Breaking Down the Secrets of the New Wonder Woman Trailer

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Photo: DC Entertainment

Put on your bracelets and grab your lassos, gang — a new Wonder Woman trailer is upon us. Overall, it’s pretty good! Nice balance of humor and action, not too grim and gritty, and it remains interesting that the flick is set during World War I, which is a first for a superperson outing. But most important, this trailer gives us our first serious looks at the movie’s sinister antagonists, who appear to be a German officer (who may or may not be a god of war in disguise) played by Danny Huston, and a masked madwoman (who may or may not be a longtime Wonder Woman villain named Doctor Poison) played by Elena Anaya. The movie is, of course, a geek-economy product, so we would be derelict in our duty as an entertainment site if we didn’t spend about an hour writing an analysis of a 180-second video. Let’s dig in, shall we?

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Given that the movie’s a period piece, it’s a little odd to start the trailer out at the modern-day Louvre, but here we are. I suppose some portion of the film will take place in or around 2017. Our protagonist, Diana of Themyscira (more on Themyscira later), strides through the venerable museum’s pyramid-dotted plaza in some serious heels and a crimson cloak.

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Inside (well, I assume she’s still at the Louvre), Diana inspects a black-and-white photo in which she stands — as youthful then as she is now — next to a band of WWI soldiers. We’ve seen this antique print before, back in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Diana went on a quest to track it down. If you haven't pushed that film out of your memory, Bruce Wayne found it first and confronted Diana for information about it, but didn’t get clear answers. The main soldier in the image is Steve Trevor, played by the winsome Chris Pine.

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Let’s turn the clock back about 100 years. Diana stands cliffside on Themyscira, the hidden island of the Amazons. It's a matriarchal paradise of warrior women who were created by gods in the distant past and have avoided the world of men ever since. The Amazons are often depicted as having superpowers of one kind or another, and from what we’ve seen of Wonder Woman so far, it appears that she’s at least super-fast, super-strong, and unaging. Here, she’s watching a plane crash into the water. This is the vehicle of Steve Trevor, the man who’s about to change her life.

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Diana, a Good Samaritan, dives in to save the hapless male. This is usually the way her origin story plays out in the various comics about how she became a superhero.

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Steve’s buddies somehow seem to have found out where he is and, in coming back for him, they've ignited an inevitable gender war with the locals. Oh, you men.

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Like, seriously, you think you’re gonna defeat Angry Robin Wright an an Armored Horse? Puh-leeze. Wright plays General Antiope, Diana’s aunt. I believe that’s Antiope’s lieutenant, Menalippe (Lisa Loven Kongsli), to her right. Not sure about the rest. Note the one black woman off to the far left of the frame — there’s been some advance criticism about the paucity of nonwhite faces on Themyscira, and though this woman is present, the majority of the Amazons certainly seem to be of the Caucasian persuasion.

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This is a pretty rad little action sequence. The woman with the arrow looks a lot like Evangeline Lilly, but this would be an insane way for Warner Bros. to announce her casting, and she already didn’t get the part once in the past.

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Okay, this is a weird bit I can’t figure out. A Matrix-y bullet comes for Non-vangeline while WW’s voice-over talks about things going horribly wrong, and the next shot shows our heroine lying on the sand and looking up with shock. Does this Amazon get shot and killed? Oddly enough, Amazons are not usually portrayed as being invulnerable, so a bullet could theoretically eff one of them up. Guns, man.

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Looks like we’re in some kind of ceremonial hall or throne room, where Diana’s mom, Amazon queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), stands in her bow-down fur cape. The production designers appear to have gone full Asgard with this particular spot.

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Our first close-up on Steve, who is delightfully portrayed as impotent and out of his element in this land of ladies — a stark departure from most of the dudes in the superhero-movie canon.

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Steve’s on a military air base of some kind in what looks like a desert locale. I’m confused about what that red flag signifies. Steve’s not fighting for the Comintern, so we can probably rule out that kind of red association. Hmm.

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Okay, now we’re getting into the baddies. After a microsecond-long shot of a woman in a creepy mask appeared in the last WW trailer, Moviepilot.com theorized that she might be a Wonder-foe who goes by the name of Doctor Poison. The character first popped up extremely early in Diana’s print existence, way back in 1942. Her basic deal is she, uh, poisons people. Given that we see some poison gas destroying a gas mask here, it seems pretty darn likely that that theory was on the money. In the comics, the bad doctor was a Nazi, but since this movie’s set in WWI, she might be working for the Kaiser … and for someone even more eeeeeevil, as we shall see soon.

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She didn’t go to eight years of evil medical school for you to call her Miss Poison. Oh, one other thing: It’s been rumored for a while that big-time Wonder Woman rival Circe would be in the movie, so perhaps this character is actually a mash-up of Circe and Doctor Poison?

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We’ve long known Danny Huston — already a superhero-movie veteran — would be in WW, but we didn’t know who he’d be playing. Here, he shows up as a nasty-sounding German military officer. However, it seems likely that this is merely the earthly disguise of Ares, the god of war, who has also been rumored to play a part in this flick.

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Poison might not be the only dastardly weapon in town here, as some kind of blue energy explosion is spooking some good-guy soldiers.

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Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, Diana’s stern mother, who worries about her daughter leaving the island to join this war of men. She looks a lot like Cate Blanchett, and both of them will be playing regal superhero queen bees next year, so prepare to be confused 30 years from now when you try to remember who was who.

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This looks like London. The plumes could either mean poison or just a realistic representation of the horrific air pollution the city enjoyed during that period. Fun fact: The pollution was the origin of the term “London fog.” You learn something new in every one of these trailer breakdowns.

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Diana has a few key tools, and two of them are her bracelets, which are bulletproof. Mayhap they get forged after the shooting of her fellow warrior lady? (Director Patty Jenkins has confirmed this sequence is a nod to Richard Donner's first Superman movie.)

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Diana goes over the top to face down the Germans. Insert “No Man’s Land” joke here.

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Formal wear goals.

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Oh right, Steve and Diana are typically portrayed as love interests for one another. But you probably already guessed that.

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Here’s another key accoutrement for the Woman of Wonder: her Lasso of Truth. It can force anyone it binds to tell the truth (natch), but can also be used as a very strong rope for fights and such.

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Is there anything more goofy and wonderful than the DC cinematic universe’s Wonder Woman guitar-riff theme?

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This here’s Etta Candy. She’s been a key supporting player for Diana since the earliest WW tales, though she was portrayed back then in a way that would be considered more than a little offensive in 2017: Her whole deal was that she was fat and ate a lot of candy. They appear to be straying from that here, thank Zeus.