Trailer Breakdown: Wonder Woman

Today Warner Bros. debuted the first full trailer for Wonder Woman. It looks pretty exciting! Let’s take a close look at what we see to learn which supporting characters from the comics show up, what the tone will be and more!

Diana visits the Louvre

Modern day Diana at the Louvre in Paris. Kudos to Wonder Woman for enjoying art and culture!

WW1 photo of Wonder Woman

She goes there to look at old photos including this one that we saw in Batman v Superman. Chris Pine on the left is Steve Trevor. But who are the other three? All the way on the left is Saïd Taghmaoui who the world knows best as Breaker from G.I. Joe. Like, we can’t shut up about it. My best guess is he plays a Turkish soldier since this is set during World War 1. All the way on the right is Ewen Bremner who plays Scottish weirdos in stuff like Trainspotting. He seems to be the comic relief. What about that last fellow? Is he a Native American? It’s hard to tell but he seems to have some Native accoutrements. DC Comics does have a character, Johnny Cloud (aka Navajo Ace) that was a World War 2 pilot. Perhaps they’ve added him?

Diana sees a plane fall

Here we see Wonder Woman, or really I should just say Diana (Gal Gadot), on Themyscira. That’s the name of the island that Diana and her fellow Amazons live on, isolated from the rest of humanity. They have no fathers, but are given life by Zeus himself. If you haven’t read any Wonder Woman, it’s very heavily tied into Greek mythology. The comic began during WW2 and was set in that time period at the time. But the movie has moved things back to WW1. I’ll explain why I think they did that later. For now, we see her witnessing a plane crashing into the sea. This is the inciting incident for introducing Wonder Woman into the world in all the comics: U.S. pilot Steve Trevor crashing near Themyscira and being rescued by Wonder Woman and telling her about the larger world outside.

Diana rescues Steve Trevor

Here’s a beautiful shot of Wonder Woman rescuing Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Director Patty Jenkins has a really gorgeous series of shots in this trailer as well as some interesting use of color and composition. I liked her movie Monster. I also really liked her episodes of Arrested Development and The Sarah Silverman Project. She has very diverse projects in her background. Bright comedy and very serious, dark stories like The Killing (she directed the excellent pilot). I know she can do somber and comedic but what about epic action?

Army invades Themyscira

Seems that the Allies are invading the island here, most likely to “rescue” Steve. Im not sure where this was filmed – most of the movie was filmed on location in England and Italy but they certainly got the look of Greece right. And Greece was heavily involved in the war so the location actually makes a lot of sense. In the background you can see Diana’s fellow Amazons riding into battle.

Amazons ride into battle

The central rider appears to be actress Robin Wright, playing General Antiope. In the comics, she is second in command and sister to Queen Hippolyta, which makes her Wonder Woman’s aunt. In pre-Crisis comics (the continuity before 1986) she betrayed her sister but in other versions she serves loyally.

Amazonian archer

An Amazon archer leaps from the cliffs and swings along a rope, firing arrows into the Allied army. I can’t quite tell who this is. At first I thought it might be Queen Hippolyta herself but apparently she’s played by Connie Nielsen in the film and actually has blonde hair in the movie (in the comics she has dark hair like Wonder Woman). It could be Menalippe, who in the comics is a prominent Amazon but she’s more known for her intelligence than her fighting skills. But she does get killed (in the comics by Circe). Alternately, maybe Epione? She’s more of a healer.

A bullet misses Diana but takes another Amazon

And a bullet seems to be about to hit her in this shot. Diana doesn’t understand these weapons. World War 1 is kind of a perfect setting because it really showed mankind at their most violent in many ways. New forms of warfare including more powerful guns, aviation and chemical warfare all pushed the boundaries of what we did to each other.

Amazon temple

Steve Trevor is brought to some sort of theater or throne room. Whether this happens before or after that fight with the Allies is hard to say. I’d guess before. It’s an interesting design. It’s not quite a triskelion so I can’t easily say that it’s a traditional Greek symbol. It almost looks like something from the ocean. Could they connect the mythology of the Amazons and Atlantis (Aquaman) somehow?

Queen Hippolyta

Diana, by her mother Queen Hippolyta, questions Steve Trevor about the war he claims is going on. They don’t know about it at all. She’s really invested and you can tell Hippolyta is more ambivalent.

Steve Trevor explains WW1

“The war to end all wars.” Yeah, they called it the Great War at the time. It involved SO many countries and they’re convoluted treaties and agreements to help one another. Over nine million combatants and seven million civilians were killed.

German WW1 gas

Now we cut to a German base where strange experiments were going on. WW1 was the first time chemical warfare was used (mostly rolling tanks of poisonous gasses into trenches). This seems to be something that eats away at anything as the glass of a gas mask shatters. So something more powerful than existed at the time, negating any protection available.

Woman in mask could be Silver Swan

This appears to be the scientist who is creating it. Who is she?! Wonder Woman doesn’t have any enemies with half a plastic mask covering their face. But you know who I think it could be? A variation on her enemy Silver Swan. In the comics, Silver Swan was ugly and made a deal with the Greek god of war, Ares. He gave her beauty, flight and a sonic scream in exchange for her agreeing to kill Wonder Woman. Ares is Wonder Woman’s Big Bad. Wonder Woman may be a warrior but she battles for peace. Ares just wants to escalate war. I know it’s a stretch but I suspect Ares and Silver Swan could fit well into the WW1 narrative. Alternately, maybe a version of Circe? She’s a prominent Wonder Woman villain. I have one more idea I’ll elaborate on below.

Could Danny Huston be Ares

Actor Danny Huston appears. His uniform is that of a high ranking Imperial German Army officer. Wonder Woman and other DC comics have no prominent character that matches that. BUT, what if this is Ares in disguise? Could he have manipulated events to start WW1? It makes a lot of sense.

Unique bomb explodes

A strange explosion. Not sure if this could be magical in nature or just an advanced weapon. It shows the masked lady throwing a grenade down a hall then cuts to this tower exploding. It seems to be in Turkey.

Themyscira is beautiful

Themyscira looks like something right out of a 1980s George Perez Wonder Woman comic. Fantastic.

Diana suits up

Diana proclaims she can’t stand by and do nothing while the world is at war and we see her gather a shield and sword. Then, in the foreground, she spies a set of armor that’s very familiar to all of us.

Diana visits man's world

Cut to England where Steve Trevor has brought Diana. He introduces her as his secretary. She is a bit surprised by this but it has a comics precedent. She served as an Army Secretary in her secret identity of Diana Prince in the WW2 comics. It enabled her to learn about specific battles that she would sneak off to as Wonder Woman.

Bracelet blocks bullet

An assassin tries to shoot Steve Trevor but Diana blocks the bullet with one of her famous accessories – her bulletproof bracelets. In the original comics, all Amazons wore these bracelets as a sign of submission to their patron god Aphrodite and as a reminder of the time Hercules kept the Amazons subjugated. They are bullet proof. These days so is Diana, but she still wears them. This shot is blocked to mirror Clark Kent defending Lois Lane in the first Superman movie from a mugger.

Allied forces and Diana

Here’s a somber shot of Diana with Steve Trevor walking along a bridge full of wounded soldiers. In the background is Ewen Bremner.

Steve begs Diana not to leave the trench

Now we cut to trench warfare. As Germans begin lobbing bombs, Diana walks up a ladder out of the trench in her full Wonder Woman gear. Steve yells at her not to go, but he must not know quite how powerful she is. Look at Bremner’s goofy expression.

Diana leaves the trench

A bullet whizzes right at her but she casually deflects it. Now the trailer kicks into high gear with all sorts of random action shots.

German plane fires on German base

Here’s a shot of a plane shooting at an airfield. What’s interesting is it’s a German plane firing on a German base. Best guess is Steve Trevor steals a plane at some point.

Diana sneaks a sword into a gala

Diana enters some high society event with her sword sort of hidden along her back. We also see Steve Trevor in a grey uniform at the event. Perhaps they are both undercover as Germans. But would Diana really assassinate someone?

Wonder Woman rides a horse into battle

Great shot of Wonder Woman riding a horse into battle and smacking down some Germans with her sword.

Diana and Steve fall for one another

Steve and Diana fall for one another. Of course. But this is war. I really don’t know if Steve will make it out. Also, if you saw Batman v Superman you know something happens following WW1 to make Diana stop being Wonder Woman.

Creepy woman in mask

There’s that woman again. If it isn’t Silver Swan, maybe it’s Dr. Poison, another original Wonder Woman villain who was an evil scientist working with the Nazis. She disguised herself in a bulky outfit to hide her gender.

Wonder Woman uses her lasso

Wonder Woman up in the air with someone in her magic lasso. The lasso is indestructible and forces anyone bound by it to tell the truth. Who is she grabbing? A random German? Or maybe Danny Huston’s character? It’s hard to say.

Wonder Woman spin kicks a German soldier

Cool shot of Wonder Woman doing a flip kick to counter a guy with a sword.

German forces attack Wonder Woman

Surrounded by Germans, Wonder Woman marches into a building. It seems to be hit with a mortar, grenade or even a tank shell. Doesn’t seem to phase her.

Wonder Woman smashes a support column

Here she runs into a building, slides across the floor and demolishes a support beam. Maybe she’s taking out a munitions factory or something.

Wonder Woman blocks lightning

An interesting shot. Wonder Woman appears to be flying or hovering in the sky (in modern comics she can fly) and blocking lightning with her bracelets. Could this be a weapon that the enemy created? Or facing down another metahuman or god?

Etta Candy meets Diana

Finally, a shot of Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. Diana is trying on a new dress and asking how a woman is supposed to fight in such a thing. Etta Candy was Wonder Woman’s squat little sidekick in her earliest comics and a source of comic relief. This version appears to be a friendly, feisty friend. Cool addition.

The movie lands Summer 2017. Are you interested?

  • Chris

    The woman in the mask looks like Robin Wright to me. At least in the eyes. Could it be that she’s been sneaking off the island and helping the baddies develop their evil weapons? And that she wears the broken mask as a disguise? Is that the bad guy twist in this movie?