Wonder Woman Movie Set in WWI? What The Setting Means for the DC Hero

Little is know about DC’s Wonder Woman, but what we do know will cause major ripple in the DCEU.

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Comic book fans are waiting in speculative agony for DC Comic’s live action Wonder Woman. With Batman V Superman only four months away, fans will soon get a taste of DC’s signature superheroine, but details over Wonder Woman’s first live action, lead role can’t come soon enough.

With the film two years away and other DC properties waiting in the interim, it’s no surprise that the details of Wonder Woman are still mostly under a tight lid. Just late last week, actor Saïd Taghmaoui posted photos from the set of himself and Chris Pine in costume, and that’s about all we’ve had so far.

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Their distinct costumes sparked speculation and confirmed several otherwise unsubstantiated claims about the movie’s setting. The popular theory has been that Wonder Woman will take place in the past, around the time of World War II. Thanks in no small part to Bleeding Cool’s story from this time last year, the theory spread. The website actually claimed that the first film would take place in the 1920s and that a sequel film would depict the World War II. But Gal Gadot hasn’t signed on for a Wonder Woman sequel (yet), just two Justice League films.

The Original Period Piece

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Wonder Woman’s first comic book appearance was in 1941 when U.S. Army Intelligence pilot Steve Trevor crash lands on the Amazon isle of Themyscira (then Paradise Island) while tracking Nazi agents. World War II was, of course, the contemporary setting at the time, but has remained a motif of Wonder Woman stories over the years.

TV’s Wonder Woman, portrayed by Lynda Carter, spent its first season as a period piece set during the Second World War to match the hero’s origins before switching the more cost efficient contemporary setting for the following seasons. Her comics history has returned to the World War II setting many times, most recently in DC Comics’ Bombshells series, in which Wonder Woman directly enters the world of man in order to help with the war effort.

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So it would make perfect sense to have her debut live action feature film appearance also take place in the 1940’s around the war effort. Except, many sources claiming to have inside information insist the film actually takes place earlier than fans expect.

Between Two Times

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Specifically, a source speaking to Heroic Hollywood claims that Wonder Woman will take place in two separate times, reportedly divided equally between halves of the film. The first half will take place during World War I (rather than World War II) and the second half will take place in the present day (more specifically, a few months before her appearance in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice).

Other accounts claim that the World War I scenes could be nothing more than flashbacks, rather than fleshed out section of the film, and at this point neither opinion is truly substantiated. But if the film does in fact take place between two time periods, one substantial question comes up…

In Which Era will we see Steve Trevor?

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It has been official for a few months now that Chris Pine will indeed play Steve Trevor in the film. Based on the recent photo of Pine in costume, it seems clear that he is in the World War I segment of the film. Not only is Trevor an integral part of Wonder Woman’s history and past canon, but Chris Pine is a major star. Therefore it would seem strange that he would be any less than a major supporting character.

If Steve Trevor is in the World War I time frame of the film then that must be a substantial portion of the run time (at least half, as Heroic Hollywood claimed). But there’s another answer to the concerns the photo has caused: the character Chris Pine is playing in the photo is not Steve Trevor, but actually his grandfather. It’s established commonplace for a single actor to play an ancestor to their main role, and this would mean Chris Pine is still available for future films, including potential Justice League appearances.

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Pine would first play Trevor’s grandfather, presumably the man who crashes on Themyscira instead of Steve, then take over as the grandson and source-canonical romantic lead of the film. The actor would then be a part of the entirety of the film rather than one half or the other, which seems more likely due to Pine’s A-list status.

She doesn’t Look Her Age.

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All of this implies that Wonder Woman will be at least 100 years old when the movie reaches present day, which is hardly a problem considering that she is demigoddess. This leaves a great deal of her life a potential mystery in the confines of Wonder Woman as a film, but the implications are large for the rest of the DC Extended Universe as well.

Especially if the present day events of Wonder Woman take place before Dawn of Justice, the hero’s age, and more importantly experience, will likely come into play in the relationship she will have with Batman and Superman. While the two male heroes are struggling for/against each others’ power, Wonder Woman would, in theory, already have decades of experience as a superhero over them.

Don't make "experience" jokes, Bruce.

Don’t make “experience” jokes, Bruce.

Unless yet unknown information contradicts what we currently know, the implication would actually be that, in the confines of the DCEU, Wonder Woman is the first superhero. This bodes well for her to be a strong figure in the extended universe especially in the Justice League films.

Diana the Diplomat

What? Diplomats wear many hats...

What? Diplomats wear many hats…

While most of the information available is still secret-source rumors and fan extrapolation, the idea that Wonder Woman would depict the First World War is quite logical.

As an Amazon and a superhero, Wonder Woman has often been closely tied to war and the search for peace. As her alter ego Diana Prince, she is a champion in the field of diplomacy, and much of her characterization is in the pursuit of conflict resolution on a global scale. So it makes perfect sense to set at least a portion of the film in the first “global” war.