How Richard Donner's Superman inspired Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman film

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Oct 13, 2016, 4:53 PM EDT

This year’s Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were slammed by critics and fans alike for either being too depressingly dark or not a whole lotta fun (or both), and it started to make fans really nervous about director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie. Thankfully, looks like Richard Donner's Superman has come to the rescue.

Set to be released on June 2, 2017, Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot in the role of the mighty Amazonian warrior princess, Diana of Themyscira, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. Rounding out the cast are Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui, Elena Anaya and Lisa Loven Kongsli.

Instead of the origin story taking place during World War II, as in the pages of the comic book, the movie will be set two decades earlier, during the Great War. Despite the movie’s setting (it's World War I, after all), we’re being promised it won’t all be doom-and-gloom (though there will be serious moments) and that the overall tone for the superhero film will be optimistic.

In a recent Variety article, the Wonder Woman powers-that-be promised the movie will be as different an offering as Warner Bros.’ previous DCEU cinematic efforts (aka it's not going to be like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad). 

“There’s a misconception that DC or [parent studio] Warner Bros. has made a conscious decision for all our movies to be darker or edgier,” said Diane Nelson, president of DC Entertainment and resident of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “That’s not the case. Fans of the DC universe know that there are characters, like Batman, who are darker, but there are others like Wonder Woman, who are hopeful, optimistic leaders, and the tone of this film represents that.”

And where did Patty Jenkins get her inspiration for this new version of Wonder Woman? Well, she looked no further than Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman movie (which is also pretty much the inspiration for The CW’s Supergirl TV series which oozes optimism) and explained why:

“Superman was all about you,” said Jenkins. “It was about you watching and realizing what it would feel like to have great powers and do great things. It was full of love and emotion.”

(via Variety)