Why ‘Wonder Woman’ Will Make a Great Period Piece

Wonder Woman has FINALLY made her big screen debut in this years  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!  The character came out with a bang and helped take down the villain, Doomsday.  While she didn’t play a large role, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was needed and the fans cheered as soon as she appeared on the big screen.  The Amazonian warrior was absolutely badass and showed a lot of charisma with her fighting skills.

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Wonder Woman proved to us that she has had a long history of taking out enemies.  One of her quotes to Batman from the film was, “I’ve killed things from other worlds before.”  The best part of the entire sequence was when she was knocked over by Doomsday’s punch and she gets up smiling showing both bravery and resilience.  She had that expression on her face like, “What, is that all you got?”

Wonder Woman’s solo film is just around the corner and while many people are busy speculating what will happen in next year’s  Justice League: Part One,  let’s all take a step back and remind ourselves that her film will debut first, further establishing the DC extended universe.  We received a little taste of her past in the film when we learned that Lex Luthor had stolen a photograph depicting her back in WWI.  Here is that photograph from the year 1918:

Wonder Woman in 1918 Batman V Superman Wonder Woman Set Photos: Steve Trevor Meets the Amazons

As you can see, Wonder Woman takes center stage in this picture with her love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) standing right next to her.  The period of this picture takes place towards the end of World War I.  This photo appears to show soldiers returning from an overseas battle with Wonder Woman leading the way.

Warner Bros. was also nice enough to give us a full-length trailer at this years San Diego Comic-Con.  You can check the amazing trailer below:

Wonder Woman looks absolutely stunning in this trailer.  Her skills prove she’s a warrior and isn’t afraid to combat against her enemies.  With  Wonder Woman  taking place during an era we haven’t seen on film that often, it should be a breath of fresh air when it’s all said and done, especially for those fans who enjoy watching war epics.  Having the film take place during this time period can open doors for other WWI films in the near future.

Let us now dive into a bit of Hollywood history as we compare and contrast films that took place in WWI as well as WWII and ask ourselves a few questions such as:

Why Haven’t We Received Enough WWI Films?

This a question that I continue to ponder.  The word “enough” is sort of misdirecting because we have in total, 130 films that take place during WWI. However most of these films are unheard of and were made decades ago.  You may recall some of these movies including  All Quiet on the Western Front, Legends of the Fall,  and Steven Spielberg’s  War Horse.    These films were critically acclaimed with Spielberg’s  War Horse  being nominated for an academy award.

WWII on the other hand has had nearly 1,300 films and counting.  There are SO MANY of these movies that many people have either seen or heard of including  Tora! Tora! Tora!,  The Bridge on the River Kwai, Casablanca, Patton, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan,  and  Valkyrie,  to name a few.

What Did Chris Pine Have To Say On The Film Taking Place During WWI?

Chris Pine, who plays Steve Trevor in Patty Jenkin’s  Wonder Woman  shed some light on the company’s decision to take place during the First World War:    

“It’s a period we don’t see often; it’s usually World War II. Our costume design is incredible. We have scenes with, like, 500 extras all in period dress. I’d never been on a film with extras casting as beautifully done as it is here.” –Toronto Sun

He’s definitely spot-on when he says that “it’s a period we don’t see often.”  WWI was a war that was heavily involved in Europe and the United States did not take part in the war until the very end, which is why the War isn’t as popular as WWII in the U.S.

Why Did The U.S. Enter WWI?

On April 6, 1917, the U.S. officially entered the War as a result of Germany resorting to unrestricted submarine warfare.  This meant that Germany would take part in naval warfare, which is defined as the sinking of ships and submarines without warning.  This caused a clash between the U.S. and Germany and would force America to fight in the War after a British submarine named the Lusitania carrying 128 America passengers, sank after an attack by the Germans.

The U.S. only fought in the War for roughly a year and half as Germany officially surrendered on November 11, 1918 which eventually lead to a signed peace treaty known as the Treaty of Versailles.  This treaty wouldn’t last long however since it would lay the groundwork for the beginning of WWII.

How does Wonder Woman Factor into the War? 

This is a great question and probably won’t be answered until we see the film.  I’m guessing that the Amazon’s will play a large role in helping the Allied soldiers defeat the threat of the German army. The United States helped turn the tide of war in both the  Spring Offensive  aka the  Ludendorff Offensive  (March-July 1918) and the  Hundred Days Offensive  (August-November 1918).

Both of these major battles took place along the  Western Front  which was a “line” that ran from the North Sea all the way down to Switzerland.  This imaginary line ran right in between France on one side and Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany on the other.

Why Should Fans of American History Enjoy the Movie?

Of course this film won’t be historically accurate.  When you have warriors like the Amazonian princesses come into play and help fight in a real World War, history is immediately in a way, thrown out the window.  However, this doesn’t mean that there won’t be elements from real life events that took place during the First World War.

Even though this movie will be a comic book film, it makes the film feel a little more realistic when Wonder Woman  takes place during the War.  The Allies are right in the thick of the War facing off against the continuing threat of the German army.

Final Thoughts

It will be interesting to see what major battle(s) DC decides to use as a starting point for the  Wonder Woman  film.  Obviously the outcome won’t be the way history was written but that’s what a great story teller is for.  If DC can come up with a unique story to incorporate a real World War setting, then I will be very pleased.

Joe Johnston’s  Captain America: The First Avenger  has proven that Marvel can take a fictional character and bring him into realistic historical events from WWII.  Here’s hoping that DC can do the same, only this time it will be from World War I.

It’s also enjoyable to see a property like Warner Bros. take a crack at telling a compelling narrative from the First World War.  I’ve touched on it earlier, but we NEED more films that give us a better understanding of this War.  Wonder Woman  certainly has that possibility even if it won’t be historically accurate.

So what do you think of the  Wonder Woman  film?  Are you excited that it will be taking place during WWI or would you have rather seen it during the Second World War like in the comics?  Also, do you think history buffs will enjoy the film as it is?  I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comment section below and don’t forget to share!

Wonder Woman  will debut in theaters everywhere on June 2, 2017.

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Sources:  The Wall Street Journal,  Americaslibrary.gov,  and  History.com 

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