As Wonder Woman moved through the general stages of production, the movie news world was constantly swirling with rumors suggesting that the film was in trouble. With the DC Extended Universe taking blows thanks to poor critical reactions to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, reports suggested that director Patty Jenkins' movie was changing in a reactionary way. It turns out, however, that Wonder Woman is actually the rare studio film to go through filming and editing with almost zero changes -- the exception being a reshoot for Diana's triumphant trek across No Man's Land. Jenkins recently told me,
It took decades for Warner Bros. to finally settle on a Wonder Woman script they wanted to turn into a movie, and this specific blockbuster was developed with two competing screenplays -- but it turns out that once the script was finalized before production, that was it. I spoke with Patty Jenkins at the Los Angeles press day for Wonder Woman last month, and it was in a discussion about the evolution of the story that the filmmaker explained just how little the movie really changed once cameras started rolling in late 2015.
What's funny about the entrance into No Man's Land being the only reshot sequence in Wonder Woman is the fact that I was actually on set the day they first filmed it. Rather than being on-location, the moment was shot in a studio in England against a huge green screen - with star Gal Gadot on a giant treadmill in her full costume. The moment started with her slowly walking towards the camera and deflecting rifle fire with her bracelets, but before long she was running at a full sprint. In the finished film you can see how this was changed, with Diana never really getting up to a full sprint, and also eventually forced to hunker down behind her shield.
Of course, it should be recognized that not having to change one sequence through production of a major blockbuster is legitimately an astonishing achievement. We don't even need to look outside of the DC Extended Universe for examples of movies that shot way more content than what's in the theatrical versions, as both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad both saw extended cuts released. Whether it's because of studio notes or results from test screenings, most big budget films find something to change within the narrative or structure, but the fact that Wonder Woman didn't need anything altered is ridiculously impressive.
You can watch Patty Jenkins discuss the evolution of Wonder Woman through production (or, rather lack thereof), as well as the duality of the story by clicking play on the video below!
In case you haven't heard, Wonder Woman is in theaters everywhere now.