After approximately 2 million Batman, Thor, Iron Man, and Superman movies (all released in the past five years), this summer will finally see the release of Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot. It's not the first female-led superhero movie, but it's the first one in a long time, and it's the first live-action, big-screen adaptation of Diana Prince's story. Wonder Woman first appeared in 1941, so even if you've got a lot of time on your hands, you might have a hard time bingeing all the necessary information before June 2. Here, a quick, movie-specific guide to the coolest (and only?) lasso-wielding warrior coming to theaters this summer.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot): Wonder Woman is Diana, daughter of Hippolyta. She lives on the hidden island of Themyscira, where Amazon women live and govern themselves without any trouble from men. It's paradise, basically (and literally was called Paradise Island when it first appeared in the comics).
Steve Trevor (Chris Pine): A U.S. Army Air Service pilot who crashes on Themyscira. He eventually becomes Diana's ~love~ interest.
Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen): Diana's mother and queen of Themyscira. She wants to keep Diana safe from the world outside their paradisiacal, man-free island.
General Antiope (Robin Wright): Diana's aunt and sister to Hippolyta. She's responsible for Diana's warrior training.
Menalippe (Lisa Loven Kongsli): Diana's other aunt and lieutenant to Antiope.
Ares/Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis): Zeus's son (yes, that Zeus). He pretends to be a regular guy who just wants to end WWI but actually he's interested in killing everybody.
Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston): A general in the German army. He was a real guy, and though it's not clear what he'll be doing in the movie, assume it's bad—the real Ludendorff was at one point tight with Adolf Hitler.
Etta Candy (Lucy Davis): Steve's secretary and eventual BFF of Diana.
Doctor Maru/Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya): A villainous scientist who's developing a toxin that could ruin a whole lot of lives.
After American pilot Steve Trevor crashes on her home island of Themyscira, the warrior princess Diana decides to leave her secluded birthplace and head out into the larger world to help Steve fight World War I. Unfortunately, she's not the only immortal interested in the progress of WWI; while she's busy trying to end the war, Zeus's son Ares is out there trying to keep it going. There'll also be some sort of romance with Steve, because even an Amazonian goddess can't resist Chris Pine's baby blues.
The Justice League Connection
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman first appeared in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and was without question the best thing about it. If you feel compelled to watch it for the sake of completeness, just skip everything but her scenes—no one should be subjected to Henry Cavill getting in a bathtub with his shoes on for any reason. In that movie, Bruce Wayne aka Batman (Ben Affleck) meets Diana at a party, where she tells him that she's an antiquities dealer. After stealing a data file on metahumans from Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), Bruce figures out that Diana is actually Wonder Woman. At the end of the movie, Diana shows up in Amazonian warrior costume to help Batman and Superman (Henry Cavill) fight Doomsday, and once again, she steals the show.
You might be wondering how Diana looks the same in Batman v Superman, which is set roughly now, as she does in Wonder Woman, which is set during World War I. It's because she's 5,000 years old! What a party. When Justice League comes out in November, I guess she'll be 5,001? Maybe Aquaman can put out the fire from all the candles!
Why You Should See It
You don't have to be a comics obsessive to be pissed that both Marvel and DC have dragged their so feet for so long when it comes to female-led superhero movies. The latest big-screen iteration of the DC Extended Universe only got underway in in 2013, so by Marvel standards, Wonder Woman puts them way ahead. Of the 15 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies out already, exactly zero are about solo female heroes, and there's only one on the slate of nine additional movies planned. So even if this movie ends up being bad, go see it 10 or 20 times so it does crazy box office numbers and proves that movies about ass-kicking women actually do make money.
Additionally, it's a big deal that Warner Bros. hired a woman (Patty Jenkins) to direct Diana Prince's tale. As study after study has shown, female directors rarely get the opportunity to direct big-budget action movies like this, but also movies in general—in 2016, only seven percent of the top 250 films were directed by women. At the very least, one hopes that big box-office returns for Wonder Woman might lead studios to take more chances on female directors. And maybe by the time Wonder Woman 2 comes out, they'll even hire a woman to write it!
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.