Wonder Woman just found her mom.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed yesterday that the upcoming Warner Bros./DC Comics film Wonder Woman has cast Connie Nielsen in the role of Hippolyta, the mother of Wonder Woman and Queen of the Amazons.
Nielsen joins Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Princess Diana, Chris Pine as Captain Steve Trevor, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, and Ewen Bremner. Pine recently confirmed that the movie is set during World War I.
Nielsen, 50, is a Danish actress best known as Lucilla in the 2000 film Gladiator, and has also appeared in the films 3 Days to Kill, The Ice Harvest, Mission to Mars, Soldier, Rushmore, and The Devil's Advocate.
Created in 1941 by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter, Hippolyta first appeared in All-Star Comics (vol.1) #8, the first appearance of Wonder Woman. Hippolyte (as she was originally named) and the Amazons once resided in "Amazonia" in the days of ancient Greece, until they were beguiled and bested by the demi-god Hercules, who had been sent after her by the God of War Ares, now named Mars. She was able to beat him using the girdle, but he seduced her, and tricked her into allowing him to see the girdle, allowing him to steal it. This caused them to lose the favor of their patron goddess, Aphrodite. Eventually she and the other Amazons were forgiven, but had to wear bracelets to remind them of the chains which once bound them. To regain their status, the Amazons were forced to leave the mortal world and relocate to Paradise Island. There they established their own society, free from the evils of man's world. So long as they remained there and Hippolyte retained possession of her magic girdle, the Amazons would be immortal.
In 1987, George Pérez revised Hippolyta's origins in 1987 for the relaunched DC Comics continuity. Hippolyta and the rest of the Themysciran Amazons were first created by a select few of the Olympian gods, which included Artemis, Athena, Hestia, Demeter and Aphrodite. They took the souls of women slain throughout time by the hands of men and sent them to the bottom of the Aegean Sea. Hippolyta was slain 3,200 years ago while carrying a child. The souls then began to form bodies with the clay on the sea bed. Once they reached the surface the clay bodies became living flesh and blood Amazons. The first one to break surface was Hippolyta and because of this, she was given the title as Queen of the new race. The second Amazon to break surface was her sister Antiope, who ruled as a second to Hippolyta in all affairs. Each of the goddesses that created the Amazons blessed them with personalized gifts, including hunting skills (Artemis'), wisdom (Athena's), warm homes (Hestia's), plentiful harvests (Demeter's), and beauty inside and out (Aphrodite's). As a symbol of their leadership titles, the gods gave Hippolyta and Antiope each a Golden Girdle of Gaea which enhanced their strength and abilities significantly. The Amazons eventually founded the city of Themyscira in Anatolia, and became known as fierce warriors of peace in Turkey, Greece and Rome.
The jealous and vengeful god Ares soon tried to discredit their name by having his half-brother demigod Heracles invade the Amazons and demean their standing by stealing their Golden Girdles of Gaea. Once in their stronghold, Heracles and his men drugged the wine the Amazons were drinking and took them prisoner. After the theft of Hippolyta's Golden Girdle and abuse and rape of the Amazons, Hippolyta cried out to Athena to help them escape their bonds. Athena said that she would only aid them on the condition that the Amazons not seek retribution against Heracles and his men as that would be beneath the ideals the Amazons were created to stand for. Hippolyta hastily agreed and the Amazon's bonds were broken and the effects of the drugs they had been given wore off. Once out of their drugged state, the Amazons were filled with hate and revenge. Breaking Hippolyta's oath to Athena, the Amazons began slaughtering their captors but were upset to find that Heracles and his general Theseus had returned to their homelands. After the slaughter Athena reprimanded the Amazons for disobeying her orders. She demanded the Amazons serve penance for their actions. Though Hippolyta agreed to the goddess' wishes, her sister Antiope scoffed at Athena for being angered at them for killing their rapist captors. Antiope then denounced all ties to the Olympian gods and said goodbye to her sister Hippolyta, giving Hippolyta her Golden Girdle of Gaea to replace the one stolen by Heracles.
Hippolyta and her remaining faithful Amazons then went to the sea shore, where the Olympian Gods told them their punishment for going against their ideals. They were to be given immortality so that they would forever safeguard a doorway to the underworld called Doom's Doorway, preventing anyone from entering, and vanquishing any evils that tried to escape. The doorway was located on an isolated island and to guide their way, the god Poseidon cleared a pathway for them across the seas. Once they arrived at the island, the Amazons created a new city and named their new home Themyscira, after their previous fallen city. The Amazons continued to live on the island guarding Doom's Doorway, and paying homage to their gods, for three thousand years.
Queen Hippolyta eventually began to ache for a child of her own. She prayed to her gods her secret wish and they responded, telling her to go to the sea shore and form the figure of a baby with the island's clay, which she did. The original goddesses again united to create a new Amazon for Queen Hippolyta. It was revealed that in her previous life, Hippolyta was a pregnant cavewoman who was killed by her mate, thus her longing was for the child she had been denied. The goddesses used the soul of this unborn child to fall into the clay body of the infant and, just as with the previous Amazons, the clay was changed into flesh and blood. Hippolyta named the child Diana, after a stranger who was washed ashore on the island and helped the Amazons defeat a creature escaping Doom's Doorway with her life. This Diana was later to be revealed as the love interest of Steve Trevor. When she reached adulthood, Princess Diana became the superheroine Wonder Woman. To aid her in her mission, the Olympian gods transformed the Golden Girdle of Gaea that Antiope gave to Hippolyta into the Lasso of Truth.
Nielsen will be the fifth actress to portray Hippolyta in live action, after Charlene Holt in the 1974 Wonder Woman TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby, and Cloris Leachman, Carolyn Jones and Beatrice Straight in the 1975 Wonder Woman television series. The character has also appeared in a number of animated projects, including Superman (1988, voiced by Pat Carroll), Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (voiced by Susan Sullivan), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Tippi Hedren), and the 2009 direct-to-DVD Wonder Woman movie (voiced by Virginia Madsen).
Wonder Woman is expected to be released in theaters on June 23, 2017.