WONDER WOMAN: MICHAEL JELENIC SPEAKS
A new DC Universe Direct-To-DVD movie written by the talented Michael Jelenic!
Released by Warner Bros.
With documentaries featuring Wonder Woman Museum webmaster Andy Mangels!
On Sale: March 3, 2009
Multiple DVD formats
Click here to purchase Wonder Woman (2 Disc Special Edition DVD) on Amazon
Click here to purchase Wonder Woman (1 Disc DVD) on Amazon
Click here to purchase Wonder Woman (Blu-Ray DVD) on Amazon
Click here to purchase the Wonder Woman tie-in novel on Amazon
Click here to purchase the limited edition Wonder Woman animated Maquette on Amazon
Webmaster Andy Mangels is featured in the special documentaries "A Subversive Dream" and "The Daughters of Myth" on the DVD editions!
WATCH FOR EXCLUSIVE WonderWomanMuseum INTERVIEWS WITH CAST AND CREW COMING SOON RIGHT HERE!
First up in the next few days: Michael Jelenic in a 90-minute exclusive!
Here's the official press interview as released by Warner Bros.!
SCREENWRITER MICHAEL JELENIC DISCUSSES WONDER WOMAN, THE NEXT DC UNIVERSE ANIMATED ORIGINAL MOVIE COMING TO DVD MARCH 3, 2009
Writer Michael Jelenic makes the leap from animated television to feature-length films with his script for Wonder Woman, the next entry in the popular series of DC Universe animated original PG-13 films. Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation are set to release the all-new film on March 3, 2009, distributed by Warner Home Video. The film will also be available OnDemand and Pay-Per-View as well as available for download day and date, March 3, 2009.
Jelenic has crafted a script that offers complementary balances of action and comedy, contemporary society and Greek mythology, and the social pratfalls of both men and women. It is an origin story and a stand-alone adventure, resulting in an entertaining approach to the first-ever Wonder Woman full-length film. Jelenic and renowned comics writer Gail Simone have story by credits on the movie.
Jelenic is well-known for his work at Warner Bros. Animation, providing the clever words to series like The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes and the newest Dark Knight animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Jelenic stepped away from his laptop to be both brave and bold in answering a few questions about the thoughts behind the words and story of Wonder Woman, the challenges of pleasing every fan, and the un-coolness of working in the comics realm.
Before you make your New Year's resolutions, check out this Q&A with Wonder Woman screenwriter Michael Jelenic
QUESTION: As this is Wonder Woman's origin story, what did you know you needed to include and on what did you want to focus?
MICHAEL JELENIC: We had to hit certain elements that are part of Wonder Woman's myth, and my job was to answer what sort of ramifications her origins would have on her character during her journey to becoming a hero. It's basically trying to boil down essential Wonder Woman elements into one story. We looked at the stuff that the fans had to see - the iconic things about Wonder Woman - and then tried to put a twist on them. We've seen the lasso and the invisible jet before, so what's another way we could use them? I wanted to incorporate all these iconic Wonder Woman moments into the larger overall story.
QUESTION: What's your writing process?
MICHAEL JELENIC: First, I figure out what's the story that's worth telling, and that usually entails a long time of just staring at the blank page. Once I know that story, I start focusing on the moments. I think when you remember great films, it's not necessarily the plot that you remember, it's the moments. So I start trying to accumulate a list of moments. In Wonder Woman, there are a lot of them - the bar scene between Diana and Steve, the interrogation of Steve, the truth lasso. It's taking all the elements and moments and, while working within the theme of the story, creating something that serves those ideas.
I also researched a lot Greek mythology to help form the screenplay. I definitely wanted to hit some of the hallmarks of Greek tragedies, so I had to brush up on Ares and Hades, Hera and Zeus, and tons of characters I can't even pronounce.
QUESTION: What went into the character development of this Diana/Wonder Woman?
MICHAEL JELENIC: Diana had to represent all the feminine ideals and virtues, the things that make women great. At the same time, she's a very strong female character in terms of both her physical prowess and her personality. So we tried to find a balance to create a character that doesn't lose her femininity by being a strong action hero.
Ultimately, we wanted to explore her journey of discovery. She's been raised to believe that women don't need men, that women are morally better. If there is a message to the film, it's basically that men and women are not perfect. Men have their problems. Women have their problems. And when they interact, these problems often grow. But at the end of the day, men and women are actually stronger and better when they work together to overcome these problems.
QUESTION: How did you balance Wonder Woman's personality with those of your two primary male characters, Ares and Steve Trevor?
MICHAEL JELENIC: The stronger you make your villain, the stronger it makes your hero, so we wanted Ares to be intelligent, ruthless, powerful, and also represent all the misgivings the Amazon women have about men. When Hippolyta says men are bad, she points to Ares.
Steve Trevor was a difficult character to crack in that, as a love interest to Wonder Woman, it's important that you make him somebody who is worthy of Diana's affection. So he had to be strong and competent, but at the same time in order to create the romantic comedy, he can't be perfect. And he is flawed. He has his own sort of misogynistic ideas that he has to resolve. But he proves himself worthy.
QUESTION: What made Wonder Woman entertaining for you to write?
MICHAEL JELENIC: I really enjoyed an opportunity to tell a story that is sort of a romantic comedy mixed with 300. That's what Wonder Woman really is - a very simple sort of love story that's frequently comedic, primarily in the pairing of these two key characters, set against a backdrop of so much violence and action.
QUESTION: Did you have a favorite character?
MICHAEL JELENIC: Steve Trevor's probably my most favorite character to write because he's the comedy relief throughout the film. He doesn't take himself too seriously. You have all this pretentious Greek god stuff happening, and then you give him a line where he sort of disarms that or diffuses it with a joke.
QUESTION: Did the cast add anything to your words?
MICHAEL JELENIC: I think we were incredibly fortunate to get this amazing cast. I thought the lines I'd written were pretty good, but these actors really make them their own. Steve Trevor's lines looked funny on the page, but they are hilarious coming out of Nathan Fillion's mouth. And Keri Russell brings a sense of compassion and depth to her character that goes beyond what was even intended in the script.
QUESTION: Did Lauren Montgomery's direction translate your visions of the script?
MICHAEL JELENIC: Better. Lauren's direction is amazing. I wrote some battle scenes in the script, but the way she fleshed them out is so much better than I could have ever conceived. At the same time, her approach to directing the characters is very strong. I enjoy watching the scenes between Steve and Diana just as much as the battle scenes.
QUESTION: Do you enjoy working in the comics realm?
MICHAEL JELENIC: I enjoy working in the world of comics, but there are definitely some challenges. It's hard to keep every single fan happy with what you do - that's probably the biggest and most daunting challenge. You want to bring your own take to the character, but at the same time, you don't want to betray what people feel are the core ideas of the character. Regardless of what you do, there's going to be someone who says you suck. But if you do a decent enough job, a lot of people will tend to appreciate you putting a different spin on the subject. It's actually a great time to work with comics - but it's like the opposite of cool to work in comics. It's fun to be able to spend your day coming up with stories for men in tights. So it's not cool, but it's fun. (he laughs).
Please visit the film's official website at www.wonderwomanmovie.com
CAST AND CREW
Directed by Lauren Montgomery
Screenplay by Michael Jelenic
Story by Michael Jelenic & Gail Simone
Keri Russell (voice of Wonder Woman)
Nathan Fillion (voice of Col. Steve Trevor)
Alfred Molina (voice of Ares)
Rosario Dawson (voice of Artemis)
Virginia Madsen (voice of Hippolyta)
David McCallum (voice of Zeus)
Marg Helgenberger (voice of Hera)
Oliver Platt (voice of Hades)
Vicki Lewis (voice of Persephone)
Rick Overton (voice of The President)
Jason Miller (voice of Gang Leader / Thraxx)
INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (Director) HERE!
WORLD'S FINEST INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (Director) HERE!
EXPERIENCE THE WONDER INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (Director) HERE!
NEWSARAMA INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (DIRECTOR) HERE!
WIZARD INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (Director) HERE!
GAMERVISION YOUTUBE INTERVIEW INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (Director) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter) HERE!
NEWSARAMA INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter) HERE!
EXPERIENCE THE WONDER INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter) HERE!
CBR INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter) HERE!
WIZARD INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter) HERE!
GAMERVISION YOUTUBE INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH KERI RUSSELL (Wonder Woman) HERE!
SCI FI WIRE INTERVIEW WITH KERI RUSSELL (Wonder Woman) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH NATHAN FILLION (Steve Trevor) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH ROSARIO DAWSON (Artemis) HERE!
UGO VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH ROSARIO DAWSON (Artemis) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH VIRGINIA MADSEN (Hippolyta) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH ALFRED MOLINA (Ares) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH MARG HELGENBERGER & DAVID MCCALLUM (Zeus & Hera) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH VICKI LEWIS (Persephone) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA ROMANO (Casting Director) HERE!
WORLD'S FINEST INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA ROMANO (Casting Director) HERE!
WORLD'S FINEST INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER DRAKE (Composer) HERE!
INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
EXPERIENCE THE WONDER INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
WIZARD INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
GAMERVISION YOUTUBE INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
GEEKSOFDOOM YOUTUBE INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE (Part 1), ) HERE (Part 3), and HERE (Part 4)!
MANIA TRIO INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (DIRECTOR), MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter), and BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
SCIFI WIRE TRIO INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (DIRECTOR), MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter), and BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
KIWIBOX YOUTUBE TRIO INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN MONTGOMERY (DIRECTOR), MICHAEL JELENIC (Screenwriter), and BRUCE TIMM (Producer) HERE!
NYCC PANEL REPORT at NEWSARAMA IS HERE!
NYCC REPORT at ExperienceTheWonder IS HERE!
NYCC REPORT at CBR IS HERE!
SHORT CLIP FROM MOVIE IS HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at AICN is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at NEWSARAMA is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at CBR is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at IGN is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at UGO is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at TOONZONE is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at I09 is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at SCREENRANT is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at COMIC BOOK MOVIE is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at B*TCH MAGAZINE is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at FIREFOX is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at BLAST MAGAZINE is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at THE QUARTER BIN is HERE!
REVIEW OF MOVIE at CRAVE ONLINE is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at THE TRADES is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at SCI FI PULSE is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at MOVIEWEB is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at TV SQUAD is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at MOVIE MANS GUIDE is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at THE BEAT is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at COMIC MIX is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at SUITE 101 is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at CINEMA VIEWFINDER is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at MENDELSON'S MEMOS is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at JUST PRESS PLAY is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at COMMON SENSE MEDIA is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at CINEMAFANTASTIQUE is HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET* at HUFFINGTON POST & FILM THREAT (mostly same) are HERE and HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET & BLU-RAY* at IGN are HERE and HERE!
REVIEW OF *DVD SET & BLU-RAY* at WORLD'S FINEST are HERE and HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at DVD TOWN is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at BIG PICTURE BIG SOUND is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at DVD FUTURE is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at SCI FI MOVIE PAGE is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at MANIA is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at BLU RAY COM is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* (and great screencaps) at HIGH DEF DISC NEWS is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at BATMAN ON FILM is HERE!
REVIEW OF *BLU-RAY* at DVD VERDICT is HERE!
EARLY REVIEW OF TIE-IN NOVEL BY S.D. PERRY & BRITTA DENNISON IS HERE!
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A Sensational Look at Wonder Wonder.
Wonder Wonder as she first appears in full costume.
Princess Diana practices her combat tactics in preparation for becoming Wonder Woman. Keri Russell supplies the voice of Diana/Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman and Ares engage in several battles. Keri Russell is the voice of Wonder Woman, while Alfred Molina plays Ares, the God of War.
Wonder Woman pauses for a moment of reflection and concern before
moving into battle.
Wonder Wonder prepares to take on Ares in battle.
Wonder Woman has a moment of sad reflection, and the voice of Keri Russell echoes the animated sentiment.
Wonder Wonder captures the title character's origin story from the events leading up to her birth (pictured) to her initial adventures in modern-day America.
Queen Hippolyta (voiced by Viriginia Madsen) glances back at her Amazonian subjects - including her daughter, princess Diana (far right).
Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen provides the voice for Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
A prior relationship is revealed in an opening battle between Ares (voiced by Alfred Molina) and Hippolyta (voiced by Virginia Madsen).
Hippolyta, voiced by Academy Award-nominated actress Virginia Madsen, holds her sword to the throat of God of War Ares, voiced by Alfred Molina.
Queen Hippolyta, mother of Princess Diana/Wonder Woman, exhibits her Amazonian strength during the film's opening battle sequence.
Queen Hippolyta preares to fend off one of Ares' villainous minion.
Battle-savvy Persephone rescues her scholarly sister Alexa during battle.
Alexa hides from an intimidating opponent during a battle scene.
Ares brings his battle with Wonder Woman to Washington D.C., and President Elect Obama might just need to consider some renovations before he moves in this January.
Steve Trevor gets his first look at the Amazons.
Steve Trevor is interrogated by Queen Hippolyta and Artemis in a funny moment.
Alfred Molina voices Ares, The God of War.
Ares pauses for a moment to see Cerberus, the three-headed dog
guarding the gates to the Underworld where Hades awaits Ares' visit.
As Hippolyta watches, Ares has his powers restrained by wristbands
melded onto his arms by bolts of lightning courtesy of Zeus.
Oliver Platt provides the voice of Hades.
Zeus issues his commands from the clouds. Zeus is voiced by Navy NCIS star David McCallum.
Hera offers a compassionate compromise from her lofty throne. Hera is voiced by CSI star Marg Helgenberger.
Queen Hippolyta and Artemis prepare for battle with Ares' villainous forces.
Princess Diana and Steve Trevor don't exactly hit it off in their initial meeting.
Artemis (center, voiced by Rosario Dawson) takes the lead during a gathering of Amazonians. Princess Diana, later to be known as Wonder Woman, stands immediately to the right of Artemis.
Wonder Woman gets the upper hand, er, lasso on Ares' henchman Deimos during a thrilling action sequence.
Steve Trevor reacts angrily to Ares' affront to an American icon.
Ares assumes an even more menacing figure in battle as the primary villain. Ares is voiced by Alfred Molina.
Amazonian warrior Persephone prepares for a fight. Actress Vicki Lewis provides the voice of Persephone.
Persephone is one of the key characters in the Amazon's battle with Ares. Actress Vicki Lewis provides the voice of Persephone.
Queen Hippolyta (left) and Artemis (center) don't appreciate Steve Trevor's unrefined humor. Trevor is voiced by Nathan Fillion, while Hippolyta and Artemis are voiced by Virginia Madsen and Rosario Dawson, respectively.
Steve Trevor, as voiced by Nathan Fillion, crash lands after a heated dogfight .
Steve Trevor's first fight of the film is with Princess Diana, the soon-to-become title character.
Artemis, the Amazons lead warrior, prepares for battle. Rosario Dawson supplies the voice of Artemis.
Artemis wields her mighty sword in leading the Amazons against the forces of Ares. Rosario Dawson supplies the voice of Artemis.
Artemis is pinned between two swords in the heat of battle. Rosario Dawson supplies the voice of Artemis.
Early reviews say that Wonder Woman, the newest DC Universe animated original movie, packs an incredible punch with its mix of action and humor.
The Wonder Woman screening at WonderCon on February 27, 2009 will include (from left) director Lauren Montgomery, screenwriter Michael Jelenic, DC Comics Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs Gregory Noveck and producer Bruce Timm, along with Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen.
Wonder Woman director Lauren Montgomery signs autographs at Comic-Con 2008.
Wonder Woman screenwriter Michael Jelenic takes questions during a panel at Comic-Con 2008. (Photo courtesy of Gary Miereanu)
Three-time Emmy Award winner and animation legend Bruce Timm is the producer of Wonder Woman.
Nathan Fillion (pictured with casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano) was a featured panelist at San Diego Comic-Con in 2008, where he discussed his upcoming role as Steve Trevor.
David McCallum records his lines as Zeus.
Alfred Molina provides the voice of Ares.
Actress Vicki Lewis and comics legend Darwyn Cooke pause for a moment during an autograph session at WonderCon 2008. Lewis, who voiced Iris West in Cooke's Justice League: The New Frontier, has now provided the voice for Amazonian warrior Persephone for Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman casting and dialogue director Andrea Romano during the DC Universe films panel at Comic-Con 2008.
Other images from Wonder Woman are below.