After Captain America: The First Avenger came out the process of adapting Wonder Woman to the big screen suddenly got a lot harder. How could DC make their own version of this movie without feeling like they were ripping off the Marvel movie? It would require changing the origin story and director Patty Jenkins was reluctant to do that though until she heard the pitch by screenwriter Allan Heinberg. The similarities between the two eras was becoming more and more evident it became clear that this was the change that needed to be made. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Heinberg and Jenkins both commented on how bringing Diana back in time was the best way to move her story forward.
"We are in a very WWI world today with nationalism and how it would take very little to start a global conflict. It's the first time we had an automated war," Heinberg says. "The machine gun was a new invention. Gas was used for the first time. New horrors were unleashed every day."
Jenkins went on to voice her doubts about the change in time period but that the more she thought about it the more it fit into the story that they were telling. Diana isn't just going to war to she's going out into the world for the first time.
"At first, I questioned it because it wasn't her actual origin story, but very quickly I saw the genius behind it. World War I is the first time that civilization as we know it was finding its roots, but it's not something that we really know the history of," she adds. "Even the way that it was unclear who was in the right of WWI is a really interesting parallel to this time. Then you take a god with a moral compass and a moral belief system, and you drop them into this world, there are questions about women's rights, about a mechanized war where you don't see who you are killing. It's such a cool time."
The idea of the moral ambiguity of the first world war makes it much more appealing for the Amazons to turn their backs on. It wasn't black and white and Diana spends most of the movie only seeing the war in those terms. Hitler is often seen as completely evil and the Nazis are basically shorthand for "bad guys". The first World War wasn't like that and the hesitation the Amazons have becomes a lot easier to understand and sympathize with as compared to them saying "no" to helping with the Nazis. This not to downplay how terrible World War I was, the movie does a great job of showing how terrible it was, but more that that everything was a little harder to define as "good" and "evil" in World War I.
Summary: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Robin Wright, and Connie Nielsen. Catch it in theaters June 2nd.