Ok ... so how would YOU lay out a compelling Wonder Woman storyline for a movie?

In this thread it is stated by more than one poster that Warner Bros really does not know what they are doing in terms of being able to put together a successful superhero action movie for the iconic DC Comic character Wonder Woman, and have dithered and delayed engaging this project for quite a long time now.

Fair enough, let’s assume this is true on some level. Let’s say you’re the scriptwriter or the director WB has tapped to come up with a compelling take on Wonder Woman. What’s your plan? How are you going to make this an appealing and engaging movie? What’s your plotline? Do you acknowledge that Themyscira is in fact an island of warrior lesbians? How’s that going to play in the heartland? Do you pay homage at all to her bondage fetish roots or just ignore them? Do you get a tall athletic women to play her or a short busty one like Linda Carter? Do you give her pants or shorts? Is she made from clay or Zeus’s daughter? Do she and Superman hook up?

What will you do to make the movie a big success?

I don’t know much about Wonder Woman beyond the very basics, but I have to ask what is the point of just another great big noisy superhero(ine) movie? It needs something different.

It needs angst, but not as dark as Batman. She’s a woman, is she more moody than Superman? Work with that.

I would change the backstory to stay away from Zeus and all that - let Marvel have their demi-gods. FInd a way for her to have her powers (they are mostly gadgets anyway, aren’t they, like Batman?) with some pseudo-rational explanation. I’m ok with aliens, for example, as long as we don’t actually have to see them.

The story lines are always the weak point for these movies for me. Always with the super-villains, who are finally defeated but only temporarily. Can we find some other kind of major obstacle for her to overcome that isn’t a super-villain? (And also not an asteroid colliding with earth.)

Have her win as much or more with her brains than with her powers; the powers should be just tools that would be more or less worthless without the sense to use them wisely.

As for casting, I’d rather see the athletic than the sexpot. But that’s just me, I’m not the target demographic for these films. Although, I think they could really make a Wonder Woman movie as a crossover to adults and not just hormonal teenagers (of all ages).

Wikipedia lists Lynda Carter’s height as 5’ 9". Do you consider that ‘short’?

[li]Set it during, or just before, World War II. That was my favourite aspect of Captain America, so why not emulate that, at least a little bit.[/li][li]A matriarchal society on a lost island is more realistic than one entirely without men.[/li][li]I don’t have a problem with a certain amount of mysticism, in regards to Gods or powers of any kind, but I would minimise that as much as possible.[/li][li]Her invisible plane would be more like a stealth fighter jet, than actually being made of glass or whatever.[/li][li]Give her the Greek-inspired costume designs a lot of fan art and cosplay is giving her these days.[/li][li]Cast someone like Gina Carano. She played a killer robot in Almost Human.[/li][li]Plot? I don’t know. Stop a Nazi super-weapon from being deployed. Or unearth a secret Nazi spy organisation. Something espionage-esque, showcasing her level of intelligence and cunning, but with lots of excuses for action scenes.[/li][/ul]

If you’re going to make it a period movie, I’d say set it in the '70s, when American sexism was at its all time sleaziest. Let Diana punch a couple of greasy, plaid sport-coat wearing pornographers through a wall to help lighten the mood between major CGI set pieces.

I would go big. Greek Myths come to life. Ares the god of War has a plot to tear the World apart. To ensure he can’t be stopped he slaughters the Amazons (his invasion of Themyscira will be the opening set piece) leaving only one behind. Diana now must enter a world she doesn’t understand to save it.

I have given this topic some thought. (looks innocent). I would go with the fetish roots approach. (Looks very innocent.) I would sell it to the studio with this one simple line: “Fifty Shades of Grey, an erotic romance full of bondage, sold 70 million copies last year.” I believe that would get their undivided attention.

Now, here’s the problem. Wonder Woman’s fetish origins make her basically a dominatrix. Although she gets tied up a lot in the comics, mostly she is tying others up. She even had a kinky prison called Transformation Island where she kept female criminals in chains and taught them to love their chains. That’s fucking CANON, baby. Wonder Woman was a lesbian dominatrix.

That’s a problem because although I am SURE there are a lot of male comic book fans, and quite a few feminists as well, who would LOVE to see a story about a super-powered lesbian dominatrix, the heroine of 'Fifty Shades of Grey" was a straight submissive. So if you want to grab those 70 million eyeballs (well, 140 million, I guess) that bought Fifty Shades, you are going to have to make Wonder Woman a straight submissive…

I’m sure those male comic fans would go for Wonder Woman as a straight submissive too. But that kind of runs counter to her superhuman nature. She can’t go around submitting sexually to bad guys all the time, how will she bring them to justice? I thought about having her long to submit sexually to a lover in her private life, bringing up great psychological conflict for her. Perhaps she might wind up hooking up with Batman, he’s a fellow that understands psychological confiict.

But that’s not the Comic Book Way anyway. In the Comic Book Way ordinary human conflicts are ramped up to 11 by cosmic or mythological elements. So go back to her origins. I personally have always liked the Greek Gods origins. So let’s retcon. In our retconned mythology the Amazons were a group of mighty herioines who fought so bravely and so well that they conquered the ancient world. What’s more, they felt the gods were screwing up mightily, there being so much outright evil in the world, so they actually fought the ancient gods and damn near whipped their asses.

As a punishment for attacking the Gods, Zeus magically forces the Amazons to periodically become the lowest of slavegirls, serving men abjectly in the filthiest fleshpots of the ancient world for, I dunno, a week out of every month (during a certain phase of the moon, perhaps, to keep it ancient and mythological). This would keep them humble and remind them that they are only human. They revert back to their near-invincible, superhuman almost demigod selves afterward. (I like Wonder Woman super powered, a female analog of Superman).

In fact, the exile to Themiscyra by the Amazons was self-imposed, a reaction to their monthly period of submission.

Returned to the world of men, Wonder Woman enters the fleshpots of the world of men anew, craving to be used and degraded, her visits to them an enormous cause of guilt and shame, as I would set the movie in the 1950s when most people just Do Not Get this stuff. Her. Secret. Shame. Then one day, her submissive self encounters a bondage photographer named Irving Klaw. And the rest is history, because Wonder Woman’s secret identity as a submissive isn’t Diana Prince … it’s Betty Page.

Only problem with this line is, DC wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

That is the shittiest idea I have ever seen.

Then I revise my prediction: DC would jump on it like a starving hound on a pork chop.

Like any story you need interwoven overt story arcs, character arcs, a decent quest, set backs, a chase, male and female audience hooks, the three act structure, plenty of visualisations, set ideas, etc, etc.

Can sketch out broad strokes in several pages, need about 100 pages to set out the full Treatment.

Yes, with a nod and a wink via crashed pilot Steve Trevor asking where the dudes are.

Fine. It’s all implied.

Yep. In a PG-13 way that’ll fly over the heads of the kids. Say she knocks a bad guy down, and uses her lasso to bind his wrists behind his back, but we see a little smirk while she does this. If you use a light touch in lieu of something overt, people will see what they want to see.

Put out a casting call for a young Lucy Lawless type, or go with a young Jennifer Connelly type (5’7" curvaceous) and use angles to suggest she’s closer to 6’.

Darwyn Cooke is the best. Have costume changes. Island. Early. Final Battle. Always play up the warrior aspect. Take her classic look, and drag it through the costume trailer for 300, and there you go.

Yes, I would play up her connection to the Greek gods, her mother fashioned her from clay, etc. That’s her Batman’s Rogue’s Gallery - ie - the most interesting things about her. First movie would have a love triangle if Superman is in it, maybe him and Steve Trevor, but nothing overt, just like Luke, Han, and Leia were played prior to the twincest reveal.

You could even work in the WWII angle by having her mother, Hippolyta, having been the Wonder Woman to secretly help out in WWII. Even just in a flashback, that could be a wonderful concoction of cheesecake pinup meets Nazi neck-snapping OSS black ops. Have her take out some U-boats at least.

The basic premise should be very simple:

Make it completely not about men. She might save them, but her relationship with men - or a man - doesn’t define her. She is complete, in and of herself.

And skip the angst. Applying that to Superman might work. He was raised in a confused situation. Diana was raised knowing who and what she was. Make her take joy in her skills and abilities. She’s super strong, she’s fast, she’s nigh-invulnerable. When she goes into fights, show that she gets a kick out of testing herself and overcoming obstacles.

Embrace the silliness of the whole ‘floating island of only women’ thing. Put the greek gods in the background for future storylines. That’ll give her the sword of Hephaestus that can threaten Superman - if needed - and open up questions for later.

At least throw in nods to the bondage stuff as fan service but don’t make it a central part. In the end, comic books - mainstream ones - are cheesecake and not overtly sexual. It’s not innocent but it’s also not explicit. And see if you can eventually set up the Superman-Wonder Woman romance downstream where HE has to convince her that any such thing is a good idea. At first she could be “Huh, what? Ew. Why?”

For the plot, if you have to have an origin, make it about the ‘ambassador’ thing where she comes out as a symbol of peace and justice with a sword and make her own issues about enforcing peace WITH a sword be her internal conflict. By the time of Kingdom Come (movie three) she’s lose her royal rank for failing in her mission of peace. That’s the overall character arc: showing the conflict between the Themysciran ideals and the outer world realities.

Her threading the needle of that conflict drives the character. The bad guys - as in most good superhero movies - are only there to advance the character arc.

My biggest problem with Themyscira is them all dressed and armed like it’s ancient Greece. I’d prefer a take on the Amazons similar to this: http://youtu.be/yHZKIVS3h2g?t=8s

They’re people who live in 2014, we just don’t know they exist. Have them be technologically advanced. Hence the invisible jet, etc.

Since I (and I’m assuming many in my age bracket) know very little about WW other than the costume, invisible jet, amazon/greek thing, the lasso, and the bullet-stopping cuffs I would make it an origin story, but a Matrix-like origin story.

Diana is born and raised on the all-girl island, trained as a warrior because that’s society and that’s how they all are, she is really friggin good at it and we can see that in some form or fashion. She is also taught the island’s history where they mention a rival island/bad guys. There is also mention of a “rite of passage” kind of thing where the women go off the island and explore the world (kind of like that thing the Amish do). She goes to America and learns things about our society while somehow meeting a guy who is in the military.

She eventually rejects the idea of the all-women society and likes men and likes fighting so she joins the military and excels at hand-to-hand combat with Lt. Bigsexyman, and wants to stay here. She breaks mom’s heart (drama!) and that;s the end of that.

Fast Forward a bit and Diana receives a message from the official island carrier pigeon thing saying that the rival islands have brought a plague on home, everyone is sick and dying, and only she can help. She has to save her people so she grabs Lt. Bigsexyman, tells her who she really is (drama!) and goes to the island for a fight scene with the bad guys. She wins, brings a cure somehow, everyone is ok and she can live in America with her guy but her heart is always home. Or the opposite…maybe she leaves the guy, I’m just spitballing here.

I think this gives you a way to tell the history (grow up with her) a way to bring in men without being a “Planet of the Apes ‘oh wow what’s this island’ kind of thing”, give a romance cuz why-the-hell-not, and a story that isn’t really her being WONDER WOMAN! but a way to show she is a strong character with a history for future movies.

How was that? Good? Bad? You tell me

Wonder Woman lives on the island with the Amazons. It is invisible and undectectable because of Greek God magic. She is fishing and sees a plane get shot down. She rescues the pilot and hides him in her dwelling. From the pilot she finds out that a drug lord has taken over a nearby island and the US is trying to gather intelligence on his operation. She convinces the queen to let her go with the pilot back to the US because the queen feels the drug lord might be a threat to the island. Wonder Woman is supposed to be undercover and not use her powers. They go to the US and fish out of water hijinks ensue. Then she finds out that the pilot was a spy and he suspects the drug lord is not just a drug lord but a terorist using drug money to build an army and a nuclear missile. He recruits WW to join him on an unauthorized mission to sabotage the missile. She pretends to be just guiding the pilot and his spy friends but they end up captured and she has to save them and it turns out that the nuclear missile is much further along than even the pilot suspected and she has to defeat the drug lord and his army to keep the missile from being fired and destroying her home island and large city in South America.

The conflict would be that she has been told her entire life that the outside world is evil and Amazonians should not help or have anything to do with outsiders. She struggles with whether the outside world is worth saving or not.

No origin story. Don’t slow it down by showing her origin (except maybe in the two-minute flashback during a quiet section). Origins always drag down a superhero film. They are necessary if the hero is created for the movie, but with someone who’s been around for 70 years, they’re a waste of time (and will only piss off fans anyway). Start it all in medias res.

Have a smart villain. Not someone who comes out and challenges her to a battle, but one who is smart enough to avoid her as much as possible.

Have a smart hero. She has to use some deductive skills and a more clever plan than “I’ll beat the crap out of him.”

Give her a sense of humor

Have a villain who isn’t trying to destroy the world for a change

She should get into lots of fights with Cheetah. Cat fight woof woof!

This is a frustrating topic for me, because they came very close with their Animated Wonder Woman movie. Yes, it was a bit juvenile, but the broad strokes are there. of course pacing and dialogue will make or break any movie.

Ancient history (told in intro, fairly fast): Amazonian (mixed gender) society is the peak of humanity. Ares supborns the males of the Amazons and they are unleashed in a genocide against the ‘lesser people’ in the Hellenic region. Athena inspires the women of the Amazons, the only others with the physical and tecnological ability to stop the slaughter, to take up arms against the men, who are now feral. Caught between the other Greeks and their women, the men are massacred, and many of the women are killed. The queen herself kills her husband and son and takes Ares captive.
The Gods reward the survivors with Themyscera and a life away from war, so long as they are willing to be the jailors of Ares. The queen swears them all to stand guard and take no other husbands.
Years pass, the queen longs for a child, and the Gods give her one to replace the son she killed during the war, this time a daughter (Diana).
Diana is raised to be the perfect Amazon, but all of her knowledge of the world is theoretical.

Meanwhile, Ares seduces one of the guards to his cell over the course of hundred of years, dangling the need for a family, husband, etc. in front of her. They escape, murdering several Amazons, and set off some sort of catastrophe as cover. A volcano is usually good for this.

The catastrophe catches the attention of the mundane world, and a military team is sent to investigate this heretofor invisible island. Steve Trevor, male chauvanist, is team leader. Bad things happen (greek monsters guarding the waters off the island?), he is the only survivor. Meets Diana.

He is brought to the queen, she determines someone needs to go to the Outside to stop Ares/ warn the nations/ introduce their now revealed island to the world. Competition, Diana wins, takes ceremonial garb, etc. Mom is upset, but follows the rule of law.

Teamwork, tracking down Ares, intro to ‘Man’s world,’ misunderstandings, etc. Budding romance hinted at, but no more, between Steve and Diana. They stop Ares, only to find out for x reason, Diana is now exiled from Themyscera. Movie ends with her trying to find purpose, news report of a metahuman villain, she leaps into action, the end.

Yeah - the annimated version was pretty solid. If this movie was made live action, I’d watch it: