Previous trailers for the new Wonder Woman movie from Patty Jenkins were more general in nature, revealing bits and pieces of the plot and characters, but moving fairly quickly from Steve Trevor’s plane crash on Themyscira to Diana in London fighting the Germans in World War I. This third trailer focuses more on Wonder Woman’s origin story and reveals more details about life on Paradise Island and how Diana Prince becomes the fierce and badass warrior. Taking information gleaned from recent set visit reports, we can make better sense of what’s happening in the new Wonder Woman trailer. Here are ten things to take note of.
1. History of the Amazons
We know from the IGN set visit report that early on in the movie, Queen Hippolyta tells a young Diana the story of how the Amazons were created. In the start of the trailer, it appears that this is what is going on. Hippolyta shows her the armory where the “gifts of the Gods” are kept, only to be used by the “fiercest warrior”. She’s filling her in on her own history, but isn’t it strange how Diana is the only child on the island? The story goes that Zeus, the father of the gods, created mankind. His son, Ares, the God of War, was so jealous of the attention Zeus gave to man, that he unleashed war and killing. Zeus asks Aphrodite to create the Amazons to protect mankind, which she does. Ares’ relentless thirst for war and death drives them off to the isolated Themyscira island, where they stay hidden until Steve Trevor’s plane crashes there. All the Amazonian women stay the same age, never growing older, except for Diana, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
2. Queen Hippolyta tries to discourage Diana from the God Killer sword
As Diana’s mother, Queen Hippolyta is incredibly protective of her, trying to convince her that this “God Killer” sword is not for her. Doesn’t she know that it’s a bad idea to tell a woman she can’t do something? The look in young Diana’s eyes tells us everything we need to know. So, I’m conflicted about the Queen’s intent here. She knows what Diana’s destiny is, so either she’s trying to keep her from it so that she won’t leave Paradise Island or she’s trying to prepare her to fight for her birthright as young as possible. Once she sees that Diana is training to become a warrior, she instructs General Antiope to train her harder than any other Amazon has ever been trained. She wants her to unlock her potential, but doesn’t she realize that upon finding that she is different from everyone else, she’ll have questions?
3. “Gifts from the Gods” armory has WW suit, lasso and sword
It’s quick, but you can see that the gifts from the Gods in the armory include not only the God Killer sword, but the Golden Lasso of Truth and the Wonder Woman costume. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment as these scenes put so much focus on the sword in the middle of the room, but you can see it out of focus in the front of the room. It’s almost as if “the Gods” knew there would be a warrior who would someday put the costume on and use the sword and lasso to fulfill her destiny (and the suit fits perfectly BTW, whodathunk?). This destiny perhaps being the warrior that could actually defeat Ares and bring peace back to mankind?
4. “She must never know the truth about what she is”
This was perhaps the most intriguing line of the whole trailer. By this point we know she is different from all the other Amazons, not only because she started as a little girl and grew up to be a woman while everybody else was already a woman and stayed that way, but because she has special powers above and beyond the superhuman strength that Amazon women possess. She unleashes a sonic blast from her gauntlets that sends General Antiope flying. Depending on what time frame you look at, there are two different origin stories for Wonder Woman. Early depictions have Queen Hippolyta creating her from clay, Athena giving her life and the gods giving her special powers. Later on, her origin was changed to her being the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus. There has been plenty of speculation about which route the filmmakers took, but in the set report from Mashable, they flat out state that she was made from clay by Hippolyta and brought to life by Zeus, so I guess that answers that question!
5. “It is our sacred duty to defend the world”
Diana says this to Steve Trevor after he asks “what is this place? Who are you?” At this point Diana knows her history and responsibilities as an Amazon woman, but it’s a little unclear how they can do that from a secluded island with no men anywhere to be found and nowhere near mankind in general. She has taken this to heart and it’s why she decides she needs to leave the island and help Steve Trevor. I think perhaps she feels it’s a little disingenuous to say this and not actually do it. The decision is forced on them after he crash lands on the island, revealing it to the world…and the German soldiers who come after him and end up battling the Amazonian women.
6. It’s also a love story
Diana and Steve take a boat all the way back to London, leaving them a lot of time to talk and get to know each other. Until the Germans invaded Themyscira, he was the first man that she had seen in her life and I think that she will judge all other men by him. “I think that his character compared to Diana’s character, they’re very much yin and yang,” says Gadot. “He’s this realistic guy who’s been through a lot and he knows what mankind is capable of doing. And Diana is this young idealist who thinks that the world is very white, very pure. Mankind [is] only good. There’s something once they get to know each other, and he teaches her so much about reality and mankind. She brings back hope to his life.” Her ideological vision of mankind is immediately crushed when she sees just how impure and dirty London is. It’s also a moment that shows Trevor’s sense of humor as these two spend more and more time together. She says, “it’s hideous”, to which he replies tongue-in-cheek, “yeah, it’s not for everybody”. Perhaps because she loves and loses him is the reason she goes back into hiding at the end of the movie and doesn’t reappear until one hundred years later in the events of Batman v Superman.
7. Diana deflects bullet in call out to Superman
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has talked a lot about how much Richard Donner’s Superman movie influenced her ideas of what a superhero movie could be. “It was about you watching and realizing what it would feel like to have great powers and do great things. It was full of love and emotion,” she told Variety. This is certainly a bit of a different tone than some of the other installments in the DCEU like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman where the characters are more serious and a bit darker. Despite possessing superpowers, she sees Wonder Woman’s greatest strength as being her compassion and quest for peace, love, hope, and truth. Jenkins includes a little loving nod to Donner with her alleyway scene. In Wonder Woman, Diana deflects bullets fired at Trevor while in Superman, Clark Kent deflects bullets from Lois Lane. It’s a nice wink, made all the more special by the gender reversal of who saves who.
8. Diana reveals her immense strength by throwing a truck
Yes, that’s Wonder Woman throwing a truck at somebody. As an Amazon, she has super-strength and isn’t afraid to show it. She learns more and more about herself and her abilities as she continues to push herself in training and in real-life situations.
9. General Ludendorff is NOT Ares
As first reported here on Batman News, David Thewliss of Harry Potter fame, has been cast as Ares, putting an end to the speculation that the character of General Ludendorff (played by Danny Huston) was actually Ares in disguise. The rumors started from scenes in this trailer and previous ones showing him going toe-to-toe with Wonder Woman. From the GameSpot set visit we discover that he had actually been given a special serum from Dr. Maru that enhanced his strength and allowed him to fight her. It also explains why he asks her “what are you?” While Ares is the main villain in the movie, he has not yet been seen in any promotional materials other than an action figure. Another reason could be that he is purportedly partially CGI. Personally, I like the main villain not being revealed in trailers. I thought the Doomsday reveal in the Batman v Superman trailer was a mistake. It would have been so much better to be completely blindsided by this revelation in the theater. On an interesting side note, General Ludendorff was really a German commander during WWI. You can learn more about him here.
10. Yes, there is humor in the movie
While it has been shown to have humor in previous trailers, it’s still nice to see it again here and to confirm that while the film has some heavy subject matter, it will be interlaced with bits of humor and silliness, especially around a woman who is hundreds of years old (most likely) and who has always been a warrior, trying to fit into a society where women cover their bodies and don’t go walking around with giant swords and shields on an average day. It’s also a chance for Jenkins to poke some gentle fun at female stereotypes in the first superhero movie in decades with a strong female lead character. Wonder Woman is not the damsel in distress, she’s the one doing the saving, and it’s awesome.
I can’t wait to see this film in theaters and will be there on opening day, no matter what the critics say. What did you pick up on in this new trailer? Were there things revealed that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.