Why Wonder Woman is Set During World War I
Comicbook.com was one of a handful of journalists invited to both the set and London edit bay of [...]
Comicbook.com was one of a handful of journalists invited to both the set and London edit bay of Wonder Woman, where DC Films creators and technicians were all hard at work launching the comic book movie genre's most prominent female superhero onto the big screen.
There were a lot of things we learned about this new DC Extended Unvierse version of Wonder Woman and her backstory - from her new origin story, to new reveals about the films' villains. However, one of the most curious things about Wonder Woman has been its chosen setting(s); taking us back to early 20th century Europe wasn't a move that the filmmakers had to make (given how BvS introduces the character), but for producer Chuck Roven and director Patty Jenkins, it was a setting that held too much potential to ignore.
For both Roven and Jenkinks, World War I was pivotal in all the right ways for their film. As Roven puts it:
"Man does have an ability to do horrible things to themselves... What was unique about World War I, it was the first time that war was fought from a distance. The idea of hand to hand combat - that thing of a noble fight, of two armies squaring off against each other and then charging against each other and fighting, and the best men would be left standing - was kind of forgotten and replaced by this war of a distance... We can drop bombs from the air, so we don't actually have to see the casualties. We just felt that that was a really important time period, because it started then with that war."
Jenkins later added during our edit bay visit that it was a unique time period for both women and warfare, as the rules of society were vastly different from even the (still flawed) society we have today:
"...They had decided to do WWI, and I was like 'Woah, let me think about that. And then I almost very quickly loved it, because we 've seen World War II so much; there were a lot of misunderstandings at play in WWI - it wasn't clear what was going on. And that's great for her journey."
As for the war aspect, Jenkins claimed that the historical setting wasn't nearly as constraining as some may think, as WWI isn't nearly as chronicled and storied as WWII in our culture, and the confusion of that time period left more room for a superhero fantasy story to take hold:
It was the first mechanized war; mankind was changing their belief system of what they were willing to do and what they weren't; the big and most interesting thing about WWI was how there'd been Calvary, and that was what you were proud of... now you're just shooting sh*t up, you don't know who you're killing, you don't know what's going on..."
The "realism" vs. comic book fantasy of a major war is something that was problematic for Marvel's superhero period piece origin story, Captain America: The First Avenger (too much fantasy, not enough warfare history). According to Jenkins, she kept her eye on the big picture, instead of the getting bogged down in details.
"The truth is with any of these superhero stories... It's not about WWI: it's about a... superhero/Amazon becoming a god, coming to man's world and viewing mankind. And so this war ended up being great - and then it was really fun to apply - to a time period nobody knows - the same balance that you do in a superhero movie... because that was my obsession, was tone.
Like, coming in, I was like, 'Okay, we have to be so careful it doesn't look like a BBC documentary, and so it doesn't look silly that somebody has a superhero costume on. We have to hit exactly that pocket... you gotta hit that little pocket of comic superhero - and then you bring it into that comic version of that period of time... and so it was fun in that way to do it about period of time that people don't know... and when the two things [history and comic book fantasy] finally collide, it's going to be great."
Having seen the footage of Wonder Woman leaping into WWI battle ourselves, we can tell you: It is truly great when the history and fantasy collide in this film.
Are you excited for Wonder Woman to hit theaters? It's currently ranked #8 on our Anticipation Rankings below, so be sure to vote and help it rise to the top!
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner and Saïd Taghmaoui. Patty Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns, story by Zack Snyder and Allan Heinberg, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.
The film is produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Rebecca Roven, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, Wonder Woman.
The film will be released on June 2, 2017.
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