With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hitting theaters tomorrow, Warner Bros. is already ramping up the excitement for their next major superhero feature, Patty Jenkins’ upcoming Wonder Woman film. We’ve seen only small teases of the film, due out in theaters in June 2017, and most of them have been set in England during World War One rather than on Diana’s mythological home. But that ends today! Entertainment Weekly has premiered a picture of four Amazons, including some familiar characters:
From left to right, we’ve got Lisa Loven Kongsli as Menalippe, Gal Gadot as Diana, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and Robin Wright as Antiope. Diana was raised by the three women who surround her, a triumvirate of mothers with different focuses ranging from the military to ruling.
My first reaction to the image is a bit of a shrug, to be honest. Which isn’t a good sign, seeing as that’s how I’ve met every Wonder Woman-related reveal thus far, dating back to her first Batman v Superman image; they’re just not releasing exciting pictures for some reason. But at the same time, despite the ho-hum first pic, Wonder Woman looks AMAZING in the Batman v Superman trailer and is poised to be the film’s breakout star, so first impressions aren’t necessarily all that important.
I’m more excited in theory than in practice. It’s so cool that a Wonder Woman film is on the way and that we’re going to get Amazons on the big screen, and they all look suitably bad ass. However, while the photo is slightly brighter than Batman v Superman‘s dark, muted palette, it’s still pretty flat. There’s not a lot of colour here. Not that it needs to be bright and garish or anything, but all of these costumes are crying out for a pop of something to liven them up and give each outfit a little character rather than this sort of blah brownness.
Along the same lines, this armor isn’t particularly unique or special or “Amazonian” to me. It’s fine and all, but it’s all stuff I’ve seen before, a sort of mash up of Vikings and Thor and maybe a bit of the Immortals. It lacks any sort of origin in fun versions from the comics, but in going in a new direction it’s actually not all that different or cool. These are women who have been separated from the outside world for thousands of years; they should have a rad, awesome look that is totally their own.
Also, these are some dour looking gals. I get that they’re going for tough, warrior women, but Amazons who aren’t smiling just aren’t Amazons to me. Being an Amazon should be a blast: You’re awesome at everything, you’ve got no bros cramping your style, and your society is advanced and pretty much utopian. I’d like to see a little more joy in the photo, or a little more fun. Just something other than this stare down.
This photo is really white, too, which is a bad call for a few reasons. First, where is Phillipus? She’s been a key part of the Wonder Woman mythos for decades now as Hippolyta’s general (and lady friend), and is a fan favourite. Her military role seems to have been taken over by Antiope here, though hopefully Phillipus is just off to the side and we’ll see her in the actual film. But for the four main Amazons that Warner Bros. decided to debut, it’s all white women, despite the fact that the Amazons have been portrayed as a multi-ethnic group in the comics for some time. Moreover, if you want to get all “historical” about it, the Amazons shouldn’t be white at all, nor have any Greek trappings; in the ancient stories, the Amazons are defined by their lack of Greekness and are usually depicted as originating in Northern Africa or the Middle East. So yeah, all white ladies is dumb on multiple fronts.
Patty Jenkins also makes a comment in the Entertainment Weekly article about the Amazons having heels which is too silly to bother to discuss. Just, no.
So I’m generally underwhelmed by this first look at the Amazons, though I’m still very excited that this picture exists and that a Wonder Woman movie is happening. I still have a lot of faith in Patty Jenkins as well, regardless of the high heels goofiness. That’s the only thing she’s said about the film thus far that struck me as odd; she’s been encouragingly on point in everything else I’ve seen. The picture also checks some important boxes, in that these are great actresses who totally look like warrior women. That’s what we’re looking for. It’s just that, like with everything in the DC cinematic universe thus far, I’d like to see a little bit more joy and colour in the mix.