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All About Diana’s Golden Armor in WONDER WOMAN 1984

We are less than two months from Wonder Woman 1984‘s current premiere date of October 2, 2020. The sequel to DC Comics’ Wonder Woman follows Diana in a new decade: the glorious 1980s. She works in cultural anthropology and archaeology in the Museum of Natural History, as part of the Smithsonian in Washington DC and in her free time, she helps humanity when it is in great need. “I think that she’s also in a place in her life where she gets involved with the world when there’s emergencies,” Gal Gadot explained to Nerdist and a handful of other outlets during a visit to the film’s set.

But don’t emergencies always pop up? And don’t they require new costumes?

As we toured the various departments on set, our group came to a halt when we spied golden armor on a mannequin. It was clearly a design based on the golden eagle armor Wonder Woman dons in the pages of comics. Director Patty Jenkins enthused, “I love that costume in the lore and I was like, ‘We’ve got to do it.'”

Diana in Wonder Woman's golden armor

Wonder Woman’s shiny, fierce look debuted in 1996 in DC Comics’ Kingdom Come. And here it stood before our eyes. Diana wears the striking armor on colorful poster key art for the film. And though aspects of the costume will be generated digitally for fight scenes, a practical set of armor exists. With over 100 individual pieces, designing and crafting the armor took patience. Like, months of experimenting and experimenting some more kind of patience. Wonder Woman 1984 costume designer Lindy Hemming said, “This has been a long, long design process.”

Wonder Woman in golden armor

Warner Bros.

Hemming wanted to blend the weight and heft of the armor while preserving Gadot’s ability to move smoothly. To that end, she worked with a specialist in Britain to make a flexible under suit. “[We’re] trying to develop a lightweight, movable sexy under suit, which is printed to look like some sort of armor,” Hemming detailed. “So it’s like an armor suit that’s very light in use, lithe and sinewy. All this work starts off almost like tights, and then on top of it, he prints different levels of texture. [Then] we can decide what goes best with the weight of the metal we’ve designed—which isn’t metal, of course—for the over suit. It’s a really amazing technique.”

Wonder Woman in golden eagle armor in DC Comics

DC Comics

The over suit (the armor) looks like gleaming gold metal. However, to make it from metal would be clunky and impractical unless Gadot wants to portray a superhero who excels at standing still. Hemming wanted the armor to be beautiful rather than clunky. She explained the material they used moves “rather like an armadillo.” That means the armor goes where Gadot’s body goes instead of weighing her down.

And with this iconic costume, you can’t forget the wings. Hemming stated, “There’s been miles and miles of debate about ‘Do wings really go with this?'”

Happily, wings do go with it (don’t worry, so does the helmet). Described as almost paragliding wings, Wonder Woman uses them more as shields and incorporates them into her fighting style. Jenkins remarked the way the articulated wings operate in a “super complicated” fashion. She also shared why Diana has a new costume in Wonder Woman 1984:

“I felt like it would be super exciting to have a new costume. That’s a costume that I love so much. Because Wonder Woman’s timeline is so [shoe]horned in between different movies, it felt weird to suddenly give her a new Wonder Woman costume, and then she puts it back on and [in] Batman v Superman she puts on the old and it’s even more… It just didn’t quite make sense,” Jenkins said. “So this was a fun way that actually is intrinsic to the storyline that she needs a different style of armor to fight Cheetah because Cheetah can get you on all of your limbs. It was something that came very naturally of like, ‘How are you going to get into it with Cheetah and how is that fight going to go?'”

We’ll see the new costume in action when Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in theaters.

Featured Image: Warner Bros.

Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of The Jedi Mind, available for pre-order now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.