That’s the other thing….
Wonder Woman should be the easiest to adapt superhero ever. For fucking serious, half of her franchise doesn’t need heavy exposition. Amazons, Olympus, works for Athena and Aphrodite, doesn’t get on well with Ares. You can explain why the Amazons are on an isolated island and immortal in like thirty seconds. Then get into the contest.
Seriously, they don’t need to show her birth. Just go “Here’s the princess, she’s young and her mom doesn’t want her to compete.” Leave it out there and have Steve ask who her dad is after they get to the US. Then she can recount the clay origin in her own words and the writers can hint around at something else if they want and make her patronage something the audience argues about and an opening for sequel.
The rest of the time can go to the plot.
Here’s the thing…I do agree that it’s not necessary but I love her origin story when it’s done well. I want to see the stunningly beautiful moment when the Baby of Clay becomes flesh. I would be sad not to see it in live action.
I hear you, but I think going straight to the contest makes for a stronger movie. The contest is her origin as a hero, while her clay-birth is her origin as a being. Now, if you did Wonder Woman as more of a fairy story, beginning with the clay-birth would be amazing.
Once upon a time on the island of Themyscira…
Really, you could do the clay birth thing in the first three minutes of the film (perhaps with some voice over narration that establishes who the Amazons are, that Hippolyta wants a kid, etc etc) and then go straight to the contest with a “___ YEARS LATER” caption.
Except that time shifts can be alienating to an audience, and unless the events of the prologue are integral to understanding/setting up the rest of the film, they should be cut. Dangling plot threads and red herrings are frustrating. If we open with a queen forming a baby out of clay, and then invoking her patron gods to infuse it with life, well, what kind of story will we expect to follow? Probably not a race to stop the God of War from unleashing nuclear hellfire.
The thing is, clay-baby asks more questions than it answers, and if this hypothetical Wonder Woman is an action/adventure story, those are not questions that need to be on the table at this point. If the story doesn’t address the history of the Amazons and the wider mythological world, I don’t think clay-baby needs to be there. Clay-baby is about her inherent magical-ness, whereas the rescue and contest are about her character and actions. It depends on what kind of Wonder Woman story you want to tell, really.
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