They spoke about their passion for the character at the film’s recent Wonder Con presentation. Jenkins said a superhero’s origin story is a great way for a child to connect with characters. Wonder Woman is one of the biggest and best-known superheroes but movie goers have never seen her origin story.
“It’s so much bigger than that (the comic book movie craze),” said Jenkins. “It’s a method of universal storytelling.”
BECOMING WONDER WOMAN, ROLE MODEL
Jenkins firmly believes in using these stories to make a difference in the world. Diana is a special character who wants to be good and a hero but must first learn how to fight, she said. Before becoming Wonder Woman, she needs to train properly and discover her potential. This is crucial before Diana embarks on her voyage and learns about the darkness in our world, said Jenkins.
“She’s one of the few (comic book heroes) that believes in justice and in love and coming to our world to instill that into us,” said Jenkins. “It’s such a unique perspective.”
What makes Diana such a memorable and sympathetic character is her belief in good and justice and wanting to bring those qualities to our world, said Jenkins. “What I love about her is her belief in mankind and in what mankind can be,” she said.
Ultimately, Diana/Wonder Woman is a great role model because of her compassion. And that, said Jenkins, is what makes her such an inspiring character.
HOMAGE TO SUPERMAN
The first clip shown to the audience was an homage to the original Superman (1978) in which Clark Kent “saves” Lois Lane in an alley. Jenkins referred to Richard Donner as one of her influences as a filmmaker. “I was seven years-old when Superman came out,” she said. “I was Superman. I was Superman who ripped his shirt open. I was that character.”
Jenkins explained that the alley scene shows Diana as a fish out of water just entering a man’s world. It also continues to build the relationship between Diana and Steve Trevor, who has a little bit of Indiana Jones in him. There is a fun chemistry between the characters as they get to know each other, Jenkins continued.
The classic movie Casablanca (1942) was also an inspiration in being a love story set during a time of war. Jenkins said she was blessed with two “stunning performances” from Gal Gadot as Diana and Chris Pine as Steve.
ACTION AND CHARACTER
The second clip featured an amazing action sequence showing Wonder Woman like we’ve never seen her. Set during World War 1, Diana jumps into a building and takes out numerous German soldiers without killing any of them, though they are undoubtedly sore!
Jenkins said the action was approached from Diana’s perspective and the impact war has on her. The action feels organic and a natural progression from the story’s point of view.
“What I care about is this as a character piece,” said Jenkins. “It clarifies what it is because it is from the point of view of Diana and how it affects her journey.”
Using character development for the action sequence “gave us a strong understanding on how to go about it,” said Jenkins.
SPIRIT OF SOURCE MATERIAL
Johns credits Jenkins and the cast and crew for their passion in making the movie, noting that it’s crucial that the people you work with truly love the character.
Johns said they felt a huge responsibility to the character and to stay as true to the comic books as possible. At the same time, they wanted to expand from all the great stories and flesh them out for the movie.
Jenkins added that it was very important to stay close to the source material while making some changes that felt organic. It was always about the emotional essence of the character.
“You’re panning for gold and finding gold every time,” said Johns about the works of George Perez, Greg Rucka and Phil Jimenez, among others.
“In a way, this (movie) is another comic book,” said Jenkins.
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2nd.
- Mario Boucher