Wonder Woman almost made her big-screen debut in a very different way.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice might not be everyone’s favorite superhero movie. The film’s poor reviews and less-than-hoped-for box office performance certainly took their toll on the DC Extended Universe. But Zack Snyder’s superhero mash-up did establish a lot of elements that have carried onto other films.
Sure, Ben Affleck is done with Batman, and no one knows exactly whether Henry Cavill will ever return as Superman. But Batman v Superman did fill out the rest of the Justice League. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, Ezra Miller’s Flash, and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman — the last of which landed his own $1 billion hit — also made their debuts in the film.
But no single part of Snyder’s movie has made the impact as casting Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. So fans were surprised to learn just how different the character’s introduction was supposed to be.
Zack Snyder recently hosted a ‘Batman v Superman’ watch party
To mark the film’s fourth anniversary, the director recently hosted a live watch party of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on Vero. Since its theatrical release, the movie has inspired a cult following of fans who truly appreciate the epic scope and serious tone Snyder brought to the story. To be fair, the film did mark the first live-action union of the titular heroes.
During the live event, Snyder shared a lot of intriguing behind-the-scenes information about the production. One tidbit even explained how Superman’s death at the end of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was intended to lead into Justice League. Given the ongoing fan campaign for Warner Bros. to release Snyder’s cut of the latter film, this bit jumped out.
However, another interesting road not taken ties directly to Wonder Woman herself. Throughout the film, Diana Prince is undercover and investigating Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). But when Bruce Wayne gets ahold of an old photo of her, he discovers Diana might not be who she claims to be.
Wonder Woman’s backstory almost wasn’t set during World War I
In Snyder’s film, the photo in question depicts Diana in full Wonder Woman garb alongside Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor and other characters later seen in Wonder Woman. That film, of course, takes place in World War I. But according to Snyder’s Vero event, this time period wasn’t always the one in Diana’s photo.
When we shot BvS, we hadn’t really finished the concept for Wonder Woman yet … Originally, it had been the Crimean War because it was one of the early cons lists where photography was used, and I wanted to get the longest stretch possible. I think we originally talked about it even being the Civil War as a possibility. Just in our early conversations, we were like “What would really show the distance?”
Both the Crimean War and American Civil War took place in the mid-1800s. So either of the two conflicts would have been ideal if Snyder had wanted an older war for Diana’s story. The former, however, didn’t involve the United States, which might have been a drawback for a major Hollywood film.
‘Wonder Woman’ ultimately made the best choice
Wonder Woman’s big reveal relied on a photo, Snyder said, as incontrovertible proof she lived that long without aging. Ultimately, the choice of World War I proved to be the ideal choice though. Not only did the conflict involve the U.S. But as Trevor proclaims in the movie, people at the time considered World War I “the war to end all wars.”
Since Diana is operating under the assumption Ares is behind the war, it’s hard to imagine a more impressive example of setting the stakes than that right there. Plus, avoiding obvious choices like World War II instantly sets Wonder Woman apart, particularly from Captain America: The First Avenger.
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