The ‘Wonder Woman’ Screenwriter Says His Story Is a Superhero Twist on ‘The Little Mermaid’
It’s funny how things tend to come in pairs. Just a few minutes after watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Titus Burgess perform a song from Disney’s Broadway adaptation of The Little Mermaid as part of this weekend’s Vulture Festival, I happened to read an interview with the Wonder Woman screenwriter who explains how his film was influenced by the Hans Christian Andersen classic. At this rate, I’ll be in the bathtub and humming along to “Under the Sea” by the time the sun goes down.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly (via Heroic Hollywood), Wonder Woman screenwriter Allan Heinberg explained how he found a somewhat literal inspiration for Diana Prince’s, uh, fish-out-of-water story. Get it? Fish out of water? The Little Mermaid? Bah, just read Heinberg’s thoughts:
The story as I see it is The Little Mermaid, specifically Disney’s incarnation. This is a woman who has been raised in a very protective, sheltered life, she’s curious about what life is like outside and she wants to have her own experience. She wants to be where the people are.
That makes sense. While The Little Mermaid may be a more obvious fit for, say, Aquaman, there are elements of the story that will translate pretty well for Patty Jenkins’ film. From the royalty element to the magical powers to the animosity towards the human world, The Little Mermaid could serve as the foundation for plenty of superhero movies these days. I’m glad to hear Heinberg refer to the Disney movie specifically, though. The whole, “stab the prince in the heart to regain your powers” element in Andersen’s original story is a bit more Zack Snyder than I’d like.
For comparison, here’s the Wonder Woman plot synopsis:
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.