Before Patty Jenkins tackled Wonder Woman, Zack Snyder had a different backstory for Diana Prince leading up to her Batman v Superman appearance.
Here’s everything we know about Zack Snyder’s original plan for the DCEU’s Wonder Woman origin story. As the primary creative force behind the DCEU in its early years, the filmmaker was not only tasked to introduce a new Superman in Henry Cavill via Man of Steel. He was also responsible for setting the groundwork for the whole franchise by planting the plot seeds for the eventual debut of Justice League. That includes introducing other members of DC’s premier superhero team before they even get their own movie. He accomplished that through Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice which also officially launched Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.Continue scrolling to keep reading
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Following her initial DCEU outing with Superman and Batman, Warner Bros. then tackled the Amazonian Princess’ origin story through Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman. At this point, the franchise was overly criticized for its darker and edgier take on what some argued should be optimistic superheroes making Diana Prince’s first solo film stand out. Wonder Woman was praised for its hopeful tone, opting to focus on the heroine’s unwavering faith in humanity without downplaying her immense battle skills. After learning the horrors brought by the ongoing World War I, Diana leaves Themyscira to help end the conflict, as well as, stop Ares whom she believes to be behind the chaos. Since then, Wonder Woman has become an inspiration for a new generation, making her one of the most notable feminist icons of these modern times.
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Before Jenkins boarded the superhero franchise to direct Wonder Woman, however, Snyder had a very different idea with regard to Diana’s backstory before her first on-screen appearance in Batman V Superman. As was recently revealed, the Themysciran Princess’ old photo that tipped off Bruce Wayne about her real identity was from the Crimean War instead of World War I as seen in Wonder Woman. There was interest in the context of the image and Snyder eventually obliged, giving his intended backstory for Diana. Here’s how his plan is different from what ultimately became canon in the DCEU.
Diana Fought Ares in Way More Than Just World War I
One of, if not the primary motivating factor for Diana leaving Themyscira and joining the rest of the world was to hunt down Ares, whom she firmly believed to be behind the chaos brought by World War I. Despite skepticism even from Steve Trevor, she was ultimately proven right and Wonder Woman ended with her battling and ultimately defeating the God of War. In Snyder’s vision, however, Diana’s journey to taking down Ares was supposed to be more arduous. Their rivalry was also longer which means that they’d have had developed a deeper connection rather than just being one-time combatants.
As revealed by the filmmaker on Twitter, Diana “had chased Ares across the battlefields of the world.” So, while the image of her pre-Patty Jenkins was set during the Crimean War, the first war to be captured by modern photography, it’s possible that it’s not the first or last time that she hunted Ares. This could also explain Diana’s Batman V Superman line where she mentioned how she walked away from a “century of horror” since she’d been in more wars than just World War I, and as revealed in Wonder Woman 1984, World War II.
Diana Was Ruthless and War Weary
One of the most striking characteristics of DCEU’s Wonder Woman is her compassion. It’s the primary reason why she wanted to leave her secluded and safe life behind in Themyscira as she couldn’t fathom not doing anything while the world was in chaos during World War I. Snyder’s version, however, featured a war veteran Diana who had been in multiple conflicts as part of her pursuit of Ares. She’d seen first hand the non-stop violence that humans were able to commit against one another. Given this, she eventually had to learn that the only way to survive and accomplish her personal mission was to be brutal in her actions — after all, she’s on the right side of the narrative anyway.
This explains her casually carrying the heads of her victims in Snyder’s placeholder image; this drew flak since it’s difficult to reconcile this version of the character from the one that’s known for her grace and pure heart, but it checks out with what Snyder’s backstory for her.
Steve Trevor Restored Diana’s Faith in Humanity
Just because Snyder’s Wonder Woman was brutal doesn’t mean that he had no plans of bringing her closer to the version of the character in the DCEU now. As the filmmaker revealed, this version of Diana in the Crimean War had yet to meet Steve, and the plan was, his arrival will change her ruthless ways; he will help her “restore her faith in mankind and love itself.” It’s the reverse of classic romantic stories where the presence of a woman changes what’s on otherwise callous and indifferent man.
Snyder didn’t reveal at what point will Steve come into Diana’s life in his story, but considering the drastically different origin story he had for her, their initial introduction in Jenkins’ Wonder Woman would not be the same. In any case, crediting a man for helping her regain her humanity will surely be a divisive creative choice, especially since being inherently good and gracious, on top of strong and capable, made Diana a better role model.
Related: Batman v Superman Makes Wonder Woman 1984’s Ending Even Better
Zack Snyder’s Wonder Woman Would Have Been Even More Diverse Than Patty Jenkins’
What’s immediately clear from Snyder’s Wonder Woman image was how diverse it would’ve been had it been made into a film. In the photo, Diana was joined by a string of other warriors who were from different ethnicities and nationalities. There’s a Sikh warrior from South Asia, a Native American character at the back, and a man wearing a Scottish soldier garb, complete with a kilt. Most interestingly, there’s also a member of the group who appears to be Chinese military based on his headpiece and overall battle uniform.
Diana and Steve’s team in Wonder Woman was also certainly diversified as well with the inclusion of Moroccan-America Saïd Taghmaoui as Sameer and Eugene Brave Rock as Blackfoot demi-god Chief Napi, so this isn’t to say it’s a failure on Jenkins’ part, but the setting of Snyder’s image gives representation to a variety of cultures and ethnicities not typically explored in this genre.
Next: Wonder Woman 1984 Clarifies Diana’s Batman v Superman Walked Away Line
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Accidental geek who is perpetually curious, Ana rekindled her love for writing several years back and married it with everything pop culture. The result is a passionate young writer who could ramble (and of course, pen) about films and series multiple hours a day. She has a soft spot for The Lion King, old songs, and home design; is currently obsessed with old sitcoms (The Golden Girls!); and won’t dare watch any horror films although she’s (ironically) dying to see one. Though a bit late to the party and was an actual Force non-believer, she now finds the Star Wars franchise quite fascinating (fun fact: it was a crazy Jar Jar Binks/Sith theory that drew her in).
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