Wonder Woman brought in $103 million at the US box office and about $230 million worldwide during its opening weekend. This is quite an achievement for both the DC Extended Universe and director Patty Jenkins, as Wonder Woman gained more in its opening weekend than other franchise launchers, including Iron Man and Thor. In addition, Jenkins earned the distinction of being the female director with the highest-earning debut weekend in history.
Wonder Woman also managed to limit its references to the DCEU while still being a part of the shared universe. We all know that a good number of comic book movies have been likened to advertisements for the movies that followed.
This list is relatively short, and it contains some huge spoilers, so check it out with that in mind!
Turning away from mankind
There was no Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Disappointed with mankind’s warlike nature, she had left them behind. While we weren’t sure what she meant at the time, we do now.
At the end of the movie, Diana brings the War to End All Wars to an end by stopping Ares. Men drop their weapons, the armistice is signed, and she believes that she has saved mankind from its biggest threat. However, as Ares said, mankind was its own worst enemy, and came up with all sorts of ways to cause mass destruction. He just sat, and he even campaigned for peace.
Ares’ death didn’t stop the wars because conflict is a major part of man’s nature. Diana was disappointed that mankind’s failure to learn this important lesson allowed for a century of war, so she left man to himself.
The Doomsday fight
Back again to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: We know that Wonder Woman returned to the field of battle when necessary, and the smile on her face demonstrated she was still a fearless warrior. But why?
In retrospect, she continues on for the same reason she left Themyscira to battle Ares, and that was to save mankind from an exterior threat. The death of her mentor Antiope also motivated her to battle against the God of War. But wasn’t she motivated in a similar fashion in Batman v Superman?
Along with others, Wonder Woman saw a new kind of warrior in Superman. She felt she could look up to him as a protector of mankind (a Steve Trevor 2, if you will). When she saw that the Kryptonian was overwhelmed by Doomsday, she had to intervene and prevent the death of another role model.
This also explains, in part, why she didn't intervene in the Man of Steel events. Earth was under threat, but she wanted to see Earth survive on its own. However, the fact that she was willing to see the world die just to witness the birth of a superhero does put a wrinkle in this explanation.
Man of Steel tricks
There was an additional reference to Man of Steel in Wonder Woman. When Ares finally appeared, the power of the Olympian Gods was revealed. We also saw Diana’s potential.
However, subdued by the Lasso of Truth, Ares had another trick up his sleeve, and he proceeded to try to win the superheroine over by toying with her mind. He showed her a new world built on the ashes of mankind that hadn't been spoiled by man's nature. And it was a world that Ares and Diana could build together. We all know how that ended, but it was the same kind of trick (to somewhat similar ends) that Zod used on Kal-El.
Of course, Ares didn't use technological means to trick Diana, but the similarities between him and Zod were pretty obvious. We should also mention that Enchantress used this same type of trick against the Suicide Squad.
While the bulk of Wonder Woman takes place during WWI, the beginning of the film saw Diana living and working in modern-day Paris. A gift from Bruce Wayne sent her on a trip down Memory Lane.
Wayne’s gift was the original pic scanned by Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It can be said that Bruce could have been more cautious, since the armored vehicle that delivered the pic had a JL license plate (you know, as in Justice League), but still"¦
In his accompanying note, Bruce wrote that he tried to keep Diana’s secret as best as he could. But he also expressed his hopes that one day he would hear her story. Our first thought was that they had no time to speak after Clark Kent's funeral.
But what if he already knew this particular story (of her WWI fight), and he wanted to learn more about her from other points of view?
Zack Snyder cameo
We've covered Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel, so we should mention the man who trusted Gal Gadot to be a perfect Wonder Woman. That man was Zack Snyder, who actually had a cameo in Wonder Woman.
In contrast with cameos by, for example, M. Night Shyamalan, Snyder’s was rather subtle. A US soldier, he was barely visible behind the movie’s heroes (Diana, Steve, Sameer, Charlie, and Chief). He could even be seen in the pic Bruce Wayne sent to Diana.
This was Snyder’s second DCEU cameo. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, his hands appeared as Bruce Wayne's.
One of the coolest animated flashbacks we've seen on film, this resembled a Renaissance painting in motion! Upon arrival on Themyscira at the beginning of the movie, we saw little Diana hearing a story about the Olympian Gods and the creation of mankind. We learned that Zeus was the creator of all, and it was mankind's duty to thank the gods for their very existence.
You might say that this wasn't actually a DCEU reference, but as the first time mention of the Olympian Gods in the DCEU, we would argue that it was. Furthermore, it could also serve as an explanation for the events to come (such as the big flashback battle in Justice League).
Of course, it didn’t help that we didn’t know when the Olympian Gods died. However, as various reports suggested, Ares defeated them after Darkseid's first attempt to conquer Earth. So we might even see Zeus in action!
Speaking of Olympian Gods, there was another blink-and-you'll-miss-it DCEU reference in Wonder Woman. This one was connected with next year's Aquaman, which will apparently be another extremely fun DCEU adventure. This reference was included in the animated scene from the previous entry.
We learned that Ares battled his way toward his confrontation with Zeus, and ultimately did enough damage to kill him. However, before that, we saw him slaying other gods, one of whom was none other than Poseidon.
Again, this was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene. But was that Poseidon’s Trident hurtling toward an unknown location?
Does Wonder Woman lead straight into Justice League?
As we approached the movie's finale and the end of Wonder Woman's origin story, we shifted back to the modern day, which would be after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Throughout the movie, we saw that Diana never really abandoned mankind; she simply waited. And now her time had come.
The Doomsday battle came first. Next, we'll see her in Justice League, in which she'll again fight monsters from other worlds. But was there a link between Wonder Woman and Justice League?
Of course there was! Before Diana took flight following her realization that she was Earth’s guardian angel, a low boom in the distance caught her attention. We’re betting that it was Mother Box opening a Boom Tube somewhere in the world.
This explained why producer Charles Roven said that there was no need for a credits scene. After all, Wonder Woman's final moments could mark the beginning of Justice League.
Old makes way for new
Besides referencing Darkseid’s arrival, there was also a bit of speculation.
Many millennia in the past, Darkseid wanted to invade Earth, but a coalition of Amazons, Atlanteans, and men foiled his plan. However, it’s rumored that the Olympian Gods (via Zeus) also had something to say about Darkseid's plans, and the ruler of Apokolips returned to his hellish world in defeat.
Now, he’s set to return, after sending Steppenwolf ahead to test the Earth’s strength. But why now? As far as we’re concerned, Ares’ death is more than just the death of the God of War; it’s also the death of the last of the Olympian Gods. It can be said that Darkseid didn't attempt to conquer Earth again simply because Ares was still around.
But with Ares out of the way, Darkseid might believe that Earth is defenseless. Does this theory work for you?
Bane of all villains?!?
This fun bit of speculation popped up everywhere online almost the minute that Wonder Woman was released. If we believe the rumors, we might have seen a nod to supervillain Bane in Wonder Woman.
It was all connected to Dr. Maru’s creation (with Ares' help) of the formula that gave General Ludendorff his superhuman powers, which included increased strength, faster reflexes, and increased aggression. As we know, Diana killed Ludendorff, even with these enhancements. The lab in which the formula was created was destroyed, but Wonder Woman spared Dr. Maru.
Was this a hint? Was Bane's Venom based on Dr. Maru's concoction? This is a pretty interesting theory, although we doubt that there’s any truth to it.
Nonetheless, what do you think happened with Dr. Maru?