Director Patty Jenkins reveals that Wonder Woman was shot on film for a very specific reason. Following the disappointing reactions that both Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad wound up receiving last year too, it appears as though things are finally starting to look up again for the DCEU with the upcoming release of Wonder Woman. The film is being marketed as the standalone, live-action Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) adventure that many fans have been waiting their entire lives to see, and judging by the early Wonder Woman reactions, it’s looking more and more like the film may actually be just that.
Giving Gal Gadot the chance to have the spotlight entirely on her this time around, after her brief introduction in Dawn of Justice last year, the film takes place in the 1920s when Diana embarks on a journey away from her secluded Amazonian island into the rest of the world with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Confronted with the horrors of the first World War, the film follows Diana as she fights to protect truth, justice, and her personal ideals from being wiped off the face of the Earth once and for all.
The positive reception to the quality of the film are, no doubt, thanks to the talent and skills of Patty Jenkins as well. The filmmaker has already been rather open about the tone and mood she wanted to capture with Wonder Woman, and in a new interview with FOX’s Kevin McCarthy, Jenkins explained why she believed it was integral that Wonder Woman be shot on actual film, as opposed to the increasingly popular digital alternative:
“I’ve come up on shooting film and working on film for a long time. Digital has come a long way. Digital does a lot of great things. There are things I really like about digital, but they are not the same and there is some sort of strange myth that “Oh, you can do everything now on digital.” Well if that was true, why do all the great, great, great filmmakers still shoot on film?” Is it because they know less? Is it because they’re more haphazard? Is it because they can’t move on to new information? No. It’s because there’s a certain type of epic grander escapism that film gives you that you cannot — you will struggle very hard — to get that on video.”
The ongoing debate between digital and film has been at the forefront of the entertainment industry for several years now. With multiple filmmakers making the jump over from traditional celluloid photography, and the costs to shoot with digital becoming increasingly cheaper for the studios, the idea of film going extinct has been a very scary possibility for many filmmakers to think about. If it weren’t for the persistence of artists like – as Jenkins mentions in the interview – Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, J.J. Abrams, and more, it’s fair to say that film may have been even closer to dying out than it already was just a few years ago.
Jenkins’ comments here, about why she wanted to shoot on film as opposed to digital, also only further reinforce her previous comments about the tone she wanted to capture with her DCEU standalone outing. When talking about the film inspirations for Wonder Woman being in the vein of Raiders of the Lost Ark and other iconic adventure films from the 1980s, it’s clear that Jenkins thought the use of real film would be integral in making sure she captured a similar kind of magic that those films did. Luckily, based solely on the early reactions to Wonder Woman that have come out so far, it looks like Jenkins’ decision may have indeed been the right one.