Warner Bros. has released several new images from their upcoming straight-to-video DC Comics film Wonder Woman. Click to enlarge. Also, WB has released a brand new Q&A with screenwriter Michael Jelenic. Read it after the jump.
Produced by the multiple Emmy® Award winning animation legend Bruce Timm, Wonder Woman is an origin– story and features a stellar celebrity voice cast including Keri Russell (Waitress, Felicity), Nathan Fillion (Desperate Housewives), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Rosario Dawson (Sin City), Oliver Platt (The West Wing) and David McCallum (NCIS). Wonder Woman begins on the mystical island of Themyscira, where a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons resides. They have raised Princess Diana, a daughter of stunning beauty, extraordinary strength and incredible fighting prowess. Diana possesses a host of super human powers granted to her by the gods and goddesses of Olympus and her strength and stamina are unparalleled. When Air Force fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazons and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a world war that will destroy them all. It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world by using her gifts to become the ultimate Wonder Woman.
SCREENWRITER MICHAEL JELENIC DISCUSSES “WONDER WOMAN,” THE NEXT DC
UNIVERSE ANIMATED ORIGINAL MOVIE COMING TO DVD MARCH 3, 2009
Writer Michael Jelenic makes the leap from animated television to
feature-length films with his script for “Wonder Woman,” the next entry
in the popular series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 films.
Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release
the all-new film on March 3, 2009, distributed by Warner Home Video. The
film will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as
available for download day and date, March 3, 2009.
Jelenic has crafted a script that offers complementary balances of
action and comedy, contemporary society and Greek mythology, and the
social pratfalls of both men and women. It is an origin story and a
stand-alone adventure, resulting in an entertaining approach to the
first-ever “Wonder Woman” full-length film. Jelenic and renowned comics
writer Gail Simone have “story by” credits on the movie.
Jelenic is well-known for his work at Warner Bros. Animation, providing
the clever words to series like “The Batman,” “Legion of Super Heroes”
and the newest Dark Knight animated series, “Batman: The Brave and the
Jelenic stepped away from his laptop to be both brave and bold in
answering a few questions about the thoughts behind the words and story
of “Wonder Woman,” the challenges of pleasing every fan, and the
un-coolness of working in the comics realm.
Before you make your New Year’s resolutions, check out this Q&A with
“Wonder Woman” screenwriter Michael Jelenic …
QUESTION: As this is Wonder Woman’s origin story, what did you know you
needed to include and on what did you want to focus?
MICHAEL JELENIC: We had to hit certain elements that are part of Wonder
Woman’s myth, and my job was to answer what sort of ramifications her
origins would have on her character during her journey to becoming a
hero. It’s basically trying to boil down essential Wonder Woman elements
into one story. We looked at the stuff that the fans had to see – the
iconic things about Wonder Woman – and then tried to put a twist on
them. We’ve seen the lasso and the invisible jet before, so what’s
another way we could use them? I wanted to incorporate all these iconic
Wonder Woman moments into the larger overall story.
QUESTION: What’s your writing process?
MICHAEL JELENIC: First, I figure out what’s the story that’s worth
telling, and that usually entails a long time of just staring at the
blank page. Once I know that story, I start focusing on the moments. I
think when you remember great films, it’s not necessarily the plot that
you remember, it’s the moments. So I start trying to accumulate a list
of moments. In “Wonder Woman,” there are a lot of them – the bar scene
between Diana and Steve, the interrogation of Steve, the truth lasso.
It’s taking all the elements and moments and, while working within the
theme of the story, creating something that serves those ideas.
I also researched a lot Greek mythology to help form the screenplay. I
definitely wanted to hit some of the hallmarks of Greek tragedies, so I
had to brush up on Ares and Hades, Hera and Zeus, and tons of characters
I can’t even pronounce.
QUESTION: What went into the character development of this Diana/Wonder
MICHAEL JELENIC: Diana had to represent all the feminine ideals and
virtues, the things that make women great. At the same time, she’s a
very strong female character in terms of both her physical prowess and
her personality. So we tried to find a balance to create a character
that doesn’t lose her femininity by being a strong action hero.
Ultimately, we wanted to explore her journey of discovery. She’s been
raised to believe that women don’t need men, that women are morally
better. If there is a message to the film, it’s basically that men and
women are not perfect. Men have their problems. Women have their
problems. And when they interact, these problems often grow. But at the
end of the day, men and women are actually stronger and better when they
work together to overcome these problems.
QUESTION: How did you balance Wonder Woman’s personality with those of
your two primary male characters, Ares and Steve Trevor?
MICHAEL JELENIC: The stronger you make your villain, the stronger it
makes your hero, so we wanted Ares to be intelligent, ruthless,
powerful, and also represent all the misgivings the Amazon women have
about men. When Hippolyta says men are bad, she points to Ares.
Steve Trevor was a difficult character to crack in that, as a love
interest to Wonder Woman, it’s important that you make him somebody who
is worthy of Diana’s affection. So he had to be strong and competent,
but at the same time in order to create the romantic comedy, he can’t be
perfect. And he is flawed. He has his own sort of misogynistic ideas
that he has to resolve. But he proves himself worthy.
QUESTION: What made “Wonder Woman” entertaining for you to write?
MICHAEL JELENIC: I really enjoyed an opportunity to tell a story that is
sort of a romantic comedy mixed with “300.” That’s what Wonder Woman
really is – a very simple sort of love story that’s frequently comedic,
primarily in the pairing of these two key characters, set against a
backdrop of so much violence and action.
QUESTION: Did you have a favorite character?
MICHAEL JELENIC: Steve Trevor’s probably my most favorite character to
write because he’s the comedy relief throughout the film. He doesn’t
take himself too seriously. You have all this pretentious Greek god
stuff happening, and then you give him a line where he sort of disarms
that or diffuses it with a joke.
QUESTION: Did the cast add anything to your words?
MICHAEL JELENIC: I think we were incredibly fortunate to get this
amazing cast. I thought the lines I’d written were pretty good, but
these actors really make them their own. Steve Trevor’s lines looked
funny on the page, but they are hilarious coming out of Nathan Fillion’s
mouth. And Keri Russell brings a sense of compassion and depth to her
character that goes beyond what was even intended in the script.
QUESTION: Did Lauren Montgomery’s direction translate your visions of
MICHAEL JELENIC: Better. Lauren’s direction is amazing. I wrote some
battle scenes in the script, but the way she fleshed them out is so much
better than I could have ever conceived. At the same time, her approach
to directing the characters is very strong. I enjoy watching the scenes
between Steve and Diana just as much as the battle scenes.
QUESTION: Do you enjoy working in the comics realm?
MICHAEL JELENIC: I enjoy working in the world of comics, but there are
definitely some challenges. It’s hard to keep every single fan happy
with what you do – that’s probably the biggest and most daunting
challenge. You want to bring your own take to the character, but at the
same time, you don’t want to betray what people feel are the core ideas
of the character. Regardless of what you do, there’s going to be someone
who says you suck. But if you do a decent enough job, a lot of people
will tend to appreciate you putting a different spin on the subject.
It’s actually a great time to work with comics – but it’s like the
opposite of cool to work in comics. It’s fun to be able to spend your
day coming up with stories for men in tights. So it’s not cool, but it’s
fun. (he laughs).
Photo Source: “Wonder Woman” (c) Warner Bros. Ent Inc. “Wonder Woman” and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and (c) DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.