Patty Jenkins Talks Using World War I For ‘Wonder Woman’

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins talks about using World War I for the upcoming DC Comics film about Diana Prince's origin story.

Wonder Woman Batman v Superman

This summer, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Wonder Woman finally arrives as Gal Gadot suits up again as Diana Prince in her own film, where we will be learning about the Amazon Princess’ origin story. After her great debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the time arrives for this DC icon to get her own franchise started after all these years. According to director Patty Jenkins, fans can expect the heroine’s solo flick to be a mishmash of 1978’s Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the Hollywood classic Casablanca.

When Heroic Hollywood participated in a special edit bay visit in London last week, we were fortunate to get to see some new footage as well as learn more about this exciting project by Jenkins, who is finishing up post-production on the film with her team. It has been known for a while now that the film will be set in World War I as we follow Diana’s first time in Man’s World. During a Q&A session, Jenkins talked about how Justice League director Zack Snyder and the studio had already set a plan to use WWI for this film when she joined the project.

“That was actually a decision that I stepped into, so when I had talked to them about it before, it was always assumed that it was World War II. Then when I came into the project, the studio and Zack [Snyder] had all decided to look at World War I. I ended up loving it, because I was kind of like “wow, that’s really interesting”. Because we have already seen so many World War II movies and it’s such a well-known story, to whereas you look at a God with an idea and belief system coming into Man’s World, World War I was the first time that we had mechanized war, that we started bombing people from a far, that it was a war without any kind of pride or system of what was honorable and what wasn’t. They have always been shooting people from a far, but they didn’t have the technology to do it in the same way. It became a cool thing to just explore a different period of time to tell a story that you haven’t seen before and who is the bad guy is greyer in World War I, which made it very interesting because you aren’t just straight up [seeing] the obvious villain. She ends up being able to question “what’s going on? Why are you firing that gun, aren’t you on the good side?” The complicated nature of that was really fascinating and her observation of mankind.”

Jenkins also talked heavily about which genre films she was drawing from for the vocabulary in the setting of this time period, and she brought up three specific films that many will definitely recognize.

Superman: The Movie meets Casablanca came up a lot, it came up a lot, and Indiana Jones, it was those three films where I was like “It’s a classic film, we are making a classic film, we care about humor, epic, heroism, arc and story. Make it elegant, just go for it, don’t hold back and be more interesting just for that pocket all the time” It was really those three films with the kind of war hero [to tell] who Steve Trevor is. Indiana Jones or Rick [from Casablanca] meets Wonder Woman, I’m in for that story and that’s a great Steve Trevor. So that was sort of our way of doing it.”

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.