Director Patty Jenkins reveals Wonder Woman’s age and why she kills

6 min read
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[WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS FOR WONDER WOMAN]

I think it’s fair to say that many of you watched Wonder Woman over this weekend. And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?! It’s damn good! While it may no longer be the best rated superhero movie ever, thanks to a slight drop RottenTomatoes ratings over the weekend, it’s still very safe to say that it’s the best of all the DCEU movies. A lot of what makes it so good is the result of the two ladies leading this movie: star Gal Gadot in a breakout role as Princess Diana of Themiscyra, and acclaimed director Patty Jenkins.

Collider sat down with the latter for an extensive interview about the movie, and along the way learned some very intriguing facts. The first has to do with the simple question of age. When we first met Gadot’s Wonder Woman it was in a brief (scene-stealing) turn in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which is set in modern times. Wonder Woman is set in World War I though, and she looks the same. That’s because of those amazing Amazon demigod genes which cause her to not age like a normal human. But exactly how old is Diana?

Well, I think she’s thousands of years old. Really, I think she’s a child but she’s probably 800 [years old].

If you’re a bit thrown for a loop by those massive numbers from Jenkins, just remember that when the movie starts on Themiscyra with a child Diana, there’s no indication for when that is taking place, relative to the outside world. And with no clear passage of time, a whole lot of it could have passed without us knowing, as Jenkins continued.

Oh my God, have I had that conversation. Ad nauseam. Because the truth was I kept talking about listen, this is her coming of age story. How is she coming of age and how long does that take to learn these lessons. Well, it would take a long time but also we don’t know how long it took to get to that moment that she finally does the energy blast and then Steve arrives. That might have taken that whole time or the middle stage might’ve taken longer and she’s been fighting for a decent amount of time. It’s like you stretch out that time period to her living for a long time and that’s her aging.

Jenkins does go on to explain that this is merely her opinion of Diana’s age, and that there are others at Warner Bros. who feel differently. There’s one thing that they all agree on though, and that is that Diana kills plenty of people through the course of this movie. This could potentially be a controversial character choice – after all, many fans took issue with Superman killing Zod in Man of Steel, and Batman’s brutally high body count in Batman v Superman. The difference there though is that while those characters were superheroes, Diana is more than that: She’s also a warrior in massive war. And a warrior who has to kill is definitely not the same as a bloody killer, as Jenkins explains.

Yeah. I think I have stronger feelings about that than most. It wasn’t a huge hot topic of debate. I think that I probably care about her being less violent and easy to violence than anybody else because one of my favorite things about Wonder Woman is that she takes no relish in fighting and she’s not going out of her way to kill but I, myself, completely relate with the character who when push comes to shove and somebody’s got to step up and do it, then somebody’s got to step up and do it.

I love that duality of Wonder Woman that she both wants peace and means peace but when push comes to shove and someone needs to be put down like a dog, that’s what she would be willing to do. Yeah, we didn’t end up having to talk about it because I was already trying to keep it that way. Interestingly really, there’s the problem of how do you deal with the Germans and war and you’re fighting them. I actually spent a lot of time looking at interestingly Indiana Jones because that was like they’re plowing through World War II but you’re not viscerally delighting in killing. That was the cue that I took, she’s trying to take people out and certainly some of those people are being killed because that’s what it would take. You’re not getting into the act of killing as something you delight in.

There are many highlights of the movie, but Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana has to be the pinnacle for me. Besides for her effortless charm, complete lack of cynicism and instant likability, you very clearly can feel her absolute desire to just help those people she sees suffering around her with every fiber of her being. If that means getting her hands dirty, then she’s willing to shoulder that burden for the greater good. It’s one of the many things that makes her so heroic, and why I cannot stop recommending this movie enough. The DCEU could use more heroes like this.

 

Last Updated: June 5, 2017

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Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • For the Emperor!

    Gal Gadot REALLY sold me on the character. I felt the same feels and her innocence was heart warming and heart breaking all in one! 10/10 for her acting in this role!

  • AquaCthulhu

    Wonder Woman is so heroic because after she kills a bunch of soldiers in a rage but let’s Dr. Maru go (for future installments) and kills Ares! And before she kills Ares, she says, “Goodbye, brother” like a true hero, as opposed to Superman who didn’t kill anyone else throughout the film but had to do it to stop Zod.
    If only Superman had said something like, “So long, Zod” before snapping that damned neck and had looked at Lois with a “You’re welcome” glance in a charming way then he too could’ve been a hero. But, alas, it wasn’t to be.

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