In a world of only women, there are no phallic structures.
At least that’s how Patty Jenkins imagined the island home of the Amazons and their heroic princess Diana, who grows up to become Wonder Woman.
“Like columns? They didn’t make that much sense to me,” Jenkins said in a recent interview. “They felt like an imposition on landscape, which didn’t feel like something that women are jonesing to do.”
As the director of “Wonder Woman ,” Jenkins is creating new worlds for women both onscreen and off. Not only did she help dream up the look of the Amazon island and hire scores of actresses to serve as its resident warriors, she’s the first woman to direct a major superhero movie, and her success could pave the way for others.
As a child, she was inspired by Wonder Woman, describing Lynda Carter’s portrayal on TV as “the embodiment of everything that I wanted to be as a woman.”
“When I was playing Wonder Woman, I was able to do incredible things and save the world,” the 45-year-old filmmaker said.
That’s the feeling she hopes to evoke with viewers of “Wonder Woman,” in theaters Friday. Gal Gadot plays the title character, who discovers her superpowers and fights for justice alongside humans after following a charming spy (Chris Pine) to London during World War I.
The Israeli-born Gadot didn’t grow up with Wonder Woman, but she was always on the lookout for powerful characters to play.
“Usually the women are the damsel in distress or the heartbroken woman or the sidekick, but in real life it’s not the case. In real life, we bring life. We have babies. We have careers. We are so many other things,” said Gadot, a 32-year-old married mother of two. “Wonder Woman symbolizes the magnificence of a woman and how amazing women are. And I think that it’s an important movie not only for women and girls, but it’s also great for boys and men… You can’t empower women if you don’t educate the men and you don’t teach the boys, so as much as it’s important for girls to be exposed and see this movie, it’s important for boys to have a strong female figure that they can look up to.”
Wonder Woman was created in 1941, yet this is her first solo feature film. Jenkins wanted to bring her to the big screen for more than a decade, but studios doubted the appeal of the lasso-wielding superheroine.