Connie Nielsen, the statuesque 50-year-old actress best known for turn-of-the-century films like “Rushmore,” “One Hour Photo” and most famously, “Gladiator,” has been cast in a key role in the currently-filming “Wonder Woman.”
The Danish beauty will play Hippolyta, Princess Diana’s mother and the queen of the Amazons. She joins an all-star cast that already includes Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston and Gal Gadot as the woman in red, white and blue.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nielsen is the latest to join the film currently shooting in Italy and the UK; directed by “Monster” filmmaker Patty Jenkins, the flick has a planned release date of June 23, 2017.
Boasting 3000 years of combat experience, in the “Wonder Woman” comics Hippolyta is both ageless and immortal and determined to help her daughter find greatness. The role was previously played by Cloris Leachman in the pilot for the Lynda Carter TV series, and was voiced by Tippi Hedren in an episode of “Batman: Brave and the Bold.” A key component of Wonder Woman’s origin story, Nielsen seems like spot-on casting for the Amazonian queen.
Although once an in-demand film actress, in the years since the back-to-back release of “The Hunted” with Benicio del Toro and “Basic” with John Travolta, Nielsen has largely stuck with television. From a 2006 recurring role on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” to the 2011-2012 Kelsey Grammer series “Boss” to “The Following” and a handful of “The Good Wife” episodes, Nielsen has only flirted with smaller indies and the Kevin Costner vehicle “3 Days to Kill.” With “Wonder Woman” marking a return to the blockbuster realm that made her name, it will be interesting to see how the film — now reportedly set during World War 1, according to Pine — continues to come together.