Let me preface this review by saying that I’m not that big of a Wonder Woman fan. Yeah, I watched the old 70s TV show which starred Linda Carter when I was a kid, but I’ve never once read a single Wonder Woman comic book. I’m just not into female superheroes and while I’m a big supporter of DC COMICS-based movies, I certainly haven’t been leading the parade of advocates for a live-action WONDER WOMAN
I was given the script for WONDER WOMAN by a FOBOF (“Friend of Batman On Film“) and was able to read through the thing’s 130 pages rather quickly -- that’s should be indicative of how good I think it is.
WONDER WOMAN was scripted by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland with story credit going to Matthew Jennison, Brent Strickland and Kevin Shawley. It was written on spec and was quickly snapped up by producer Joel Silver and Warner Bros.-- again, indicative of how good it is.
Oh yeah, that, and the fact that Warner Bros. and Silver parted ways with writer/director Joss Whedon ---- who had been developing WONDER WOMAN for Warners without success -- almost the second they stumbled upon this script. Or so it certainly seems.
Anyway, here’s the slinny: WONDER WOMAN is a period piece set in 1943 at the height of World War II. I love that era of history, so the whole “WWII Flick” thing hooked me from almost the get-go. Remember I said that I’m not too keen on female superhero flicks? Well, WONDER WOMAN certainly is that, but it also has a cool male lead in the form of the classic Wonder Woman character Steve Trevor. Dude’s a man’s man and a spy. And all of us guys think spies are cool, right? Right!
So the bottom line here with this dynamic is that you’ve got your Wonder Woman film, but it is also a World War II/spy action-adventure flick. Plus, Wonder Woman is hot as hell -- what’s NOT to like?!
I’m going to keep this review spoiler free, but I will supply you with the basic plotline, descriptions of the lead characters, and other pertinent bits of info that I think is important for this review.
It’s 1943 and World War II is raging. Steve Trevor (30) is described as being “…tall, handsome son of a senator, but made it on his own.” And as I said previously, he’s a spy and he’s spying on the Nazis. But before we meet Trevor, we get a quick history lesson on the Amazons and how they made their way to Themyscira years ago.
The other main character is of course Princess Diana, AKA Wonder Woman. She’s described as “…barely twenty; she’s beautiful, with long black hair.” And based on the way she’s introduced, she’s one badass Amazon.
So how does she find herself in America as well as getting hooked up with this Trevor? Well, Trevor crash lands a Nazi concept jet in Themyscira that he stole from back in Germany. The Amazons find him and Diana saves his ass. Of course, they end up fleeing the island and head off to the good ‘ol US of A. And I’m sure you can guess in which vehicle they make their leave from Diana’s homeland.
The second act provides us with the set up for the rest of the film. Diana and Steve partner up to defeat the Nazis (who of course are bastards) -- who are up to even more no good in addition to being up to the typical Nazi no good usually depicted in such films. They head to Germany and a good portion of Act 2 is set in Berlin. Also, Diana has her own reason for helping Steve and fleeing to America with him. I won’t spoil it, but it has something to do with the Nazis being up to the extra no good that I previously mentioned.
It is during the second act -- and on page 86 -- we are finally introduced to “Wonder Woman.” Here’s how she’s described: “[Her costume is a] combination of her Amazon battle gear and the American flag, the costume we all know as Wonder Woman but slightly more combat ready. SHE LOOKS HOT!” And I loved the way she was makes her first appearance -- it’s totally NOT cheesy.
The 3rd act consists of a no hold’s barred battle between the good guys (Wonder Woman, Trevor, Amazons) and the bad guys (the Nazis). The battle takes place on Themyscira (seems they have something the Nazis want) which is how and why the Amazons get involved. While the ending is indeed the conclusion of this story, things are clearly set up for a sequel.
Frankly, I am surprised that I liked this script so much as I just wasn’t feeling it for a Wonder Woman flick. I have now done a complete 180 and will be banging the BOF drum in support of this project.
I know that some will have reservations about WONDER WOMAN being a period piece set during WW II. One can assume that the “contemporary take” on the character that was being developed by Mr. Whedon simpy wasn’t working. Even though I’m not a “Wonder Woman fan” per se, the character seems to work better as a live-action film when done in the manner as depicted this script (a WW II era period piece). Hell, even her costume makes sense in respect to the story’s 1943 setting.
To Warner Bros., this is the one to go with, trust me. I was a total skeptic when it came to believing that Wonder Woman could work as a big budget, live-action, superhero film. And as I’ve said, I’ve been converted.
Go out and pick a director that has the same passion and respect for the character as Christopher Nolan and Bryan Singer have for The Batman and Superman respectively.
So what do you say? Flip that greenlight switch and let’s get this thing on the big screen soon!