Today was Warner Bros.’ movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and that video right above this text is the first Wonder Woman trailer. Can we just take a second to appreciate that this finally exists? I mean, dang, it’s been decades of development to get here. We’ve seen a million different Batmans and Spider-Mans and Supermans and now we’ve finally got Wonder Woman on the big screen in her own film. It’s so overdue, but exciting nonetheless.
And, thank the goddesses, it’s pretty fun. This is a trailer in which Wonder Woman infiltrates a fancy party with a sword hidden in the back of her dress. I am SO on board for that. Plus, all of the elements are there. Amazons on a hidden island, a crashed Steve Trevor, a bad ass Diana whooping all kind of dudes, even friggin’ Etta Candy. This is a legit Wonder Woman.
Plus the action looks ridiculously fun. I still don’t love that Wonder Woman has a sword all the dang time, hilarious party subterfuge aside, but the fights here look super rad. And the lasso glows! It also glowed for the 12 seconds she used it in Batman v Superman, and it looked cool there so I’m glad they’re continuing it here. It’s kind of awesome.
We’ve also got a properly mystical and magical Paradise Island, which is key. It’s otherworldly, to be sure. And “They do not deserve you” is my favourite line in the whole trailer. I am all about a Hippolyta who loves her daughter fiercely and has some qualms about sending her out into the barbaric world of men. So often we see that mother/daughter relationship portrayed poorly, and the hints of it we see in this trailer really hit the mark for me.
Also, Steve Trevor is kind of endearing, which is a pleasant surprise. Steve is so often boring, but casting Chris Pine was a smart move. I suppose your enjoyment of Steve will depend on your enjoyment of Pine, but I’ve found his handsome snarkiness enjoyable over the years. He comes off as a good man in the trailer, and that’s all he needs to be really. Then at the end we get Etta Candy! Instantly taking a shine to Diana, like Etta always should. That final scene is a delight.
However, it’s a British Etta Candy during World War One, and that still feels weird to me. It’s a good trailer and I’m cautiously optimistic about the movie, but this is not a Wonder Woman that has ever existed before. Her classic origin is rooted in World War Two, and her successive incarnations have only updated her origin to a more modern setting. There’s never been a Diana in 1910s England, or a British Etta, or Amazons fighting the Kaiser’s troops. It’s Wonder Woman, but it’s not quite Wonder Woman for me. Yet. The change may well grow on me once I see the film. But I still feel a slight disconnect about the change in setting and time, and the ripples that causes in the mythos.
Also, as I’ve mentioned several times, situating Wonder Woman so far in the past may limit her relevance. It’s easy to make Wonder Woman look cool and feminist against sexists dudes from a century past, and to poke holes in the inequality of those days; this is a world where women couldn’t even vote yet! But we’re dealing with 2016 sexism these days, and lots of it. Pitting Wonder Woman versus straw men ideologies everyone today agrees was bad is weak sauce. Wonder Woman should be confronting the issues that face women today.
Still, Gal Gadot is a GREAT Wonder Woman, and she’s amazing in this trailer. She captures the character so well, and I love the strength and regality and power she brings to the role. Patty Jenkins looks to have a good handle on Wonder Woman as well, and on a big action film. Everything felt like Wonder Woman, to a certain extent, and it was all suitably epic and action packed and exciting. They seem to be an excellent team.
I still have no idea what this movie is about, other than that it’s Wonder Woman’s origin. The bad guys appear to be Danny Huston and maybe that gal in the mask, but I have no idea who they are or what their objective is. Or what the plot is more broadly. It clearly involves the first world war, and it seems that the Amazons are going to get dragged into it, but this was more a teaser than anything overly specific in terms of plot.
It’s a dang good looking teaser, though, and I’m excited to learn more. I still have little to no faith whatsoever in DC’s cinematic universe after Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and there are choices here with Wonder Woman that I’m not yet sold on. But the trailer looks very cool, and has definitely increased my optimism about the film as a whole.
And here’s something even crazier: We got a Justice League trailer as well, and it actually doesn’t look terrible:
Zack Snyder and company seem to have learned from the poor reception of Batman v Superman, and have actually given this film some humour and fun. The Flash seems poised to steal the movie, though bad ass Aquaman is clearly going to be a fan favourite as well. Wonder Woman doesn’t get a lot to do, but the tone in general is light and pleasant, even with an alien menace on the horizon. Affleck’s Batman seems like less of a psychotic jerk, and the trailer as a whole feels more like a DC property than anything the studio’s put out over the past decade or so. I am so pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. If they can figure out how to turn this franchise around from its bleak dourness, so one will be happier than me.
So HOORAY we’ve got a Wonder Woman trailer and DOUBLE HOORAY it doesn’t suck! Fingers crossed that they can pull off something cool here and reset the board for a more enjoyable universe with this and Justice League. These trailers are an excellent start.