Posts Tagged ‘Patty Jenkins’

New Wonder Woman Movie Trailer Explores Her Origins

March 13, 2017

A new trailer for Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman debuted this weekend, and I’m happy to report that the movie is still looking great. We got a lot of new footage in this one, including a decent amount of time spent on Themyscira, and I really liked a lot of what I saw. Now, of course, this is the DCEU; good trailers don’t necessarily mean good movies. But so far, Wonder Woman has been hitting it out of the park and that has me cautiously optimistic about the film.

Warner Bros. describes the video as the “Origin Trailer” and thus we got a good look at the Amazons. They remain super bad ass and cool, and I like the design of the island and the Amazons themselves a lot. We also get some flashbacks, including a peek at a young Diana who is just adorable:

moviegif5.gif

I’m hoping we get a few scenes with her because she seems cute and fun.

Little Diana is staring at the “god killer” sword there, and I do remain irked at how much attention the sword is getting. Wonder Woman’s never been a character who wields a sword until very recently; she’s got a golden lasso that she’s rather famed for, and I wish that’s what young Diana was eying rather than a sword. To me, sword fighting just isn’t who the character is. But I was pleased to see the lasso play a key role as the trailer progressed, including this rad takedown:

moviegif3

moviegif4

Hopefully Wonder Woman’s real weapon gets its due throughout the movie as well.

On top of that lasso scene, we got a bunch of other cool action shots too. I think Wonder Woman is going to have some epic fight scenes. Everything we’ve seen so far looks very cool, and Wonder Woman’s fighting scenes in Batman v Superman were easily the most entertaining part of that movie. All of the action clips we’ve seen thus far in Wonder Woman trailers look exciting and well-shot, and it’s going to be a blast to see the full scenes.

One thing I’m particularly glad to see every trailer has included is humour, and this new one is no exception. Gal Gadot’s fish-out-of-water Diana shtick looks like it should be entertaining, Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor seems good for some wisecracks, and Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy looks like she’s poised to steal the whole show. I liked her trying to dissuade Diana from carrying her sword in public:

moviegif2

The humour in DCEU movies hasn’t been great, at all, and it’s nice to see some genuinely funny bits  are coming with Wonder Woman.

Finally, the trailer appears to confirm the daughter of Zeus origin story. Hippolyta ominously tells Antiope that Diana “must never know the truth about what she is,” which sounds like it might be a Zeus-related secret given this lightning display later on in the trailer:

moviegif1

I don’t care for the Zeus origin at all. I much prefer the clay origin, in which no men are involved and Diana’s origins are distinctly female and feminist. Making her a demigod who gets her powers from a man is boring, dumb, and kind of misses the point of the character. I’m hoping it’s not a huge point of focus for the movie, and that Zeus doesn’t come up too much.

So yeah, Wonder Woman looks pretty great. And in ways that seem to be addressing how DC’s other movies have been not at all great, which is encouraging. This could be really cool. And we’re less than three months away now! Can you believe it? Wonder Woman’s finally getting her own movie! And just when we need her the most.

The New Wonder Woman Movie Trailer Looks Ridiculously Cool

November 4, 2016

I’m starting to get really excited about this, gang. I know I’ve been burned by superhero movies before, several times in fact, but dang does Wonder Woman look like it’s going to be a cool movie. This new trailer, released yesterday, is an absolute blast and leaves me so keen for more. Warner Bros. and Patty Jenkins still seem to be in tease mode here; it’s the second trailer, but it remains light on details. Still, we know a little bit more than we did before, and perhaps we can start to make some educated guesses.

First off, it appears that Dr. Poison could to be one of the villains, and I’m assuming that she’s the lady with the partial face appliance. Showing gases that can eat through a gas mask is a good indicator, plus the World War One setting makes a lot of sense given the terrible toxins used in the trenches during the war. If this guess proves true, it could be a very fun choice. Dr. Poison is a classic Wonder Woman villain that should fit well in her new setting. And I’m guessing we’ll get a second, likely mythological villain in the mix, probably Ares, though to my eye the trailer seems inconclusive on the mythology front.

Also, Steve Trevor’s arrival on Paradise Island may not be a solo affair. His crash landing appears to be followed by a German invasion of the Amazons’ home. I’m not super up on my World War One history, but that rowboat is named “Schwaren” (or some such; it’s blurry), which seems rather German, and I googled their uniforms and these fellows look similar. That’s an interesting twist on the classic Steve Trevor arrival.

And DANG does the battle that ensues look SUPER COOL. I can’t wait to see all of this on the big screen. That swinging Amazon flying down from the cliff? Amazing. It looks like at least one Amazon is going to die in the attack, presumably leading to Diana departing the island and going to help fight the war.

Paradise Island looks rad, by the way. That long shot with all the buildings and such looks great. There’s a definite style to the place that feels ancient and classic while being unique at the same time. I like everything I’m seeing on Paradise Island so far.

In Europe, we basically get a whole lot of Wonder Woman kicking ass, which is a blast. She deflects SO MANY bullets. I love it. Also, that alley way attack looks like it might be an homage to Superman: The Movie, which is delightful. All of the action is awesome, and also not at all generic, which I’m glad to see. Wonder Woman appears to have a unique fighting style, and the action looks well shot and choreographed. I’m very into it all of it.

The trailer hints at the Diana/Steve romance as well; we’ve got a near kiss between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine that should have fans of their relationship very excited. And, just like with the first trailer, Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy steals the show at the end, this time with her enthusiasm for fisticuffs. She seems poised to be the film’s break out character.

I will say, yet again, that I’m still not sure on the World War One setting. As much as I loved the trailer, this is not a setting we’ve ever seen for Wonder Woman before and that feels a little bit weird. Also, Diana clashing with the gender norms of 1917 is amusing and all, but I’d much rather have a Wonder Woman who pushes the boundaries of our modern world rather than a world a century past when women couldn’t even vote yet. It’s not hard to look progressive and tough a hundred years ago.

Nonetheless, this is a fantastic trailer and I enjoyed it like crazy. Everything looks so fun and exciting and rad, and my already astronomical keenness for the movie has now grown even more. If Wonder Woman can deliver on all of the promise its shown in the two trailers so far, it’s going to be a heck of a film. And it’s only seven months away now! I can’t wait.

Open Letter From WB “Insider” Calls Wonder Woman Movie “A Mess”, Patty Jenkins Disagrees

August 15, 2016

wwmovie

In a fun bit of internet drama late last week, Pajiba posted an open letter from a pseudonymed, irate Warner Bros. employee addressed to the company’s CEO, Kevin Tsujihara. The letter took Tsujihara to task for a variety of box office bombs and underperforming franchises, failures for which lower level employees have borne the brunt via layoffs. There’s been some debate about the legitimacy of the letter writer and many have called it a fake written by a fan; the letter has tidbits of insider knowledge, though perhaps not enough to prove her credibility wholly. Regardless of its authenticity, the letter is an amusing scorcher, and is particularly interesting for what it has to say about Warner Bros.’s upcoming Wonder Woman film in the wake of Suicide Squad‘s critical drubbing:

What are you even doing? I wish to God you were forced to live out of a car until you made a #1 movie of the year. Maybe Wonder Woman wouldn’t be such a mess. Don’t try to hide behind the great trailer. People inside are already confirming it’s another mess. It is almost impressive how you keep rewarding the same producers and executives for making the same mistakes, over and over.

We don’t get many specifics, but the implication seems to be that Wonder Woman is in a troubling state in the same way that Suicide Squad was, i.e. a film developed in a similarly dark vein as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scrambling to change its tone after critics eviscerated Batman v Superman and the film failed to deliver the studio’s box office expectations (it made a lot of money, sure, but all sources suggest that Warner Bros. expected it to be a billion dollar movie, which it wasn’t). Suicide Squad had massive reshoots trying to strike a lighter tone, and the resulting film is a bizarre jumble that’s just plummeted at the box office in its second week. This open letter suggests that Wonder Woman might be experiencing similar troubles.

Whether or not this is true, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins took to Twitter to defend the film and call into question the report. Combined into a paragraph with her original spelling and grammar, Jenkins wrote:

Woah, just saw this press about WW having problems. Are they serious? This is some made up bs right here. Made up! Produce a source, anyone. You can’t because it’s entirely false. Don’t believe the hype people. Someone’s trying to spread some serious misinfo. Isn’t until you are intimately involved in these things that you realize how totally false these rumors can. Let me reassure you zero about the movie we are making has been called a mess by anyone in the know. Fact. Real lasso of truth, time, will reveal that letter to be false soon enough. But lame something so transparent in its agenda gets traction.

It’s an unequivocal defense of the movie, which is to be expected from its director, really. Though we’ve seen other directors at Warner Bros. talk about how well their film is going and how everyone is on board only to end up with cinematic messes; see: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Still, Wonder Woman is ten months away and I doubt there’s even much of a rough cut yet, much less anything near a finished picture. Unless it’s been terrible from the start, it’s unlikely there’s much for folks at Warner Bros. to praise or criticize yet. Plus Geoff Johns co-wrote the film, and he’s the poster boy for DC’s new, more fun direction. Wonder Woman may turn out to be the first film in this new tone, rather than the last of the original dark tone.

As always with rumoury movie news, time will tell. The trailer for Wonder Woman was fantastic, Gal Gadot is a great Wonder Woman, and the rest of the cast seems strong. I’m not worried about it yet, apart from my general worry about any superhero film that involves Zack Snyder in any capacity. The open letter will either be a prescient warning if the movie is bad or something we all forget about if it’s good. I remain cautiously optimistic it will be good. Maybe I’m fooling myself after Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad, but I’m hoping for the best.

Eugene Brave Rock Playing a Mystery Native Hero in the Wonder Woman Movie

August 4, 2016

wwbvspic.jpg

There’s a cool new article up on Indian Country that addresses one of the mysteries to come out of Batman v Superman. In the scene where Bruce Wayne learns that Wonder Woman has been around since World War One, he sees an old timey photo of Wonder Woman with a group of soldiers. One of them is Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, another appears to be Ewen Bremner in an as yet unnamed part, and one looks to be a Native American character. Indian Country spoke to the man who plays this latter character in Patty Jenkins’ upcoming Wonder Woman, actor and stuntman Eugene Brave Rock.

Brave Rock was sparse on plot details, and told them, “I am only allowed to say I was in London for five months filming the Wonder Woman movie. That is all I am allowed to say.” He actually didn’t know he was auditioning for Wonder Woman when he came in to read for a part, and he said that shooting the film was “as an amazing experience.” Brave Rock also noted that he was allowed to have a lot of input into his character:

“DC really let me have a voice. Usually movies have a lot of do’s and don’ts and they tell you you have to do things a certain way, but in this case, even with wardrobe, it was awesome. In the end, they let me decide a lot about my character. Previously, movies have even told me how I had to braid my hair, and you don’t have a choice – but this was not the case.”

It’s good to hear that Patty Jenkins and DC deferred to Brave Rock and his own knowledge of his culture; that should make for an especially authentic and respectful depiction. It’s also encouraging news in the wake of several reviews of DC’s latest film, Suicide Squad, labelling the film as racist.

We don’t know a lot about the story or characters in Wonder Woman yet, and Brave Rock didn’t give any hints as to who he’d be playing, but he is listed as “Chief” on IMDB. That suggests he might be playing Apache Chief, a Native character from the animated series Super Friends, or perhaps his unofficial comic book counterpart, Manitou Raven. DC has had several other Native characters in their comics over the years as well, and two of them in particular seem like they might be good fits. Pow Wow Smith was a 19th century sheriff in several Western tales, and that era is pretty close to Wonder Woman‘s 1910s setting. There was also another “Chief” in the mix, Super-Chief, an Iroquois warrior who found a meteorite that gave him powers and also extended his life; Super-Chief is a legacy character, with the meteorite being passed down through the family. Brave Rock might be playing one of these characters, or perhaps a completely new one. We’re still ten months away from the film’s release, and DC seems to be keeping their cards close to their chest with Wonder Woman.

The recently released trailer doesn’t offer many hints about Brave Rock’s character either. I think he’s in it, briefly, around the 1:41 mark:

It looks like he, Steve Trevor, and maybe a couple of the other guys from the photo above are ducking out of the way as an explosion goes off. It might just be someone with a similar hat, though. The trailer doesn’t delve into the supporting cast much in general, really.

I’m excited to find out who Brave Rock is playing, and that he’s part of the cast. Period films so often fall into the trap of casting all white actors, especially European war movies, and I’m glad to see that Wonder Woman is aiming to present a more diverse portrait of the time. Between Brave Rock and Saïd Taghmaoui, it looks Diana and Steve are going to have a multi-cultural squad, and that’s very cool. Be sure to check out Indian Country‘s piece for more information on Brave Rock, and of course go see Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017.

Wonder Woman and Justice League Trailers Debut at Comic-Con, and Both Look Cool!

July 23, 2016

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.

New Wonder Woman Movie Poster Highlights Power, Grace, Wisdom, Wonder

July 22, 2016

wwposter.jpg

It’s San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, so we’re getting lots of fun geeky news, and we got a huge reveal today with the first official poster for the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot, the film will be out in June 2017; we’ve seen a few pictures so far and a couple of very brief clips, but now we’ve got a poster! I’m hoping that we’ll get a trailer before the weekend is out, but the poster is pretty rad.

First, the text totally gets it. “Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder” is a such a great encapsulation of the character. These absolutely are the traits that have defined Wonder Woman for decades, and it’s encouraging to see the film acknowledge that from the get go by establishing these words as its definition of the character. It also wisely avoided certain other descriptions. There’s nothing about her appearance at all, for instance. So often we get a focus on Diana’s beauty above all else, and here they skip it entirely. Gal Gadot is obviously lovely, so perhaps they just thought that pointing it out would be redundant. But I’m guessing that they realized that male characters don’t get associated with their appearance; Superman would never have “Handsome” written on his poster. It’s a smart acknowledgement that women are so much more than their appearance.

They also avoid anything martial, like “Warrior” or some such. We get “Power” instead, which is a telling choice. It’s a wider term that encompasses more of the character rather than sharply defining her in terms of violence and warfare. “Power” suggests physical strength, but it also suggests gravitas and leadership and a sort of influentialness that speaks to Wonder Woman as a cultural icon.

Now, we do get a sword, so that does show her martial side. If I’m honest, I’d love to see Wonder Woman without the sword for a change. She’s not a character who I think needs a weapon, particularly one designed to maim or kill. It’s not a weapon for subduing someone, it’s a weapon for battle, and to me, Wonder Woman sees battle as a last resort. So I don’t love the sword.

What I do love, though: The colour! She’s red and blue and gold! Remember a few Comic-Cons back when we got our first official look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and it was all browns? That was so disappointing. This poster is colourful and vibrant, even with all the shadow. There’s even blue sky! It’s a sunnier palette and also it’s literally sunnier. It’s a welcome change from all of the darkness we’ve seen from DC’s current movie line thus far.

So yeah, I like this a lot and might have to try to get one for myself. It feels like Wonder Woman in so many ways, and marks a shift towards brightness that is very necessary to make the character work. It’s a cool poster all around, and the tagline especially makes me feel a little more optimistic about the film moving forward.

First Image of the Amazons in the Wonder Woman Movie Debuts

March 24, 2016

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:

amazons.jpg

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.


%d bloggers like this: