Warning: This article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman!
Although Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earned a lot of criticism, Gal Gadot's debut turn as Wonder Woman was universally praised. Now, we're in the run-up to the release of Wonder Woman: the Amazon's first big-screen solo movie, and an origin film that promises to plunge us into the mythical world of Themyscira.
But how is Warner Bros. going to adapt the Amazons to fit into the DCEU? After all, they're not just introducing a sense of the supernatural — we already got that with Cara Delevingne's Enchantress in Suicide Squad. No, the Amazons also bring with them a beautiful, rich mythology, and even promise to introduce us to the concept of the gods themselves. At an exclusive event hosted in London, Anna Obropta — the Production Liaison on Wonder Woman — explained just how the Amazons will be integrated into the film.
An Animated Scene
We'll see Diana from childhood, as an eight-year-old learning from her mother Hippolyta (played by Connie Nielsen). There, in what promises to be a fascinating scene, she'll be read the history of the Amazons; we can expect some sort of animation to present this, giving us a glimpse of a time before time.
In the DCEU, it seems that Zeus himself created the human race, as companions for the gods. Unfortunately, his son Ares — the God of War — was left bitterly jealous. Furious that the human race had stolen his father's affections, he poisoned the hearts and minds of mankind, leading the world into ruin. So it is that the world as we know it — corrupt, twisted, broken — took form.
But matters only worsened. Ares began a relentless campaign against the other gods, brutally killing them one by one. So it was that Zeus created a new race, a race of warrior women to act as the Earth's defenders against Ares; the Amazons were born out of the sea. These Amazons were led by three figures; Hippolyta, their Queen; Robin Wright's General Antiope; and her lieutenant, Lisa Loven Kongsli's Menalippe.
But the Amazons failed in their task. Ares's corrupting influence on humanity was too great, and the Amazons were enslaved by mankind. Fortunately, Hippolyta was able to lead an uprising, and the Amazons broke free from their shackles — even as, in the realm of the gods, Zeus himself became locked in combat with Ares.
With his dying breath, Zeus created the island of Themyscira, a home for the Amazons. He left them mystical artifacts, tools and weapons, most notably the God Killer, the powerful blade that has the power to kill even the gods. With this weapon, the Amazons knew that they would eventually be drawn back into the world's conflict. But who would wield the sword?
A Smart Adaptation
I don't mind admitting that I'm thrilled at the fantastical element that Wonder Woman adds to the #DCEU. At the same time, though, the film's presentation of the gods makes sense; after all, if the gods are real, and were once involved in the world of men, where have they gone? The answer is simple: It genuinely seems as though Ares is the only one left, and, tragically, he's the god who is easiest to weave into the history of mankind.
The glimpse we got of Themyscira was beautiful, and the island was visually different to anything we've seen before. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the island is that there are no doors, not even to the throneroom; after all, who were the Amazons trying to keep out? Anna went on to describe the unique fighting style that had been developed for this story, focusing on the word "collaborative"; the Amazons are trained to play to one another's strengths, making them a formidable force to be reckoned with.
That sense of collaboration is one that's sure to run through the film. As part of the presentation, I was given a glimpse of an action scene — the most remarkable part of it was that, although Wonder Woman herself was the focus, she worked in a context, as part of a unit.
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All in all, the Amazons promise to add a fascinating new, mythological layer to the DCEU. We know that Wonder Woman herself will withdraw in the aftermath of the film, to finally return in the present-day — and play a major role in founding the Justice League. No doubt she'll teach the Justice League that same sense of collaboration; but I'm also thrilled at the possibility that her present-day involvement could open us up to more stories of the Amazons, allowing us to dive ever-deeper into their world.
Do you agree with the DCEU approach to the gods?
(Poll Image Credit: Warner Bros.)