'Wonder Woman': Everything We Learned About The Film's First Act

Wonder Woman is coming to theaters this summer, with Gal Gadot starring in the DC Comics superhero's first solo outing after debuting in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With the exception of a photo revealing Diana Prince posing with some soldiers in World War I, her life remains shrouded in mystery in that film. But that's about to change.

Director Patty Jenkins is giving us Wonder Woman's origin story. While comic book movie fans may be tired of finding out about how these superheroes began, Wonder Woman has never been given this treatment on the big screen before. It helps that she has one of the more unique origin stories in comic book lore, so this won't feel like we're treading familiar territory.

Warner Bros. invited /Film to their post-production facility in London, England for a story presentation (as well as a preview of footage) that laid out some new Wonder Woman plot details, explaining what the first act of the film will entail.

If you want to go into Wonder Woman fresh, then stop reading! There may be some spoilers below, depending on what you don't want to know about the movie.

wonder woman trailer

Wonder Woman is a Flashback

The movie opens in modern day, after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Diana Prince is working at the Louvre in Paris in the antiquities department. While at work, she receives a package from Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) containing the photo that she was trying to obtain from Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman. Since this is Diana's first adventure away from her life with the rest of the Amazonians, she begins to drift back to the memories of how she came to be involved with Steve Trevor and the war to end all wars.

wonder woman trailer

The World of Themyscira

Our story begins on this lush island where the race of people known as the Amazons live, isolated from the rest of the world. Some of the concept art shown to us revealed a path of waterfalls that runs through parts of what you would consider the residential section of the island.

The architecture reminded me of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King if the structures were built into the landscape rather than just on the side of a mountain. Structures are covered with greenery and have water flowing freely all around with much of the interiors exposed to the outside elements, not unlike the throne room seen above.

wonder woman trailer

The Origins of the Amazons

We meet Diana in this paradise world when she's eight years old. We're fortunate enough to meet her at this age so we can be privy to a bedtime story that lets us know where Diana and all the Amazon people in Temyscira came from. A storybook is being read to Diana, and the pages come to life through animation (similar in style to a movie Michelangelo painting), revealing a time before time itself was a concept, a time when gods rules the Earth.

Zeus creates mankind to be companions to the gods, letting man and god coexist peacefully. But Zeus' son Ares becomes jealous of the relationship that Zeus has with mankind. Ares manipulates the minds of mankind to corrupt them, turning them against each other. This thrusts makind into a series of wars, all the while Ares decides to start killing off the other gods, stopping them from influencing mankind.

In order to stop Ares, Zeus creates the Amazons, which includes Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), the queen of the Amazons and future mother of Diana Prince. There's also Robin Wright as General Antiope and Lisa Loven Kongsli as Lieutenant Menalippe, both Hippolyta's sisters. They succeed in stopping Ares from creating chaos, but only for a short time.

Ares has a rage that cannot be contained, and he ends up convincing mankind to enslave the Amazons. While enslaved, Ares has killed all the remaining gods, leaving only Zeus to stop him. In their battle, Zeus lands a crushing blow to Ares that wounds him severely. But Zeus has been fatally injured as well, and in his dying breath, he creates the island of Themyscira so the Amazons have somewhere they can escape to, away from mankind, and safe from Ares.

In addition to giving the Amazons their home island, Zeus also left behind another valuable item: the sword known as the Godkiller. It's the only weapon capable of killing Ares, should he ever begin to create trouble on Earth again.

wonder woman trailer

Diana Prince, Aspiring Warrior

At a young age, Diana wants to train to be a warrior like the women in her family. Actually, all the Amazons are skilled in combat, and that's because they believe that Ares is out there somewhere. Whenever he returns, the Amazons will be ready to keep him in check.

However, Hippolyta doesn't want Diana to train like the rest of the Amazons. She believes that Diana is so determined to be a warrior that she will go so far as to seek out Ares herself. Meanwhile, Antiope disagrees, and chooses to train Diana secretly. From eight years old, Diana develops her skills with a sword and shield. Though we know who she will become, she must learn just like any other Amazon, as she falls and fails during her training, giving Diana a bit of humanity as she comes of age.

After years of training, at 15 years old, Hippolyta learns of Diana's secret training. After an argument with Antiope, the queen agrees that Diana should be trained, but even beyond that, Diana should learn to become unconquerable. So her training continues, and she's pushed to her limits in a training session with Antiope and other Amazon warriors. In a moment of self-protection, she shields herself with her arms, creating the same blast of energy that we saw her utilize in Batman v Superman.

This is just the beginning of Diana tapping into these godlike powers, but the Amazons know that she's ready whenever the time should come that Ares needs to be defeated.

Wonder Woman - Chris Pine

Enter Steve Trevor and the War to End All Wars

Themyscira has its world rocked when a man is found on the shore. It's Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), an American fighter pilot who is working undercover for the British Allied Forces. Trevor has stolen some intelligence from the German forces, and they're in close pursuit after his plane has crashed nearby.

Though Temyscira was intended to keep the Amazons safe from mankind, the Germans arrive with gunpower. Though the Amazons only have spears, bows and arrows at their disposal, they're also extremely skilled warriors who know how to fight collaboratively and they manage to hold off the German forces.

Since Steve Trevor is inadvertently responsible for this battle, he gets lassoed up by the Amazons, and he can't help but tell the truth about World War I. But the key information that comes from Trevor is that the Germans have a rogue officer among their ranks, General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) who is working with Doctor Maru (who may be the film's incarnation of Doctor Poison, played by Elena Anaya) on a weapon of mass destruction. It's a poisonous gas that has devastating effects on the population, and Ludendorff intends on dropping it right on the frontlines of the battle.

Wonder Woman - Chris Pine

Trevor begs Hippolyta to let him go so he can deliver this intelligence to the Allied forces in London, but the queen has no compassion for those who enslaved them. Diana points out that this kind of war is exactly the kind of thing that would come about because of Ares, the god of war. She believes the time has come for her to seek out Ares and stop him in order to restore peace and love to mankind. But Hippolyta refuses to let her fight for mankind.

Of course, Diana can't help but follow her conscience, so she strikes a deal with Steve Trevor to sneak him off the island, provided that he takes her to where the war is the most deadly, because that's where Ares will be. Steve doesn't really buy into all this talk of gods, but since he has to get back to London, they have a deal.

That means Diana has to break into the armory on Themyscira and steal the Godkiller sword, which is where she also finds her signature red, blue and gold wardrobe. There's no significance behind the armor, other than the assumption that it's one of the many mystical gifts the Amazons received from the gods, much like the lasso and shield that she takes with her as well.

Wonder Woman - Gal Gadot - Chris Pine

London, 1918

The city is the complete opposite of Themyscira. There is no lush landscape and the smog of industry clouds the sky. There are people crowding the streets and the war is everywhere. It's an entirely new world to Diana as she discovers things like ice cream and hoop skirts, and learns that in the world of mankind, women are not warriors.

Diana is forced to blend in with some typical 1918 wardrobe as she and Trevor make their way to the war council to deliver news of the impending gas attack. But at this point, there are talks of peace and the armistice of 1918 is on the verge of being signed, ending this war. Since those talks are too fragile to jeopardize, the war council won't send troops to deal with this potential threat.

Both Diana and Steve refuse to take no for an answer, and they decide to thwart this deadly gas attack on their own. So they round up a small band of soldiers (Ewen Bremner, Said Taghmaoui and Eugene Brave Rock) to join them. Diana is not impressed with the reinforcements, while the three men aren't too keen on having a woman come along for this pivotal fight. So they all have to cut through the tension and figure out how to work together.

While on this journey, in addition to all the action that takes place on the battlefield, there's also moments where Steve and Diana spend some time bonding, including a dance in the snow outside.


We were told that everything in the story presentation constitutes roughly the first third of the movie, from the opening bookend to the origins of Themyscira, to Diana and Steve arriving in London and setting out on their own mission. There are not really any shocking details that were revealed in this first act, and much of what was explained can easily be assumed from the trailers we've seen so far.

However, some of the finer details that will help you determine what to expect from Wonder Woman can be gleaned from our reaction to the footage shown to us at Warner Bros. post-production facility in London, as well as our character breakdown of the key players, and a lengthy chat with director Patty Jenkins. Look for those today.