It was by no means inevitable. Fans of Wonder Woman had continually heard for years how the Amazon warrior had not appeared in a big screen, live action solo movie because her story was particularly difficult to film. Many understood this argument to be nonsense – Diana of Themyscira is, after all, based in Greek mythology and legend, which should be far easier to render into cinema than, say, the tale of Green Lantern. But, Wonder Woman languished outside of DC’s live-action adaptations – despite being one third of its ‘Trinity’ alongside Superman and Batman, who are characters that have been published for as long as Wonder Woman has.
Then, in 2016, she arrived onscreen in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, played by Gal Gadot, and she stole the movie. Her solo film was announced shortly thereafter, written by Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs and Zack Snyder, and directed by Patty Jenkins. Whatever alchemy caused these particular individuals to come together with Gal Gadot, it worked – and Wonder Woman burst onto the screen as the lead in her own, glorious story, taking us on an emotional rollercoaster ride through World War I.
This comic book movie character absolutely nailed the essence of the comic book icon upon whom she’s based. That unique combination of passion, empathy, determination, courage, wisdom and grace that have made the Princess of Themyscira beloved around the world, decades before she ever appeared in cinemas is what lies at the heart of this depiction of Wonder Woman, and it’s the exact thing that anchors the whole story.
Whether it’s the young Diana, standing atop an escarpment, secretly mirroring the movements of the Amazon warriors she so admires, or the teen Diana, taking instruction from her Aunt – General Antiope; whether it’s adult Diana gazing in innocent mystification at Steve Trevor lying on a beach, or adult Diana leading weary soldiers into battle across No Man’s Land – the Wonder Woman of this film is absolutely everything we needed her to be.