When you think of iconic superheroes (or fictional characters in general), Wonder Woman is probably one of the first that comes to mind. The Amazonian warrior has shined since she was first introduced by DC Comics back in the ‘40s, and her legacy has only strengthened as the years have gone on. One of the things that arguably draws people to Diana the most is her distinct personality, which always shines through, especially when she’s among other DC heroes. Despite this, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins believes Diana has something in common with Justice League teammate Superman.
Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman received critical acclaim when it was released in 2017 and, so far, its sequel has received a similar reception. Through these two installments, the Monster director has proven she has a deep love and understanding of the character. And while there are likely many things Jenkins loves about the character, she recently explained that she loves that, like Superman, Diana Prince is a “true north, very simple” superhero:
What I find interesting about her is that she and Superman are the OG, true north, very simple superheroes. They are people with superpowers [who are] here to save the day. All of the other superheroes that came after had some slant or angle that separated them. And so I think that was something that was strangely missing with so many superhero movies. None of them were very simple in that way. I loved getting to do that with her.
What Patty Jenkins seemed to be emphasizing through her recent comments to The Los Angeles Times is that Wonder Woman and Superman are both very straightforward in their reasons for wanting to save the world. Yes, both have extraordinary backstories (one being from a mythical island and the other coming from an alien planet). But both just had a natural desire to use their abilities to help others, even when there was no real reason for them to do so.
Both Wonder Woman and Superman represent a more earnest time in the history of superhero storytelling. At the time, one of the rare “darker” heroes was Batman, who was compelled to fight crime following the murder of his parents. A few decades later, fans would also be introduced to a character like Spider-Man, who (despite being genuinely decent) also had a slant to his character in that he was encouraged to fight crime due to his uncle’s death. Keep in mind that Patty Jenkins isn’t pooh-poohing any other heroes, but she makes a valid point in that both Wonder Woman and Superman fit that old-fashioned superhero mold.
In helping to craft Wonder Woman for the big screen, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot have worked to keep Diana’s selfless nature fully intact. It’s actually one of the things fans love most about her.
It’s safe to say this is a trait that will remain with Wonder Woman for decades to come and one that will continue to be present on the big screen. And with any luck, maybe we’ll one day see more if it as she fights alongside Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel.
Wonder Woman 1984 opens in theaters and streams on HBO Max on December 25.