Earlier today, James Gunn finally gave formal announcement on the DCU’s newly revamped lineup of now-confirmed projects. Among them is one that fans have been especially anxious to hear about, though it may not be quite what was expected. Per a report from Comicbook, Gunn revealed a new series titled Paradise Lost, which essentially will be a Themyscira-focused “Wonder Woman prequel”. While no release date window was given, the series will premiere on HBO Max alongside other planned DC projects.
The premise of Paradise Lost will take place well before the events of Patty Jenkins’ debut film Wonder Woman (2017), and thus will not include Gal Gadot who formerly played the Amazonian heroine, or Diana Prince for that matter. Instead, the series will focus on Themyscira from more of a historical and mythological standpoint, following the many generations of Amazonians who built and shaped the mystical island archipelago, and all of the adventures, drama and politics involved within. In his announcement, Gunn likened the framework of the series to HBO’s landmark fantasy epic Game of Thrones, where the audience will get to see the true origins and inner workings of Wonder Woman’s homeland.
While it’s not officially confirmed whether or not Patty Jenkins will be involved in this series in any way, it’s probably safe to say that she won’t be after the fallout that surrounded the axing of the third Wonder Woman film and her less than amicable split from Warner Bros.
Among the many new projects that Gunn has lined up for the DCU going forward, it’s safe to say that with good casting, writing, and overall execution, Paradise Lost is likely to be a big standout. This is essentially to be the first, true, big-budget experiment of an origin series that hard focuses on the home world of a mythological or otherworldly comic superhero. There were only a couple other attempts at an origin story of Wonder Woman and/or the Amazons.
One included a concept developed by CW Network appropriately titled Amazon, which would have essentially been Diana Prince’s version of Smallville, which was a relatively popular Superman origin series back in the early 2000s. That project never came to fruition, and the other attempt was actually to be a collaboration between Patty Jenkins and Zack Snyder that would have also focused on Themyscira before Diana Prince. However, that idea also collapsed due to poor timing for both Snyder and Jenkins, as Snyder had then formally left DC and Jenkins’ sequel flick Wonder Woman 1984 was not well-received.
With such poor luck, it seemed like an origin story for Wonder Woman just wasn’t meant to be, but Gunn has now resurrected it and now has the best chance of giving the project the justice it deserves. Just as Gunn compared it conceptually to Game of Thrones, audiences will be thoroughly immersed into the world of Themyscira, and all of that which built and serves it. While Wonder Woman forever stands as the heroic figurehead of the Amazons and Themyscira, she was the only lens that movie audiences have been able to see through as far as her history and the world she grew up in. In hindsight, it was a very brief and very limited look at a fascinating world, and now Gunn has the chance to widen that lens all the way and deliver a one-of-a-kind series the DCU deserves.