Justice Society: World War II – Stana Katic on Diana's "Aha" Moment

When circumstances force Barry Allen to run faster than ever, he finds himself tossed through time into a World War II battle between the Golden Age heroes of the Justice Society. As it turns out, Wonder Woman has been fighting the Nazis in1940s Germany and leading the titular superhero team in Justice Society: World War II. Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) and Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol, The Boys in the Band), who made their DC Universe Movies debuts as Lois Lane and Superman in the 2013 film Superman: Unbound, return to the popular animated film series in the lead roles of Wonder Woman and The Flash. Just ahead of the April 27th release date, Stana joins Bleeding Cool to share her thoughts on the movie and putting her stamp on the iconic superhero.

Behind the Scenes with the Makers of 'Justice Society World War II'
Justice Society: World War II Cover. Credit: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Known for her work as badass DC females Lois Lane in Superman: Unbound and Talia Al Ghul in Batman: Arkham City, it wasn't long before she was called to put her stamp on the most iconic female superhero of all time. Since 1941 Wonder Woman has been portrayed on every type of media imaginable and has inspired generations of young ladies to heroic aspirations. 

 "It's a deep privilege to be a part of that legacy, a small part of that legacy.. ..so just being able to participate in some small way in that storytelling is just a gift for me." 

Fans who are familiar with Katic from Castle or Absentia may be hard-pressed to recognize her under the very unique approach to the Amazon's voice. What should be an obvious choice is somewhat surprising to realize this version of Wonder Woman. In researching what would become her accent, Stana began exploring the origins and the mythology of Amazons by studying Janine Davis Kimball (Warrior Woman), who discovered the Amazon's remains, to help layer her approach.

 "I asked the guys Butch Lukic (Supervising Producer) and Wes Gleason (Voice Director) if they wanted an accent, and they were clear they did want an accent. And they offered a couple of regions that they thought the accent could come from. They said, look, it could be kind of Mediterranean accent, it can be a central European accent, but we'd like to have some sort of feeling of that…I wanted to look back and say what would a Skifian, Illyrian, Thracian-like warrior woman sound like today? Also, I just wanted to give a touch of my grandmothers, they were survivors of world war two, and for me, it was just a way to kind of give a small touch of them and give a shout out to my girls."       

Stana was excited by the idea of diving into the vintage world of the 1940s setting and seeing how they would pay that off onscreen. After reading the script for the first time, the thing that stood out most was the journey each character takes.

"Each hero has an arc in this story, so we are not just running with one character and seeing the world entirely through their eyes. We are getting to see each of these characters have a realization, an 'Aha' moment. A moment of Eureka, and be able to shift their behaviors in a wiser and better way."

'Justice Society: World War II Bleeding Cool Interview: Stana Katic
Courtesy WB Home Entertainment

The magnificent action set pieces in this film are in stark contrast to the heavy emotional beats in the script. At the center is the relationship between Diana and Steve Trevor. Stana credits her co-star for a lot of the connection between the two characters. 

"He delivered so much of this roguish charm to his rendition of Steve Trevor. You just get the feeling that he is always just smiling. Regardless of all of the 'Not now, maybe laters' that he gets from Diana on every gesture of proposal, you still get a sense that he is enjoying the sweetness of life. And he is enjoying the sweetness of that very unusual sort of swordplay that those two characters have. (He) really favors and enjoys the sweetness of life. And he becomes, in a way, I think, an example for many of the other characters, his view on not waiting for anything. Is something that inspires a lot of arcs in this story." 

What separates Wonder Woman from the other heroes in this story is she has to take a position of leadership, and although capable, she is not normally the leader.

"…that is sort of part of her DNA is that initially, she is so focused on the task at hand, she is so focused on fighting evil and on helping humanity, helping humanity help itself that she puts aside her own personal needs and wishes and I think that she has a really big learning curve towards the end of the movie. You don't always have to compromise living life while you are trying to save a life."    

Justice Society: World War II Bleeding Cool Interview: Stana Katic
Courtesy of WB Home Entertainment

Set in World War II, this Justice Society: World War II clip from IGN showcases just a hint of the strikingly detailed action sequences that set this movie apart. In it, Wonder Woman takes out a platoon of Nazis and sets the tone for the rest of the story. 

Justice Society: World War II stars Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) as Wonder Woman, Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol, The Boys in the Band) as Barry Allen/The Flash, Elysia Rotaru (Arrow) as Black Canary, Omid Abtahi (American Gods, The Mandalorian) as Hawkman, Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley, The Three Stooges) as Steve Trevor, Armen Taylor (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind) as Jay Garrick/The Flash, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War) as Aquaman, and Geoff Arend (Madam Secretary, Batman: Hush) as Charles Halstead/Advisor alongside director Jeff Wamester (Guardians of the Galaxy TV series), co-screenwriters Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, DC Super Hero Girls) and Jeremy Adams (Supernatural, Batman: Soul Of The Dragon), and supervising producer Butch Lukic (Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Constantine: City of Demons).

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated Justice Society: World War II will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting April 27, 2021, and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray on May 11, 2021.

About Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.