How The Little Mermaid Influenced Wonder Woman, According To The Writer

The Little Mermaid

This summer, Wonder Woman will finally release in theaters, and if the buzz is anything to be believed, it's the best film in the DCEU thus far. When the movie was first in development, screenwriter and frequent Shondaland collaborator Allan Heinberg was tasked with writing the screenplay. Heinberg looked to a few pieces of work for inspiration, and found that there was plenty to learn from The Little Mermaid (the Disney one, not the turns into sea foam one). Here's how Heinberg took inspiration from the classic Disney film for Wonder Woman.

The story as I see it is The Little Mermaid, specifically Disney's incarnation. This is a woman who has been raised in a very protective, sheltered life, she's curious about what life is like outside and she wants to have her own experience. She wants to be where the people are.

Hopefully, Diana can at least figure out that a fork is eating, and not combing your hair. Allan Heinberg spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his work writing the screenplay for Wonder Woman, and revealed that The Little Mermaid was a good blueprint when laying out the events of his comic book movie. The two properties do share a lot in common on the surface. Both movies are about a princess who wants to leave her isolated kingdom to experience humankind after meeting a handsome man. Obviously, there's a lot more differences (last I checked Wonder Woman doesn't bust out into song), but it's easy to see how Little Mermaid was a template.

Funnily enough, The Little Mermaid isn't the only aquatic movie to inspire Wonder Woman. The film Splash was also used for its fish-out-of-water story. Splash is basically a live-action version of The Little Mermaid, wherein a mermaid walks on dry land and falls in love. Allan Heinberg used a drop of Splash in the film, mainly used for Diana's poignant observations of the outside world, which Heinberg say are "light and fun" but "absolutely true." At this point, Wonder Woman has more inspiration from nautical characters than Aquaman.

Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and tells the story of Diana (Gal Gadot), princess of the mythical Themyscira, home of the Amazons. When WWI pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island with tales of a Great War, Diana senses the work of Ares, God of War, and follows Steve to aid mankind as Wonder Woman. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Robin Wright, David Thewlis, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, and Lucy Davis.

Wonder Woman is releasing in theaters on June 2, 2017. To learn more about Wonder Woman, make sure to check out what we know so far.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.