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A second trailer has come out for Wonder Woman, in advance of the film’s release in America on June 9, 2017. And, I must admit, I’m quite stoked by something which looks not dissimilar to Agent Carter in terms of period feel (obviously a little earlier), but with the mayhem ramped up to 11. This one does reveal a bit more than the first trailer, and it’s clear what brings Diana Prince out of her reclusive existence on the island of Themyscira – an assault by German forces renders Amazon neutrality no longer feasible. As she says, in voice-over, “The closer you get, the more you see the great darkness within,” and despite opening with a present-day scene, it seems likely the bulk of this will take place in and around World War I. It’s an interesting choice, not one mined for superhero activity. But the Great War’s brutality offers perhaps the starkest contrast to the peaceful lives of the Amazons, and it’s also a time when women were fighting for equality.
There is a bunch of particularly cool stuff, but I got particular chills as the shot of Diana riding over the top and into trench warfare on her horse. Good to see they’re retained both her bullet-deflecting bracelets and the lasso of truth. No sign yet of her invisible plane, though given the era, presumably it would have to be an invisible biplane. Chris Pine looks largely useless as the obvious romantic interest, and let’s hope he’s relegated to the sideline position he deserves. I certainly don’t want any more of the “She’s my secretary” malarkey mentioned here – we certainly got enough of that in the first season of Agent Carter! Still no word on how the main villain will be, but the Internet’s general consensus is that Danny Huston’s German officer is likely to be Ares, the god of war. However, there is a glimpse of another potential nemesis, in the disfigured woman who appears to be responsible for the poison gas. All told, it mostly looks very slick and highly effective.
However, I’m forced to be cautious, as I am getting something of an Aeon Flux vibe from this production – and we all know how that went. Flux‘s director, Karyn Kusama, was employed on the strength of a small scale “feminist” film, Girlfight, but fell ferociously short at the task of putting together a $60+ million SF spectacle (although it’s not perhaps as bad as often claimed). WW is being helmed by Patty Jenkins, also a director without any real experience of big-budget, cinematic spectacle. Her last feature was back in 2003, the one she’s best known for, Monster – and which coincidentally starred the future Aeon, Charlize Theron. It probably doesn’t help that the DC movies so far have been critical failures, particularly when compared to their Marvel counterparts.
Additionally, there was an anonymous tirade – albeit from an anonymous ex-Warner Bros employee – which said of Wonder Woman, “People inside are already confirming it’s another mess.” Murphy roundly rejected such criticism, but the problems with the DC universe are undeniable. The trailer looks good – but if you can’t find two minutes of good in your feature for a trailer, then you really have a problem (I’m looking at you, Ghostbusters). Mind you, Suicide Squad had a totally bad-ass trailer as well and the end result was “Meh, save for Harley Quinn.” Still, we’ll see. There’s a lot riding on it, not just for DC, but the future of large budget action-heroines in general. While a WW failure won’t stop Captain Marvel from appearing in 2019, it could certainly have a chilling effect on other superheroines’ chances of reaching the screen.