We Saw 16 Minutes Of 'Wonder Woman' And It Looks Like The Movie DC Needs Right Now

As part of our visit to Warner Bros. post-production facility for Wonder Woman in London, England, director Patty Jenkins sat down to preview some footage from the DC Comics film adaptation. This is the first time the footage has been screened for anyone outside of the film's post-production crew, so Jenkins was happy to share the result of all the work they've been doing.

We were shown four different scenes from Wonder Woman, which totaled up to roughly 16 minutes of footage. While there were some unfinished effects, an incomplete sound mix, and a temporary score, the scenes in question gave us a good idea of what we can expect from Patty Jenkins, and it looks like exactly the kind of movie that the DC Expanded Universe needs right now.

Wonder Woman - Chris Pine

Diana Prince and Steve Trevor Set Sail

The first sequence played for us features Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) setting sail toward London. Against the wishes of her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Diana has decided to sneak away with Steve so that he may get secret intelligence to the Allied forces, and she can find Ares and stop him from creating chaos by way of World War I.

Though Hippolyta was firmly against Diana taking on this mission, from a distance she watches them leave the island without trying to stop them. Her sister, Antiope (Robin Wright) asks vaguely, "Should you have told her?" Hippolyta responds cryptically, "The more she knows, the sooner he'll find her." The "he" in question is presumably Ares, which implies that there's some kind of connection between Ares and Diana that the latter hasn't been made aware of yet.

As Diana and Steve set sail, she asks him to take her to where the fighting is the most intense, because that's where she will find Ares, the god of war. Diana believes that once she finds Ares, she'll be able to kill him with the Godkiller sword and stop the fighting. Steve doesn't necessarily buy into that, and he's more concerned with getting back to London and finding the men who can end this war.

Without hesitation, Diana says, "I'm the man who can." She believes once Ares is destroyed, the German forces will be free of his influence, become good men again, and the world will be better for it. That's all the expository stuff we need in this scene. The rest of this sequence gives us a better idea of how Diana is being handled as a character.

Wonder Woman - Gal Gadot

Steve Trevor shifts around the boat to create a makeshift bed out of what's on the boat. He makes one area for Diana to sleep in while he makes another separate area for himself. Diana finds this odd, inquiring whether the average man sleeps or not, or maybe just doesn't sleep with women. Steve clarifies that it's just not polite or customary to sleep next to a woman if she's not married to the man sleeping next to her.

The scene makes for an amusing exchange where we learn that Diana isn't up to snuff on some of mankind's traditions, and Chris Pine gets perfectly flustered when trying to explain them. But more importantly, it creates wonderful chemistry between Diana and Steve, showing more genuine humanity and charm than all of the previous DC movies combined. Steve feels the need to prove that he's not just an average man in the face of a woman who is so self-assured and spirited, explaining that he's not just an "average man" since being a spy takes a certain amount of skill.

Though Diana is not familiar with the concept of marriage, she's not completely naive or clueless. As the conversation continues, Diana has no trouble explaining that she's familiar with reproductive biology and "the pleasures of the flesh", having read all 12 volumes of Cleo's treatises on body and pleasure. Some more humor is doled out when Diana explains that the books came to the conclusion that males are necessary for procreation but not for pleasure, a statement with which Steve casually disagrees.

These are the kind of moments that have been few and far between in all of the previous DC Expanded Universe movies. Though Clark Kent and Lois Lane have shared some intimate moments like this, they don't come close to having the charm and authenticity of this exchange between Steve and Diana.

Next, we met two of the film's villains.

wonder woman trailer

General Erich Ludendorff and Doctor Maru Have Sinister Plans

The next sequence shown features General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) at a German base. He asks one of his men, "How long until we are operational?" He says it will be two days until they are finished, by Ludendorff gives them until that night to be ready. The soldier says they haven't had any food or sleep while Ludendorff counters that he is in the same boat, but isn't making any excuses. Ludendorff reminds him that an attack can happen at any time, and as a reminder to the rest of the soldiers, he shoots his own man in the head. The scene illustrates how ruthless Ludendorff is, much in the same way that Darth Vader is portrayed by having him choke his own Imperial officers.

Following this nonchalant display of power, Ludendorff enters a lab where Doctor Maru (Elena Anaya) is waiting. He asks for an update on progress, and Maru indicates that it's not enough. In the same breath, she laments the fact that they've run out of time because Germany is on the verge of giving up the fight and signing an armistice to end the war. But Ludendorff maintains that the Kaiser will not want to sign the armistice once he sees how powerful their new poison weapon can be, even though it's not ready.

wonder woman trailer

However, the more interesting detail in this scene is when Maru gives Ludendorff "a different kind of gas," something that will restore his strength. He breaks open a small blue vile and inhales the gas. Suddenly his face becomes slightly translucent and glows, veins visible throughout his skin. It's clear that he gets a huge rush from whatever this gas is, and it makes him so strong that he is able to crush a pistol with his bare hand. There might be something more to this scene, but we'll dive into that in a separate post later today.

After this moment, Maru has some kind of breakthrough in her mind, and she says, "If it's what I think, it's going to be...terrible."

Wonder Woman - Gal Gadot - Chris Pine

Steve and Diana Arrive in Smoggy London Town

London in 1918 is smoggy, dirty and as Steve Trevor tells Diana Prince, "It's not for everybody." As they make their way through the city, Diana is getting her first taste of what civilization is like in the rest of the world. She wonders why some people hold hands as they walk through the city, but then she's quickly back to the mission at hand: getting to the heart of the war.

Steve Trevor convinces Diana that they need to get the intelligence he stole from the Germans to his superiors before they can head into the battlefield to find Ares. She agrees, but first, Steve realizes that Diana needs to get some clothes that allow her to blend in more. Diana wonders what the other woman around her wear into battle before being smitten with the sight of a baby, something that the Amazons apparently haven't seen in a long time.

This scene continues to show the humorous dynamic between Steve Trevor and Diana Prince. At the same time, it shows us that Diana Prince isn't the kind of woman who is intentionally trying to undermine or subvert the norms of society at this time. She's merely not privy to the fact that the place of women during this especially patriarchal time in world history is not on the battlefield. Diana is not trying to thrust some kind of progressive agenda on the rest of the world. She merely sees women as equal by default, which is foreign to the patriarchal society she has entered, though we all know it shouldn't be.

Next, let's find out what it's like seeing Wonder Woman fight on the frontlines of World War I.

wonder woman trailer

Wonder Woman Heads into the Heart of the War

The war is raging on the frontlines. Diana Prince wants to help anyone she can at every turn. Whether it's assisting a family in pulling horses out of a deep bed of mud, or saving a village of people who are being enslaved by German forces, Diana feels compassion and sympathizes with the plight of mankind in this war.

Diana, Steve and their band of rogue soldiers walk through the trenches of a battlefield where the Germans have them outgunned from 200 yards away. There's a battalion of soldiers who have been in that same location for a year and they've barely gained an inch, thanks to the machine guns that the Germans have pointed all over the battlefield. Steve explains to Diana that this area is called No Man's Land, because no man can cross it.

Diana doesn't need to say that she isn't a man for us to know she's about to charge across that battlefield. Even though Steve says this is not what they came here to do, Diana turns away, and when she turns back, her signature headband is in place as she says, "No, but it's what I'm going to do."

Wonder Woman Tone

This is where we see an extended, more detailed version of the footage seen in the trailers of Wonder Woman, with Diana marching into battle. She throws off her coat to reveal her trademark armor, bracelets, lasso and shield, walks slowly up the ladder and into the line of fire. She starts off jogging, deflecting bullets with her bracelets, eventually taking out her shield to knock away a mortar. Her speed increases as does the gunfire, forcing her to duck behind her shield as a barrage of machine gun bullets ricochets in various directions.

Diana deflects bullets back at the gunmen, sparks fly everywhere, leaving the rest of the soldiers to take advantage of the distraction she's created by making their way across No Man's Land. When Diana finally makes it to the machine gun, she obliterates the weapon with her shield, marking her first real victory in the war. But she has little time to celebrate as she leaps out of one trench and into yet another battle.

This particular sequence was set to "Adagio in D Minor" from John Murphy's score for Sunshine, a track that has been used countless times in trailers and commercials. Its use with this footage gave the proceedings an epic feeling, and I hope whatever score Rupert Gregson-Williams composes for this scene is just as powerful.

What I like most about this scene is how fearless Diana seems, even in the face of insurmountable odds. It's not because she's cocky ( she's still mastering her strength and powers), but it's because this is how she was raised. She heeds the call for a hero, even when she doesn't have to be one.


Having been mostly unimpressed with what the DC Expanded Universe has brought to the table recently with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, I was happy to be impressed by what was shown from Wonder Woman. It doesn't feel like a drastic shift in tone, but there appears to be so much more humanity in the proceedings despite the fact that we're following a fantastical superhero who was created by the gods.

The chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine is undeniable, and the humor from their interaction comes about so naturally that it doesn't feel like it's being shoehorned into a grimdark franchise (something I'm worried about seeing happen in Justice League later this year). Beyond that, Wonder Woman is a hero whose motivations to protect and save people feel far more earnest and admirable than that of the version of Superman given to us by Zack Snyder.

While I'm not certain that the entirety of Wonder Woman will end up being impressive, the footage that Patty Jenkins decided to show us was enough to give me hope that there's still a chance for the DC Expanded Universe to come away with at least one exciting superhero franchise.

Wonder Woman arrives on June 2, 2017.