Diana Prince (DC Extended Universe)
Diana of Themyscira, also known by her civilian name Diana Prince or her superhero title Wonder Woman, is a fictional character in the DC Extended Universe, based on the character of the same name created by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter. First appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, she is portrayed by Gal Gadot and later plays a major role in the films Wonder Woman, Justice League and its 2021 director's cut, and Wonder Woman 1984, becoming one of the central characters in the DCEU. Gadot's performance as Wonder Woman, the first of the character in live-action cinema, has received critical praise.
|DC Extended Universe character|
|First appearance||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)|
|Species||Amazon–Old God hybrid|
|Title||Crown Princess of Themyscira|
|Significant other||Steve Trevor|
|Abilities||Invulnerability, immortality, superhuman strength, speed, flight, sight, and hearing, swordcraft, magic|
Development and portrayalEdit
Despite being one of DC Comics' flagship superhero characters, Wonder Woman had not been portrayed in live-action film until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. The character was the subject of the television series Wonder Woman, which ran from 1975 to 1979 with Lynda Carter portraying the title character. Prior to that, a loosely-based television film with the same name was released in 1974 with Cathy Lee Crosby portraying a different version of Wonder Woman. However, the character has been featured in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows in the DC Animated Universe and movies in DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, and also appeared in The Lego Movie with Cobie Smulders providing her voice.
Development of a live-action Wonder Woman film began as far back as 1996, with producers and screenwriters such as Ivan Reitman, Jon Cohen, Joel Silver, Todd Alcott, Leonard Goldberg, and Joss Whedon attached to the project. Actresses such as Sandra Bullock, Mariah Carey, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Lucy Lawless were rumored or approached to take on the title role. A film focusing on Wonder Woman during World War II impressed the heads at Silver Pictures, but Silver did not want the film to be a period piece, despite purchasing the script to prevent the cinematic rights of Wonder Woman reverting.
By 2013, with Warner Bros. releasing Man of Steel, the studio had opened up the idea of that film creating a shared cinematic universe to compete with one set up by Marvel Comics. In addition to proven characters such as Batman and Superman, the studio once again put Wonder Woman in consideration for adaptation, along with other characters such as Aquaman. DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson said Wonder Woman "has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she's tricky."
Behind the scenesEdit
Israeli actress Gal Gadot was cast as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by director Zack Snyder, having previously turned down the role of Faora-Ul in Man of Steel due to pregnancy. According to Empire Magazine, Gadot won the role after screen-testing with Batman actor Ben Affleck against four other actresses. Like Affleck, Gadot's casting was initially not well received, as many had considered her too "slender" for the role of Wonder Woman. In preparation for the role, Gadot underwent a diet and training regimen, practiced different martial arts and gained 17 pounds of muscle.
On Gadot's casting as Wonder Woman, Snyder said "Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role." In 2015, Patty Jenkins accepted an offer to direct Wonder Woman, based on a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and a story co-written by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Geoff Johns and Jason Fuchs. Jenkins worked with Gadot on the Wonder Woman film, which eventually was conceived as a prequel to Wonder Woman's first appearance in Batman v Superman, placing her in the 1910s and World War I (a decision which differs from her comic book origins as a supporter of the Allies during World War II).
Justice League reshoots controversyEdit
Years after the release of the theatrical version of Justice League, Gal Gadot revealed that she was uncomfortable shooting several scenes during the reshoots, refusing to film the shot of Barry Allen slipping and falling on Wonder Woman's chest during the battle under Gotham Harbor and utilizing a body double instead. This and replacement director Joss Whedon's reported on-set behavior led to a dispute, with Whedon allegedly threatening to make Gadot's career "miserable," but after she promptly reported Whedon to studio executives, the situation was "taken care of." Gadot was one of several actors in the film, including Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, Aquaman actor Jason Momoa, and Iris West actress Kiersey Clemons, to voice complaints about working with Whedon during the reshoots.
Zack Snyder's Justice League, the director's cut of the film, omits scenes added in the theatrical cut that have arguably objectified the character, including the controversial scene with Barry Allen. Overall, while many of Diana's scenes are similar between the two versions of the film, several of Diana's lines and nuances are given different contexts, and the director's cut of the film displays her fighting skills more in-depth than the theatrical cut.
"You know Wonder Woman; she's amazing. I love everything that she represents and everything that she stands for. She's all about love and compassion and truth and justice and equality, and she's a whole lot of woman. For me, it was important that people can relate to her."
Gal Gadot on her thoughts on portraying Wonder Woman
Characterization and themesEdit
A Wonder Woman who has extraordinary superpowers—said to be the strongest hero in the world—Diana is a kind, loving, compassionate, and strong-willed person, who, while initially somewhat naïve, has become all the wiser through her time in Man's World. An outspoken egalitarian, she fights for what she believes in and generally for the betterment of mankind through love and mutual understanding, as taught to her by her mother and fellow Amazons. In addition to her general willingness for empathy, however, Diana is also extremely friendly and can step back enjoy the smaller moments in life, as seen in her utter delight in experiencing ice cream for the first time in Wonder Woman and agreement with Superman (who, up until the events of Justice League, she had not spoken to much) about him not missing out on the positive results of their victory over Steppenwolf. Even alongside all of her kindness, compassion, and empathy, Diana is still also a warrior at heart, and when someone she cares about is hurt, becomes far more relentless and ruthless.
Despite Steve Trevor being Wonder Woman's primary love interest as with the comics, a mutual interest between Diana and Bruce Wayne / Batman has been hinted at in the films, with critics noting their chemistry.
Gadot describes her character as having "many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day, she's a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence". Describing Wonder Woman's compassion, Gadot stated, "It's all her heart—that's her strength. I think women are amazing for being able to show what they feel. I admire women who do." Gadot also stated "I don't want people to think she is perfect", further explaining, "She can be naughty." On Diana leaving Themyscira, a mystical island inhabited only by females, and going to the world in Wonder Woman, Gadot stated "When Diana comes to the real world she's completely oblivious about gender and society rules, that women are not equal to men."
Describing her role in Batman v Superman, Gadot said, "In this movie you get a glimpse of who Wonder Woman is — she's being introduced into this DC Comics universe. But we were talking about her strengths, her façade, her attitude. Why is she acting the way she is?" On Wonder Woman's battle scene with Doomsday, Gadot stated, "I remember after we did that take, Zack came to me and he said, 'Did you just have a smirk?' I said, 'Yeah.' And he asked, 'Why? I think I like it, but why?' 'Well, if he's gonna mess with her, then she's gonna mess with him. And she knows she's gonna win.' At the end of the day, Wonder Woman is a peace seeker. But when fight arrives, she can fight. She's a warrior and she enjoys the adrenaline of the fight."
Armor and equipmentEdit
Diana's armor starting in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comprises of a red armored bustier, blue leather gladiator skirt, tiara, and knee-high boots with high heels, and has inspired the redesign of the mainline comics version of Wonder Woman after DC Rebirth. Along with her bracelets, which act as gauntlets producing pure concussive force, and lasso, Diana fights with a sword and shield in all her film appearances aside from Wonder Woman 1984. The sword itself in Batman v Superman is inscribed with a quote from Joseph Campbell, chosen by Zack Snyder: "Life is killing life all the time and so the goddess kills herself in the sacrifice of her own animal."
The armor and that of the other Amazons was designed to emphasize their nature as warriors, but with femininity also in mind, according to Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and costume designer Lindy Hemming. Jenkins elaborates, "To me, they shouldn't be dressed in armor like men. It should be different. It should be authentic and real ... and appealing to women." When asked about the decision to give the Amazons heeled sandals, Jenkins explained that they also have flats for fighting, adding "It's total wish-fulfillment ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be sexy, hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time ... the same way men want Superman to have ridiculously huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs."
Fictional character biographyEdit
Diana was born to Queen Hippolyta around 3000 BC on the hidden island of Themyscira, home to the Amazons, women warriors created by Zeus to protect mankind. Hippolyta explains their history to Diana, including how Ares became jealous of humanity and orchestrated its destruction. When the other gods attempted to stop him, Ares killed all but Zeus, who used the last of his power to wound Ares and force his retreat. Before dying, Zeus left the Amazons a weapon, the "Godkiller", to prepare them for Ares's return. Hippolyta reluctantly agrees to let her sister, General Antiope, train Diana as a warrior.[a]
At age 12, Diana competes in a race during an Amazonian sporting event. She uses a shortcut to a finish line, but is caught by Hippolyta. Hippolyta teaches Diana about the harmful effects of cheating.[b]
Foray into World War IEdit
In 1918, Diana, now a young woman, rescues Captain Steve Trevor, a pilot with the American Expeditionary Forces, after his plane crashes off the coast of Themyscira. The island is soon invaded by the landing party of a German cruiser pursuing Trevor. The Amazons engage and kill all the German sailors, but Antiope dies intercepting a German bullet meant for Diana. Interrogated with the Lasso of Hestia, Trevor reveals that World War I is raging in the outside world and that he is an Allied spy. He stole a notebook with valuable information from the Spanish chief chemist Isabel Maru, who is attempting to engineer a deadlier form of mustard gas under the orders of General Erich Ludendorff. Believing Ares is responsible for the war, Diana arms herself with the "Godkiller" sword, a shield, lasso and her suit of armor and sets out on her own, in defiance of her mother, to stop Ares and end the war. She releases Trevor and immediately leaves Themyscira with him to find and destroy Ares.
The two arrive in London and Diana is introduced to Etta Candy, Trevor's secretary. She helps Diana acquire some contemporary clothing so she can better fit in and retain her anonymity. Trevor and Diana deliver Maru's notebook to the Supreme War Council, where Patrick Morgan is trying to negotiate an armistice with Germany. Diana translates Maru's notes, revealing that the Germans plan to release the deadly gas at the Western Front. Although forbidden by his commander to act, Trevor, with secret funding from Morgan, recruits Moroccan spy Sameer, Scottish marksman Charlie, and Native American smuggler Chief Napi to help prevent the gas from being released. Diana adopts the surname "Prince" to fit in better at Trevor's suggestion. As the group approaches the trenches, Prince, unwilling to see the civilians suffer, charges into no man's land and liberates the nearby village of Veld with the aid of the group and Allied forces. The team briefly celebrates, taking a photograph in the village, where Prince and Trevor fall in love.
The following morning, Prince ignores Trevor's advice to remain with Charlie and Napi and scout out the surrounding area. She also enters the castle after incapacitating an aristocratic German woman and stealing her gown as a disguise. She meets Ludendorff, whom she assumes to be the mortal disguise of Ares and plans to kill him before Steve intervenes and prevents her from doing so, fearful that their covers would be blown and result in their deaths too. Ludendorff then fires the new gas at the battle lines from an artillery gun to the castle houses. Horrified by the result of the gas, Prince blames Trevor for letting it happen as a result of letting Ludendorff live. Prince confronts and fights Ludendorff, who bolsters his own strength by consuming an elixir procured by Maru. She kills him, but is confused and disillusioned when his death does not stop the war.
Morgan appears and reveals himself as Ares. When Prince attempts to kill Ares with the "Godkiller" sword, he destroys it, telling Diana that, as the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, she herself is the "Godkiller". He entreats her to help him destroy mankind in order to restore paradise on Earth, but she refuses. Ares attempts to direct Prince's rage and grief at Trevor's death by convincing her to kill Maru, but the memories of her experiences with Trevor cause her to realize that humans have good within them. She spares Maru and redirects Ares' lightning into him, destroying him for good.
In 1984, Prince works at the Smithsonian Museum as an archaeologist while moonlighting as Wonder Woman, with her new co-worker, Barbara Ann Minerva, becoming envious of Diana. Ann Minerva and Prince help the FBI identify some antiques stolen from a heist foiled by Wonder Woman, noticing that one item, the Dreamstone, contains a Latin inscription claiming to grant the holder one wish.
Minerva wishes to become like Prince, but acquires the same superpowers, while Prince unknowingly wishes for Trevor to be alive, resurrecting him in another man's body; the two are reunited at a Smithsonian gala. However, only Prince can see him as Trevor. Minerva, Prince, and "Trevor" discover that the Dreamstone was created by Dolos/Mendacius, the god of lies, treachery, deception, and mischief, also known as Duke of Deception. It grants a user's wish while exacting a toll unless they renounce the wish or destroy the stone.
Learning from the U.S. President of a satellite system that broadcasts signals globally, Maxwell Lord, whose powers are causing his body to deteriorate, plans to globally grant wishes to steal strength and life force from the viewers and regain his health. Prince and "Trevor" confront him at the White House, but Minerva, now aligned with Lord, defeats Prince, escaping with Lord on Marine One. Donning the armor of Asteria, Prince battles Minerva, who has transformed into a cheetah-like creature. Following a brutal match, Prince tackles Cheetah into a lake and electrocutes her, then pulls her out.
She confronts Lord and uses her Lasso of Truth to communicate with the world through him, convincing everyone to renounce their wishes, then shows Lord visions of his own unhappy childhood and of his son, Alistair, who is frantically searching for his father amid the chaos. Max renounces his wish and reunites with Alistair. On Christmas, Diana meets the man whose body Trevor possessed.
In 2015, Prince attends a gala hosted by Lex Luthor where Bruce Wayne encounters her. They are both after encrypted information from Luthor's system, with Prince snagging a decryption device that Wayne plants, but when Prince is unable to extract data from the device, she hands it over to Wayne, who later finds that the files contain information on metahumans, one of which turns out to be Prince.
Upon hearing Superman and Batman's fight with Doomsday in Gotham City, Prince abandons a flight back to her job in France and joins the two heroes in their fight against the monster. Wonder Woman slices off the creature's hand and restrains it using her lasso as Batman stuns it, allowing Superman to kill the monster using a kryptonite spear at the cost of his own life. Moved by Superman's sacrifice, Prince later attends his funeral with Wayne, who invites her to help him recruit other metahumans to band together.
Sometime later, Wayne follows up with Prince, sending her a package containing a personal note and the photographic plate from 1918 depicting her with Trevor and the other World War I fighters, which Luthor had previously used in an attempt to blackmail her.[c] Prince reminisces on her past while looking at the package. She sends an email to Wayne thanking him for retrieving the photographic plate of her and Trevor.[d]
Forming the Justice LeagueEdit
In 2017, Wonder Woman stops a terrorist bomb plot in London. Seeing a news report that features a signal fire burning at the Shrine of the Amazons in Greece, Prince realizes that her mother had sent a message from Themyscira to warn her of an impending invasion. She then meets with Wayne in Gotham, explaining the history of the first invasion of Earth by the forces of Apokolips. While Wayne goes after Arthur Curry and Barry Allen, Prince tracks down the elusive Victor Stone.
Stone is initially hesitant about joining the team despite providing some intel to Prince, but later joins when Steppenwolf kidnaps his father and several other S.T.A.R. Labs employees in an attempt to retrieve the last Mother Box. The team rescues the employees and takes the last Mother Box during the skirmish before Aquaman arrives and saves them from a deluge of floodwater. Realizing the potential of the Mother Box, Wayne decides to have the team use it to resurrect Superman, whereas Prince and Curry express skepticism. Allen and Stone exhume Clark Kent's body and the team successfully resurrects him in the facility used to create Doomsday, but Superman, having lost his memories, attacks the group after Cyborg accidentally launches a missile at him. In the skirmish, Steppenwolf takes the last Mother Box from the group as it was left unattended. As Superman leaves with Lois to regain his memories, the five other heroes recuperate at the Batcave. Prince tends to Wayne's wounds as the two apologize for some harsh words towards each other earlier.
As the group flies to a Russian village to prevent Steppenwolf from uniting all the Mother Boxes and terraforming the Earth, Batman decides to lead a suicidal charge to distract Steppenwolf while Wonder Woman leads the others to the Mother Boxes in an attempt to get Cyborg to separate them. The plan ultimately fails, but Superman arrives, saving Cyborg from being killed by Steppenwolf and assisting Allen with evacuating the villagers. Steppenwolf is ultimately defeated as Superman freezes his axe with his frost breath while Wonder Woman shatters it. Overcome with fear, Steppenwolf is attacked by his own Parademons as they all teleport back to Apokolips. Following the team's victory, Prince and Wayne decide to expand the operations of the team, now named the Justice League, and Diana begins to serve more openly as Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman calms down the school girls held hostage by the terrorist group in London and explores the tunnels underneath the Shrine of the Amazons to find imagery of the first invasion of Earth by Apokolips, led by Darkseid. She votes in favor of resurrecting Superman in addition to joining Allen and Stone along with Curry in digging up Clark Kent's corpse. Prince and Curry talk about the historical rivalry between the Amazons and Atlanteans, dismissing it while finding they have more in common than expected.
She is shown to be on-par with Steppenwolf in terms of melee-fighting prowess, though he manipulates her emotions by falsely claiming he killed her mother. After Superman overpowers Steppenwolf and Aquaman impales him following the separation of the Mother Boxes, Wonder Woman decapitates the New God after Superman throws him back into the boom tube, with his disembodied head and corpse landing at Darkseid's feet back on Apokolips. Diana is last seen looking towards Themyscira as she contemplates about her fellow Amazons.
In a vision of the future received by Victor, Diana is killed in battle during Darkseid's takeover of Earth and is cremated by the Amazons.
Upon Wonder Woman's appearance in Batman v Superman, Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian noted in an ambivalent review of the film that Gadot's performance was the "best thing about the film". Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters added in a similar review of the film that "Wonder Woman remains Batman v Superman's most compelling story, precisely because it's untold."
In Wonder Woman, Gadot's performance received a largely positive response from critics along with the film as a whole. Critics praised her chemistry with co-star Chris Pine and optimistic and lighthearted take on the character as opposed to that on other characters in the DCEU at that point. Elise Jost of Moviepilot specifically observed that "Gadot's take on Wonder Woman is one of those unique cases of an actor merging with their story, similar to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot." She also praised Gadot's interpretation of Wonder Woman as the one in which Gadot "absolutely nails the character's unwaveringly positive outlook on life. She's a force of nature who believes in the greater good; her conviction that she's meant to save the world is stronger than her bullet-deflecting shield. She's genuine, she's fun, she's the warm source of energy at the heart of the movie."
However, there was some backlash in some Arab countries such as Lebanon and Qatar, which banned Wonder Woman due to Gadot's Israeli citizenship. Other countries such as Tunisia and Algeria saw the film pulled out of festivals due to Gadot's citizenship and military service. Jordan also reportedly considered a ban, but relented as there was no legal precedent for it.
In the theatrical release of Justice League, one of the biggest criticisms of the film was the scaling back of Wonder Woman's role and her alleged objectification by the film's creators, especially during the film's reshoots. In addition, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins lambasted Diana's portrayal in the theatrical cut, saying that it contradicted with the character's portrayal in her film and Zack Snyder's version of Justice League. Wonder Woman's arc and depiction in Zack Snyder's Justice League received better reviews.
In Wonder Woman 1984, Gadot once again received praise for her performance as Wonder Woman, though the film received mixed reviews. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Gadot, saying, "Her performance here has dignity and earned emotion" and called her the best thing about the film and "She was the best thing in the first installment, too, but that was an excellent movie. This one isn't." In addition, Diana's decision to have sex with Steve Trevor, who was actually possessing another man's body, was subject to controversy.
Gadot has received numerous nominations and awards for her portrayal of Diana Prince.
|2016||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice||Chinese American Film Festival||Most Popular US Actress in China||Won|||
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Actress in an Action Movie||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Breakout Star||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Scene Stealer||Nominated|||
|Women Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Female Action Hero||Nominated|||
|2017||Wonder Woman||Detroit Film Critics Society||Breakthrough||Nominated|||
|National Board of Review Awards||Spotlight Award||Won|||
|North Texas Film Critics Association||Best Actress||Nominated|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Liplock (shared with Chris Pine)||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Action Actress||Won|||
|Choice Movie: Actress Summer||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Ship (shared with Chris Pine)||Nominated|||
|2018||Jupiter Award||Best International Actress||Won|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Fight (Wonder Woman vs German soldiers)||Won|||
|Palm Springs International Film Festival||Rising Star Award - Actress||Won|||
|Santa Barbara Film Festival||Virtuosos Award||Won|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Actress||Won|||
|Justice League||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress: Action||Nominated|||
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The plot description and characterization were adapted from Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman (film) and Justice League (film) at DC Extended Universe Wiki, which are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.