Why Filming Wonder Woman’s World War I Scenes Were So Challenging,
Instead of taking place immediately after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the majority of Wonder Woman follows Diana of Themyscira 100 years ago, when she ventured to “man’s world” for the first time during World War I. Outside of a quick flashback in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, World War I isn’t a period that superhero movies have delved into in the modern era, so helps make Wonder Woman more unique. However, making the movie look like it took place in the devastating 1910s global conflict was not an easy feat, and one of the challenges the crew had to deal with was filming the trench scenes in cold weather. Cinematographer Matthew Jensen explained:
But in terms of setups, World War I, we were working in trenches and the only way to deal with a trench is to actually build the trench. We were in a lot of mud in the freezing cold in the rain and moving equipment around was difficult. We had limited light because we were shooting in the winter in London with big setups to do with explosions and soldiers storming other soldiers. It’s complicated. All the World War I sequences were enormously challenging.
Plotting out war scenes for a movie is complicated enough, but having to dig trenches and suffer through horrible weather on top of that is daunting. Still, the weather Wonder Woman’s cast and crew faced while in Europe is what the soldiers suffered through during the real Great War, so that’s par for the course. Matthew Jensen also revealed to IGN that the Wonder Woman crew also dealt with weather issues when shooting the Themysciran battle scenes in Italy, as well as the water that served as the mythical island’s shores. But Jensen commended Gal Gadot for her work ethic during filming, because unlike the crew members who were wearing layers, she was wearing Wonder Woman’s trademark costume, which doesn’t offer anything in the way of warmth. Jensen said:
Gal was out there in that Wonder Woman costume and I never once heard her complain. She never quit. Things were never too hard. I just have an amazing amount of respect for the job that she did. She was always full of energy and she was great and she had it much harder than any of us.
While the weather was less than ideal during the winter months of Wonder Woman’s principal photography, judging from what’s been shown in the photos and trailers, the crew did an excellent job of making the movie look incredible. Along with her time on Themyscira and fighting on the World War I battlefields, Wonder Woman will also show Diana learning about humanity in London, which she initially describes as “hideous.” But at least in those scenes Gal Gadot was wearing more clothing, so the cold wasn’t as much of an issue
Shooting any kind of war scene for a movie is difficult, but Wonder Woman had to deal with its own set of challenges to show the horrors of World War I.