The anticipation for Wonder Woman is beginning to heat up, which is unsurprising considering that this movie is something of a landmark for cinema. Despite being one of #DC's most popular characters from her first appearance in 1941, Wonder Woman has also been one of the most ignored — while the two male members of DC's Holy Trinity (Superman and Batman) have had six and eight films apiece over the last 75 years, poor Diana of Themiscyra has rounded out a grand total of zero solo movies.
2017 is the year this finally changes, as perhaps the most iconic female superhero of all time finally gets her time in the spotlight. And so far, #WonderWoman's big screen debut seems to be the war movie epic this Amazon warrior deserves.
Thanks to a press screening of selected footage, we now have a better idea of what wonders the 2017 movie will bring, from the Amazons' place in DCEU mythology to the secret of Diana's power — and even what happens after Wonder Woman goes "over the top" in a brutal trench-warfare action sequence.
But that's not all. The main points of the first act have been revealed, and we finally know exactly why Diana leaps into the fray in WWI — confirming a popular theory about the movie's villain. Needless to say, spoilers lurk within this article, so proceed at your own risk.
Diana Decides To Leave Paradise Island
The first act of the movie will explain how the Amazons came to be, using what is by all accounts is a beautiful animated sequence inspired by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Despite their warrior origins, Diana's mother Queen Hippolyta is reluctant to train her daughter in battle. This forces the passionate Diana to secretly train with her aunt, the warlike General Antiope.
The Amazons' peaceful existence is shattered by the arrival of Steve Trevor, who crash lands on Themiscyra's shores, trailing a battalion of German soldiers. This leads to a vicious battle as the Amazons defend their homeland, and the deaths of her "sisters" shock Diana into action.
As we saw in the trailer, after the skirmish Steve explains World War I to Hippolyta and the other Amazons. Once he's said his piece, Diana sneaks away to gather her weapons. Determined to join the fight, she assembles her armor, bracelets, and shield, before stealing one of the Amazons' most prized artifacts: A sword said to have the power to kill gods.
Steve helps Diana get to London, guiding her through the modern(ish) world and attempting to help her blend in. This isn't totally successful, and according to Collider's report, Diana's fish-out-of-water routine provides much of the humor of the film. In contrast to the world-weary Wonder Woman we met in #BatmanvSuperman, this younger version of Diana is naive and idealistic — and it's why she journeys to "man's world" that reveals a key plot point for the film.
Ares Manipulates WWI
Wonder Woman takes place close to the end of the Great War, when peace was still in negotiation. This was a tenuous time, and any imbalance in these events could have changed history as we know it.
In his speech to the Amazons, Steve mentions an "armistice". We can only assume that this is the truce of November 11th 1918, which concluded the devastating conflict. However, Steve has discovered the enemy's plan to disrupt the armistice and continue the war indefinitely — truly making it "the war to end all wars", as WWI was called at the time.
This is intriguing as history contradicts this plot point, implying that — just as we suspected — an external force is manipulating the war for their own gain. Diana shares this suspicion, and theorizes that Ares — bloodthirsty god of war and old foe of the Amazons — is behind this plot. This would be why her chief weapon is the mythical sword, rather than her classic Lasso of Truth: If Diana is going to stop Ares, she needs a weapon with the power to kill a god.
But Ares is not alone. Working with him are the enigmatic Maru (yep, she's Doctor Poison from the comics) and the human Ludendorff, a rogue German general played by Danny Huston. Previously speculated to be playing Ares, it seems that this character is more of a henchman, enacting the god's grand plan.
David Thewlis' role has also been revealed: Again contrary to rumors of him portraying Ares, Thewlis is the British Sir Patrick Morton, an Assemblyman who plays a key role in the armistice.
It seems that Ares doesn't actually appear until the final act of the movie, though the "specter" of his influence can be felt. It's possible that he's primarily a CGI character, coming into the fray to battle Diana at the last moment. However, this hasn't been confirmed, and we'll just have to find out when the movie hits cinemas in June. And by all accounts, Wonder Woman is bound to be the blockbuster hit of the summer.
Are you excited for 'Wonder Woman'?
[Poll image credit: Warner Bros.]