Wonder Woman No Man's Land

Wonder Woman is a full-on phenomenon, and rightly so: Patty Jenkins’ film is not just financially successful, but it’s also a hit with both critics and fans alike. Take notice, Hollywood: this is what can happen when you make a good movie.

But as Jenkins revealed in a recent interview, it turns out that one of the movie’s best scenes was very nearly never shot at all. Read about how the Wonder Woman No Man’s Land sequence almost never happened.

The scene in question: Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), and their scrappy gang are heading through the World War I front lines when Wonder Woman encounters a mother and child in the trenches who beg her for help saving their village, which is being overrun by German soldiers. Even though it’s technically a distraction from the team’s key mission, Wonder Woman decides that it’s worth going into No Man’s Land – a hotly contested battleground – in order to save the citizens of that small European town. It’s a purely triumphant, jump-to-your-feet, heart-swelling hero moment, and the imagery of Wonder Woman deflecting bullets with her bracelets and shield as she changes the tide of battle is instantly iconic.

In an interview with Fandango, Jenkins explained the genesis and backlash she received when she laid out the scene to people at the studio before filming:

“It’s my favorite scene in the movie and it’s the most important scene in the movie. It’s also the scene that made the least sense to other people going in, which is why it’s a wonderful victory for me.

I think that in superhero movies, they fight other people, they fight villains. So when I started to really hunker in on the significance of No Man’s Land, there were a couple people who were deeply confused, wondering, like, ‘Well, what is she going to do? How many bullets can she fight?’ And I kept saying, ‘It’s not about that. This is a different scene than that. This is a scene about her becoming Wonder Woman.’”

Apparently Jenkins storyboarded the scene herself in order to convince the higher-ups that it was necessary, and the tactic worked.

“It’s about her. We’re not angry at the Germans. We don’t care about the Germans and neither does she. This is what she needs to do to get across [No Man’s Land], and so it’s about her.

I take deep gratification that, ultimately, all of us together were able to turn it into that scene. It was always the most important scene in the movie to me in that it is the birth of Wonder Woman.”

To me, this is one of the movie’s standout sequences that encapsulates so many of the reasons Wonder Woman is a great hero, and I’m so glad Jenkins stood her ground and fought for it. Someone give that woman a shield and bracelets of her own.

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