In late February, Wonder Woman will get her own feature-length animated film — her biggest solo spotlight since the cancellation of the Lynda Carter television series in 1979 — and today we’re bringing you the very first glimpse of it.
Keri Russell, the Golden Globe-winning star of "Felicity" and Edward Norton’s co-star in the upcoming film "Leaves of Grass," gives voice to the Amazon princess in the straight-to-DVD release that will tell the origin tale of the most iconic female character in comic book history.
Russell leads a cast that includes Nathan Fillion ("Desperate Housewives") as Col. Steve Trevor; Alfred Molina ("Spider-Man 2") as Ares, the god of war; Virginia Madsen ("Sideways") as Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons; David McCallum ("NCIS") as Zeus, king of the gods; Rosario Dawson ("Sin City") as Artemis, daughter of Zeus; and Oliver Platt ("The West Wing") as Hades, the god of the underworld.
If there is one reason to have high high hopes for this Hellenic revival of a character that celebrates her 67th anniversary next month, it’s the presence of producer Bruce Timm, the Emmy-winner whose sensibilities and character design were so key to the triumphs of "Batman: The Animated Series," which, pound for pound, is arguably the best realization of the character in any medium ever. (And yes, that includes "The Dark Knight.") If there is a reason to not get excited, perhaps its the disappointment of "Justice League: The New Frontier," a marvelous comic-book story by Darwyn Cooke that seemed oddly flattened when it was puffed up into a feature-length DC animated feature and voiced by a similar cast of Hollywood notables who didn’t seem to connect with their characters.
The PG-13 "Wonder Woman" is the fourth release under the DC Universe initiative from Warner Prestige, DC Comics and Warner Animation (the previous three were "Superman Doomsday," "The New Frontier" and "Batman Gotham Knight"). Here’s a plot synopsis from the production team:
Wonder Woman begins on the mystical island of Themyscira, where a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons resides. They have raised Princess Diana, a daughter of stunning beauty, extraordinary strength and incredible fighting prowess. Diana possesses a host of super human powers granted to her by the gods and goddesses of Olympus and her strength and stamina are unparalleled. When Air Force fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazons and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a world war that will destroy them all. It is up to Princess Diana to save her people and the world by using her gifts to become the ultimate Wonder Woman.
So we shall see. In the meantime, what do you think of the look of this Wonder Woman, which is markedly different than the one in the "Justice League" animated series?
– Geoff Boucher
Photos: Wonder Woman animated image courtesy of Warner Prestige, DC Comics and Warner Animation. Beyonce photo by Kevork Djansezian of the Associated Press