Yesterday: I ran my mouth about people saying there can't be a good Wonder Woman movie. They've taken years to produce nothing. I have myself half an hour to write how one might go and had to stop when the alarm clock rang.
Today: I'm sharing what I wrote, no editing, exposing my typos, my stream of consciousness, and some hackneyed writing. At worst, I'm showing the earliest thing in any of my creative processes I've ever put out there. I'm a little scared.
Tomorrow: I'm going to unpack my reasons for trying this, the offense of being told there's no chance of a good Wonder Woman movie when they're trying to reboot Green Lantern and Flash, and perhaps field some comments/hatemail.
We start with two points of view. Our first is Steve Trevor, grounding us in the present United States, post-Man of Steel. Our government is paranoid about what else is out there. The Fortress of Solitude was just hiding in ice? So drones and stealth pilots are sweeping as much space as possible. Trevor is piloting the most advanced human machine out there scanning for suspicious signs and jaw-jacking with friend Hal Jordan.
Our second (and main) point of view is through the island of Themyscira, removed from modern culture. Their sky shimmers with the magical barriers that keep the world ignorant to their presence; the Amazons have been hiding for a long time, and there's mention that they've refused reconciliation even with the king of Atlantis. Something awful and unspoken once happened here, but Queen Hippolyta has decreed silence and progress. She sometimes watches the modern world through a pool, ala the original Clash of the Titans, but forbids others to view of it. The Amazons do not speak of the prison of Hades that exists beneath their palace. The Amazons want to be alone, all except one. Guess who.
The only daughter of Themyscira is Diana, our Wonder Woman, and she is crazy to see the outside world. She was born near the beginning of Themyscira's isolation. We probably open the movie with a little montage of her youth and ambition, but I'd rather ground it in who she is now. Enough movies go through the cycle of growing up. Wonder Woman is already an adult, smart, shrewd, trying to sneak access to the viewing pool or find ways off the island stealthily. Hippolyta's not just her queen but also her mother. Her mother has to use the Lasso of Truth to get her to be honest about all these attempts – WW/Diana feels like she's suffocating in this alleged utopia. It's a utopia founded on not discussing the past; the war, the secession, whatever happened. Like any strongly guided country, it's too tight about what came before.
While she has friends on the island, Diana has one confidant. He's the only man on the island, old in a John Hurt way, sometimes entertaining her by conjuring little monsters out of clay. He's fostering her to desire to get off the island, and together, they set off a signal that pierces the sky barrier – and pierces Steve Trevor's plane. It crashes inside the punctured barrier, and Diana dives into the surf to rescue him.
|I will say it's not him.|
During the breach, our old man smirks and disappears. No, I'm not going to say who he is – for this experiment, let's call him ???. Depending on our visual style, we may show him transubstantiating and zapping through the breach in the barrier.
The Amazons are in a bind: the military knows where Trevor crashed, and will be on this location soon. Killing or keeping him will spark far more conflict than xenophobes want. WW offers to take him back to land. Classic origin story stuff, though Hippolyta is going to return the island to the shroud after she leaves. This is goodbye for a while. It's dangerous to go alone – take this lasso. And tiara. Why not?
Our buddy ??? touches down on land first, and after breathing free air, begins sculpting something that looks like a snake.
A pretty surprised navy greets Diana and Trevor, but they're more surprised by an emergency call on the coastline. This isn't another downed plane. It's a gosh-darned giant hydra. WW recognizes it, and says ones of this size should only be native to Lerna. The navy seems pretty surprised, too.
The military does badly; it takes massive payloads to destroy one head, and you know what happens when you destroy a hydra's head. Wonder Woman has to brush the tanks aside to save the lives of overwhelmed soldiers. Think Pacific Rim, but instead of us being defended by a robot, it's by a human-sized female who can rock that giant monster. She knows to scorch them down to the nape, and with Trevor liasing with infantry, we get to win our giant monster battle, and when it is damaged enough, rather than die, it turns into a mass of sand. We win right in front of the cameras. She's more out than the Man of Steel ever was, and perhaps a little giddy at all the attention.
??? watches on from a distance. He looks healthier, almost younger.
Begin Wonder Woman's big old tour of the modern world. Try a hot dog. Try a metropolis. Wonder Woman may find Youtube cute, but she's dismayed at the absence of the gods she presumed must live out here, and for our wonders, our civilization has issues. Steve Trevor rapidly becomes her liaison, as they're getting along in meetcute fashion and he's got an 'in.' Droves barrage him for access to this goddess-person.
Trevor: The President. Every five-star general. Prime Minister of every country that has one of those. Superman. Oprah.
WW: Who's Oprah?
Trevor: I love you.
|I'd really like to avoid this.|
If she's going to be ambassador to the modern world, she'll hit the U.N. eventually. ??? is also there, looking nervous and reporting to a larger and very well-dressed man eating a mars bar. Because that's how I roll. Diana thinks she recognizes ???, but is drawn away by human rights discussions, and she's pretty fascinated by what's happening in the Arab world. No one on Themyscira would allow women to be treated that way, and Steve Trevor certainly has his biases. Adrianna Tomaz interjects – wife of the monarch of Kahndaq – who has a very different point of view on the Arab world, and pushes Diana to not accept this American view just because its her first. She gives us a shot to actually crack open that discussion. Plus, some people will recognize Tomaz, and we get to joke about her finding the hydra fight stirring – they get badly dubbed Godzilla movies in Kahndaq, too.
In the background, ??? tells the mars-eating man to watch this one. He shapes ash into figure. Diana awkwardly breaks her conversation in seeing this – she definitely recognizes this, but ??? doesn't realize he's been caught. By the appropriate beat, a cyclops tears the roof off the building.
Diana largely fights this cyclops alone, trying to minimize the cost of life and property. She's skilled, though when she tries lasso tricks that worked on the cyclopes of her youth, this one counters them. After one counter, she spies ??? manipulating the cyclops. He looks even younger, as though drinking in the chaos. When she confronts him, he's distracted and the cyclops turns on him. Yet when it touches him, it turns to ash and falls apart. He tries to leave and Diana grabs him – only for her arm to begin turning into clay. ??? smirks and vanishes, while Diana is understandably shaken.
So that's all I got to flesh out before the buzzer went off. I had bullet points and loose ideas for the rest. I'm including them below. What do you think? Plenty to revise, and there's much to be said for the handling, but I don't see why this couldn't be the start of something in the way blockbusters work.
And no, it's not the Wonder Woman movie I want, but I think it's a prototype of the kind they say can't be made. For the Wonder Woman movie I want, check in tomorrow.
-Back in Themyscira, Hippolyta sees the second attack in her pool. The gods don't behave this way anymore. These attacks seem too familiar. She visits the prison below her palace; the gate keeper will not let her in, but there's a crack in the walls. She's able to trace it to a cave – the one ??? always met Diana in. If it's who Hippolyta thinks, the outside world is doomed. And worse is coming to her daughter.
-Scenes of ??? drinking in chaos and summoning more creatures. He's clearly having a blast, now looking like a young man. Makes some interesting sculptures – at least one of a half-cheetah woman.
-Hippolyta breaks her own laws to save her daughter. Info dump! Lasso of Truth! Your secret origin! Does Tomaz and Trevor's modern world have another way to contain ??? given that Hades failed? If he dies, Diana will be returned to the clay her mother fashioned her from. But how else do you stop the craftsman of titans?
-Ancient magical Amazons and world military joining forces to punch a dragon! Aquaman cameo? Flash? Red-and-blue streak that could be a bird or a plane? Whatever they'll let us do.
-As the climax mounts, that large well-dressed man with the mars bar watches alongside Adrianna Tomaz. They seem to know each other, and Mr. Mars Bar doesn't like her "disguise." Hmmm.
-Obviously the denouement is Destroy All Monsters. ??? riding a clay-formed kraken? Let's talk it over. We've got spectacle, but we know the real drama is between Wonder Woman and ???, especially now that we know he's…
And that's all he wrote.