Everyone loves superhero movies, those thrilling tales of masked men and women who appear out of nowhere to fight evil for no reason. But did you ever wonder how some of your favorite superheroes became superheroes to begin with? If Saturday’s new trailer is anything to go by, Warner Bros. is taking this kooky and unique approach to their upcoming Wonder Woman movie, and frankly, we are here for it. Finally, superhero fans will get to see Wonder Woman as a child, before she was Wonder Woman, roaming Themyscira, learning about her superpowers, becoming a hero, becoming super. Call it an “origin story.”
It’s hard to tell who had the idea to go back to a Wonder Woman’s roots in for the new movie, but director Patty Jenkins is a good candidate; the last feature she made was 2003’s Monster, an origin story of a different sort. Maybe it’s Jenkins’ indie roots that explain moves like casting The Skin I Live In’s Elena Anaya and making her wear a mask again. Maybe it’s Warner Bros.’ somewhat-less-indie roots that explain moves like casting Elena Anaya and making her play a character called “Doctor Poison.” But no matter who made each individual decision, it’s clear that art and commerce are working hand in hand to bring this bold vision of superheroes and their origins to the screen. Thank God Jenkins—who, again, hasn’t made a feature since she wrote and directed Charlize Theron all the way to Best Actress—is getting the chance to use her talents on a project the size of Wonder Woman instead of something more personal. It’s only by feeding distinctive artistic voices into the Cinematic Universe meat grinder that we ever get giant narrative leaps forward like telling the story of a superhero’s origins.
Of course, it’s kind of weird for the studio to give this honor to Wonder Woman when they still haven’t explained what happened to Bruce Wayne when he was a kid. Maybe The Batman can be an origin story, too!
Correction, March 13: This post originally misspelled Elena Anaya’s name.