for a long time, people didn't know how to approach the story. When Patty and I had our creative conversations about the character, we realized that Diana can still be a normal woman, one with very high values, but still a woman. She can be sensitive. She is smart and independent and emotional. She can be confused. She can lose her confidence. She can have confidence. She is everything. She has a human heart.
Although she initially forbids Diana to be trained as a warrior, Hippolyta reluctantly agrees to let her sister, Antiope, train Diana, only more rigorously than any other warrior. In 1917, Diana, now a young woman, rescues American pilot Captain Steve Trevor when his plane crashes off the Themysciran coast. The island is soon invaded by a German light cruiser that had been pursuing Trevor. The Amazons kill the crew, but Antiope sacrifices herself to save Diana (by taking the bullet fired from a German Sailor that was meant for Diana). Steve is interrogated with the Lasso of Hestia, and reveals that a great war is consuming the outside world and that he is an Allied spy. He has stolen a notebook of the chief Chemist Isabel Maru, who is attempting to Engineer a deadlier form of mustard gas, under the orders of General Erich Ludendorff from a weapon facility in the Ottoman Empire. Believing Ares to be responsible for the war, Diana arms herself with the "Godkiller" sword, the lasso, and her armor before leaving Themyscira with Steve to locate and stop Ares for good.
A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that it "briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos. It feels less like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ... what's the word I'm looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too." Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune compared the film to Captain America: The First Avenger, noting that as with "the first Captain America movie over in the Marvel Comics universe, DC's Wonder Woman offers the pleasures of period re-creation for a popular audience. Jenkins and her design team make 1918-era London; war-torn Belgium; the Ottoman Empire; and other locales look freshly realized, with a strong point of view. There are scenes here of dispossessed war refugees, witnessed by an astonished and heartbroken Diana, that carry unusual gravity for a comic book adaptation." Katie Erbland of IndieWire commended its thematic depth, explaining that "Wonder Woman is a war movie. Patty Jenkins' first—and we hope not last—entry into the DC Expanded Universe is primarily set during World War I, but while the feature doesn't balk at war-time violence, it's the internal battles of its compelling heroine that are most vital." Alonso Duralde of TheWrap similarly felt that, "Diana's scenes of action are thrilling precisely because they're meant to stop war, not to foment it; the idea of a demi-god using love to fight war might sound goofy in the abstract, but Jenkins makes the concept work." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post praised Gadot and Pine's performances as well the film's detailed plot and narrative while comparing of some slow-motion action sequences to The Matrix. Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine hailed the film as a "cut above nearly all the superhero movies that have been trotted out over the past few summers" while praising Gadot's performance as "charming" and "marvelous" and commending Jenkins's direction of the film as a step forward for women Directors in directing big-budget blockbuster films in Hollywood.
Wonder Woman has been the subject of a discussion regarding the appearance and representation of female power in general, and of female action heroes in particular since her initial 1941 appearance in Sensation Comics, as she was created to document "the growth in the power of women", while wearing "a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots." She was blacklisted a year later in 1942 in the "Publications Disapproved for Youth" because, the group behind the list argued, she was "not sufficiently dressed".
A few weeks later in September, Cameron reiterated his criticism in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. He compared Gal Gadot's representation of the character to Raquel Welch films of the 1960s, and reinforced a comparison with Linda Hamilton's portrayal of Sarah Connor. He argued that Connor was "if not ahead of its time, at least a breakthrough in its time" because though she "looked great", she "wasn't treated as a sex object". He also stated that he while he "applaud[s] Patty directing the film and Hollywood, uh, 'letting' a woman direct a major action franchise, I didn't think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman. I thought it was a good film. Period." Former Wonder Woman Actress Lynda Carter responded to Cameron's The Hollywood Reporter interview by asking him to "Stop dissing WW." Like Jenkins, she suggests that while Cameron does "not understand the character", she does. She also refers to Cameron's critiques as "thuggish jabs at a brilliant director" that are as "ill advised" as the "movie was spot on." Carter also states that she has the authority to make these observations because she has "embodied this character for more than 40 years". A month later, Jenkins responded to Cameron's comments once again in an interview with Variety, stating that she "was not upset at all", as "everybody is entitled to their own opinion. But if you're going to debate something in a public way, I have to reply that I think it's incorrect." Tricia Ennis was also critical of Cameron's statements, arguing that "while he may consider himself a feminist and an ally to women, [he] is not very good at it" as being an ally means using his position of privilege "without silencing the voices of those you're trying to help". She also states that it "is not enough to simply call yourself a feminist. It's not even enough to create a strong female character [...] You have to bring women to the table. You have to let them speak. You cannot speak for them. But speaking for women is exactly what Cameron is doing through his comments [...] Cameron is using his position of power as a respected Producer and Director to silence women."
A few decades later, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem's Ms. Magazine debuted in 1972 with an image of Wonder Woman on the cover. Historian Tim Hanley suggests that this move shifted "the focus away from female superiority to sisterhood and equality, essentially making her a mascot of the women's movement". This perception shifted over the years, however, as demonstrated in December 2016 when the United Nations decided to drop the title of "honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls" which it had given to the comic book character Wonder Woman a few months prior, in a ceremony attended by the actors who had portrayed her (Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot). The title was eliminated in response to a petition signed by 44,000 people which argued that Wonder Woman undermines female empowerment due to her costume, described as a "shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots". The petition stated that "it is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls". Wonder Woman Director Patty Jenkins responded to both the petition and to the U.N.'s decision by stating that she thinks "that that's sexist. I think it's sexist to say you can't have both. I have to ask myself what I would apply to any other superhero".
Development for a live action Wonder Woman feature film began in 1996, with Ivan Reitman attached as Producer and possible Director. In 1999 the project became attached to Jon Cohen, who adapted Wonder Woman for Producer Joel Silver, with the hope that Sandra Bullock would star. By 2001, Todd Alcott was hired to write the screenplay, with Silver Pictures backing the project. At that time, performers such as Mariah Carey and Catherine Zeta-Jones were also rumored to be possible candidates for the role of Wonder Woman. Leonard Goldberg, however, focused on Bullock who said that she was approached for the role. In addition, Wrestler Chyna also expressed interest. Lucy Lawless, the star of Xena: Warrior Princess, was also under consideration, though she stated that she would have been more interested if Wonder Woman was portrayed as a "flawed hero". The screenplay went through various drafts written by Alcott, Cohen, Becky Johnston, and Philip Levens, and by August 2003, Levens had been replaced by Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis.
Although Whedon stated in May 2005 that he would not cast the part of Wonder Woman until he finished the script, Kate Beckinsale was linked to the part. In 2010 however, Whedon admitted that he did have an Actress in mind for the part, stating that "Wonder Woman was basically Angelina Jolie." A few years later in May 2017, Indie Ground Films leaked a version of Whedon's script in-progress online. Some reacted negatively to it on social media in June 2017, shortly after the release of Patty Jenkins's version of the film. When asked about this response to his script, Jenkins said in a June 2017 interview that she has not read it and that Whedon is "in the DC universe now, and I don't think there's any reason to go there [...] It was what it was. I'm lucky that I'm the person who got to do it. But I don't see what would be beneficial about comparing what he would've done versus what I would have done."
A day before Whedon's departure from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures purchased a spec script for the film written by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland. Set during World War II, the script impressed executives at Silver Pictures. However, Silver stated that he had purchased the script because he did not want the rights reverting; while stating the script had good ideas, Silver did not want the film to be a period piece. By April 2008, Silver hired Jennison and Strickland to write a new script set in contemporary times that would not depict Wonder Woman's origin, but explore Paradise Island's history. In November 2008, Beyoncé met with representatives from DC Comics and Warner Bros., to discuss her interest in portraying Wonder Woman.
Beyond the US and Canada, the film was released day-and-date with its North American debut in 55 markets (72% of its total release), and was projected to debut with anywhere between $92–118 million. It ended up opening to $125 million, including $38 million in China, $8.5 million in Korea, $8.4 million in Mexico, $8.3 million in Brazil and $7.5 million in the UK. In its second week of release, the film brought in another $60 million, including holding the top spot on France, the UK, Australia and Brazil. In the Philippines, it broke 2017 box office record for highest-earning non-holiday opening day—earning $4.7 million and becoming the 6th-most successful commercial film of all time as well overtaking the record set by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film opened in its last market, Japan, on August 25 and debuted to $3.4 million, helping the international gross cross the $400 million mark. The biggest markets of Wonder Woman outside North America are China (US$90 million) followed by Brazil (US$34 million), UK (US$28 million), Australia($23 million) and Mexico($22 million).
Gloria Steinem also liked the film, stating that she felt it made the "Amazon origin story clear; [Wonder Woman] was stopping war, not perpetuating it." Steinem also noted that she knew "some women were disappointed by all the makeup, but I may be desperate—I was just happy that the Amazons had wild hair!" Her only complaint lay in the choice to eliminate the World War II setting as the Wonder Woman comic book developed in response to existing comics that were "so sadistic and racist that there was a congressional hearing on the subject". Steinem also gave Hillary Clinton the first Wonder Woman Award in October 2017 during the Women's Media Center's "Speaking Truth to Power Awards" (an organization created by Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan). Upon receiving the award, Clinton noted that she had seen Jenkins's Wonder Woman film and that she "loved the outfit". She also said that as her granddaughter was "really keen" on Wonder Woman, Clinton "thought maybe I could borrow something from her for the night. It didn't quite work for me, but I will say that this award means a lot to me because as a little girl, and then as a young woman, and then as a slightly older woman, I always wondered when Wonder Woman would have her time, and now that has happened." Clinton had previously praised Jenkins's film, in a public August 2017 message, stating that "it was just as inspirational as I'd suspected a movie about a strong, powerful woman in a fight to save the world from international disaster would be."
Production began on November 21, 2015, under the working title Nightingale. Among the film sets were Lower Halstow, Kent, Australia House, and the Sassi di Matera, Castel del Monte and Camerota in Southern Italy. Matthew Jensen was the Director of photography, filming in the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Production in London ended on March 13, 2016. On March 20, 2016, filming was underway in Italy. In late April, filming took place at a museum in France, where a Wayne Enterprises truck was spotted alongside Gadot. Production ended on May 9, 2016. Patty Jenkins and Director of photography Matt Jensen revealed that the film's look was inspired by Painter John Singer Sargent. Reshoots took place in November 2016, while Gadot was five months pregnant. A green cloth was placed over her stomach to edit out her pregnancy during post-production.
On November 3, 2016, Rupert Gregson-Williams was hired to write and compose the film's music. He was joined by Evan Jolly, Tom Howe, Paul Mounsey, and Andrew Kawczynski, who provided additional music. The Soundtrack was released on CD, digital, and vinyl the same day as the film. Australian musician Sia sang a song for the film, titled "To Be Human", featuring English musician Labrinth. Written by Florence Welch and Rick Nowels, the track is also featured on the Soundtrack.
Director James Cameron continued this debate, through his critique of the representation of female power in Jenkins's film. In an August 2017 interview with The Guardian, Cameron qualifies Jenkins's vision of Wonder Woman as "an objectified icon" and called the film "a step backwards". In contrast, he states, his character Sarah Connor (from his Terminator films) "was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit." Jenkins stated in response that Cameron's "inability to understand what 'Wonder Woman' is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman". She further argued "there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman" because "if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we." Reaction to this debate was mixed. Julie Miller sided with Cameron, whom she states refers to himself as "a pretty hardcore feminist" and who told Vulture that "I have no Problem writing a script in which the males become subservient to the females, which is what happens in Aliens [...] It's up to Ripley to win the day." In contrast, Miller argues that Jenkins and Gadot envisioned Wonder Woman as "a woman who exuded both femininity and strength, along with genuine confusion as to why men would treat women differently than they do other men". Susannah Breslin also agreed with Cameron, describing Jenkins's Wonder Woman as "a Playmate with a lasso" and "female power with no balls". Others were more critical of Cameron's critique. An article in Newsweek suggests that in contrast to his criticism of Jenkins, Cameron's own films include "lot of objectification" and quotes a few Hollywood celebrities who echoed this view. One of the quotes came from Jesse McLaren who states that "James Cameron's just confused there's a female hero whose motivations aren't centered around motherhood." Noah Berlatsky found areas of agreement between both Cameron and Jenkins, stating that while Cameron's objection is "an old point that's been made over and over for decades", Jenkins's film is not "solely focused on objectifying Gal Gadot for a male audience".
Originally signed for three feature films, with Wonder Woman and Justice League being her second and third films, Gadot signed an extension to her contract for additional films. Jenkins initially signed for only one film, but in an interview with Variety, Geoff Johns revealed that he and Jenkins are writing the treatment for a Wonder Woman sequel and that he has a "cool idea for the second one". At the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, Warner Bros. officially announced a sequel would be released on December 13, 2019, and would be titled Wonder Woman 2; the date was later moved up to November 1, 2019, to avoid competition with Star Wars: Episode IX. Later, Jenkins was officially signed to return as Director, with confirmation that Gadot will be returning as the titular role. Days later, the studio hired Dave Callaham to co-write the film's script with Jenkins and Johns. On March 9, 2018, Kristen Wiig was confirmed to play Cheetah, the villain of the film. On the 28th of March 2018, it was revealed that Pedro Pascal would have a key role in the movie.