The filmmakers behind Warner Bros.'s Wonder Woman looked to the previous DC films Superman: The Movie and Batman Begins for inspiration - and that's more than just the bullets deflecting scene from the trailers.
"We were setting out to make something close to Richard Donner’s Superman or Batman Begins," Wonder Woman cinematographer Matthew Jensen told IGN. " We wanted to do her story that kind of justice so every day felt like we had that monkey on our back. 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."
Jensen notes a particular scene in Wonder Woman that's comparable to Christopher Reeve "opening up his shirt and revealing the 'S' for the first time" or Christian Bale's first "I am Batman."
"It’s later on. You’re gonna have to wait on it a little bit but I think that’s good."
Although set primarily during World War I, Jensen said that they specifically avoided filming it like a period piece.
"I think we talked about a lot of things but the main [thing], because we were dealing with period, she was very specific with me in that she didn’t want this film to look like what we traditionally think of how period films are photographed. She really wanted modern techniques and a modern color palette applied to this period movie so that it would have more pop sensibility or a comic book sensibility, yet, given that, keeping it grounded and earth-based because we wanted to believe that Wonder Woman was real. So not getting too fancy, or too stylized so that suddenly you’re out of the mood."
Jensen also revealed that director Patty Jenkins had a particular painter she kept bringing up during production as an inspiration to the movie's look.
"Those were sort of our guiding principles and then we talked more specifically about referencing certain movies and she had brought up a certain painter, John Singer Sargent, who’d done a lot of portraits at the turn of the century and during and around WWI. She loved the look of his paintings, which were very flattering to the person who was sitting in the portrait. And he used a lot of available northern light in his studio so it was a really beautiful mottled, soft light on the faces but then that quickly fell off into blackness, so the paintings always had rich blacks. They didn’t have a ton of color but when there was a color, either in a piece of cloth or in some of the clothing that the subject, whatever color they were wearing, it would pop and it would be vibrant. So that was a philosophy that I took forward in lighting the movie and looking at color."
Wonder Woman opens in North American theaters June 2.