A big screen outing for everyone’s favourite female DC Superhero has been a dream for all DC fans for a very long time. This weekend that dream finally became a reality with Patty Jenkins’ outstanding adaptation with Gal Gadot in the title role.
For Warner Bros., this has been a project long in the making. Hollywood has been attempting to bring the Amazon to the big screen for decades before Patty Jenkins finally delivered one of the very best Superhero movies in recent times. However, the path to Patty Jenkins’ vision was a long one with many incarnations being brought to the table before Wonder Woman became a reality.
Wonder Woman producer Charles Roven recently spoke about the lengthy development process and how it involved a number of different screenwriters all working on the project:
“Really early on, before Patty came on the project, we put our toe in the water with two writers. They took completely different approaches on the material—one was the Crimean War and one was World War I, but a completely different World War I experience. We had quite a Writers Guild arbitration with a number of writers because we had a lot of writers, and then there were the preceding writers and the other incarnations of the development of Wonder Woman. But for our Wonder Woman we didn’t like the ultimate take on those scripts, even though they’re talented guys, and Zack [Snyder] and Allan Heinberg then collaborated on a story. We had a different director on at that time, and that director—which was OK’d by the studio—brought a number of writers on. We had more writers working with—everybody had knowledge because you can’t do it with the Writers Guild without telling everybody what you’re doing and everybody has to be OK—but we had more writers working at the same time than I’ve ever done. In the history of all the movies that I’ve done, it never worked out that way before.”
Roven is referring to Director Michelle MacLaren, who was originally attached to the project based on her TV work on shows such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. MacLaren departed the project over creative differences.
“While there are things that most of [the other writers] contributed that are in the script, there wasn’t anybody who ended up making such a contribution that they were able to get a credit. A guy by the name of Jason Fuchs got the third position in the ‘Story By’ so it’s Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs, but Allan Heinberg got the full screenplay credit. Even though after he couldn’t finish working—he had to go back to the TV series that he was working on—Geoff Johns and Patty did a tremendous amount of collaboration. But again, based on the rules they weren’t allowed to get any credit, but they did a lot of writing that stuck. So that’s the long-winded version of the answer being that we had a basic arc of a story, but scene to scene it really came together when Patty got involved.”
Jenkins has stated many times that Richard Donners Original Superman was a huge motivation for her vision.
Roven also added another key feature throughout all drafts of the story was her heroism at a young age:
“The thing that I think that [Christopher Reeve’s] Superman had that our Wonder Woman has is the genuine compassion for man. Wanting to see the best in him, and wanting to help mankind, men and women, human beings. But what the character also had in every incarnation was her desire from the time that she was a young girl to be a hero. Her mother was a hero, her aunt was a hero, and she felt it was the destiny of herself and the other Amazons to be heroic, and so she wanted to fulfill that destiny from the very beginning, from the time that she was a little girl. That was always there, how she was gonna go about doing it wasn’t always there.”
One of the best things Jenkins brought was Diana’s naivety in the real world which turned into one of her most endearing qualities:
“One of the great things that came with Patty was this great use of Diana’s naiveté from living such a sheltered life on Themyscira. So even though she ends up […] becoming a fighter, she’s still pretty sheltered because she’s never been off the island. So she’s got no life experience really. When she meets a man for the first time that gives you great potential humor, and when she goes off the island there’s great potential humor just in her sense of what life is like and her finding out what life is like in man’s world. So a lot of the humor of the movie, or the circumstances, was pulled out by Patty.”
This has clearly been a project of passion that has taken a tremendously long time to become a reality. With such a positive reception from both fans and critics alike, I think we can all agree that it was worth the wait.