Wonder Woman holding severed heads is, uh, not a great look!
Filmmaker Zack Snyder has offered a glimpse into a very different kind of DC Universe by way of a photo featuring Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman holding ::checks notes:: severed heads during the Crimean War. Indeed, while filmmaker Patty Jenkins was rightly lauded for her stellar work helming the first Wonder Woman movie, that film had a long road to production filled with lots of tension and creative differences.
In fact, this Crimean War setting was very seriously considered for the first Wonder Woman movie and was a point of contention amongst the creative team. Jenkins recently spoke at length about her long journey to helming Wonder Woman, noting that when she was initially attached to the project in the early 2010s, the studio wanted to take Wonder Woman in a very, uh, masculine direction:
“They wanted to hire me like a beard; they wanted me to walk around on set as a woman, but it was their story and their vision. And my ideas? They didn’t even want to read my script,” and went on to explain, “There was such mistrust of a different way of doing things and a different point of view. So that was definitely happening, even when I first joined Wonder Woman it was like, ‘Uhh, yeah, ok, but let’s do it this other way.’ But I was like, ‘Women don’t want to see that. Her being harsh and tough and cutting people’s heads off, that’s not what— I’m a Wonder Woman fan, that’s not what we’re looking for.’ Still, I could feel that shaky nervousness [on their part] of my point of view.”
There’s a clear point of connection between Jenkins’ use of “cutting people’s heads off” and this photo we see here. When Michelle MacLaren was hired to direct Wonder Woman after Jenkins, she also clashed with the creative vision for the character, with reports swirling that there was a battle over the setting: should the movie take place during the Crimean War or during World War I? MacLaren never came to a compromise with the studio and ended up leaving the project in 2015, at which point Warner Bros. re-approached Jenkins and finally agreed to let her make Wonder Woman her way:
“Finally, the moment came [when Warners wanted me to make the film] and there was a moment they wanted to make a story that I wasn’t the right person for, so I [left and] said, ‘It can’t be me,’ and they hired someone else [MacLaren] for a little bit. I told them what kind of film I wanted to make. I said, ‘I don’t think this is the story you should tell with Wonder Woman,’ and I didn’t want to be the one to get in a fight about it for years.”
So all of this to say, while this photo may be seen as just a fun Easter Egg, it’s actually a window into a very different path that Wonder Woman and the DCEU might have taken had Jenkins not been hired, and had the studio gone forward with this murderous, brutal version of Wonder Woman they were considering. And it’s great that Jenkins’ vision won out, because Wonder Woman’s compassion and sense of morality is part of what makes her so great.
Take a look at the photo below, which was originally going to appear in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice before Jenkins was hired and the setting of Wonder Woman was changed to World War I.
Wonder Woman 1854 – This amazing image shot by Stephen Berkman of an else-world, war weary Diana, who had chased Aries across the battlefields of the world and had yet to meet Steve, who would help her restore her faith in mankind and love itself. pic.twitter.com/eofkAMg9as
— Zack Snyder (@ZackSnyder) January 5, 2021
Steve Trevor’s return in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ brings up genuinely disturbing questions the movie is not prepared to answer.
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