Wed
Feb 27 2013 3:15pm
Wonder Woman Fan Trailer Returns Diana To Her Nazi Ass-Kicking Origins

Wonder Woman fan trailer Jesse V. Johnson Nina Bergman Nazis

Like Superman and other original comic book superheroes, Wonder Woman’s introduction in the 1940s cast her as a female champion who could bring the smackdown on Nazi Germany. It makes sense, then, that this new fan trailer for a Wonder Woman movie has Diana squaring off against the Third Reich.

But what makes this concept trailer especially impressive is that it’s directed by stuntman Jesse V. Johnson and stars Nina Bergman as perhaps the most convincing Diana we’ve seen on-screen since Lynda Carter.

One io9 commenter complained that this looks too much like a mash-up of “a female Captain America set in a PG-13 version of Inglourious Basterds.” Personally, I probably wouldn’t want to sit through two hours of Wonder Woman roundhouse kicking the swastikas off Nazi uniforms, either. But as a concept trailer goes, it does a fantastic job of grounding us in a really gritty historical period and giving Bergman room to shine.

If this were to become an actual movie, I could see it taking place elsewhere in history, or even modern-day. Of course, the sad truth is that whatever “canon” Wonder Woman adventure ends up happening—right now it seems to be The CW’s Amazon, which follows Diana through high school dramas—won’t be nearly as good.

So for the moment, let’s just appreciate Peter Stormare (Lockout, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) as a Nazi creep and Bergman’s absolute BAMF status as she takes down a fighter plane with an MG-42. My one quibble? No Lasso of Truth.


Natalie Zutter is a playwright, foodie, and pop culture blogger. Her writing has appeared on BlackBook, Ology, and Crushable, where she discusses celebrity culture alongside internet memes (or vice versa). Weekly you can find her calling in to the Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast, reviewing new releases at Movie Mezzanine, and on Twitter.

13 comments
Eric Saveau
1. Eric Saveau
Oh dog, those short shorts... I get that the outfit is iconic, but it honestly looks more silly and impractical than sexy. I've seen some renderings and cosplay that put WW in armor that echoes something of the classic costume while still looking like something that might be worn into melee combat. I really want to see a Wonder Woman film that goes that route.

But that's a minor complaint; overall the look is reasonably polished and the stuntwoman is sufficiently athletic to make me buy her in the role. And, hey, beating up Nazis never gets old :-)
Shoshana Kessock
2. ShoshanaK
The pros of this trailer:
Decent dialogue. Good set up. Good production value. Decent fighting.

The cons:
Diana using a machine gun. NOPE. Nope nope. This is not Die Hard with an Amazon.
The Nazi-fighting feels like a cop out. Don't know how to write Wonder Woman correctly? Hide it by making the bad guys Nazis because... who doesn't like beating up Nazis.
Also: cop out to make her completely silent. Don't know how to represent a woman speaking? Make her the strong, silent, grit your teeth as you hit things person.
Also: unnecessary butt shots. They have them.
Also: eye roll to the 'crying girl on Diana's shoulder' moment. Want to show her having a moment of tender mercy and 'woman bonding' to offset the murdering dudes (oh I'm sorry, Nazis) factor? Have a sobbing girl cuddle moment.

Not as impressive as it comes off initially.
Eric Saveau
3. Eric Saveau
@ShoShanak -

"Die Hard with an Amazon"

I just laughed out loud and made people look :-D

The Nazi-fighting isn't a cop-out, though; it's Wonder Woman's comic book history. That's what she did back in the day, just like Captain America at the same time.
Eric Saveau
4. Eric Saveau
Actually, there is one pretty good Wonder Woman film that I highly recommend; the animated feature from 2009 that was co-written by Gail Simone. It managed to pack a lot of good material into its 90 minute running time, had generally good dialogue and a top-notch voice cast who did justice to their roles. It wasn't perfect, relying on a couple of unfortunate cliches in spots to move the narrative along, but overall was surprisingly good, even genuinely scary and creepy in places without being over the top.
Eric Saveau
5. Tesh
I just can't take WW seriously. This is, at least, better than the only-aired-for-critics pilot for a WW TV series that hit the internet a little while ago.

The one redesign of WW that I like was this one from Aaron Diaz, who took her "made of clay" a bit literally:

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/10/04/justice-league-redesign-aaron-diaz/

Still, fighting in hotpants or miniskirt, it's all pretty silly.
Eric Saveau
6. DougL
Okay, this is geeky, but on the super hero strength scale, she is, umm, very, very powerful. There is no way that a couple of guys drag her down a hallway or a rope hold her in a dungeon. Of course, this could be cribbed right from the comics for all I know, the way they play with the power levels over time means I could be wrong.
Eric Saveau
7. Eric Saveau
Sometimes they've had WW be less powerful than others, and sometimes they used plot devices to achieve a similar effect.

And, of course, there's all the bondage subtext that was a deliberate part of the character's creation...
Eric Saveau
8. Harry Connolly
DougL, in the early Wonder Woman comics, she lost all her powers whenever she was tied up.
Eric Saveau
9. Jonathan Inge
It looks like a made-for-Syfy movie. If a feature-length version actually happens using the same people and production design, I would watch it.

There are some clever bits in the first half. The tone and feel at the start sets up familiar visual iconography for a male action hero. Wonder Woman is purposely obscured throughout the first 40 seconds. All we know is a female wearing vintage boxing shoes is being held prisoner and tortured by Nazis. Then we see a close-up of the tiara. Then we see a medium shot to confirm, yes, it's HER! Tone. Music. Everything shifts. Cut to required slo-mo fight scene of WW kicking Nazi ass. Lead Nazi dude calls her a "superwoman," wordplay referencing Superman, the Nazi ideal, and spin on our hero's moniker. Then the butt shot. It felt wrong at first. But it's followed by a shot of WW punching a guy in the junk! Is this a satire?

After that, it kinda becomes a show reel for stunts and visual effects. But still good.

The scene of WW hugging the girl throws off the pacing. Seems like the filmmakers threw the security cam POV graphics on top to give it more umph. Maybe seeing WW helping the girl escape instead?

WW does speak. At 0:44, Stormare Nazi says, "We're gonna have a lot of fun, you and I." She says, "I don't think so." As a true badass, she only speaks when she has to.

To me, the actress playing WW looks skinny not athletic. Reviewing the video again, I see she has muscle and tone. Something just seems off. She does resemble Brian Azzarellov's design of the character in recent books. WW's body positioning in the shot where she knees a guy in the chest somewhat mirrors her pose on the cover of Issue 1 (New 52).
Stephen Aryan
10. StephenAryan
As a fan made film, I think it's a good effort. Nothing looks too hokey to me, they've got some big names and it serves as a much better advert than the pilot from last year which sunk without a trace. Think about all of the awful things we heard, or even saw, in that pilot and most of them are just not on show here.

I'm not bothered by any costume quibbles because almost all superheroes in comics have silly costumes. No one would actually wear those sort of clothes in public in reality. It's practically become a meta thing, because Wolverine mentions the costumes in the first X-Men film and Cyclops quips about yellow spandex. Should she have trousers instead of the hot pants? Maybe. But even the Lynda Carter TV series which many hold up as a great example of Wonder Woman (and I'm including myself in that group) had her running around in giant star spangled pants and she was still a strong and formidable superhero. Anyway I agree that Bergman does a great job and is far better than any on screen versions we've seen in a long time.
Eric Saveau
11. wizard clip
@StephenAryan: "No one whould actually wear those sort of clothes in reality anyway."

Up until a few years ago I would have agreed with you. In the town where I live and the school where I teach young people regularly go about garbed in spandex tights, boots, metallic accessories, and quite impractical and revealing clothing (think Powergirl more than Wonder Woman). I've often lamented to my wife about how unfair it is that you couldn't get away with dressing like a cartoon character in public when I was younger.
Stephen Aryan
12. StephenAryan
Yes, some people do wear clothes that most would consider impractical, plus there are also real life superheroes, like Phoenix Jones. However, I just find it bizarre that people try to apply a real world scenario to superheroes. Films and TV shows try to soften the edges, go halfway towards normal clothes, so it is not so jarring and doesn't pull the audience out of the film or show. The results are the dark blue leather outfits in X-Men films, or the green hood in Arrow etc.
Eric Saveau
13. wizard clip
Yes, it's extremely difficult for a real person to look any way dignified in a true-to-the-comics superhero outfit, especially when standing around in a room full of people who aren't similarly outfitted. I think Christopher Reeve was one of the few (and maybe the only one) to pull it off.

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