Wonder Woman brought some much-needed heart to the flailing DCEU, surpassing Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 as the highest grossing movie of the summer. It did so many things right — from Gal Gadot's performance to Patty Jenkins's directing — but it had only one problem: the villain Ares looked kind of ridiculous.
When it came time for #WonderWoman to battle her nemesis, viewers just couldn't get past the idea of Ares (David Thewlis) sporting a mustache along with his clunky armor. He looked goofy, not threatening.
But the initial concept art of Ares was very different compared to the final result on screen. Peter McKinstry, concept artist for film and TV, took to Instagram to reveal what was originally planned for the God of War:
Behold, the true Ares in all of his battle armor — ready to take on any foe, including Wonder Woman. This ended up as the design for the Ares toy, But what happened between this concept and what we saw on screen?
Someone in the Instagram comments asked a similar question, and Mckinstry replied:
"Things change...in the vfx process of putting the fight sequence together, the director decided he should armour himself with the scrap metal around him."
What Previous On-Screen Ares Got Right
The Ares seen in Wonder Woman is not the same Ares we've seen on TV or in the movies before. He's usually been more physically intimidating, in line with what we think the God of War should look like. When you think war, images of rugged soldiers charging into battle comes to mind. Here are a few Ares in previous shows that demonstrate this idea:
1. Xena: Warrior Princess
In Xena: Warrior Princess, Ares (Kevin Smith) was depicted as young and muscular with some weapons ready at his side. When he wasn't falling in love with Xena, he proved to be a formidable opponent. Several times they went after each other in hand-to-hand combat.
2. Immortals (2011)
If you are going to have a battle between Greek gods, it makes sense to have Ares on your side. Immortals stars Henry Cavill (Theseus) who is chosen by Zeus to lead the fight. Again, Ares (Daniel Sharman) is portrayed as a young warrior bursting with energy and muscles.
3. Wrath Of The Titans (2012)
The young and virile warrior is depicted in Wrath Of The Titans. Ares (Edgar Ramirez) wears powerful armor, and looks very menacing as he wields the mace during several fight scenes. Ares was always ready at any moment to charge into battle without hesitation.
The Ares In Wonder Woman Represents A New God Of War
The Ares in Wonder Woman was the complete opposite of what we've seen before in other media. He's not a foot soldier or a general with a sword in his hand at the ready. Instead, he was an older man. A man who was part of the political world. And a man who was scheming and using strategy to win a war.
Showing his face with his mustache — as Henry Cavill can tell you, mustaches seem to be in vogue now — during the final fight scene only plays into this idea. Before the fight, Ares duped Wonder Woman into thinking he was on her side, and it never dawned on her that he was the one pulling the strings. Even the audience was fooled by Ares's appearance; he's an old man that looks as if he couldn't life a sword.
But that's the trick. Ares turns out be a formidable opponent because he keeps everyone guessing. He's not the young and brash warrior looking to start a fight. Instead Ares is the enemy that is always calculating his next. He only uses physical force as a last resort, preferring to dodge Diana's attacks at first.
In the end, Ares proved to be a worthy opponent, but his previous design would've resulted in a more intimidating opponent. Fortunately, it appears that Steppenwolf will look plenty intimidating when Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.
Do you think Wonder Woman should have used the original Ares design or were you happy with the final look? Let us know in the comments below!