Highlands & Islands

The mystery of Wonder Woman and the Scots soldier

Wonder Woman Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman will hit cinemas in 2017

The opening 10 seconds of the new trailer for next summer's Wonder Woman movie provides a glimpse of an intriguing character - a Scottish soldier, chest puffed out and wearing a kilt and a Glengarry. But who is he?

Released online on Thursday, the trailer has already had more than 4m hits and gives viewers new insights into one of DC Comics' most famous character's first standalone feature film.

Much of the action is set in World War One and shows Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in various scrapes with Steve Trevor, a key figure in the comics and played by Chris Pine in the movie.

But pause the trailer at around eight or nine seconds in to get a better look at a crumpled sepia photograph Gadot is seen holding and viewers will see Spud from Trainspotting, aka Edinburgh-born actor Ewen Bremner.

He is almost unrecognisable at first, dressed in uniform, rifle slung over one shoulder and wearing a kilt and a Glengarry, with a cap badge that looks similar to the Gordon Highlanders' wreath of ivy and a stag's head.

Bremner can also be glimpsed, in glorious colour, in other scenes later in the trailer.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ewen Bremner, middle, with Trainspotting co-star Ewan McGregor and director Danny Boyle on set of Trainspotting 2

We are not allowed to show stills from those scenes in the trailer, and we've asked, but Warner Bros say they are not among images approved for use.

But, according to Andy Mangels, the US-based curator of a Wonder Woman museum who has also written extensively on the superhero and is the writer of writer of Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman, says Bremner is most definitely playing a Scots soldier.

Mangels says the photograph seen in the trailer first popped up in this year's movie Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which Gadot's Wonder Woman also appears.

"In the film, Lex Luthor is in possession of photograph - later stolen by Batman - that shows Wonder Woman in the rubble of a conflict in Belgium, alongside, Trevor and his allies: including what appears to be a Frenchman played by actor Said Taghmoui, a Scotsman played by actor Ewen Bremner and a Native American, perhaps DC Comics character Johnny Cloud, a Navajo fighter."

'Loch Ness'

He adds: "My suspicion is that the film's creators made the choice to surround Wonder Woman - who is new to 'Man's World' at this point in the film, and is used to being in the all-female Amazon society of Themyscira - with a diverse cultural cross-section of men, so that she could understand that men of all different societies could fight together for the common good."

"Throughout its publishing history, DC Comics has consistently used soldier groups of differing backgrounds and cultural origins in its comics."

Mangels also says Scots and Scotland do feature in Wonder Woman and other DC Comics titles.

Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and Chris Pine's Steve Trevor

"Batman has worn kilts before, and the Flash villain Mirror Master and Superman/Supergirl villainess Silver Banshee are Scottish," he says.

"One Wonder Woman supporting character was conceived on the shores of Loch Ness - as shown in Wonder Woman Annual #1, 1988 - when her parents were visiting there: Vanessa Kapatelis, who was Wonder Woman's teenage friend, but later became the villainess, Silver Swan."

Mangels adds: "Scottish writer Grant Morrison's graphic novel Wonder Woman: Earth One came out in April this year."

'Played to perfection'

While Scottish comic fans and cinema-goers will have to wait for more details on Bremner's character, Mangels is confident he will feature in a decent movie.

"I'm actually quite hopeful for the new Wonder Woman film next year," he says.

"Although the Wonder Woman origin was originally set in World War II, transplanting it to World War I takes the story almost a century into our past, and gives Wonder Woman a more difficult war in which to perform her heroics.

"Television's Wonder Woman, played to perfection by Lynda Carter, will always be a lovely paragon of heroism for a simpler time, but Gal Gadot's take on the character is more in keeping with modern conflicted characters who have to question their actions."

Mangels adds: "My sincere hope is that the production team will recognise the importance of keeping some element of hope, love, and empowerment in the character of Wonder Woman.

"After all, she has not remained the world's most recognizable female character solely due to her fighting prowess. She inspires people, and I hope the film will allow for that."

Image copyright Warner Bros
Image caption Mangels says he has high hopes for next year's feature film

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