‘Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film’ Book Review: A Worthy Addition

     July 6, 2017

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With the home video market in decline and studios no longer making the serious investment into special features that they once did, it now falls on other mediums to pick up the slack. I don’t know what kind of Blu-ray release Wonder Woman will get, but it probably won’t provide all the details that went into the making of the production that fans will want. Thankfully, that’s where Titan Books’ Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film can provide a handy resource. While it still doesn’t provide the warts-and-all making-of that die-hards will want, it’s not a bad behind the scenes look at the production.

The book goes into the major characters, the main settings, and the main plot points and how they were designed. While I would have preferred a few more details as well as discarded looks (I love seeing “what might have been” when it comes to concept art), you still get a solid look at the evolution of characters like Dr. Maru and General Ludendorff. The book also features gorgeous, full-page color images that provide a nice close-up on the armor, weapons, and other various elements of the production design.

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Image via Amazon

The book also features interviews with the crew and really provides an in-depth look at how they accomplished various scenes such as Diana’s cliff dive to rescue Steve or how they composited the arrival in London. It’s all great material, but at the same time, it also feels a bit like a half-measure. In terms of covering detail, author Sharon Gosling isn’t at fault. She’s doing the best she can with her medium, but it’s one thing to have a VFX supervisor tell you how they put together a shot, and it’s another to actually see it done in full motion. Repeatedly, you’ll be reading Wonder Woman and seeing the book as a template for a rich selection of bonus features that will probably never exist.

The one place the book falls short on its own merit is that it dodges the third act. On the one hand, I understand the need to stop spoilers from leaking out, but if the book is meant to be informative, then it would have been nice to have a bit more detail on the climactic battle, the development of Ares, and so forth.

It would have also been nice to get more on the pre-production and the development of various drafts, but I assume Warner Bros. would never have made that kind of material public. They want fans to believe that every movie is a perfectly crafted unicorn that underwent no changes whatsoever, and that the entire production was flawless from start to finish (you will not find Michelle MacLaren’s name in this book).

Maybe one day when the Wonder Woman movies are revered as classic cinema, Warner Bros. will cash in with a warts-and-all coffee table book, but until then, Wonder Woman: The Art and Making of the Film is a worthy addition to any Wonder Woman fan’s collection and you’ll be pouring over its pages as it provides a nice look at Patty Jenkins’ wonderful superhero movie.

Click here to go purchase the book.

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