For many Wonder Woman fans, seeing Gal Gadot in action was great, but a major highlight was seeing the inhabitants of Themyscira in their full glory. And with this, the casting of Connie Nielsen as Diana’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, was a great move for the DC film. As you would expect, Nielsen worked closely with director Patty Jenkins to craft the character. And according to Nielsen, this character development nearly included a tragic backstory for Hippolyta and the Amazons, which Jenkins fought against.
Patty Jenkins was able to convince big stars like Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright to join the Wonder Woman franchise, but it sounds like she had some more convincing to do when it came to the execs at Warner Bros. It is well known how passionate the director is about the source material, and Nielsen witnessed this firsthand. While speaking with Collider, Nielsen explained how Jenkins kept the Amazons from becoming tragic figures:
She was very clear about what the Amazons were supposed to be. And I think that there had originally been some idea that the Amazons had been deeply traumatized by some kind of horrible event that involved mass rape. And Patty just said, ‘Hm, no. No, no, we’re not gonna put that on those Amazons. We don’t want to start out seeing them as victims, and why would we? Let’s just get rid of that part and make sure that these are heroes in their own terms. They’ve not been part of the victims of history. They are these unbelievably courageous women and we’re not gonna saddle them with a trauma from the outset. We’re going to have them be received by people on the basis of who they are. What is their culture? Why are they so fierce? What does it mean to live on an island where there are no guys?’ It made so much sense, you know? You needed them to have a very uncomplicated background in order to be able to just accept them as the heroes that they are.
After revealing Patty Jenkins’ fight for the Amazons, Connie Nielsen divulged how Jenkins kept things going on the set. And as you would expect, the filmmaker's clarity helped guide the film:
The reason why she does that and gets what she needs to get is because she’s very clear. She has very clear thinking. And she’s able to transmit those ideas in a very clear way. And so she doesn’t need to be mean, she doesn’t need to push the envelope because she’s right. She’s thought it though. She knows what she’s talking about. She’s super well prepared. She has great instincts. She’s a great director and she’s a great visionary in her own right.
Given Robin Wright’s recent sentiments about Patty Jenkins, Connie Nielsen’s account of working with the Wonder Woman director matches up perfectly. The actress showed admiration and respect for the director as she witnessed Jenkins keep the film from going in a not-so-positive direction. Because of Jenkins' insistence, the Amazons became warriors not because of a tragedy but because of inherent heroism. It's easy to see why the cast has so much respect for Jenkins, and her relationship with them won't be ending any time soon.
There have been talks about an Amazonian spinoff since Patty Jenkins first mentioned the notion in 2019, and Connie Nielsen recently hinting at it being a potential origin story. With so little information about the spinoff, only time will team if the actress will reteam with Jenkins before or after the upcoming Wonder Woman 3 kicks off production. But what we can say is that given the reception to the Amazon, any story involving them is sure to draw high interest from the general public.