Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Amazon's of Themyscria

Queen Hippolyta of Themyscria

Hippolyta and the Amazons of Themyscria were created by the Olympian gods from the souls of women slain by men. Hippolyta was first born and thus she became Queen of the new race. The second Amazon to break surface was her sister Antiope and she ruled as a second to Hippolyta in all affairs. Each of the goddesses that created the Amazons blessed them with personalized gifts: hunting skills (Artemis'), wisdom (Athena's), warm homes (Hestia's), plentiful harvests (Demeter's), and beauty inside and out (Aphrodite's). As a symbol of their leadership titles, the gods gave Hippolyta and Antiope each a Golden Girdle of Gaea which enhanced their strength and abilities significantly. The Amazons eventually founded the city of Themyscira in Anatolia and became known as fierce warriors of peace in Turkey, Greece and Rome.

Ares, jealous of the new race, bade his brother Hercules to steal Hippolyta's golden girdle. He and a troup of men took Themyscria, bound Hippolyta, and raped many of the Amazons. Hippolyta begged Athena for help and she agreed on the condition that no male be harmed. She agreed but Antiope and a contingent of Amazons killed many of the men. They abandoned the Olympian deities and founded the Bana-Mighdall tribe.

As penance for the death of the men, Hippolyta's amazons were tasked with protecting the gateway to the underworld. During this time Hippolyta begged the gods for a child and the goddesses gave life to the baby that would be Diana. As the only child on the island the Amazon sorceress Magala created a duplicate of the princess to serve as a playmate. This duplicate would become the heroine Donna Troy. Donna was abducted by one of Hippolyta's enemies and all would forget her existence until many years later when Donna was properly restored to New Earth.

Hippolyta would assume her daughter's role of Wonder Woman during a time that Diana "died" and became the Goddess of Truth. Hippolyta took the role as penance for causing the death of another amazon and unintentionally causing her daughter's death as well. During this time Hippolyta was transported back intime to the 1940's and as Wonder Woman became part of the Justice Society of America.

Eventually Diana gave up her godhood and returned to her role as Wonder Woman.  Still clinging to her newfound sense of freedom, Hippolyta did not wish to relinquish her title as Wonder Woman (even though she admitted her daughter looked "better in a bathing suit" than she did), leaving two different Wonder Women acting in the same role at the same time. Diana was often unhappy with Hippolyta's continued role as Wonder Woman as she felt Hippolyta was ignoring her true duties as ruler of Themyscira, thus further inciting the antagonism between mother and daughter.

Around this time Hippolyta discovered that the hero Donna Troy was actually a mirror image of her daughter Diana, brought to life through Themyscirian sorceries. Though Hippolyta had met Donna on previous adventures, when the two women met again after learning this fact, Hippolyta accepted Donna as a second daughter and held a coronation on the island, proclaiming Donna to be the second Amazon princess and an heir to the Themyscirian throne.

Hippolyta herself would be killed during Imperiex's attack on Earth, only to be resurrect by the amazon's enemy Circe for a diabolical plan.

Wonder Woman Costume News

When the first photos of Wonder Woman star Adrianne Palicki emerged from the pilot’s set a couple of weeks ago, it seemed that NBC had reacted to the outcry over the initial publicity still and swapped the shiny vinyl costume for, well, something far less shiny.

But that isn’t what happened at all. Oh, the network heard the criticism; it just didn’t respond to it. Instead, it kept to the plan, which apparently is for Wonder Woman to wear three costumes: the shiny one that virtually everyone hates, the one we saw in the set pics, and one that will be … slightly more familiar.

“There was an initial outcry about the long pants – you know, skintight pants as opposed to those little shorts [worn by Lynda Carter in the original TV series],” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt tells TVLine. “But the shorts were always planned. They are actually used in the final confrontation when she beats Veronica Cale (played by Elizabeth Hurley). [...] We haven’t made any changes from what was planned. But it’s always good to hear the feedback. I’d rather have people really passionately engaged in conversation, even if they hate something, than be kind of bored.”

So if Wonder Woman makes it to NBC’s fall schedule — “I’ve been doing this long enough to know that nothing is a safe bet,” Greenblatt concedes — fans may end up seeing a version of those star-spangled shorts after all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blake Lively talks Green Lantern at Wondercon 2011

Flushed from the excitement of an overwhelmingly successful WonderCon movie footage debut, "Green Lantern" star Blake Lively sat down to chat about her character Carol Ferris and the important role she plays in Hal Jordan's (Ryan Reynolds) life. We only see Ferris for a brief flash in the four minutes of footage screened for gathered con attendees, but there's a lot of character to develop -- not just for this story, but for the larger mythology of the DC Comics ring-weilding superhero, as Lively is well aware.

"[Carol] has this relationship with Hal. They're each other's first love, they've known each other since childhood, she witnessed his father's death with him," she said. "So there is that history."

It's more than just history, though. In the comics, Carol eventually clashed with Green Lantern as the super powered Star Sapphire, a fact that echoes through the character written for Lively.  "Keeping in mind the fact that she becomes a villain, you have to have those kinds of teeth apparent in the beginning so that it makes sense that her arc goes there. There were a lot of different levels to play with her, and I really appreciated not just being the damsel-in-distress."

Lively's chemistry with Reynolds is what nailed her the role, but it was her performance as the "pain-riddled, drug-addicted, drug mule mother from Boston" in "The Town" that opened the door. "I think that they saw from my role in 'The Town' that I was able to be dark and angry, and be a villain."

After that, it was simply a matter of putting the two actors in a room together and seeing if they clicked. They worked so well together, Lively only tested once with Reynolds, "to see if we could spar against each other and have that rivalry and tension, but also that kindness and caring."

Unfortunately for those hoping to see Star Sapphire crowned, it seems that Carol's darker underpinnings are only foreshadowed in "Green Lantern."

"If this movie is successful and we do a few more films, I'm pretty confident that Star Sapphire would show up," Lively said. "All the conversations are very guarded and protected, even with [the actors] because nobody wants to commit to anything, but I can't see Star Sapphire not showing up if we made more films."
Purple alter-ego or no, Lively was completely on board with honoring the source material for her character in every way possible. "There was a question [of whether] my hair was going to be blonde or brown. To me, it was never a question."

"Carol Ferris was a brunette and she had to be a brunette," she said firmly.

"When a story has been developing for so long -- this is one of the longest [running] comic books of all time -- there's such history there and there's a lot of responsibility to do it right and to do justice to these characters that people love so much."

Even if Lively wasn't familiar with the comic when she came to the production, she understands something about the importance of delivering a translation that appeals to an established group of fans. "I'm such a fan of 'Harry Potter,'" she said, laughing. "It's not healthy."

"When the books were over, I thought I may as well end my life. And now that the movies are ending, I don't know how I'm going to continue on. I sometimes fantasize about another J.K. Rowling [who] could create another character like Harry Potter."

Understanding fandom is important if you're going to be in a movie like "Green Lantern," a fact Lively seems to fully understand and appreciate. "To do something that brings people happiness and excitement, you only feed off of that energy."