Perhaps the best part of the film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice were the two behind the scenes books that provided superb coverage of the costumes, props, and vehicles from the film: the Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual reviewed here, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film, reviewed here. These books demonstrate that despite the negative reception of a film by audiences, fans of the beloved characters have some resources to find inspiration for their next cosplay or prop-building project. The next in the line of books probing behind the scenes of the DC Comics universe created for the big screen is this summer’s Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film by Sharon Gosling (author of Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of Planet of the Apes). Anyone needing good source photographs of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and the Amazon warriors of her origin story for their next cosplay project will find some great references here, including photos of the greatest of the Amazon warriors, Robin Wright’s badass general Antiope, plus swords and shields of key characters developed for the film.
The best section of the book provides interviews with two-time Academy Award-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (Amélie) and Academy Award-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (Topsy-Turvy) as they discuss the planning and development of audiences’ first look at Themyscira on film. Both worked together closely coordinating design elements between their departments as concepts were developed. You’ll find 192 pages of artwork, marketing images, on-location photographs, and costumes as they were sketched and later finalized for wear, all in quality color photographs on thick paper stock. Costume designer Lemming notes that the entirety of the Amazon warrior costume components were prepared by hand, without 3-D printers or similar modern techniques, intending for the resulting products to look as the characters themselves might have made them. Although Gadot’s costume was already set prior to Hemming’s involvement due to Wonder Woman’s introduction in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice–the costume was designed by Academy Award-nominated designer Michael Wilkinson (American Hustle, Tron: Legacy)–Hemming discusses re-designing the boots and attempting to make the rest of the costume more comfortable for Gadot, and this was an element for the other costume designs as well, many of which would be used for stunt and action scenes requiring significant movement.
Two-time Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer (The Golden Compass, The Life of Pi) managed the film’s significant use of CGI along with practical effects where possible. Westenhofer discusses stunt sequences (including the end of film fight scenes) and points out where the film required digital rendering to illustrate the story’s grand environments.
Although artwork and photos, both screen shots and production stills, are the big draw of Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film, readers will find plenty of text including interviews with stars Gadot and Chris Pine, producer and story writer Zack Snyder, and director Patty Jenkins. As new worlds had to be created for the first third of the film and an interpretation of World War I for the remainder of the film, Academy Award-nominated set decorator Anna Lynch-Robinson (Les Misérables) provides insight into her creative process. Also included are Hemming’s designs for her World War I-era clothing recreations.
Here are some images from the book courtesy of the publisher:
Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film is published by Titan Books and is available in hardcover now here at Amazon. This edition includes an insert frameable replica 8″X10″ photo prop depicting the photo provided to Diana by Bruce Wayne in the film.