Wonder Woman's filming links to the county
- Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/ ™ & © DC Comics / © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Warner Bros' DC blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 had a limited cinema release late last year in the UK before tier restrictions tightened and then lockdown closed venues across the country.
The sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman, WW84 sees Gal Gadot reprise her role as Diana Prince – aka Wonder Woman.
But did you know Hertfordshire's links to the Wonder Woman franchise?
Hatfield House appeared in 2017's origin movie. The Amazonian warrior and US spy Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, infiltrate a party held at the German High Command in the fantasy action adventure set during World War One.
While the entrance of the German-run 'Belgian chateau' is actually Arundel Castle in West Sussex, the luxurious ball where Wonder Woman comes face to face with evil German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) is inside Hatfield House.
Gal Gadot, wearing a blue ball gown with a sword tucked down her back, walks along the Long Gallery with its gold leaf ceiling before dancing with Ludendorff.
Chris Pine, as Steve Trevor, and nefarious chemist Dr Isabel Maru, aka Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya), a loyal ally of Ludendorff, were also in the scenes shot in the Long Gallery at Hatfield.
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The movie can be seen today (Sunday, January 10) at 6.20pm on ITV2.
Fast forward to the 1980s and scenes of director Patty Jenkins' superhero sequel, Wonder Woman 1984 were also shot on location in Hertfordshire.
Wonder Woman 1984 finds Diana riding lightning across the sky, donning wings of gold, and chasing a dream while in pursuit of two new formidable foes: Max Lord and the Cheetah.
Playing Maxwell Lord is Pedro Pascal, most recently seen playing the titular role in the first ever live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.
Kristen Wiig takes on the dual role of bookish, awkward scientist Barbara Minerva and her alter ego, the Cheetah, one of fandom’s favorites as well as one of Wonder Woman’s most formidable rivals.
“When Patty called me about being in the movie, I immediately said yes because I loved the first one," says Wiig, who co-wrote and starred in movie comedy Bridesmaids.
"It was that simple. Then when I read the script, I was so excited by the extent of the transformation of my character, how much she changes and how evil she becomes.
"I’ve always wanted to do something like that, so it was a dream for me to get to play her.”
The production filmed in the US, England, Wales, Spain and the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
“The global footprint of this film is one of the largest I’ve ever worked on,” reveals Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning producer Charles Roven.
“We also were able to shoot on both 35mm film and 65mm IMAX, which is always really exciting as it creates a true sense of spectacle and is one of the most immersive mediums in film today.”
Once shooting in Virginia and Washington, D.C., America, was completed, cast and key crew then headed to the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden for soundstage work.
There in Herts, the crew recreated the interiors of the White House Oval Office and the Smithsonian Museum.
They would later utilise a number of locations in England, including film-friendly Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire, Heydon Grange Golf Club, and IWM Duxford, across the county border in Cambridgeshire.
Bovingdon Airfield was also a location for superhero movie Justice League, also starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman alongside Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman.
The American Air Museum at the Imperial War Museums Duxford site was used for scenes of WW84 involving leads Gal Gadot and Chris Pine stealing a jet from an aviation museum.
Producer Stephen Jones notes: “Even though we were making an epic superhero movie – with a lot of larger-than-life action sequences, taking place across several countries and shooting on location whenever possible – working with Patty and understanding her vision, we knew the film would also feel grounded.
"She likes to work in-camera in order to make everything look and feel as real as possible.”
Director/co-writer/producer Patty Jenkins aimed to fill the screen with even bigger action and higher stakes for the title character.
“In the first film, Diana engaged with the first wave of the mechanisation of the world; this time, she engages with humankind at the height of its success or, more accurately, excess,” she states.
“As before, there’s something for everyone in the audience to enjoy, and a lot for the tried-and-true fans to love.”
Jenkins adds: “The core of the story never loses sight of what Wonder Woman is: optimistic, positive, courageous…our better self.
"She is a perfect example of what I believe superheroes are meant to do, which is to show us how to be our better selves and remind us that by doing so, we can create a better world.”