She brought a lone spark to the drab macho brawlfest that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and next summer, finally, gets a standalone superhero movie of her own. Saturday at Comic-Con Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot revealed that she took inspiration for her portrayal of the iconic DC Comics heroine from another princess named Diana: Diana, Princess of Wales.
“Wonder Woman has the strength of a goddess and the heart of a human,” a beaming Gadot told over 6,000 fans packed into the San Diego Convention Center, some of whom camped out overnight for first glimpses at upcoming blockbusters like Suicide Squad and rival studio Disney’s Marvel presentation later in the day.
Gliding onstage, an emotional Gadot took a moment to take it all in as she got a panel of her own to reign over. She told the audience she’d watched a documentary on Princess Di before filming the June 2, 2017, tentpole with director Patty Jenkins. “She said she leads from her heart and not from her head,” Gadot said. “And I think the same is true of our Diana.”
Gadot and Jenkins earned enormous support in Hall H where they debuted a bold and action-packed first trailer for Wonder Woman, the fourth film in WB’s mapped-out DC movie franchise and a much-needed shot of estrogen that’s been lacking in superhero movies overall.
“The world needs love and forgiveness in such a huge way,” said Jenkins, who’s making history of her own by directing DC’s first woman-helmed tentpole, her first feature since 2003’s Monster. “[Wonder Woman] stands for being loving and amazing and being incredible.”
The trailer went over hugely in the cavernous Hall H, where the crowd is primed to be relentlessly marketed to day in and day out. But leading off the studio’s two-hour Justice League roll-call—where megastar Will Smith came out to charm for Suicide Squad and even Tom Hiddleston made an appearance to promote Legendary’s Kong: Skull Island—the reaction to the feminist-leaning Wonder Woman was palpably fierce.
This year at Comic-Con there are Harley Quinn costumes everywhere you look. Margot Robbie won the biggest reactions in Hall H during the new Suicide Squad trailer WB unveiled Saturday. Women commanded DC’s 2016 presentation, which saw the entirety of Hall H melt as Gadot granted the wish of a young girl in the audience to strike her favorite Wonder Woman pose onstage.
Awash in lush golds and blues, the trailer sets up Wonder Woman’s origin story circa World War I, as Chris Pine’s American army officer washes up on the island of the Amazons and meets Gadot’s Diana. We see the acrobatic Gadot battle her way through the trenches in impressive action sequences armed with swords, a bow and arrow, and her golden lasso. But it’s her inner strength and no-nonsense refusal of repressive gender norms that makes her truly heroic—and makes a trailer for a superhero movie worth watching.
When Pine’s Steve Trevor objects to her going into some undisclosed battle or another, she responds: “What I do is not up to you.” Meeting Trevor’s secretary Etta (Lucy Davis), she learns that a secretary takes orders from her boss: “I go where he tells me to go and I do what he tells me to do.”
“Where I come from,” Wonder Woman answers, “that’s called slavery.”