Note: This article contains mild spoilers for Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman seems to be the crown jewel of the DCEU. Almost all reviews have praised its story, performances, characters and action sequences, which are fundamental in a #WonderWoman film. One scene in particular that caught fans' attention even before seeing the film was one called "No Man's Land."
In it, Wonder Woman, having left the Allies' foxhole behind her, walks across openly-contested land in the middle of heavy enemy fire by herself, dodging and blocking bullets in order to rescue a village from German soldiers. That scene is the very first time we see #DianaPrince fully coming into her own as Wonder Woman and embracing her heroic nature, which is arguably the most noble one in the entire DC pantheon. But surprisingly enough, it almost didn't make the final cut.
The 'Wonder Woman' Scene That Almost Didn't Happen
Director #PattyJenkins recently sat down for an interview with Fandango. There, she revealed the scene almost didn't make it into the movie because the first studio executives who saw the film thought it didn't make any sense:
"It's my favorite scene in the movie and it's the most important scene [...] It's also the scene that made the least sense to other people going in, which is why it's a wonderful victory for me."
Jenkins revealed that people were bothered by the fact that Diana wasn't fighting anyone. She was just evading and blocking fire while making her way across the combat zone. Because of that, Jenkins was forced to explain—numerous times—the point of the scene: It wasn't meant to be a fantastic action sequence, it was meant to be a character's defining moment:
“I think that in superhero movies, they fight other people, they fight villains. So when I started to really hunker in on the significance of 'No Man's Land,' there were a couple people who were deeply confused, wondering, like, ‘Well, what is she going to do? How many bullets can she fight?’ And I kept saying, ‘It's not about that. This is a different scene than that. This is a scene about her becoming Wonder Woman.’”
Fighting To Keep The Scene In The Film
Jenkins fought hard to keep "No Man's Land" in the movie. She was so passionate about the scene, in fact, that she storyboarded the sequence on her own. To give the moment the emotional impact it needed to convey, she broke the scene down to its bare bones and treated it like a drama:
"You have wonderful storyboard artists and a great second unit director and different people that you collaborate with, but in this case I just said, ‘I'm going to treat this like I would a very simple drama and let me paint you a picture of what it is that I'm trying to do before we move on to working on it in this other way.'"
Jenkins then stressed the scene wasn't about Diana's enemies or the action. It was about her figuring out the heroine she was, and Jenkins is extremely proud of pulling that scene off:
"It's about her. We're not angry at the Germans. We don't care about the Germans and neither does she. This is what she needs to do to get across [No Man’s Land], and so it's about her."
"I take deep gratification that, ultimately, all of us together were able to turn it into that scene. It was always the most important scene in the movie to me in that it is the birth of Wonder Woman.”
It's worth noting that just last week, Patty Jenkins revealed Wonder Woman had no deleted scenes, so in the event that "No Man's Land" got cut, the scene could have most likely been the only bit of footage left on the cutting room floor.
That sequence, without a doubt, is the highlight of the movie. It was perfectly written, very well acted by #GalGadot and greatly executed, so it would have been a real disappointment to not have it in the story. Fortunately that's not the case. I have to say, this interview with Jenkins just goes to show us once again how much care and love was put into Diana's first solo big screen outing, and that women can understand comic book characters just as well as men.
If you can't wait to see the newest adventure in the #DCEU, Wonder Woman will be released on June 2, 2017.
What do you think about the Wonder Woman's iconic battle scene? Are you glad it was part of the final film? Let me know in the comments!