find Diana and kidnap her. Diana is later saved by her mother, who is disguised as an old woman that is also captured by the rebels.
This low point in the journey of Whedon’s Wonder Woman has no equivalent in Patty Jenkins’ recent film, and is one of the stranger parts to Whedon’s telling of the story. In Jenkins’ movie, Wonder Woman is perfectly capable of taking care of herself.
3. The Importance Of Diana’s Bracelets Is Explained
Although Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie emphasizes the history and role of the sword Diana carries, it neglects the other aspects of Diana’s armor and weapons.
One of the strengths of Whedon’s version is that it explains the important symbolism behind Diana’s powerful bracelets. Whedon’s alleged script is laced with references to the Amazons’ past imprisonment by Ares and the role Diana’s bracelets play in this important history (something that is mostly left out of Jenkins’ version).
When Diana surrenders to Strife, he uses the same chains that once imprisoned the Amazons at the hands of Ares and links them to her bracelets, rendering her weak and powerless. With this plot point, Whedon emphasizes that Diana’s bracelets serve as one of her greatest weapons as well as one of her greatest weaknesses.
2. Wonder Woman is Given Her Invisible Jet
Whedon also includes another iconic aspect to the character of Wonder Woman in his leaked draft. When the disguised Queen Hippolyta helps Diana escape her imprisonment at the hands of the rebel soldiers, she also gives her daughter an important gift that solidifies her transformation from simply Diana Prince to that of Wonder Woman.
Diana finds that her mother has given her an invisible jet, which she uses to leave the rainforest that Strife left her in and make her way back to Steve and Gateway. While this invisible jet appears all the time in the Wonder Woman comics, Jenkins left it out of her film.
1. Steve Lives
Easily one of the most tragic aspects to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is Steve’s sacrifice to save citizens from the plane full of explosives. Steve’s sacrifice proves as the ultimate example for Diana: mankind can be good. It is her love for Steve and the selfless side of humanity that drives Wonder Woman forward and motivates her to protect mankind.
However, Whedon writes a different end for his Diana and Steve– after Diana successfully defeats Strife, Steve and Diana reunite and celebrate her victory with a dramatic kiss. Whedon’s leaked version ends with Steve and Diana in Greece living out the rest of their days in peace, with Diana occasionally going out on a mission or two for justice.
These two drastically different endings reflect the overarching differences in tone and themes between Whedon’s past draft and Jenkins’ latest movie. While the leaked draft ends on a high note, with its two characters riding off into the sunset together, Jenkins denies her audience a happy ending and instead uses bittersweet emotion to emphasize the good and the bad that are both inherently a part of mankind.
What do you think of Joss Whedon’s leaked Wonder Woman script? Which version do you prefer? Let us know in the comment section!
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