The DC Extended Universe is cranking out films which are making big money at the box office. Three movies in, the titles released to date have been divisive among critics and fans, some loving them and some hating them, with no one appearing to land in between.
Charging forward with the release of Wonder Woman, a prequel of sorts to the character's big screen debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it looks like Warner Brothers and DC Films have their first film which will be universally beloved.
Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot with Chris Pine, Danny Huston, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, and Connie Nelson, the upcoming entry to the DC Extended Universe is bringing a new look to the live-action portrayal of the iconic characters. Following Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad's raw, gritty, and often dark tones, Wonder Woman is looking to shine bright than the previous entries. This appears to be both literal, in the color schemes of the film which is packed with bright views of the ocean on a beautiful green island and Wonder Woman's colorful armor, and in terms of the tone which appears to be bringing a touch more humor and levity than its predecessors.
Releasing almost a year after Suicide Squad, many fans are wondering if some of the critical backlash had any effect on the approach to Jenkins' new film.
Wonder Woman executive producer Charles Roven worked on the previous entries to DC Extended Universe. He was around for the harsh shots critics took at Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad and was asked by JoBlo whether or not those remarks had any effect on the new film.
"Honestly, we started out with a very different character," Roven said. "As I’ve pointed out and maybe you’ve heard me say; for all my experience with the DCEU, Wonder Woman is the only superhero - and I’m including Batman even though he’s not really super - even in the Marvel canons or Dark Horse, I don’t know any superhero who has wanted to embrace their destiny so much. From the time that they were little kid, Diana knew, because her mother and her aunt and all the legacy, that she needed to be heroic and able to go out there. And her mission in life was going to be to protect people who couldn’t protect themselves.
"That already gave you a very different perspective to be working from in terms of telling an origination story that was different than anybody else’s. Also you are dealing with a character who is extremely compassionate and empathetic, it allows for the character to be that - someone who violence is the last resort, it’s not the first resort or the immediate response. That also allows you to go about doing things in a different kind of way. And as we were crafting the movie and it was certainly enhanced by Patty, which I didn’t know from her movies to be honest, that there is this amazing sense of humor."
ComicBook.com had a chance to speak with Jenkins about her directorial effort on Wonder Woman. Roven's comments echo those of Jenkins, who set out to make a "funny film" from the beginning.
"I think there's funny things in both of those films but we definitely went for making a funny film," Jenkins said. "I was always basing it on Superman I and on Indiana Jones. I wanted to make a classic film where you're laughing and you're in love with them and then they're off on a fun great adventure. It's definitely in the pursuit of our film."
With super hero films constantly drawing connections to the others within their respective universes, Wonder Woman stands on its own despite existing in the same world as Ben Affleck's Batman and Henry Cavill's Superman. She insists fans need "zero" knowledge of previous titles to enjoy the film.
"There are things here and there but it's a standalone film," Jenkins said." It should succeed to people who have seen Batman v Superman or not seen anything."
When asked about the future of the DC Extended Universe, Roven promises the team has not planned too far ahead just yet.
"Well, you know, I know you might find this hard to believe but it’s really true, we haven’t really… You always muse when you are making a film, particularly where you know that everybody is going to be interested, including yourself, on making the next one. In the case of Wonder Woman, we did some additional photography on this and we were finishing that while we were shooting Justice League. So literally, there was a period of time where Gal was working on both movies at the same time. So you go, 'What is the next one going to be?' And you go 'We can’t be thinking about what the next Wonder Woman will be because, are we going to do the intervening period between the end of this Wonder Woman and Batman v Superman, or are we going to do something that will pick up after Justice League.'"
"Somebody had an idea about that, and somebody had an idea about this… but we didn’t really spend any time because we just finished this movie maybe six weeks ago," Roven said. "We took all the time that they gave us. Because when you are doing these special effects movies, you can’t actually finish the technical aspects of the movie until your shots are locked. I can’t have my composer come in and actually lay the score down, because if the frame is off by one frame, it’s out of sync. So the technical aspects of making a movie like this don’t really allow you a lot of time, particularly if you do some additional photography and there is a fixed release date, and stuff like that. Listen, it’s a high class problem, but it’s still an issue so you are working so hard and then you’ve got publicity and all that stuff, you don’t really have a lot of time to sit around and talk story."
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and is written by Allan Heinberg, Geoff Johns, and Zack Snyder. The film stars Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Robin Wright (General Antiope), Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta), David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis (Etta Candy), Danny Huston, Ewen Bremmer, Doutzen Kroes, Samantha Jo (Euboea), Florence Kasumba (Senator Acantha), Said Taghmaoui, Eleanor Matsuura (Epione), Emily Carey (Young Diana), and Lisa Loven Kongsli (Menalippe).
MORE WONDER WOMAN: Gal Gadot Explains Why Wonder Woman Is Needed More Than Ever / Wonder Woman And Captain America Unite In "Soldier" Trailer / Gal Gadot Describes Young Diana / Super Fight: Wonder Woman Vs Captain Marvel