Wonder Woman made her grand big-screen debut in Batman v. Superman to help the two squabbling heroes fight Doomsday. Furthermore, her introduction came with a secret hidden in a century-old black-and-white photo.
In her solo feature, Diana leaves Themyscira to intervene in the conflicts of men for the first time during World War I. But, according to Zack Snyder (via CinemaBlend), she would’ve met people a lot earlier.
During his BVS viewing party on Vero, Snyder mentioned discussions he had of placing Diana in the thick of either America’s Civil War or the less familiar Crimean War in Europe. He explained the concept for Wonder Woman wasn’t finished at the time:
“Before we inserted this into the film, I’d shot a placeholder. When we shot BvS, we hadn’t really finished the concept for Wonder Woman yet… Steve Berkman, who’d shot the image of Wonder Woman from World War I, we had shot that previous with an image from the Crimean War. Originally it had been the Crimean War because it was one of the early [conflicts] where photography was used, and I wanted to get the longest stretch possible. I think we originally talked about it even being the Civil War as a possibility. Just in our early conversations, we were like ‘What would really show the distance?’”
The Crimean War, lasting from 1853-1856, involved Britain, France, Turkey, and Russia. It changed the face of Europe heading into the 20th century but is less widely depicted in films and popular culture. Photography may have been used on its battlefields yet the war is more commonly represented in paintings.
The Civil War is more distinguished by its photographic record, making it an acceptable choice. However, for Steve Trevor to be a pilot and to truly drive home Ares’ power and the horror of war, “The War to End All Wars” is much more suitable.
Snyder was clear about why he wanted a photograph as opposed to a painting or portrait:
“But the idea that Batman was looking at an early photographic image, not a painting, but a photograph, to prove that it’s the same person, and that the photograph was 100 years old to show that she hadn’t aged, that notion was in the film before we made the Wonder Woman movie. That was a way to start with the Wonder Woman film as a concept, that she had this group of guys, a team of people that she was going after Ares [with].”
Diana vaporized Ares and ended the War but lost Steve in the process. She gets him back in a novel way in Wonder Woman 1984 where they take on the threat of Maxwell Lord and Cheetah in Cold-War America.
WW84 was slated to be out in June but precautions taken in the wake of the COVID pandemic made Warner Bros. push it to August 14th.