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About The Production

Power, grace, wisdom and wonder: inspiring qualities intrinsic to one of the greatest Super Heroes of all time, known the world over as Wonder Woman. A revered and enduring DC archetype and a global symbol of strength and equality for more than 75 years-how and when did she come to be, and why did mankind's welfare become so important to her?

Director Patty Jenkins' larger-than-life hero's journey "Wonder Woman" tells the long-awaited origin story of Diana, the only child of Themyscira, a secret island gifted to her people from the king of the gods himself, Zeus. Hailing from the world of Amazons, Diana has been preparing for combat her whole life. But to become a true warrior, she will need to carry the courage of her convictions-and an arsenal like no other-onto the most harrowing battlefield the world has ever known.

"The time is absolutely right to bring Wonder Woman to movie audiences," says Jenkins. "Fans have been waiting a long time for this, but I believe people outside the fandom are ready for a Wonder Woman movie, too. Superheroes have played a role in many people's lives; it's that fantasy of 'What would it be like if I was that powerful and that great, and I could go on that exciting journey and do heroic things?' I'm no different. I was seven years old when I first read Superman, and it rocked my world because I felt like Superman. The character captured exactly what I believed in then and still do: that there is a part of every human being that wishes they could change the world for the better."

Then came Wonder Woman. "I watched the TV show, and she was everything a girl could aspire to be: strong and kind, exciting and stylish, powerful and effective, and just as fierce as the boys. She's a badass, and at the same time she stands for love, forgiveness and benevolence in a complicated world. I feel so honored to be making a movie about a Super Hero who stands for such important values."

The film's screenwriter, Allan Heinberg, wrote the Wonder Woman comic for DC in 2006 and 2007 and was thrilled to be part of the film. He states, "Wonder Woman has been my all-time favorite Super Hero since I was a first-grader watching 'Super Friends' on Saturday mornings in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To have had any part at all in bringing her story to the screen-and to have done so alongside a creative team that includes Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns-is a lifelong dream come true."

Much like her director, "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot says, "What attracted me so much to this character is that she is so many different things, and they live within her in such a beautiful way. And because this is the first time we're telling the story of this icon on film, Patty and I had many creative conversations about her. She's the greatest warrior in the comics, but she can also be vulnerable, sensitive, confident, and confused...everything, all at once. And she never hides her intelligence or her emotions."

Though creator William Moulton Marston first introduced Wonder Woman to readers in the midst of World War II, the film is set in 1918, at the tail end of the First World War. Charles Roven explains the filmmakers' thinking behind the time shift, noting, "Juxtaposing this commanding female character who hails from a race of equally strong independent women with the early days of the suffragette movement was really interesting.

"Secondly," he continues, "from a visual perspective, the subtleties of the era better convey the true horrors of modern war. It was the first war where fighting went from close range in hand-to-hand combat, or if you shot somebody you had to be relatively close and face your adversary, to being fought from a distance. You could bomb some place without even knowing what your foe looked like, or who it is that you might be killing. It actually became easier to kill. We wanted that new dynamic of war to be fresh for our character, Wonder Woman, because she is used to warriors being people you looked up to, and now she's looking at a war where there's no such thing as a hero, really, because you can't be a hero if you don't know who you're fighting."

And that is something Wonder Woman struggles to comprehend. Producer Zack Snyder relates, "There's a purity to Wonder Woman that I love. She doesn't have a broken past, she's not seeking revenge on the people who wronged her and she isn't coming from a dark place. She had an idyllic childhood and was taught to value life. She can be a hero purely from a place of wanting to do what's right in the world, which is really cool, and I think both Patty and Gal found the perfect way to convey that in the movie."

Producer Deborah Snyder felt that Jenkins completely shared that vision for the film, but, more importantly, had an unparalleled passion for the character. "Patty's excitement followed her all through shooting," Snyder recalls. "She looked up to the character, and she felt a great responsibility, as did the rest of the team, to make sure she brought Wonder Woman to the screen in the most honest way possible. This is a figure who came before us and will outlast us, who fights for freedom and justice but also believes in love. I think that makes her enormously compelling."

When a man-the first one Diana has ever seen-comes to shore, he opens her eyes to the larger world outside of her sheltered island, an undertaking he begins quite by accident, by crashing off Themyscira's shores. Producer Richard Suckle notes, "She saves his life and, in turn, it's Steve Trevor who teaches Diana about man's world. They're a great couple in the canon, but I really love the way they are in this film. There is chemistry, and the movie does allow for that to play out within this huge action adventure, and without a damsel or a dude in distress. They need each other, they learn from each other, and they're equals."

Jenkins adds, "From the moment they meet, there is a spark, and the way their love story unfolds is captivating and unique, especially for this kind of movie and for the time in which it's set."

Chris Pine, who plays Captain Steve Trevor, enjoyed the parity between them, and appreciated what Steve is able to learn from Diana as well. "I felt part of something very special, making this film, which I think is much more than a superhero movie. It's using the global medium of film and this bold manner of storytelling to depict the actions of this very powerful woman in a violent, male-driven world. She shows my character-who has been a spy, who has seen evil up close and been fully immersed in the morally gray, toxic universe of war-that there is still room for idealism and for an earnest desire to do right by others. It's a story that resonates and that's very a propos to today."

"Every superhero has his or her strong points," Jenkins contends, "but I think the greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good and kind and loving she is. Yet none of that negates her power; it enhances it!"

"If no one else will defend the world, then I must!"

-Diana of Themyscira

"When we first meet Diana in the story, she's a curious little girl who's very courageous but also sassy and a little bit naughty," Gadot smiles. "She admires the Amazon warriors she sees all around her, and she wants to be like them, to fight. However, Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, is very protective of her young daughter, and does not allow her to train. But Diana has a spark in her, and a fire in her eyes. It's clear that she will get her way, she will get what she wants, somehow."

Newcomer Lilly Aspell plays the eight-year-old Diana, and Emily Carey plays her at age 12, before Gadot takes over the role. "Both girls did a fantastic job portraying a younger Diana," Gadot says, "giving the audience insight into the determination she has from the very beginning, which I think is so helpful to understanding the woman she becomes."

But it's Gadot, Jenkins attests, who fulfills the image of the Wonder Woman the world has been waiting for, inside and out. "Gal is literally the nicest, most beautiful, most dedicated individual you'll ever meet. All she wanted out of this whole process was to do justice to the character. She genuinely wanted to embody the Diana everyone expects."

And it wasn't always easy, thanks to cold weather, extensive training, heavy action and the fact that Gadot appears in nearly every scene. "When times would get rough on the shoot, it was Gal we looked to," Jenkins states. "She has such inner strength, such an iron temperament, that she could work through anything and always keep an upbeat attitude. She's a pretty amazing person."

Gadot credits her director with keeping her spirits high. "I am so lucky that Patty was directing me on this movie," she says. "She is so funny and warm, such a brilliant and talented person, and her vision and her passion were completely in line with mine. I remember the first time we sat together, we talked about the film but we also talked about life, our families...everything was so similar. To be able to work with someone you agree with creatively about almost everything is special. And even if our ideas conflicted, we would have a fair debate and I think we not only evolved from the discussion, but the result was that we got the best we could out of the scene. I'm grateful for her guidance and her friendship."

The spirited and determined Diana instinctively knows her place is among the many warriors in her midst, and is not of a mind to be swayed-proving she is, indeed, her mother's daughter. Hippolyta did not become queen through inheritance but through valor.

Connie Nielsen, who plays the most regal of all the Amazons, affirms, "Hippolyta is very brave. Justice and truth guide her belief system completely. And she is raising her daughter to behave the same way."

Nevertheless, there is one truth Hippolyta is at first reluctant to accept: that Diana is destined to be a great warrior. She does not want Diana to fight. She knows what it really means to go to war, so of course she doesn't want that for her daughter. But her daughter wants to be like her mom and, in Diana's case, even more so like her aunt, General Antiope, the greatest Amazon warrior of them all. To make matters worse, Antiope openly questions her sister's refusal to allow her to train Diana in the art of combat. She begins secretly training her niece.

Robin Wright takes on the role of the one Amazon willing to go against her queen. "Antiope's motives are practical and pure," Wright argues. "She wants to adhere to the law laid down by her sister, to do as her queen commands. But she's also a realist, and because she has a sixth sense that war is coming, she wants to make sure Diana is fully prepared."

Regardless of the sincerity of Hippolyta's maternal love, there is something hypocritical in the silencing of her sister. "Hippolyta knows that silence equals oppression," Wright attests. "Antiope sees her obsessive protection of her daughter as understandable but myopic. And Antiope, unlike her sister, recognizes and respects the power within Diana that is aching to be acknowledged."

"The Amazons have seen a lot of loss, a lot of pain, all of it due to war. Hippolyta remembers how they were betrayed, despite their enormous service to the world, because they were feared by men," Nielsen says in defense of her character. "She knows that where there is one man there are more, so she is worried for the safety of the entire colony of Amazons, including her daughter."

Gadot quickly bonded with her Amazon relations. "We had a natural way of getting into our characters and immediately felt comfortable around each other," she says. "They both share a number of traits with the women they play, Connie being very knowledgeable, confident, charismatic like Hippolyta, and Robin being vivacious, very easygoing, and so good with the youngsters on set, because she's young at heart. And of course Antiope is the one the little Diana turns to as a mentor."

Antiope does train her niece in secret, until they are caught in the act. When a furious Hippolyta confronts her, Antiope defiantly justifies her actions, even evoking the name that Hippolyta fears most of all: Ares. Antiope is convinced it is only a matter of time till the god of war returns, and Hippolyta, unable to argue further, at last concedes.

"Can you ask for a better villain?" asks Deborah Snyder. "He's mythic and complex, a name we all know and who naturally instills fear in anyone who understands the role of the Greek gods."

But it is not Ares who breaches the Amazons' serenity. That intrusion comes instead from American military pilot Captain Steve Trevor, the man fated to take Diana away from the safety of the island and the watchful eye of her mother.

Commenting on the film's take on the well-known character, Chris Pine observes, "He's a classic kind of early 20th-century depiction of masculinity. He's rough and roguish. He's got a sense of humor about himself, and is realistic without being righteous, romantic without being saccharine. He's earnest about his mission and wants to do right by those he serves, but he doesn't have to please everyone. He's a great maverick."

Coming to grips with the fact that he's landed in the middle of an island of strong warrior women, Steve is respectful of them amidst his general confusion about them. And despite his protestations, he reveals his status as a spy and outlines his mission in great detail to the Amazon council, thanks to the Lasso of Hestia or, as it's more commonly known, the Lasso of Truth.

Once aware of the war raging in the outside world, Diana insists the Amazons take up arms against this great evil, for it can only be Ares' doing. "But when the idealistic Diana realizes her mother doesn't want to do anything about it, she is surprised and shocked," says Gadot.

Diana had been raised on the story of Ares, how the god of war had corrupted men, how it was the responsibility of the Amazons to destroy him and everything he stands for, that it is their mission to bring peace and love to mankind. For Amazons, she will later tell Steve, are the bridge to the greater understanding between all men.

"Queen Hippolyta has already taken this journey," Jenkins explains. "History has taught her that mankind may not be worth saving, or at least not worth dying for. But Diana is still young; she has that rectitude of youth where you really think that what you believe in is something purer and more incredible than your parents ever knew."

In addition, Gadot relates, "Diana has this urge to help, to fulfill the Amazons' destiny in a proactive way. When Steve arrives on the island and reveals what's happening in the world, it's a huge catalyst. She can't stand aside while millions of innocent lives are lost."

She will go. She must go. She can make a difference, of that she is certain.

Such wide-eyed optimism is wholly unfamiliar to Steve. "The war has stripped him of any of that," Pine asserts. "He's a jaded realist who has seen the absolute nadir of morality that human beings can have, such as the need to kill needlessly, often mercilessly. And here is this woman with her wonderful hope in what humankind could be, and he just cannot relate."

Zack Snyder says Steve's critical perspective of Diana is important to the story "because we need to be able to look at Wonder Woman through the eyes of the audience. In a way, Steve represents the status quo, and he has to be changed by Wonder Woman just as, hopefully, we will be. He has to begin to see the world through her eyes."

"What Diana brings to Steve Trevor-to this man who has seen the worst of the world-is that there's still room for idealism," says Pine. "That no matter how ugly the world that we live in is, no matter how much desolation we encounter, there is still hope that in the best parts of ourselves we will protect and do right by one another. That's what we should hold onto, and that's what she represents."

Diana is equally affected by Steve. Gadot notes, "She's very curious about who he is, and even more so about the world he comes from. When she first gets to London, she's a fish out of water, overwhelmed by all that she sees. I think she expected to see something that is more similar to Themyscira, so she must therefore rely on Steve to help her navigate this new world."

Gadot also felt a bit of a parallel between the storyline and her own journey. "I felt very comfortable working with Chris," she says fondly. "That worked to my benefit because Chris has so much experience, but this was my first lead role ever. There he was guiding me through London as Steve Trevor, but also guiding me through this experience in such a nice way. He is very much a leading man-talented and smart, and totally hilarious. I'm not sure people know how funny he is; we ruined so many takes because he made me laugh."

Pine says he enjoyed the collaboration as much as Gadot, expressing great admiration for her command of the title role. "Gal knocked it out of the park. She's physically perfect for it and she's got a work ethic like no one I've ever met before. She's a tremendous actress and I was so glad to play opposite her."

Pine was also thrilled with his other "leading lady"-director Jenkins. "Patty is a pretty incredible human being," he states. "When we first met about the part of Steve, she sat across from me and essentially acted out the entire film over the course of a two-hour lunch. She was so specific, so articulate, and so ardent. I would've said yes just for Patty alone."

Once Diana and Steve reach London, it's even clearer that Diana does not fit in. Despite being wrapped in a cloak, the decidedly underdressed, statuesque stunner is getting strange looks from those around her. Luckily for the both of them, Steve had called for his very capable, very dependable secretary, Etta Candy, to meet them and help Diana disguise herself as an everyday woman.

"Etta Candy is a great character who has been around throughout the history of Wonder Woman, in various capacities, including as Diana's best friend," offers Jenkins. "A great version of Etta, and one that suited our needs, is that of Steve's secretary, a go-to, reliable character in his uncertain world, who is also an example of a modern woman-in 1918, that is."

Lucy Davis plays the role of the feisty gal who, like many women of her day, can only fight by using their principles. "I spoke about Etta with Patty over Skype, and then I looked her up and found out what a fun character she is, and she really resonated with me," Davis recalls. "At first glance, Etta is very different from Diana: she looks different physically, and she comes from an entirely dissimilar environment. Diana has been brought up in this all-female world that's about equality, and Etta lives in what's very much a man's world."

In spite of the restrictions placed on women of the era, Davis appreciated taking a step back in time. "When I was young, I loved my history lessons, and in particular World War I, so when I learned 'Wonder Woman' was set in during that time, I was excited. The next thing I knew, we were filming on location in London, with carriages and cars from 1918 on the street, and everywhere people walking around in period wardrobe. I couldn't see anything from today, and it was fabulous. Magical."

However, one of the most memorable scenes for Davis came near the end of the sequence during which Etta takes Diana shopping. "She gets to look after the sword, which was one of my favorite scenes to film because we were all laughing a lot that day, and I found it difficult to keep a straight face," she says.

The sword in question is Diana's most prized possession. It is called the godkiller, and she plans to use it to kill Ares-for only the fiercest Amazon can-as soon as Steve takes her to where the fighting is the most serious: the front. In addition being to being entrusted with this sacred weapon, Steve trusts Etta to manage their secret operation, which he undertakes without the authorization of the war office.

Or perhaps just not officially. Played by noted British actor David Thewlis, the eminent Sir Patrick is Steve's superior, and he is adamant that Steve not do anything to upset the coming cease-fire he and his colleagues are working so hard to negotiate, with the hope of at last ending the war.

"Sir Patrick's entire drive is to bring about the signing of the armistice," Thewlis says of the statesman he portrays. The actor looked to historical characters to inspire his performance, mainly Sir Arthur Balfour. "Patty and I talked about Balfour, who was a labor politician of the day and who certainly had the look we liked. I also looked to Clement Attlee, a post-Second World War prime minister."

When Diana first meets Sir Patrick, she has followed Steve, uninvited, into a roomful of men debating the possible peace accord. "She's drawn to him as one of the only people talking any sense, in her opinion," Thewlis offers, "and he sees in her somebody sympathetic to his cause, and quite vehemently so, which suits his agenda."

Therefore, Sir Patrick offers to support a clandestine mission, run by Steve in the field with Etta managing from his office in order to avoid suspicion. Thanks to the funds he provides, Steve can afford to go to Belgium in search of two of the war's most dangerous proponents: General Ludendorff and his favorite chemist, Dr. Isabel Maru.

But first, in order to get where they need to go, Steve will need to recruit reinforcements. And he knows where to find them. Steve takes Diana to a seedy pub where he hooks up with two old buddies: the multilingual Sameer, a former Moroccan soldier turned top undercover man; and Charlie, a former crack sniper who has been discharged from duty and who now spends his days fighting in the ale houses. Upon meeting them, Diana realizes that Charlie is somebody who kills people from a distance, which she finds incredibly dishonorable, and that Sameer is a con artist. She doesn't quite understand how Steve can trust these men. In fact, she wonders, are they even good men?

As they say, war makes for strange bedfellows, and in this case, perhaps, even stranger allies.

"In an ideal world Sameer would have been an actor and an artist," says Saïd Taghmaoui, who plays the role. "He never wanted to be a soldier, so he approaches his military service as if it were one big acting job. He's very quick, he can make up stories, and he's a master of many languages. And these skills prove really useful to the team."

Charlie's may prove less so, for when his sniper skills are called upon, his hands shake, and so does his confidence. "Charlie was sent home as unfit for battle, due to what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," explains Ewen Bremner, who plays him. "At that time, it was known as shell shock. Contrary to Charlie's boasting and his chutzpa, he goes to pieces on the battlefield at a critical moment."

Deep in the Belgium countryside, under the cover of darkness, Diana is introduced to the last dubious member of the team, a towering Native American black marketeer simply called The Chief. A neutral player in the hostilities, he operates as an independent businessman with the odd freedom that only a war can bring, finding his niche as one who ferries goods across enemy lines.

Eugene Brave Rock plays the even-tempered man who is content to be on either side, so long as he decides. "He's the go-to guy who can get you anything you need," says Brave Rock. "And he's a free man there, whereas back in America, he would not be."

The character was based on men like him, who fought overseas during WWI by choice. Jenkins notes, "It was so profound to me to learn that Native Americans, who had lost everything to violence and unfairness in the U.S., were volunteering for a war to escape the horrors at home."

The Chief can also see in Diana what others cannot. "Everybody else just sees this beautiful woman," Brave Rock observes. "The Chief is the only one who sees her for what she really is, who sees into her spiritual eyes."

Another who has suffered unspeakable horrors but who has chosen instead to embrace them, to even devote herself to furthering the evil in men's hearts, is Dr. Isabel Maru. Her genius, fostered by the German army, is in developing chemical warfare, which would allow for killing on an almost incomprehensibly massive scale.

Elena Anaya, who plays the poisoner, says, "Dr. Maru hates the weak, and hates to be weak. She loves her job, the marriage of science and war, so much it seems to entertain her. She could work day and night, completely focused on inventing these new formulas that can destroy mankind." Dr. Maru is outwardly scarred, but the biggest damage is deep inside her. "She has no empathy," Anaya continues. "Hers is a crazy mind and a dark soul. So she and Ludendorff complement each other quite well."

Actor Danny Huston plays the film's formidable villain, the maniacal General Ludendorff. Huston says of his dark-hearted character, "Ludendorff possesses a dogmatic, stubborn, committed, unfailing desire to win. He lacks all compassion for the individual, and is more than willing to have great losses to achieve victory. So he's quite a force to contend with."

Standing proud in his uniform adorned with medals, Ludendorff "represents our fascination with decoration, with pomp," adds Huston. "The attitude, his sense of empire...if you look at First World War Germans, they wore the red and gold colors of imperial Rome. All these elements are historically part of our larger culture, and I don't think we can ignore them entirely, even today, which made him very intriguing to play."

When Ludendorff approaches Diana, he claims the night is for celebrating victory, the impending accord notwithstanding. "War," he explains, "is a god who demands human sacrifice. In exchange, war gives man purpose, a chance to rise above his petty moral life and be better than he is."

His words stir Diana. She knows she must stop him or the war may never end.

"You will train her harder than any Amazon before her.

Five times harder. Ten times harder. Until she is better than even you!"

-Queen Hippolyta

To fight the god of war, Gadot had to look the part of an Amazon warrior. "This is the first time Diana is in a real battle," she allows. "Before this, all she did was train. Now she really has to defend herself, and others."

Knowing that achieving the right physique could make or break the character's believability, Gadot put her all into training. "I had five months of training during preproduction, of doing horse riding and martial arts and a lot of body work. I worked with magnificent people that I admire and was inspired by, including Ruda Vrba, my trainer, and Dan Naprous, my horse master. As exhausting as it was, I felt strong and fit and ready."

The physical transformations of approximately 35 women, both lead actors and background performers, were the responsibility of several trainers, including Vrba and Mark Twight. "Changing one's physicality for a role is a pretty extraordinary demand to place on someone," Twight says. "We had a variety of women with backgrounds in dance, gymnastics, swimming, different martial arts, and track and field. Some of these women, when we watched them move, we thought, wow, that's true athleticism."

Gadot trained hard-bulking, weightlifting, and cardiovascular training-alongside a company of castmates, including stunt performers and pro athletes portraying the other Amazons: Norwegian actress Lisa Loven Kongsli, who plays Menalippe; Uganda's Florence Kasumba, who plays Senator Acantha; Ann Ogbomo, as Philippus; Ann J. Wolfe, a champion boxer who plays Artemis; Samantha Jo, a Wushu expert who plays Euboea; and Brooke Ence, CrossFit champion who appears as Penthiselea; as well as pentathlete Jenny Pacey; and Moe Sasegbon, a track and field star. Even Lilly Aspell, who, at only eight years old, was already a champion horse rider and jumper, underwent training for her portrayal of the young Diana.

The preparations also consisted of a great deal of choreography and weapons training necessary for the complex battle scenes, courtesy of stunt coordinator Damon Caro. The women practiced archery, sword fighting, horseback riding, and martial arts. It was a journey that was both individual and collective.

"It was a personal path for each woman," says Twight, "but many of the steps on it were shared. When you're all headed in the same direction, any hardship is possible to overcome. I noticed with the women there was a lot more emotion. With a group of guys in a competitive environment, it's often more about conquering, a bit more thuggish. I don't want to say that we are any less emotionally developed; we just don't wear it on our sleeves. But the women were more sharing, like 'we are all doing this together.'

"We had team exercises where they were competing against each other," he continues, "but they didn't look at it like, 'Oh, we're going to win and that means we're better'; it was more, 'We are making each other better by pushing each other.'"

The results were truly transformative for the talent. "It was an incredible experience to be galloping down a beach with a bunch of women that you support and respect and love," affirms Connie Nielsen. "I cannot even tell you just how amazing the camaraderie was on set. We were thick as thieves."

When the time came to shoot, Nielsen discovered a new confidence as well. "When you do fight scenes inside large cuirasses [armor consisting of breastplate and back plate fastened together], you're carrying an enormous load on your body, and there's a moment when you have to trust in your own physical strength, to trust your body to do what it has to do. It was incredibly rewarding."

Roven recalls the first time he witnessed the impressive all-female army on horseback, heading toward the beach in full regalia. "It was the ultimate Amazon cavalry, and boy did they shine. Each one truly deserved the title of Amazon warrior."

"Welcome to jolly old London." -Steve

"It's hideous!" -Diana

"Yeah, it's not for everyone." -Steve

To bring Wonder Woman to the big screen in a big way, Jenkins surrounded herself with an amazing core team who would help her shape the look and feel of the film: director of photography Matthew Jensen, production designer Aline Bonetto, costume designer Lindy Hemming, editor Martin Walsh, and visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer.

Jenkins states, "The most important part of directing is to articulate my vision and then find the right partners, and then encourage those partners to bring their own voices to the party-to bring things I would never think of myself. Matthew is an amazing cinematographer, a future legend; Aline's creativity and attention to detail blew me away; Lindy has an incredible gift for defining character with her work; my editor, Martin, is the most elegant and fluid storyteller; and Bill is a VFX wizard."

The team embraced the challenge of being the first to create the DC Super Hero's world. First on the team's shared agenda was Themyscira, the paradisiacal island of the Amazons and Diana's breathtaking home.

Although the origins of Themyscira are rooted in Greek mythology, Jenkins felt the traditional Greco-Roman architecture was a little too masculine and possibly too familiar. "When the comic originally came out, people had not traveled so extensively to Greece and Rome, so they were considered completely exotic. I wanted our Themyscira to inspire awe like it did originally: a fantastical place that nevertheless feels like it could really exist...not primitive but not futuristic, either."

The resulting design featured stone buildings open to the land and carved in softer, often round, lines, with a river that flows via a series of waterfalls reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It is lush and tranquil yet simultaneously imposing, dominating the landscape and looking majestically out to sea. Like the Amazons themselves, Themyscira is formidable yet cordial, an oasis of hope.

In addition to looking ancient and exotic, Themyscira had to fulfill several practical functions: it needed a beach large enough to hold a battle with the Germans; it needed to be somewhere warm enough to shoot in light clothing; it needed an imposing cliff; and it needed to be, above all, as magnificent as one would imagine Paradise to be. The struggle for Bonetto, then, was finding such a place. "What is Themyscira?" she asks. "It's a beautiful vista with a coastal landscape, but not the kind you think of for your holiday. It's still wild, rocky, green... Problem was, all the beautiful beaches in the world that sit below big cliffs disappear beneath the tide, so for a part of every day you have no beach. And we were shooting in March, which in Europe is still cold."

These challenges caused Bonetto and supervising location manager Charles Somers to study no less than 47 different country options and visit several of them before they found what they were looking for: Italy's striking Amalfi Coast. "Italy had beautiful weather, a beautiful blue-green sea, not too much tide, not too much wave. Our effects team added some cliffs in post, and it was the perfect way to go," Bonetto says.

Just like Diana, though, the designers would leave behind their palette of clear blue skies and lush greens for the dismal grays and browns of industrial London and war-torn Europe in 1918. "'Wonder Woman' is a travel film," posits Suckle, "in the sense that you go from this visually stunning paradise with its ancient Greek culture to early 20th-century London, a society pushed along by invention and enterprise and business, to war-torn Belgium. And we're seeing it all through Diana's eyes, experiencing it right along with her."

When Diana and Steve land in London, Steve makes a beeline for Selfridges, the famed department store, in order to find something more...appropriate...for Diana to wear. However, the production was not permitted to film at the actual site, which is on an incredibly busy thoroughfare. Instead, Bonetto says, "We used the exterior of Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square, which was designed by the same architect."

For the perfect interior, they turned to the inside of Australia House, dressing the space to feel like the middle of Selfridges in 1918. Bonetto relates, "When I saw Australia House I knew it was where we had to shoot. It is a grand building but not too heavily decorated, quite beautiful and pure. That had to be our Selfridges."

The second major set in London was the recreation of Paddington station. The real Paddington station had been updated for the Olympics, making it more difficult to recreate the look they needed, and the provincial station where the vintage railcars were located was not suitable either. However, London's King's Cross, originally built in 1852, had undergone restoration, including its famed glass roof that is similar to the original Paddington station roof. This meant significantly less work for the visual effects department, who would otherwise have had to create set extensions.

Closing down two platforms for two days in one of London's busiest rail stations was a major undertaking in itself. Adding to the complexity was the transportation of vintage railcars from Bluebell Railway Trust in Sheffield Park in East Sussex, about 40 miles south of London. The delivery of the vintage train was also momentous for the trust, as it was the first time in over 50 years the train had ever traveled off the historic Bluebell rail line onto network rail and then into a mainline station.

Bluebell's vintage railcars make a second appearance in the film, in the scenes at the Belgium airfield and Dr. Maru's second bomb factory, which were shot at the now abandoned Royal Air Field Heyford in Oxfordshire. In this instance, a restored, genuine WWI trench locomotive was put into service. Built in Paris between 1914 and 1925, only 200 such locomotives were ever made and only two still survive.

Dr. Maru's first bomb factory is located in the Ottoman Empire, where we initially meet her and see her weapons of mass destruction. The design contained nearly 4,000 shelves with small bombs on them, and on the day of the shoot, the crew held a contest to guess how many they actually had. However, in order to crown a winner, someone was given the tedious task of counting them all.

The "Wonder Woman" company also utilized several other UK locations, among them: Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, for all soundstage work; Luton Hoo Farm, an English country house and estate, which served as the exteriors and the outskirts of Veld and the interior military installation in the Ottoman Empire; Fort Tilbury, which was used for exteriors of the installation; Bourne Wood in Surrey, for the woods of Belgium; Arundel Castle in West Sussex, for the exteriors of the Belgian chateau appropriated by German High Command; Central Martin's art school at King's Cross for the High Command interiors; Hatfield House's Long Gallery for the important gala scene; and One Great George Street in London, for the English War Office.

Jenkins confesses that, with respect to the overall look and feel of the film, "I found myself very worried about the period. Productions have gotten so good at this era, and audiences are savvy about it, too." The director also found herself admittedly "fixated with where the 'pop' was going to come from, and interestingly enough, I found it in the work of John Singer Sargent. He was someone who painted in that period, but he had this very graphic sense of color and lighting that was perfectly congruous and which would appeal to the modern sensibility. His artwork really did help us tremendously."

"Putting Wonder Woman into the time frame was tough," concurs director of photography Matthew Jensen. "A World War I movie has a very specific visual language, from the costumes to the production design to the lighting, but audiences have more modern expectations for the look of a superhero film. How do you make those things mesh? That was our challenge, to be of that time and yet also beyond it. The thing that Patty kept driving home is that this is not a period film; it's a modern film that just happens to be set in 1918."

The filmmakers therefore decided to steer clear of the de-saturated colors meant to evoke nostalgia, and instead feature more intense colors and modern contrast. Jensen remarks, "I noticed, too, that Sargent had what we would consider a very modern approach to using light in his portraits. There is a lot of soft frontal, three-quarter light that quickly falls into blackness beyond the character. That painting style inspired how I approached lighting the faces. And we didn't use a lot of backlight and highlights; we mostly worked with single source lighting. And then once we had our key light, we started playing with the colors in the shadows and things like that.

"We also brought wider lenses in closer to the characters," he continues, "which opened up the space beyond them." The cinematographer also employed numerous state-of-the-art techniques available to modern mobile cameras. "We used high crane shots, flying into low shots looking up, following Wonder Woman as she flies through the air and twists. In that regard, we were in no way limited by a classical understanding of a period film."

The camera department debuted the 73-foot Hydrascope Telescopic Crane, the only one of its kind in the UK and one of five in the world. The crane weighs 16,000 pounds, at full height can reach 83 feet, and is self-leveling. The mobile base, which can fit through a standard double doorway, is remotely controlled by a single person with a joystick. The crane and base are completely waterproof and could therefore be used in any weather conditions.

One way the film avoided a modern approach was in the choice to shoot on film. "Digital is very popular," adds Jensen, "but it was never a question for us what format we were going to shoot on. Patty is a huge fan of film. I'm a huge fan of film. It just has a weight and a gravity that is different than digital. One is not necessarily better than the other, it's just that there's a different feeling with film; it's just a different experience."

And for the truly vintage: to take the "antique" photograph of Wonder Woman with Steve Trevor and their team at Veld, photographer Stephen Berkman revived a process known as wet-collodion, invented in the UK in 1851.

"Please put the sword down." -Steve

"It doesn't go with the outfit." -Etta

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman had already been introduced in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," wearing the armor designed by Michael Wilkinson. It was important to this film to keep the main elements of her cuirass, girdle and skirt intact, so costume designer Lindy Hemming changed very little about the costume. She enhanced the red, blue and gold colors, though all are still much more subdued than in the original comic books. Additionally, to accommodate the film's many stunts, Hemming reconfigured the composition and construction of the costume, allowing for more suppleness, and lessened its weight, enabling the actress to more easily and comfortably perform the action sequences.

Further adjustments were made to account for the English winter weather, which was not always conducive to the Amazon warrior's minimal attire: for example a cozy faux fur lining. Hemming was able to make the costume as warm as possible, at least the parts of it that cover Gadot. To that end, Hemming also designed the beautiful black lamb's wool and mohair cape that Diana wears on her journey.

"I don't suppose I thought ahead about the fact that we were shooting a Wonder Woman movie in the middle of winter in England," Gadot laughs. "We had a lot of locations to shoot in, and Wonder Woman doesn't wear much. But I thought to myself, 'Okay, it's cold, but I was so single-minded, so focused on telling her story, that I simply couldn't be cold. At least not until we finished for the day."

The design of her gauntlets, greaves, headband, and bicep band remained unaltered, though the material was also brightened to match her armor. Her Lasso of Hestia was reused, but her shield and sword underwent a makeover. "That was a major decision, because they're such an integral part of the story," notes property master Terry Wood, who worked with set decorator Anna Lynch Robinson. "Everyone wanted to get them right because they will be among the things that are probably remembered the most."

Elevated now to the status of godkiller-a gift from Zeus to the Amazons-Wonder Woman's sword needed to have a look that is otherworldly, yet could believably be used by a human warrior, albeit an Amazonian one. The blade was made of aluminum covered with a printed vinyl, then put in an acid bath and etched to give the appearance of age. The hilt was sculpted by hand and cast in a fiberglass resin mixed with a bronze and brass metal powder, which is metal ground down to a fine dust that is then used to create a cold liquid metal. The result, says HOD supervising modeler Craig Narramore, "is a finish that could be polished and buffed like real metal, and to which we could add the verdigris, because it ages like real metal. It's a bit lighter as well, and we could produce all the swords in-house instead of sending them off to the foundry."

To service the film's many different scenes, several variations were made of the godkiller. "There were shorter versions, longer versions, a 'slim-line' version, just a handle," says Wood. "There was just a blade and there were half blades. It was the same with the shield: we had soft ones, rubber stunt ones, lightweight foam ones. It all depended on the scene and what Patty felt looked right."

The look of Wonder Woman's shield married the ancient Greek look of Michael Wilkinson's original design with geometric lines. Its motif also reflects the architecture and design of the palace on Themyscira.

There were also special effects shields that Wonder Woman uses in her battles against the Germans. Built of carbon fiber Kevlar and rigged with a vibrating mechanism and a firing system of 48 sparks, the special effects mimicked the deflections off Wonder Woman's shield when she comes under intense fire. "We controlled it remotely," details special effects supervisor Mark Holt. "Each spark was fired individually, so we could discharge a sequence of continuous fire or pulse it for sporadic fire." Two shields were made, one for forward-facing shots, the other for reverse.

For Hemming, one of the main design challenges of the film was to make the inhabitants of Themyscira appear both strong and feminine, as well as awe-inspiring. She recalls, "We wanted them to be believably from an ancient world and to look beautiful, but also free and fit and strong, not too trussed-up or overdesigned. These are women whose lives are lovely and simple and they do not want for anything. I wanted to make them look relaxed and at one with their environment."

"They're very practical people," adds Jenkins. "If they're wearing a cloak, it's to keep warm. It would not be overly decorative, but it would still be attractive. We asked ourselves the question, 'If we created our own civilization, and we wanted the attire to be striking yet fierce, but not a replica of how men would do it, how would we make those choices?'"

The pre-existing Wonder Woman costume had to be incorporated into the visuals to maintain continuity. Hemming says, "My approach was to work backwards from the fact that, at some point in the story, Diana would dress in the Wonder Woman armor. I knew that we had to design a world where that costume had believably come from. So Aline and I worked together to create a place where you could understand the why and how of the armor of the women of Themyscira."

The direction agreed upon was to reflect Themyscira's isolation in the Amazon's clothing and armor "as though it were made in the time they began living there," says Hemming. "These women have lived alone on the island for thousands of years. What technologies would have been available to them to make their armor, their clothes? What materials?" So, Hemming and her team focused on natural fabrics such as linens and silks, leathers, and natural elements such as gold, silver, copper, and the alloy bronze. Clothing and armor were made using traditional craftsperson methods, most of it by hand. The Amazons' helmets, for example, were made out of aluminum and brass and sculpted by a costume armorer. The body armor was made by two artists who specialize in beautiful finishes in leather, including faux metal finishes.

These costumes were created through a process whereby the leather was steamed and molded directly onto life-sized mannequins made from body scans of the actors. But while this ensured a precise fit, it posed a challenge as the women's bodies changed over the period of intense physical training they undertook for their roles. "We had to adjust many things to allow for the musculature that developed," recalls Hemming. "It was interesting to see who developed prominent muscles and whose body evolved through fitness in a different way. We had very muscular women in the same battle alongside more sinuous women, and seeing these different but equally strong, powerful body types was a wonderful thing."

To facilitate these fight scenes, the Amazons' armor needed some built-in flexibility. The laces of the leather corsets were elasticized, allowing for room to breathe and for the separate pieces to articulate or collapse in on themselves, particularly when the women were sitting, riding or fighting, and straps were cleverly held on by magnets disguised as rivets, so metal would not chafe against the skin, and also add suppleness.

Once the designs were agreed upon, the next step was the process of replication. "Designing was just the beginning," says Hemming. "Then we had to take into consideration the action, and how many different people were going to wear the same costume. There was always the perfect one, the 'hero' as we called it, but then we had to manufacture repeats for the stunt people and in softer fabrics like rubber and soft urethane. We had to make fireproof versions, waterproof versions, and we had to make sure every detail was identical, every paint mark and crease in the fabric, so that when it was all edited together with the stuntwomen and the actors, audiences wouldn't be able to tell which are which."

For the men in the film, Hemming had a different design challenge. Wardrobes had to be created for the distinctly different characters of Steve Trevor, Charlie, Sammy, and The Chief. All of their clothes were custom made with fabrics from, among others, Abraham Moon & Sons Ltd. and Fox Brothers and Co., manufacturers of woolen fabrics milled in England using traditional methods. Charlie's kilts were made in Scotland.

Diana does wear one outfit that is distinctly not Amazonian. Upon her arrival in London, Etta takes her to Selfridges, where she is perplexed by Edwardian women's wear. The pair eventually agree upon an Englishwoman's army suit, the nation's first attempt at tailoring a uniform for women. Practically and symbolically, it is the perfect camouflage for Diana, but she still stands out. To complete the look, Steve adds a pair of eyeglasses to her disguise. Later in the story, Hemming had the opportunity to dress her in an elegant blue silk gown. "There were many costumes to design for this 1918 period, varying from battlefront to ballroom," Hemming sums up.

"You're wrong about them. They're everything you say...but so much more"

-Wonder Woman

Following the wrap of principal photography, Jenkins collaborated closely with editor Martin Walsh to complete the film. "Martin and I had such a great partnership; it was almost as if he could read my mind. He understood the story we set out to tell and knew just how to make every moment really sing-narratively, visually and musically."

Jenkins enlisted composer Rupert Gregson-Williams to translate into music the qualities of the character as she appears in this film. "Patty and I worked together to find the themes for the movie. She has a great ear, and guided me early on toward the musical colors she felt had an affinity with the characters," Gregson-Williams offers. "'Wonder Woman' is an origin story, we meet Diana before she understands her powers, so her theme in that regard needed to reflect her innocence and naivete. She moves from young girl to a woman who knows her path through the journey of the film."

The composer incorporated a wide range of instruments into his score. "I used a hybrid of orchestra and ethnic drums and vocals for Themyscira, and as she grew, I introduced electric cello and more electronic colors. By the end of the movie I'd involved an orchestra, full choir, percussion and a large palette of electronica to express her full range of emotions."

Jenkins says of the composer, "Composing for this film was no small task, but not beyond the talents of Rupert Gregson-Williams. He embraced the challenge and created a world of themes and textures that grow organically with the story and the character."

A feminist icon to some, an example of love and wisdom and justice to others and a brave warrior who fights right alongside the men, Wonder Woman is all this and more. When we meet her in the film, her experiences-or lack of them, really-have ignited an interest in everything around her, and a passion to help those in need. She's highly compassionate, and able to view the world in a way that we'd all like to, with a genuine curiosity. She fights for good because she believes it.

"Diana is set apart from most comic book superheroes by her gender, but it's her approach to justice that I believe really makes her unique," Gadot claims. "She not only wants to rid the world of evil by taking out the bad guys, she also wants to encourage men and women to be the best human beings they can be, and she does this through love, hope and grace."

Jenkins agrees, further stating, "If only we could all see the world the way Diana does. She sees the great darkness, but also looks beyond that to what mankind is capable of: great beauty. She also has the powers of a god, a heart filled with compassion, and we wanted to give her a rich and layered and fun story to tell that everyone can connect with. It's just a great adventure that I hope fans-old and new-will love!"


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