Wonder Woman meets Assassin’s Creed.
After his relatively fun but exceedingly mind-numbing film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed last year, it looks like Justin Kurzel is going back to his more serious roots with his next feature. Kurzel is in the process of prepping to direct Ruin, a thriller set in the post-World War II era. The Tracking Board has announced that Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, is in talks to feature in the project.
Per the Tracking Board, “The film centers on a former Nazi captain who, as way of making up for his crimes, hunts down and kills his former team of SS officers in Germany.” Hollywood is no stranger to Nazi revenge thrillers. There’s one starring Oscar Isaac in the works right now. However, perhaps Kurzel and his team have a bit more to worry about, seeing as their film seems to be set from a Nazi’s viewpoint.
Remember the When Hands Touch controversy? Amma Asante had to personally explain the film’s deepest motivations even before release because “only a few lines and one image” caused plenty of warranted uproar and concern. It is also worth pointing out that When Hands Touch involves a romance between a biracial Jewish girl and a member of Hitler Youth. Meanwhile, Nazi captain will reportedly headline Ruin. Where the “sins of the father” trope would work in Asante’s film, Kurzel will have a lot more to juggle.
World War II is a well-worn subject in film. Its prevalence in fictional storytelling has not wavered and probably will not for years to come. From superhero movies to drama thrillers like Ruin, people like the dichotomy of good and evil that is easily mined from the arena of war. Nazism is simply a touchy subject that filmmakers have to handle sensitively, especially in a climate of Nazi imagery and far-right agendas in the mainstream.
At least Gadot’s potential involvement and the current market for stomping out Nazis is a good early sign when we know so little about the project. Kurzel has had experience in the grey area too, if his aesthetically masterful adaptation of Macbeth is anything to go by. He has explored the bare bones of humanity in his contribution to the Australian anthology film The Turning as well.
Ruin‘s protagonist has not yet been cast. Christian Bale’s name is whispered amongst the crowd, but what merit those whispers have will only be confirmed when negotiations begin. The role that Gadot is up for hasn’t yet been disclosed, but with a name as bankable as hers, it would be wise to have her in at least co-starring capacity. I’m hoping for a nod towards Diana of Themyscira’s comic origins (which would work as a great companion to Wonder Woman 2, due for a late 2019 release). Gadot’s career is on a meteoric rise, having also recently been in talks to star in the Max Landis-penned drama Deeper, opposite Bradley Cooper. Gadot will next be seen in Justice League, out November 17th.