That Time Zack Snyder Helped Connie Nielsen Land Her Wonder Woman Role

Connie Nielson as Hippolyta in Wonder Woman
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

Although many of the pillars he has built have since been replaced, no filmmaker has been more instrumental in the formation of the DCEU than Zack Snyder. His vision of a new dawn for Warner Bros’ comic book properties began with 2013’s Man of Steel, and have since had a hand in the continuing franchise – most recently with the announcement of his version of Justice League coming to HBO Max next year. Snyder also had a hand in the casting of Queen Hippolyta for Wonder Woman too. As Connie Nielsen recalls:

It’s funny because it was Zack Snyder who was the one who kept saying to Patty, ‘I really think you should meet with Connie Nielsen. I really think she’s right for this role. Patty was like, ‘Oh, no, she’s this tough girl, and I’m not looking for a tough woman for this.’ Zack then said, ‘I really don’t think so. I think you should meet with her.’ I had to fly to London just before Christmas. I think I arrived and went straight from the airport to lunch with Patty at this Japanese restaurant. I just immediately fell into this comrades-in-arms kind of feeling with her, and we just bonded over the next four hours. We had the longest lunch, and it just felt like a conversation that was unable to end.

This is unexpected and sweet. Zack Snyder was the middle man between writer/director Patty Jenkins and Connie Nielsen, and he helped pave the way for the pair’s collaboration on the 2017 blockbuster, per THR. Jenkins had felt the Gladiator actress was a bit too tough to play the mother of Diana Prince and Queen of Themyscira. After Zack Snyder’s nudge, the filmmaker gave her a chance and the connection was instant.

Connie Nielsen and Patty Jenkins have also worked together on the TNT series I Am the Night (also starring Wonder Woman’s Chris Pine), and the 54-year-old actress will return as Hippolyta in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. There’s also an Amazons spinoff in the works from Patty Jenkins and former DC Entertainment President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, who have already come up with the story and sold the pitch for it.

The actress may also be featured more heavily in the upcoming Snyder Cut of Justice League. Connie Nielsen teased one sequence from the 2017 film she shot, but never made the theatrical cut. In her words:

It was so cool. I got to run up a wall and pivot in the air, and as I pivoted on my way down I speared one of the monsters. I literally did that for weeks to get that, and then they didn't put it in. They took it out, they put it in, they took it out… It's my great regret because I love stunts, I love being a badass in a film like that, and then sorry that the audience didn't get to see that part of the cool Amazon fighting techniques.

Wonder Woman 1984 will feature Gal Gadot’s hero long after WWI during the Reagan Era. Diana Prince will be confronted with Kirsten Wiig’s Cheetah and Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord, and somehow reunite with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. How will Queen Hippolyta factor in?

Knowing how seamless their connection has been since their meeting, we wouldn’t be surprised if Connie Nielsen is the star of the Amazons spinoff in addition to her return to Wonder Woman 1984, which hits theaters on August 14. Check out what other residents of Themyscira we hope the spinoff includes, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more news on the future of the DCEU.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.