With the historic Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice now less than two months away, promotion of the movie is kicking into high gear. Numerous publications are beginning to carry interviews with the cast and filmmakers, and we are finally beginning to get a real sense of what to expect, beyond an epic superhero smackdown, and the inevitable team assembly.
One of the most anticipated aspects of the movie is the first ever appearance of Wonder Woman in live-action cinema. Legions of fans have long-awaited the arrival of the Amazonian Warrior in film, since she is an equal third of the DC Trinity, but has consistently been passed over in favour of her male counterparts, for over 70 years. In conversation with Empire Magazine, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice director Zack Snyder explained that the inclusion of Wonder Woman in the film was unexpectedly key to drawing Justice League: Part One closer.
“It was incredibly organic how Wonder Woman came into the story. The whole concept came of, ‘Let’s not save anything. Let’s try it all.’ Then Wonder Woman’s entrance made us realise we were much closer to the Justice League than we thought. We realized we were one movie away.”
Presumably that is because Wonder Woman is an integral part of the team – and the fact that this is about to be realized in the fledgling Justice League franchise feels very much like the righting of decades of wrong. Even more exciting is the way in which she will be included in the narrative. Historically, when questioned over her big screen absence, Hollywood studios have repeatedly (and ridiculously) claimed that her origin – steeped in Greek mythology and feminism – made her a particularly problematic character to adapt.
So, how have Zack Snyder and writer Chris Terrio overcome the obstacles that so many before them found to be so entirely insurmountable? By introducing her as an ancient, inactive superhero – reluctantly drawn from retirement by the titular conflict, and greater threat, of course. Gal Gadot explained to Empire the reasons for the initial reticence of Wonder Woman, and the differences she sees between the alter-ego and the secret identity.
“[She is reluctant to come out of retirement] because she’s seen it all, she has seen what humans can do, so it was very hard for her to come back and fight.
“[Diana Prince and Wonder Woman] have the same attitude. Although when she is Diana she tries to blend in, she is not too outgoing. I don’t want people to think she is perfect. She can be naughty.”
The way in which Wonder Woman is introduced in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is also important, because it lays the groundwork for her own, solo movie – which is currently filming, and is due to be released in 2017. While that film boasts a period setting, her introduction this year in a present-day storyline allows for audiences to connect with the character on more familiar terms, before following her into a World War I narrative.
Producer Deborah Snyder explained to Empire the benefit of storytelling with a character such as Wonder Woman.
“Her sexuality is part of her power, but she is also a feminist icon. Gender has been a hot topic, so it is very timely to bring her back. The way we have approached it, especially in the stand alone movie, that is definitely there. Looking back and doing an origin story – and it is a period piece – see the role of women through history. There is a great source of humour in that now. It is so unbelievable you can’t even fathom it. You are still making a statement, but having some fun with it.”
It is the idea of seeing the role of women through history that is key to having Wonder Woman feature in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, before Wonder Woman next year. If executed correctly, by the end of Justice League: Part Two, we will have a glorious, powerful, multi-film, multi-generational depiction of feminine power, to revel in on the silver screen.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice arrives in cinemas on March 25th, 2016.