2016 will see Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (a “prologue” of sorts to Justice League) and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (a DC super-villain team-up adventure) open in theaters, with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman scheduled to be the next DC superhero solo movie to arrive, in 2017. Gal Gadot, however, will make her screen debut as Diana Prince first in Batman V Superman.
Oscar-winner Bill Westenhofer (Life of Pi) will serve as Jenkins’ visual effects supervisor on the Wonder Woman solo film, when production gets underway within the next few months – that is, before 2015 draws to a close. Other impressive talents which are reportedly set to work behind the camera on the project include cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, according to the latest update on the matter.
Meet the Movie Press, which also first reported the news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller are working on Warner Bros. and DC’s The Flash movie, is the source for the news about Hoytema working on the Wonder Woman solo film. The idea makes sense, though, as Hoytema has started to increasingly work on large-scale tentpole productions in recent years – after breaking out on small, critically-acclaimed, films like Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and The Fighter – so a superhero feature film reads as being a logical next step for him.
Hoytema also served as the director of photography on director Christopher Nolan’s space adventure Interstellar; he has since provided the cinematography for Sam Mendes’ second James Bond movie, Spectre, which opens in theaters this Fall. Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is expected to explore the origins of the eponymous Amazonian warrior via a script from Jason Fuchs (who, in turn, examined Peter Pan’s origins for the upcoming release, Pan), so it’s fitting that someone with an eye for majestic visuals and gorgeous environmental imagery like Hoytema would be recruited for Wonder Woman – a film which ought to unfold as a history-spanning narrative with overt mythical elements.
UPDATE: The Playlist reached out to Hoytema for a comment on his involvement with the Wonder Woman film, to which he responded “I have nothing to do with that movie.” Production will be getting underway sooner than later, so it shouldn’t be long before we find out who is serving as the director of photography on the project.
Elsewhere, Yahoo! Italy is reporting that the Wonder Woman solo movie will be partly filmed in Basilicata, Italy – a place where, more recently, Timur Bekmambetov shot footage for his big screen take on Ben-Hur (which opens in early 2016). Other Biblical/historical works, such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, have also been shot there in years past; indeed, given the ancient architecture and regions (such as the city of Matera) that can be found in that area, it doesn’t require a stretch of the imagination to think that Basilicata will “play” the real-world backdrop for Wonder Woman’s home island, Themyscira, in Jenkins’ movie.
WB/DC confirmed that Gadot’s Wonder Woman – who exists in what has been referred to as the DC Extended Universe by Snyder – has been around for some time, when the studios premiered artwork at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 – depicting Diana fighting alongside soldiers in what appeared to be either WWI or WWII. As such, it’s possible that Jenkins’ will partly film World War sequences while on location in Italy, instead of and/or in addition to Themyscira scenes. It’s also plausible most of the movie will be set in modern times, so any Themyscira and/or historical sequences could end up being integrated into the narrative by way of flashbacks/the prologue (a la Man of Steel). That is, unless Wonder Woman is a proper historical superhero film (a la Captain America: The First Avenger).
Lastly, Production Weekly is reporting that Wonder Woman is going to be filmed under the working title “Nightingale”. Some comic book fans have already speculated that this could well be a reference to the DC super-villain Nightingale a.k.a. Seiji Kato, who has battled Diana in Wonder Woman comic books past (starting with Wonder Woman #317). The antagonist of Jenkins’ superhero film has yet to be revealed, so it’s anyone’s guess right now who Diana’s central foe will be in her solo movie… assuming she has one at all.
To elaborate on that last point: others have noted that the Wonder Woman production’s “Nightingale” title could be a reference to Florence Nightingale: the celebrated 19th century social reformer, as well as founder of modern nursing, whose practice of forming meaningful connections with her patients led to the coining of the phrase “The Florence Nightingale Effect” (where caretakers become emotionally involved with patients). Diana after all, in comic book tradition, forms a romantic connection with the human Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine in Jekins’ movie) after nursing him back to health.
As such, it’s possible that “Nightingale” merely signals that Jenkins’ Wonder Woman solo movie will, in fact, explore the title character’s qualities as not just a warrior, but a healer and scientist too. That’s to be expected from a worthwhile live-action Wonder Woman solo film, of course – and, if true, it ought to come as welcome news to those who have been concerned that the DCEU will only showcase Diana’s qualities as a super-powered warrior.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020. Untitled Batman and Superman Solo Films will be coming at dates TBD.
Update Source: The Playlist