Wonder Woman's journey to the big-screen is a long and convoluted one, but at long last, it's finally happening.
The film, due for release in 2017, will act as the origin story of sorts for Diana of Themyscira and how an Amazonian landed on Earth of all places. It's true, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be the first appearance of Wonder Woman and it's understood she'll play quite a large role in the film, however the 2017 film will be her first standalone film in many years.
Here's everything we know.
SO WHAT'S THE PLOT?
It's hard to say, really. We do now know that it's definitely an origin story and that a portion of the film will be set in the early part of the 20th century, most likely around World War I. Wonder Woman's origin story has changed quite a bit over the years, so it's really anybody's guess how they'll tackle it on film. The initial origin story for Wonder Woman involved a World War I pilot named Steve Trevor crash-landing on a secluded island - Paradise Island, to be exact- in the middle of the ocean where a tribe of Amazons live. The story goes that Trevor's nursed back to health and then the leader of the Amazons and Wonder's Woman mother, Hippolyte, holds a contest to decide who will deliver Trevor back to the States.
Wonder Woman, of course, wants to do this because she's fallen in love with him - however she's barred from entering said competition. She wins naturally, is given a suit to help protect her and off she goes - except she lands right in the middle of World War I. There are, of course, different versions. One version has it that she was the embodiment of the Olympians, others have it that she was the natural-born daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta - the point is that the plot for the film could draw inspiration from all of these or none of them.
WHO'S PLAYING WHO?
There hasn't been a full cast announcement as such, but on-set photos have given us a pretty good indication of who's playing who. Gal Gadot, obviously, will be playing Wonder Woman / Diana Prince. Again, on-set photos have her dressed in period costume from the 1910s as a Women's Auxiliary Army Corps officer. It's also interesting to note that the official emblem of the WAAC was Pallas Athene, goddess of heroic endeavour. History nerds, right here. Anyway, Chris Pine is slated to appear as Steve Trevor, the World War I pilot shot down over Paradise Island that we mentioned earlier. Robin Wright is also cast, most likely as Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons and Wonder Woman's mother.
Danny Huston is cast in an unspecified role, which has led some to speculate that he'll be playing Zeus. Others think he'll be playing Maxwell Lord, which follows another theory that the film will be set in modern times with flashbacks to World War I. British actors David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner and Lucy Davis are also cast, again in unspecified roles. So to are Said Taghmauoi and Elena Anaya, again in unspecified roles. It's been hinted at that there'll be more casting announcements as filming is currently happening right now.
IS IT SET IN MODERN TIMES OR IN THE PAST?
Most of the set-photos we've seen are period-specific, meaning that at least some of the film will be set in the past. Let's not forget that this is an origin story, so there's obviously going to be a part of this that involves Wonder Woman retelling her story to someone. It does seem to following the same kind of path that Captain America: The First Avenger did, i.e. setting the first one in the past, team movie alá Avengers / Justice League, so on and so on.
First photos from the set of WONDER WOMAN pic.twitter.com/oz7NbWL3Sx
— Film Hype (@FilmHyp) November 29, 2015
WASN'T THERE A BIG PROBLEM WITH THE DIRECTORS FOR THIS?
Yes, to put it mildly. Michelle MacLaren was originally slated to direct Wonder Woman, off the back of her work on Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. The development process for Wonder Woman was said to be pretty laborious and torturous and MacLaren had a much different vision in mind for what the film would be. The rumour is is that MacLaren wanted to make a female Braveheart, full of action set-pieces, swords and sandals, basically an old-school epic. Warners, oddly, wanted the exact opposite - a real character-driven piece that was more nuanced than that. MacLaren disagreed and then left the project. However, in almost a week, she was replaced by Patty Jenkins.
Jenkins was originally tipped to director Thor: The Dark World, but walked away from that over the usual 'creative differences' spiel. Jenkins directed Charlize Theron in Monster, the true-story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and has since been working mostly in television, directing episodes of The Killing and Entourage. Again, going on rumours, the word is that Jenkins' pitch for Wonder Woman was much more in line with what the studio wanted. Not only that, the studio is locked into its release date and the effects and ideas that MacLaren had would have been too costly and time-consuming.
WHY HAS IT TAKEN THIS LONG FOR THERE TO BE A WONDER WOMAN FILM?
Studio politics, basically. The first inkling of a Wonder Woman film was in 1999, with Ivan Reitman directing and Sandra Bullock set to star in the leading role. Producer impressario Joel Silver was behind that venture, but naturally, it fell apart. A few other names were bandied about for the role, including Beyoncé, Megan Fox, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eliza Dushku and Rachel Bilson. Chyna, the wrestler, was even interested at one point. By 2005, Joss Whedon was hired by Warner Bros. and Joel Silver to write and direct the film. At the time, Whedon was working on Serenity and only got the script finished later in the year.
Whedon, however, believed the studio just wasn't interested in making Wonder Woman happen. In an interview in 2007, two years after he left, he said he "would go back in a heartbeat if I believed that anybody believed in what I was doing. The lack of enthusiasm was overwhelming." With the success of Disney / Marvel and Man of Steel's strong box-office returns, the DC Comics Cinematic Universe was put into action and Wonder Woman was pushed to the top of the to-do list. Names like Catherine Hardwicke, Kathyrn Bigelow and Julie Taymor were being suggested for directors before MacLaren was settled in and then all the other stuff happened.
SO WHEN IT'S OUT?
Wonder Woman is slated for June 23, 2017.