It’s smashed the record for the biggest opening for a film directed by a woman, it has the critics raving and it has proved once and for all that movies about women do sell cinema tickets, but our favourite fact about Wonder Woman is something many cinema-goers might have missed.
Those who have seen the film will no doubt have been inspired by Gal Gadot’s squad, the awesome Amazons of Themyscira, whose fight scenes more than rival those seen in the male-led likes of Thor and Man of Steel.
But did you recognise any of them? Sports fans might have done because director Patty Jenkins (all hail) made sure that each and every Amazonian babe fit her kick-ass criteria in real life as well as on-screen. They are all inspiring women in their own rights, from Olympic athletes to police officers.
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Swedish pro fighter Madeleine Vall Beijner received an email inviting her to join the all-female gang as Egeria, one of General Antiope’s warriors. She proved so hardcore she had to be taught by choreographers how to “show that it hurts” when she got hit. She told Entertainment Weekly: “They called me RoboCop because when we were training they were like ‘You’re supposed to show that it hurts!’ but I was like ‘No, I don’t get hurt! I’m a fighter!”
US cross fit champion Brooke Ence was also part of the team. “It was really cool to see this whole training area with not one male figure in sight,” she said. “It was just women wrestling other women, kickboxing, doing pull-ups and practising with spears – just a lot of the stuff that in the real world is very male-dominated.”
— Anthony Oliveira (@meakoopa) June 4, 2017
Wonder Woman raked in a massive $223 million at the global box office when it debuted last weekend, with Jenkins taking the highest opening from a female director crown from Fifty Shades of Grey’s Sam Taylor-Johnson for the highest opening from a female director. Johnson is now in second place, followed by Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight in third.
Despite falling behind Man of Steel, Deadpool, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in the domestic opening figures, the DC Comics blockbuster’s mega debut beat the monstrous likes of Captain America, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man.
Here’s hoping that the message Cate Blanchett used her 2014 Oscars acceptance speech to send out loud and clear to Hollywood might finally have hit home.
“To those of you in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences, they are not,” she said. “Audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.”