The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

Script Review: The Wonder Woman Movie

Written by: Ron Bricker

Image Should Wonder Woman be made into a movie? It’s an interesting question. Certainly super hero movies have been very popular lately (as long as they don’t reach a Part 3, apparently). Warner Brother and DC have had success with Superman and Batman, so why not bring the last member of the big three to the big screen? The answer may lie in the script written by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland.

Jennison and Strickland present a period-piece that takes place during World War II. It actually seems to follow very closely the original origin story of Wonder Woman. In case you’re unfamiliar; American spy Steve Trevor crashes on the island of Themyscira, home of the Amazons. This is around the same time that the Amazons are trying to choose a champion to travel to the world of men and rescue Galina, an Amazon sent to protect Pandora’s Box. Diana (aka Wonder Woman) is prohibited from participating in the competition by her mother Hippolyte, the queen of the Amazons. Of course she participates (in disguise) and wins. But when it is revealed who she is she is disqualified. Once Trevor’s plane crashes on the island he is to be killed because he is a man. Diana rescues him and takes her famous invisible plane to the world of men in order to find Galina and help Trevor. After a few misadventures back in the US she and Trevor travel to Germany to attempt to stop the Germans from building a fleet of “Amerikan Bombers” that are based on the designs for the Amazons’ invisible planes that they have extracted from Galina who is their prisoner. Diana learns the ways of the world of men and Trevor learns to like Diana and they do eventually win the day in a massive fight back on Themyscira.

And while this is following the original origin story it is has some moments that and dialogue that just don’t sit quite right. We see Diana “learning” about the world of men and we might for a moment feel as though Austin Powers is back and trying to acclimate himself to the nineties again. A scene in which Diana spends two minutes discovering how a light switch works is one such scene. Also, the constant “jokes” about how men think are a bit played out. But the ultimate moment that seems to be a bit overdone is when Diana realizes the cruelty of the Germans when she sees *gasp* a train full of Jewish people. Outraged she tears the side off the train car and frees them. While I sympathize with Wonder Woman here and I wish I could have done the same for these people the scene just doesn’t seem to play. Another good choice may be to eliminate the laughable invisible jet and allow Wonder Woman to fly as the writers of the title did in the 90’s.

While I do believe that a Wonder Woman movie could work at this point, I don’t think this is the script to use. And apparently others agree. The rumors are that the script was purchased simply to get it off the market. It’s being viewed as simply a spec script and no one seems to want to make a period-piece at this point. Producer Joel Silver is quoted as saying "That was a script that came about. It had some good ideas in it but I didn't want it floating around, so we took it off the market. It was a period movie and I really don't want to do that." In fact Joss Whedon supposedly left the project over this script idea (his was set in modern-day). And it looks to me like Joss made the right move. Hopefully Joel Silver will wait for a script that can capture more of the majesty of the Wonder Woman character and less of the camp of the old TV show.