Wonder Woman is a visually striking movie right from the beginning. One of its most impressive moments comes early in the film when Hippolyta reads Diana a story about the origins of Themyscira and Ares killing the other gods. The scene, known as the “History Lesson,” animates a tableau of Renaissance-style artwork. Now, Houston Sharp — one of the film’s artists — has posted several images from the scene on Art Station.
While many of the images did appear in the movie, two — “Walk with Mankind” and “Betrayed” — didn’t make it into the scene’s final cut. “Walk with Mankind” shows a group of female warriors walking with military men, some of whom are dressed in a Spartan style. In “Betrayed,” the men are attacking the women, which leads to their enslavement.
The images also provide a clearer look at Ares killing the other gods. One panel, in particular, reveals that one of the other gods was using a trident, a weapon often associated with Poseidon. Aquaman has wielded the Trident of Neptune (the Roman name for Poseidon), which is a symbol of Atlantean royalty, so it’s likely that Poseidon will be referenced again in either in Justice League or the Aquaman solo film.
In the accompanying post, Sharp wrote, “I had the pleasure and honor of working with Patty Jenkins and her team to create the animated painting at the beginning of Wonder Woman. It was a huge undertaking, but I had a small team of super-talented artists to help finish it on time, and Patty & Co. were very supportive along the way.”
“Each panel was painted separately, and stitched together into one massive painting,” he continued. “We tried achieving a classical oil painting look, while working in a way that was easy for the animators to work with (which meant keeping everything on their own layers, painting behind figures, etc.). It took a lot of planning and coordination between multiple artists, but it was well worth the challenge.”
Additionally, Sharp posted on his Facebook that “It was a massive challenge, considering that the painting needed to be animated once it was all done, but Patty Jenkins was really great to work with, and I enjoyed creating it.” He also mentioned that he would be posting more closeups of the work over the next few days.
Wonder Woman has been a box office juggernaut, earning over $200 million at the domestic box. The film’s strong debut set a new record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film by a female director and has proven to have immense staying power, only seeing a 45% drop in ticket sales between its first and second weekend.
In U.S. theaters now, Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as Diana, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Ares, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy.