Wonder Woman (2017 film)
Last updated on 24 July 2017
Wonder Woman is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe. The film is directed by Patty Jenkins, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, from a story by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs, and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya. Wonder Woman is the second live action theatrical film featuring the titular character, following her debut in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jenkins' role as director makes her the first female director of a studio superhero comic book live-action theatrical release film. The film tells the story of Princess Diana, who grows up on the Amazon island of Themyscira. After American pilot Steve Trevor crashes offshore of the island and is rescued by her, he tells the Amazons about the ongoing World War. Diana then leaves her home in order to end the conflict, becoming Wonder Woman in the process.
While development for the film began in 1996, Jenkins signed on to direct in 2015. Principal photography began on November 21, 2015, with filming taking place in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy before wrapping up on May 9, 2016, the 123rd birthday of the creator, William Moulton Marston. Additional filming took place in November 2016.
Wonder Woman premiered in Shanghai on May 15, 2017, and was released in the United States on June 2, 2017, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D. It received largely positive reviews, with critics praising the direction, performances, action sequences and musical score. It set numerous box office records, including becoming the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, the biggest domestic opening for a film directed by a woman, and the largest opening for a female-led comic book movie. It has grossed over $779 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2017. It also helped the DCEU to push past $3 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the seventeenth highest-grossing film franchise of all time.
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In present-day Paris, Diana Prince receives a photographic plate of her during World War I, which prompts her to recall her past. The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana was raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, home to the Amazonian race of warrior women created by Zeus to protect mankind. As a young child, Diana wants nothing more than to train like the rest of her people. Hippolyta shares the Amazonian history with Diana, including how Ares became jealous of mankind and worked to orchestrate its destruction. When the rest of the gods from Mount Olympus attempt to stop him, Ares kills all but Zeus, who manages to hurt Ares enough to force a retreat. Zeus leaves the Amazons a weapon, the "Godkiller", in case Ares should ever return.
Initially forbidding Diana to train, Hippolyta agrees to allow her sister Antiope to train Diana, so long as she trains her harder than any other warrior in the army. As a young woman in 1918, Diana rescues American pilot Captain Steve Trevor after his plane crashes off Themyscira's coast. The island is soon invaded by a German cruiser pursuing Steve. The Amazons engage and kill all of the German sailors, but Antiope sacrifices herself to save Diana. Interrogated with the Lasso of Hestia, Steve reveals that a war is raging in the outside world, and that he is an Allied spy. He has stolen a notebook with valuable information from the Spanish chief chemist Isabel Maru, who is attempting to engineer a deadlier form of mustard gas under the orders of General Erich Ludendorff from a weapons facility in the Ottoman empire. Believing Ares is responsible for the war, Diana arms herself with the "Godkiller" sword, the Lasso of Hestia, and armor before leavings Themyscira with Steve to find and destroy Ares.
When the two arrive in London, they deliver Maru's notebook to the Supreme War Council, including Sir Patrick Morgan, who is trying to negotiate an armistice with Germany. Diana translates Maru's notes and reveals that the Germans plan to release the deadly gas at the warfront. Although forbidden by his commanders to act, Steve, with secret funding from Sir Patrick, recruits spy Sameer, marksman Charlie, and smuggler Chief to help prevent the gas from being released. When the team reaches the Western Front in Belgium, they are halted by the enemy lines. Diana pushes alone through no man's land and rallies the Allied forces behind her to liberate the village of Veld. The team briefly celebrates, while Diana and Steve grow closer romantically.
The team learns a gala will be held at the nearby German High Command. Steve and Diana each infiltrate the party, he intending to locate the gas and destroy it, she intending to kill Ludendorff, believing he is Ares and that killing him will end the war. Steve stops her to avoid jeopardizing the mission. Ludendorff unleashes the gas on Veld, killing its inhabitants. Diana blames Steve for intervening and pursues Ludendorff to a base where the gas is being loaded into a bomber aircraft bound for London. Diana fights and kills Ludendorff but is confused when his death does not stop the war.
Sir Patrick appears, revealing himself as Ares and tells Diana that although he has subtly given humans ideas and inspirations, it is ultimately their decision to cause violence as they are inherently corrupt. Ares destroys the sword, revealing Diana as the true "Godkiller", and Zeus' daughter. Ares fails to persuade Diana to help him destroy humankind to restore paradise on Earth. While the two battle, the rest of Steve's team destroy Maru's laboratory. Steve pilots the bomber carrying the gas to a safe altitude and detonates it, sacrificing himself in the process. Ares attempts to harness Diana's rage and grief at Steve's death by convincing her to kill Maru, but her memories of Steve cause her to decide that humans have good within them. She spares Maru and kills Ares.
Later in Trafalgar Square, the team celebrates the end of the war. In the present day, Diana sends an e-mail to Bruce Wayne thanking him for the photographic plate of her and Steve, and reaffirms her mission to protect the world.
- Diana is an immortal Amazon princess, demigoddess, the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus, and the half-sister of Ares. Describing Wonder Woman and her appeal, Gadot said "She's relatable. She has the heart of a human and is very compassionate, but her experiences – or lack of them, her naivete, really – make her interested in everything around her and able to view the world in a way that we'd all like to: with a genuine curiosity." On Diana's relationship with her mother, Gadot said "Diana is a very opinionated girl. Her mother is very opinionated. Her mother is very protective as well, and they have, you know, the very natural clash that a mother has with her daughter, with their daughters, the first time they want to leave home." On taking on the role as Wonder Woman, Gadot stated "I feel very privileged that I got the opportunity to portray such an iconic, strong female character. I adore this character and everything that she stands for and everything that she symbolizes." On Diana going to the world, Gadot stated "When Diana comes to the real world she's completely oblivious about gender and society rules, that women are not equal to men." Describing Diana's relationship with her mother and aunts, Jenkins said "She is the only child they raised together. And their love for her manifests in a different way for each of them." On working with Gadot, Jenkins said "Gal quickly became the person I wanted to talk to about everything. We'd shoot together all day. And then on weekends, we'd be like, 'What do you want to do?' That's maybe not totally normal." Lilly Aspel was cast as the 8-year-old Diana and Emily Carey was cast as the 12-year-old Diana.
- An American pilot and the love interest of Diana. On his role for the film, Pine said "I am an American pilot who's a spy. It's like a boy's dream: You're either a spy or a fighter pilot. The first thing I wanted to be was a fighter pilot a long time ago. I wanted to be Goose [from Top Gun]". As to how his mortal character would interact with an Amazon, Pine stated "When I first read the script, it had elements of Romancing the Stone, kind of a very classic fish out of water. Two people that don't really bond well at first and they're butting heads and just fun, witty banter". When speaking about meeting the director and being cast, Pine said "Patty is a pretty incredible human being. When we first met about the part of Steve, she sat across from me and essentially acted out the entire film over the course of a two-hour lunch. She was so specific, so articulate, and so ardent. I would've said yes just for Patty alone." Pine went through a workout regime for the film, commenting "I got in incredible shape for this film" but also joking "I was also wearing about 75 pounds of clothing. What I realized is that I made a major mistake, I got in great shape and they just put clothes over all my hard work."
- The sister of Hippolyta, Diana's aunt and mentor. On being cast for the film, Wright said "It's two-fold because when Patty Jenkins called me, the director, it was a three minute long conversation. She said, 'I'm doing a movie about Wonder Woman. Do you want to be her trainer?' And I was like, 'Yes. Of course.' And the general of the Amazonian army. That was pretty cool." Describing her character mentoring and training Diana to be a warrior, Wright said "It's a sixth sense that it is coming and I think that's also in the mythological story behind Antiope and Queen Hippolyta. They know it's coming and it's her duty as the aunt to her young niece to make sure she is the fiercest warrior of all time." On the Amazons fighting style, Wright said "It's hand combat. Yes, swords and knives and arrows, but the precision that they have, right, as these warrior women; it's so nice to see that disparity between what we had in the day of just raw fighting materials and the guns and how easy that is in comparison." On the message of the film, Wright stated "Is not just female empowerment. It's about love and justice. That's what the film's about. And what a great message to spread to our little ones." Commenting about training for the film, Wright said "The most empowering was to get into that physical shape. So we were doing horseback riding training, weight training, martial arts, and 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day".
- An ambitious and iron-fisted general of the German Army during World War I. Huston described Ludendorff as a "pragmatist, realist, patriotic, fighting for his country," further explaining, "he lost his son on the German front lines and was just quite tortured, diabolical, stubborn and believes that what he's doing is for the betterment of mankind." On his character, Huston said "Ludendorff is a believer that war is a natural habitat for humans." Huston stated the film as an anti-war film and "somebody like Ludendorff would probably think that the idea that love conquers all is quite a naive concept. But finally it's true and sometimes the best way to examine mankind is from another perspective." On the genre of the film, Huston said "It's Greek mythology. It's the origin of story and sometimes we need demigods to look at us to understand what our weaknesses are. It serves the mythological world."
- The treacherous son of Zeus and half-brother of Diana, based on the Greek mythological god of War, who masquerades as Sir Patrick Morgan, a speaker for peace on the Imperial War Cabinet as part of his deceptive master plan of conquest and destruction. Describing the Sir Patrick persona of his character, Thewlis said "Sir Patrick's entire drive through the other half of the story is to bring about the armistice. That's his whole intention no matter what's going on. He meets Diana and see in her somebody who is sympathetic to his cause quite vehemently so."
- The Amazon queen of Themyscira and Diana's mother. On meeting the director for the role, Nielsen said "Patty and I met in London, and we just hit it off from the get-go. We couldn't stop talking. What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting turned into a two-and-a-half-hour lunch and we just really got each other." She described Jenkins' directing style for the film as "She's also the kind of director that I really flourish under. She has very strong and particular and specific ideas about what it is she wants to say. She comes from a place of strength always. And so, when you are dealing with someone like that, you feel absolutely free to be vulnerable, to be creative, and I am a big researcher." On playing the character, Nielsen said "It was a complete and utter pleasure and I absolutely loved every second of playing her." On her character being Diana's mother and Amazonian queen, Nielsen stated "I'm queen and I'm preparing my child for a world that entails a lot of responsibility. So it was important to me to bring that into the character." She read The Amazons by Adrienne Mayor to familiarize herself with women warriors and said "I used what I learned in Mayor's book as a rallying cry for how I approached Hippolyta. And then, of course, what is a leader who is elected by her peers every year and has been doing this for a thousand years? That too was interesting to think about". Nielsen went through a workout regime for the film, saying "I did six hours a day. You know, two hours of weight training, two hours of swords training, and then two hours of horseback riding". Nicole Kidman was in negotiations for the role but was forced to drop due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies. Previously, Nielsen had been considered for the role of Superman's mother, Lara Lor-Van, in Man of Steel.
- A nefarious Spanish chief chemist associated with General Ludendorff who specializes in chemistry and poisons. On her role, Anaya said "Well, it was a small role in this big ensemble, but it is an important character in the story. I'm going to be a big nightmare" for Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. Describing her character, Anaya said "Dr. Maru loves rage and enjoys people's pain. She's creating terrible weapons, and her purpose in life is to kill as many people as possible, and provoke as much pain as possible". She researched World War I and Fritz Haber, the scientist who created mustard gas, to prepare for the role. On the character's facial scars, Anaya stated "I went to Patty Jenkins and asked, 'What happened to her?' And she said, 'She did it on purpose.' I was like, 'What? Patty, you're going further than I ever imagined.' She said, 'She wants to provoke painful suffering, so she tested her own gas on her own face. She wanted to know how deep this form of her gas would go, so she put it on her own face.' You can see half of her face is completely gone. This is the sadistic side of Dr. Maru". She also stated her character "is quite the opposite to the lead role of this movie, one of the strongest characters ever of DC comics, Wonder Woman. I can tell you that Doctor Poison is someone with a capacity to provoke so much pain." On Dr. Maru's relationship with General Ludendorff, Anaya said "I think that they have a relationship based on loyalty. Ludendorff is a very tormented General that lacks self-confidence. That's why, in part, he takes these drugs that Dr. Poison gives him. They are from different worlds, but they complement each other".
- Steve Trevor's comical, loyal, and friendly secretary who befriends Diana. Describing her character, Davis said "She's a woman in a man's world and so being heard and seen aren't the easiest things, but it kind of doesn't deter her", adding, "Etta is unapologetically herself and I think that that's the thing that has drawn me to her the most". When asked if she was previously familiar with the character, Davis responded "No. I wasn't. It took me a while to know that I was auditioning for Etta because even when I found out it was Wonder Woman, I still had no idea what the role was. It took a little while then I Googled the character". On Etta Candy's relationship with Steve Trevor, Davis said "One of the great things that Etta gets to work with Steve Trevor is because Steve is not your typical man, in that he does entrust her with things that in 1918 probably wouldn't have been entrusted to a secretary of somebody who is quite important", further explaining, "So I think that [Trevor] needs her just as much as she needs that because now she's been given responsibility that she wouldn't have normally be given before, and equally he has somebody who could probably fly under the radar a bit. So he can trust the person who no one's really looking at".
- A French Moroccan secret agent who is a master of disguise and an ally of Steve Trevor. On his casting, Taghmaoui stated "I was among hundreds of potential candidates, and I slowly became the favorite", adding, "It wasn't easy. It took me three months. [I'll have to go through] extensive physical training."
- A heavy-drinking Scottish sharpshooter who has already had a tour of duty and has post-traumatic stress disorder. He is an ally of Steve Trevor. On his role, Bremner said "I play a character who's enlisted by Wonder Woman to help save the world as part of a small, unlikely band". Describing his character, Bremner stated "He's a shellshocked soldier who's been discharged from the war and is brought back to help on a secret mission". On working with Jenkins, Bremner commented "Patty Jenkins is a force of nature. She has fantastic vision, strength and enthusiasm, which is completely infectious and motivates a cast and crew of thousands to really go beyond themselves."
- A Blackfoot Native American demi-god, and a smuggler who trades with both sides of the war and knows how to get people across the front lines. On his casting, Brave Rock said "I had no idea it was for Wonder Woman. I lost it when I showed up and I couldn't remember my lines. I didn't take it literally until a month later, I got a call saying I got the role and they wanted me to fly to London for a fitting." Brave Rock raised several concerns with Jenkins over the representation of the character in the film, particularly that he was not comfortable playing into stereotypes and that he was not keen on his character being simply known as "Chief". Jenkins responded by giving him some extra creative control over his character which Brave Rock says was "unprecedented".
- Antiope's lieutenant and Diana's aunt. Describing her character, Kongsli said "Menalippe is a fearless warrior with a strong justice needs. She lives with the other Amazons on the island Themiscyra and exercising continuous battle to assist man in the fight for the good." On filming, Konglsi stated "It's a blast. I've worked damn hard to make this happen, so it's absolutely absurd and fun all at once."
Additionally, Mayling Ng appears as Orana, Florence Kasumba as Acantha, Madeleine Vall Beijner as Egeria, Hayley Jane Warnes as Aella and Ann Wolfe as Artemis, all of whom are Amazons. Dutch model Doutzen Kroes portrays the Amazon Venelia. Samantha Jo was cast as Euboea. Jo previously played Car-Vex in Man of Steel.
Development for a live action Wonder Woman feature film began in 1996, with Ivan Reitman attached as producer and possible director. In 1999 the project became attached to Jon Cohen, who adapted Wonder Woman for producer Joel Silver, with the hope that Sandra Bullock would star. By 2001, Todd Alcott was hired to write the screenplay, with Silver Pictures backing the project. At that time, performers such as Mariah Carey and Catherine Zeta-Jones were also rumored to be possible candidates for the role of Wonder Woman. Leonard Goldberg, however, focused on Bullock who said that she was approached for the role. In addition, wrestler Chyna also expressed interest. Lucy Lawless, the star of Xena: Warrior Princess, was also under consideration, though she stated that she would have been more interested if Wonder Woman was portrayed as a "flawed hero." The screenplay went through various drafts written by Alcott, Cohen, Becky Johnston, and Philip Levens, and by August 2003, Levens had been replaced by screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis.
In March 2005, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures announced that Joss Whedon would write and direct the film, with a reported salary was of $2 to $3 million. Since Whedon was directing Serenity at the time, and required time to research Wonder Woman's background, he did not begin the screenplay until late 2005. Early drafts of his screenplay included Steve Trevor as the narrator, a fierce battle between Diana and her mother over Trevor's welfare, and after leaving Themyscira, his need to frequently rescue a Diana rendered helpless by the modern world. However, Whedon was not able to complete a final version of his screenplay and left the project in 2007. Although Whedon stated in May 2005 that he would not cast the part of Wonder Woman until he finished the script, he admitted in 2010 that he did have an actress in mind for the part, stating that "Wonder Woman was basically Angelina Jolie." A few years later in May 2017, Indie Ground Films leaked a version of Whedon's script in-progress online. Some reacted negatively to it on social media in June 2017, shortly after the release of Patty Jenkins version of the film. When asked about this response to his script, Jenkins said in a June 2017 interview that she has not read it and that Whedon is "in the DC universe now, and I don't think there's any reason to go there [...] It was what it was. I'm lucky that I'm the person who got to do it. But I don't see what would be beneficial about comparing what he would've done versus what I would have done."
A day before Whedon's departure from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures purchased a spec script for the film written by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland. Set during World War II, the script impressed executives at Silver Pictures. However, Silver stated that he had purchased the script because he did not want the rights reverting; while stating the script had good ideas, Silver did not want the film to be a period piece. By April 2008, Silver hired Jennison and Strickland to write a new script set in contemporary times that would not depict Wonder Woman's origin, but explore Paradise Island's history. In November 2008, Beyoncé met with representatives from DC Comics and Warner Bros., to discuss her interest in portraying Wonder Woman.
In 2010, Warner Bros. stated that a film was in development, along with films based on DC Comics superheroes the Flash and Aquaman. Both Wonder Woman and Aquaman were still under consideration for solo film subjects as of June 2013. DC Chief Diane Nelson said Wonder Woman "has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she's tricky." On October 5, 2013, WB chairman Kevin Tsujihara said he wanted to get Wonder Woman in a film or on TV. Shortly afterward, Paul Feig said he had pitched the studio an idea for Wonder Woman as an action-comedy film. The studio then began to search for female directors to direct the film. While Michelle MacLaren was the studio's initial choice to direct (and while she initially indicated interest), she eventually left the project due to creative differences.
In 2015, Patty Jenkins accepted an offer to direct Wonder Woman, based on a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and a story co-written by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Geoff Johns and Jason Fuchs. Of this version, Gadot stated that,
for a long time, people didn't know how to approach the story. When Patty and I had our creative conversations about the character, we realized that Diana can still be a normal woman, one with very high values, but still a woman. She can be sensitive. She is smart and independent and emotional. She can be confused. She can lose her confidence. She can have confidence. She is everything. She has a human heart.
This version was conceived of as a prequel to the first live-action, theatrical appearance of Wonder Woman, in the 2016 film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, placing Wonder Woman in the 1910s and World War I (a decision which differs from her comic book origins as a supporter of the Allies during World War II). As for story development, Jenkins credits the stories by the character's creator William Moulton Marston in the 1940s and George Perez's seminal stories in the 1980s in which he modernized the character. In addition, it follows some aspects of DC Comics' origin changes in The New 52 reboot, where Diana is the daughter of Zeus. Jenkins cited Richard Donner's Superman as an inspiration.
In late 2013, Zack Snyder cast Gal Gadot in the role of Wonder Woman for the 2016 film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice over Élodie Yung and Olga Kurylenko. Some fans initially reacted to this choice by criticizing Gadot's appearance. Snyder would later comment on his decision to cast Gadot, stating that he
tested a bunch of actresses, as you can imagine. But the thing with Gal is that she's strong, she's beautiful, and she's a kind person, which is interesting, but fierce at the same time. It's that combination of being fierce but kind at the same time that we were looking for.
Gadot described Diana as having "the heart of a human so she can be emotional, she's curious, she's compassionate, she loves people. And then she has the powers of a goddess. She's all for good, she fights for good." She also said that Diana has "many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day she's a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence". As to how her character is different from her appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Gadot said "We go back 100 years to when she's more naive", further explaining, "She's this young idealist. She's pure. Very different to the experienced, super-confident, grown-up woman you've seen". Gadot underwent a diet and training regimen, practiced different martial arts and gained 17 pounds of muscle for the role. Gadot was previously offered a different role (as a villain) in Man of Steel, which she declined because she was pregnant at the time; this allowed her to later be cast as Wonder Woman in the film's follow-up. Gadot signed a three-picture deal. She was only paid a base salary of $300,000 for the movie itself.
Chris Pine was cast as Steve Trevor, a character he described as a "rogue-ish, cynical realist who's seen the awful brutish nature of modern civilization" and added that he is a "worldly guy, a charming guy". He signed a multi-picture deal. Lucy Davis' performance as Etta Candy is the first live-action cinematic portrayal of the character. As well, Elena Anaya's performance as Doctor Poison is the cinematic debut of that character. Nicole Kidman was in negotiations for the role of Queen Hippolyta, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies.
Production began on November 21, 2015, under the working title Nightingale. Among the film sets were Lower Halstow, Kent, Australia House, and the Sassi di Matera, Castel del Monte and Camerota in Southern Italy. Matthew Jensen was the director of photography, filming in the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Production in London ended on March 13, 2016. On March 20, 2016, filming was underway in Italy. In late April, filming took place at a museum in France, where a Wayne Enterprises truck was spotted alongside Gadot. Production ended on May 9, 2016. Patty Jenkins and director of photography Matt Jensen revealed that the film's look was inspired by painter John Singer Sargent. Reshoots took place in November 2016, while Gadot was five months pregnant. A green cloth was placed over her stomach to edit out her pregnancy during post-production.
To find the perfect location to shoot the Amazon island of Themyscira, the birthplace of Wonder Woman herself, the movie's producers searched all over the world, finally settling on the Amalfi Coast: a stretch of coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, located in the Province of Salerno in Southern Italy. It was chosen because most beaches in the world that sit below big cliffs disappear beneath the tide for part of every day. Production designer Aline Bonetto and her location manager Charles Somers considered 47 countries and visited several of them before they found what they were looking for. Bonetto explained that, "Italy had beautiful weather, a beautiful blue-green sea, not too much tide, not too much wave. Our effects team added some cliffs in post-production, and it was the perfect way to go".
Bill Westenhofer served as the visual effects supervisor for the film, and Martin Walsh served as editor.
On November 3, 2016, Rupert Gregson-Williams was hired to write and compose the film's music. He was joined by Evan Jolly, Tom Howe, Paul Mounsey, and Andrew Kawczynski, who provided additional music. The soundtrack was released the same day as the movie on CD, digital, and vinyl.
Australian musician Sia sang a song for the film, titled "To Be Human", featuring English musician Labrinth. Written by Florence Welch and Rick Nowels, the track is also featured on the soundtrack.
Additional music featured in the film are: "Another Little Drink Wouldn't Do Us Any Harm" by Clifford Grey and Nat Ayer and performed by Edgar Trevor and Cecil Cooper; "Molly O'Morgan" written by Fred Godfrey and Will Letters and performed by Ella Retford; "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams; "Sous les ponts de Paris" written by Jean Rodor and Vincent Scotto and performed by Lucienne Delyle; "I'll Walk Beside You" written by Edward Lockton and Alan Murray and performed by Ewen Bremner; "Green Grow the Rushes, O" written by Robert Burns and performed by Ewen Bremner; and "Schatzwalzer Op. 4" written by Johann Strauss II and performed by the Berlin String Quartet.
Wonder Woman held its world premiere in Shanghai on May 15, 2017. The film's London premiere, which was scheduled to take place on May 31, 2017 at the Odeon Leicester Square, was cancelled due to the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. The film premiered in the United States in Los Angeles on May 25, and had its Latin America premiere in Mexico City on May 27. It was released in most of the world, including in IMAX, on June 2, 2017, after originally being scheduled for June 23. Belgium, Singapore and South Korea received the film first, with May 31 openings. On April 17, it was announced that Wonder Woman would be released in China on June 2, the same day as its North American release.
The success of the superhero television series Supergirl informed the marketing and promotion strategy used for Wonder Woman. According to Time Warner chief marketing officer Kristen O'Hara, they wanted to approach the Wonder Woman marketing campaign in a light manner, similar to how they did with Supergirl. O'Hara elaborated that the modest campaign route they took for Supergirl aided in establishing a large central fanbase among women well in advance of the series, which reportedly generated 5 million female superhero fans in one week. They were then able to model over time, and grow that audience leading up to the 15 months later release of Wonder Woman. Though neither the film nor the series are aimed exclusively at women, the latter's campaign gave them their first opportunity to begin collecting data about female superhero fans. In May 2017, a promo for Wonder Woman was released during the season finale of Supergirl, featuring a remix of the song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) wearing Wonder Woman's boots. The promo included an appearance by Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s Wonder Woman, who plays the American president on Supergirl.
The costs for television advertisements for Wonder Woman are higher in comparison to that of previous DCEU film Suicide Squad. Warner Bros. has spent over $3 million on advertisements for Wonder Woman, whereas they spent $2.6 million on advertisements for Suicide Squad.
Ticket selling site Fandango reported that Wonder Woman rounded the final leg of its marketing campaign as the most anticipated blockbuster of summer 2017, according to a poll conducted by 10,000 voters, the biggest survey in company history. Separately, Fandango also found that 92% of people surveyed said that they are looking forward to seeing a film that features a standalone woman superhero, and 87% wished Hollywood would make more women-led superhero films.
In May 2017, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick drove her No. 10 car with a Wonder Woman paint scheme at the Go Bowling 400 in Kansas and at the Monster Energy Open in Charlotte.
Bans in Lebanon and Tunisia
On May 31, Wonder Woman was banned in Lebanon after the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel asked the Lebanese government's Ministry of Economy and Trade to block the film because its star, Gal Gadot, had served in the Israeli military. On June 7, Variety reported that a Tunisian court suspended the theatrical release of Wonder Woman after a lawsuit brought by the Al-Chaab party and the Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers to have the film blocked due to Gadot's Israeli citizenship, military service, and public comments in support of the Israeli military during the 2014 war in Gaza. Jordan was reportedly also considering a ban of the film and suspended screenings pending a decision, but on June 11, Al Bawaba reported that the government decided not to do so, as there was no legal precedent for it.
Controversy arose surrounding women-only screenings held at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, with some opponents of the gender-restricted screening stating on platfomrs such a s Facebook that such screenings were discriminatory against men.
An Albany Law School professor initiated a complaint with Austin's Equal Employment and Fair Housing Office claiming discrimination against male prospective customers and employees of the theater. The chain responded with an online statement saying the event "may have created confusion—we want everybody to see this film" and announced a similar event at their Brooklyn location. Tickets sold out in less than an hour, prompting the chain to schedule additional screenings.
As of July 23, 2017Wonder Woman has grossed $389 million in the United States and Canada and $390.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $779.6 million, against a production budget of $149 million. Estimates for the number the film needed to surpass internationally in order to cover its production and promotional costs and break even ranged from $300 million to $460 million.
In May 2017, early tracking had Wonder Woman opening with $65–75 million, and possibly as high as $105 million. The film opened Friday, June 2, 2017, across 4,165 theaters and made $38.7 million on its opening day, including $3.7 million in IMAX. It was the biggest single-day gross for a woman-directed film, ahead of the $35.9 million opening Friday of Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight in 2008 and the biggest opening day for a woman-led comic book superhero film, ahead of Ghost in the Shell ($7 million). This included $11 million it made from Thursday previews, also the best start for a film directed by a woman, surpassing Fifty Shades of Grey's $8.6 million which was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, and the third biggest of the year, behind Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Of that, $1.5 million came from IMAX screenings.
Earning a total of $103.3 million on its opening weekend, the film recorded a number of records: the biggest domestic opening of all-time for a female director (surpassing previous record holder Fifty Shades of Grey by Sam Taylor-Johnson), the biggest DC Comics release without Batman or Superman (ahead of Constantine), the sixth-biggest non-sequel comic book superhero debut ever, as well as the sixth-biggest June debut weekend. Its three-day opening alone made it both the highest-grossing woman-led comic book superhero film ever (surpassing Ghost in the Shell) and film set in World War I (breaking Steven Spielberg's War Horse's record). It was also the 16th superhero film to cross $100 million in its domestic box office launch. About 9% ($9 million) of the opening weekend came from IMAX screenings from 343 theaters. In its second week the film grossed $58.5 million, again topping the box office. It marked a 43.3% drop for its second weekend at the box office, better than the average 50–60% decline superhero films tend to see, and was a better second weekend than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($51.3 million) and Suicide Squad ($43.5 million). In its third weekend it grossed $40.8 million, finishing second behind newcomer Cars 3 ($53.5 million). It was the second best third weekend ever for Warner Bros. and was nearly double what Batman v Superman ($23.3 million), Suicide Squad ($20.9 million) and Man of Steel ($20.7 million) made in their third weekends. It earned $24.9 million and $15.7 million in its fourth and fifth weekends respectively, dropping just 39% and 36% despite facing rough competition from opening films Transformers: The Last Knight and Despicable Me 3. It eventually became the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman, surpassing previous record holder Mamma Mia! by Phyllida Lloyd.
Internationally, the film was released day-and-date with its North American debut in 55 markets (72% of its total release), and was projected to debut with anywhere between $92–118 million. It ended up opening to $125 million, including $38 million in China, $8.5 million in Korea, $8.4 million in Mexico, $8.3 million in Brazil and $7.5 million in the UK. In its second week of release, the film brought in another $60 million, including holding the top spot on France, the UK, Australia and Brazil. As of June 25, 2017, the biggest markets of Wonder Woman outside North America are China (US$88 million) followed by Brazil (US$27 million), UK (US$23 million) and Australia (US$20 million). The last market is set to open in Japan (August).
Wonder Woman received largely positive reviews, with some critics calling it the best film in the DC Extended Universe. Critics praised Jenkins' direction, and the performances and chemistry of Gadot and Pine. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 92% based on 318 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 76 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Critics commented favorably on Gadot's portrayal of the titular character and Chris Pine's Steve Trevor. Andrew Barker of Variety remarked on the film's more lighthearted tone than previous recent DC Comics films: "Never prone to stewing in solitude, and taking more notes from Richard Donner than from Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman provides a welcome respite from DC's house style of grim darkness—boisterous, earnest, sometimes sloppy, yet consistently entertaining—with star Gal Gadot proving an inspired choice for this avatar of truth, justice, and the Amazonian way." Vox.com stated "Trevor is the superhero girlfriend comic book movies need". The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle lauded the performances of Gadot, Pine, Huston, and Thewlis while commending the film for its "different perspective" as well its humor.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that it "briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos. It feels less like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ... what's the word I'm looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too." Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune compared the film to Captain America: The First Avenger, noting that as with "the first Captain America movie over in the Marvel Comics universe, DC's Wonder Woman offers the pleasures of period re-creation for a popular audience. Jenkins and her design team make 1918-era London; war-torn Belgium; the Ottoman Empire; and other locales look freshly realized, with a strong point of view. There are scenes here of dispossessed war refugees, witnessed by an astonished and heartbroken Diana, that carry unusual gravity for a comic book adaptation." Katie Erbland of IndieWire commended its thematic depth, explaining that "Wonder Woman is a war movie. Patty Jenkins' first—and we hope not last—entry into the DC Expanded Universe is primarily set during World War I, but while the feature doesn't balk at war-time violence, it's the internal battles of its compelling heroine that are most vital." Alonso Duralde of TheWrap similarly felt that, "Diana's scenes of action are thrilling precisely because they're meant to stop war, not to foment it; the idea of a demi-god using love to fight war might sound goofy in the abstract, but Jenkins makes the concept work." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post complimented Gadot's and Pine's performances while also praising the film's detailed plot and narrative, as well drawing a comparison of some of the action sequences – particularly the slow-motion – to The Matrix. Elise Jost of Moviepilot observed that "Gadot's take on Wonder Woman is one of those unique cases of an actor merging with their story, similar to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot." Jost praised Gadot's interpretation of Wonder Woman as the one in which Gadot "absolutely nails the character's unwaveringly positive outlook on life. She's a force of nature who believes in the greater good; her conviction that she's meant to save the world is stronger than her bullet-deflecting shield. She's genuine, she's fun, she's the warm source of energy at the heart of the movie."
The Federalist suggests that Wonder Woman is "a story of Jesus". "The movie is wrapped up in faux Greek mythology, true, but there's no mistaking the Christology here." "Perhaps Christ in the form of a beautiful and kick-ass Amazon is all that our contemporary society can handle right now", stated M. Hudson, a Christian feminist.
Steve Rose in The Guardian criticized the film for failing to explore the material's potential for "patriarchy-upending subversion". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone criticized the film's over-reliance on exposition: "Wonder Woman is hobbled by a slogging origin story and action that only comes in fits and starts. Just when Gadot and director Patty Jenkins...are ready to kick ass, we get backstory."
"Gas was intended to win the war. On that much Wonder Woman is absolutely right." said David Hambling in Popular Mechanics. Rachel Becker of The Verge stated that despite the scientific liberties of using a "hydrogen-based" chemical weapon as a plot device, the film succeeds in evoking real and horrifying history. "First off, mustard gas is such a horrible, terrifying weapon, it doesn't need to be made more potent. But if you were a chemist bent on raining destruction on the Allied forces, you wouldn't do it by replacing the sulfur atom in mustard gas with a hydrogen atom. You'd know that sulfur is the linchpin holding together this poisonous molecule."
||Date of ceremony
||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)
|Golden Trailer Awards
||June 6, 2017
||Best of Show
|Best Fantasy / Adventure
|Best Summer 2017 Blockbuster Poster
|Teen Choice Awards
||August 13, 2017
||Choice Action Movie
|Choice Action Movie Actor
|Choice Action Movie Actress
|Choice Movie Ship
||Gal Gadot & Chris Pine
||Chris Pine & Gal Gadot
|Choice Summer Movie
|Choice Summer Movie Actor
|Choice Summer Movie Actress
While originally signed for three feature films, with Wonder Woman being her second, Gadot has extended her contract beyond that. Jenkins, who was initially signed for only one film, has expressed interest in returning to direct the sequel. In an interview with Variety, Geoff Johns revealed that he and Jenkins are writing the treatment for a Wonder Woman sequel and that he has a "cool idea for the second one". While speaking in a Q&A at Women in Film screening of the film, Jenkins confirmed she will indeed direct the sequel. However, Jenkins later tweeted that "it wasn't a confirmation. Just talking about ideas and hopes". On July 22, 2017, at San Diego Comic Con, Warner Brothers officially announced a sequel would be coming with Jenkins returning as director.
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