If you saw Wonder Woman over the weekend, then you’ll know that one of the highlights of the movie is the No Man’s Land scene, where Wonder Woman makes her big debut. You know, the one pretty much everyone thinks is the greatest moment in the film? Well, here’s an insane twist: It almost never got made at all.
The No Man’s Land scene marks the first time we actually see Diana in her “superhero costume” in her movie, removing her cloak and outfit from London to reveal her armor, as she goes above the trenches and into the bleak heart of World War I in order to liberate a small French village. It’s immensely powerful, not because it’s also the first time we see Diana really get to kick some major ass in the film, but because it’s the moment she truly commits to herself as the hero that will be known as Wonder Woman—the person who can defeat Ares, end the war, and help those around her with the compassion and strength she holds deep in her heart.
And yet, somehow, someone at Warner Bros. thought at one point it wasn’t worth being part of Wonder Woman’s runtime. Speaking to Fandango about the film, director Patty Jenkins revealed that when she first presented the script, the scene did not go down well at all with her colleagues at Warner Bros., who were seemingly baffled at the thought of a superhero fighting to liberate innocent people swept up in tragedy rather than punching the big villain in the face from the get-go:
It’s my favorite scene in the movie and it’s the most important scene in the movie. It’s also the scene that made the least sense to other people going in, which is why it’s a wonderful victory for me.
I think that in superhero movies, they fight other people, they fight villains. So when I started to really hunker in on the significance of No Man’s Land, there were a couple people who were deeply confused, wondering, like, ‘Well, what is she going to do? How many bullets can she fight?’ And I kept saying, ‘It’s not about that. This is a different scene than that. This is a scene about her becoming Wonder Woman.’
Jenkins personally fought tooth and nail to keep the scene in the film, even going so far as to personally storyboard the sequence so she could show people that the scene absolutely crucial to the film as a whole and to Diana as a character:
It’s about her. We’re not angry at the Germans. We don’t care about the Germans and neither does she. This is what she needs to do to get across [No Man’s Land], and so it’s about her.
Having seen the movie, we can’t help but agree. Wonder Woman is pretty great overall, but with that moment in a muddy field in France, it becomes something truly wonderful. Thank Hera Jenkins fought for it.