Throughout all of the pre-release coverage of “Wonder Woman,” there hasn’t been a whole lot of attention paid to the film’s villains. It’s known that Ares, the God of War, plays a major part in the film, but the circumstances around his appearance remain mostly mysterious. It’s also been known that Elena Anaya (“The Skin I Live In”) will play a villain, but it was just recently confirmed which one she’ll play: classic DC Comics villain Doctor Poison.
Doctor Poison is one of the oldest Wonder Woman villains, having first appeared in 1942’s “Sensation Comics” #2, mere months after Wonder Woman’s debut. Like Wonder Woman, the character was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. Also known as Princess Maru, the character specializes in toxins (as the name implies), and was originally presented to readers as a presumably male character, and was later revealed to be a woman.
Anaya’s Doctor Poison — referred to as Maru — was seen in the footage shown to press including CBR last week in London, with Maru working as the masked chief scientist to Danny Huston’s General Ludendorff, working for the German army in World War I to create a serum that gives Ludendorff super-strength. At the presentation, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins discussed the significance of Maru to the film, and the importance of having a female villain.
“It was important that it not be the evil done by any gender or any person,” Jenkins told reporters. “It was about damage and darkness, and what creates evil. In her case, she’s an interesting character, because we don’t get super-into her backstory, but we know her backstory, which is, she’s a woman who has had all kind of damage in her life, and now she delights — and I’ve known people like this — in bringing that to other people’s lives. ‘Oh, now you see what I know. You can’t take it.’ There is that way of being a damaged and dark person, where you’re waiting for other people to face that wrath, too.”
Jenkins also discussed the nature of Ludendorff and Maru’s villainous partnership.
“She’s a character who’s focused in on developing all kinds of toxic weapons and tools,” Jenkins said. “I liked that they have two separate goals, but together they have a very bad intention, which is how I think real villains work.”
Doctor Poison has been seen recently in DC Comics’ current “Wonder Woman” series written by Greg Rucka, reinterpreted as a Japanese soldier named Colonel Marina Maru.
Directed by Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot in the title role, “Wonder Woman” is scheduled for release on June 2.
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