Patty Jenkins On Creating Her Themyscira For ‘Wonder Woman’

Director Patty Jenkins talks about creating her version of Themyscira for the upcoming DC Comics film, Wonder Woman, which arrives in theaters this summer.

Wonder Woman Batman v Superman

One of the most highly anticipated films of the year is the upcoming DC Comics film, Wonder WomanHeroic Hollywood was invited to a special edit bay visit in London last week, where we got to see some new footage from the film and learn more about the project from director Patty Jenkins, who is currently busy working with her team as they put the final touches on it ahead of its release.

One of the key aspects of the titular character’s mythology is Themyscira, the island Zeus created where the Amazons live. In the Q&A portion of the visit, Jenkins was asked about what she used as inspiration to create her version of this iconic island.

“Same as with Steve Trevor, I wanted it to feel like what it should feel like now. So with Steve Trevor, I wanted him to make me fall in love with him, not be like a guy that I have to feel sorry for. With Themyscira I was so much about on what classic Themyscira is which is selling exotic magic, but a lot of it is dated, like the Roman columns. We’ve been around all over the world so much more now, is that hitting the same tone? So I was like “So what is [the way] of taking that classic thing, but making it feel like what Themyscira should feel like?” “That looks almost real and so magical! I’ve never seen anything like that before” so that was it [that Jenkins was going for]. I was taking a lot of the many things from the lore’s different influences, but then always marching it forwards and making it feel like a place you are desperate to go that feels real.”

In one of the clips we saw, Diana arrives in No Man’s Land and speaks with one of some of the villagers in German. When asked about whether Diana can automatically understand all languages, Jenkins filled in by explaining that Amazons on Themyscira can speak hundreds of languages, something that is revealed earlier in the film.

“They [the Amazons] speak hundreds of languages she says that in the beginning, so she speaks almost every language.”

She also spoke about Diana’s journey of discovering her power-set in this film as it’s an imperative part of her origin story. One of the scenes from the preview features Diana deflecting a bullet for the first time using her gauntlets.

“She learns her power-set throughout the whole movie, so she has had other events already happen, but it’s sort of like that first time she is really testing her metal against a big “next level” situation.”

Jenkins was also asked about how she developed the action style for the Wonder Woman film and the process that went into it while filming it.

“There wasn’t one particular thing as I think there were a number of different things. I said what made it, like everything else both, very simple and very difficult, is that like any dramatic scene, if you are really tethered in your point of view, then you know how to tell a story. I’m with her going across that battlefield and I’m telling the story of that. That I know how to do, so this one wasn’t difficult because I’m doing it like I would in any other scene. You need [to know] what adds up to making it exciting [which] is the shots of this story.

Somebody shooting [with a gun], these guys are running and you’re always going to look for the greater shot you can find from when you are standing there, saying, “Oh, looking straight down, that’s pretty cool” as it helps to tell the story. There is no influence in something like this. You are just living up to a scene and how to really beat through it emotionally. Then when it came to where to employ different tricks and moves, I don’t even know where to start and to end. Because we’d look at hundreds of things, for every scene and how we should go about this to get the feeling that we’re looking for. You know, to really see her in action for the first time or in the beach battle to be, again I was kind of in her point of view in the beach battle, where you are watching, going “Woah, what’s going on?” when someone’s seeing a battle for the first time which makes it different then when you’re questioning who is going to win. If your reaction is “Woah, warfare”, then that’s a different approach than “Who is going to win? Who is going to win?”, and you are going to shoot it and approach it differently in how to get those shots and what those shots are [which is] when you look from all kinds of influences. But that was the interesting thing that I cared about, was in telling this story completely from inside of her point of view for the most part.”   

Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman also stars Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Lucy Davis as Etta Candy, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Lisa Loven Kongsli as Menalippe, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Sir Patrick Morgan, Elena Anaya as Doctor Maru, Ewen Bremner as Charlie, Saïd Taghmaoui as Sameer and Eugene Brave Rock as the Chief.

Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017.

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.