WONDER WOMAN First Look: Where Is Ares?

Some evidence and speculation regarding WONDER WOMAN’s big bad.

Wonder Woman won’t be a fully developed superhero when we meet her in her first feature film this summer. Instead, director Patty Jenkins will take some time introducing us to her as a child and exploring the mythology of her home Themyscira, an island created by Zeus to house warriors dedicated to taking out Ares, the God of War.

While the Amazons are quite strong, Diana has powers her peers do not possess, and after meeting Steve Trevor, a soldier who tells her of a great war being waged among men, she takes it upon herself to finish Ares once and for all, stealing the Godkiller, the only sword capable of taking him down, and leaving Themyscira for the first time in her life. Her plan is simple: go where the fighting is the most horrible, and Ares will be there.

But Ares’ actual location is a mystery. Some have speculated that Ares will be played by David Thewlis. We learned, however, that Thewlis will play Sir Patrick Morgan, a member of the War Council for the Allied Forces. As far as we know, he’s one of the good guys.

On the other hand, we got to see a scene focused on the film’s other villain, Danny Huston’s General Erich Ludendorff and his masked sidekick, Doctor Maru (Elena Anaya). These two figures drive the film’s immediate plot as their secret development of a powerful gas weapon is why Steve Trevor needs to get back to London so urgently and Wonder Woman gets in the game.

Ludendorff is a bad enough guy all by himself. We witness him shoot a subordinate in the face just to make a point to the rest of his soldiers. And, of course, he wants to create a gas that will wipe out everyone. But there appears to be more to him than just evil. At one point, Doctor Maru gives him a dose of gas that strengthens him to the point where he shatters his pistol absentmindedly. A transformative shimmer runs across his face as the drug takes effect.

All this seems to indicate that Huston’s Ludendorff is actually a weakened Ares in disguise, waiting to restore his power before emerging. When asked about this possibility, however, Jenkins was cagey: “This whole thing is interesting to me, because I don’t think we set out to be to be super mysterious about who the villain is. But I think it’s kind of funny that it’s turned into what it’s turned into. So now I don’t want to comment about it.”

This could all be misdirection, of course. Ludendorff could just be an ambitious pawn in Ares’ game, leaving a David Thewlis reveal still on the table. We do know somebody’s going to end up being Ares, as the revealed character has already been seen in toy form.