The Wide Field Imager (WFI) is one of the two instruments of the ATHENA astrophysics space mission approved by ESA as the second large mission in the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Science Programme. The WFI, based on a large array of depleted field effect transistors (DEPFET), will provide imaging in the 0.2-15 keV band over a 40’x40’ field of view, simultaneously with spectrally and time resolved photon counting. The WFI detector is also sensitive to UV/Vis photons, with an electron-hole pair production efficiency in the UV/VIS larger than that for X-ray photons. Optically generated photo-electrons may degrade the spectral resolution as well as change the energy scale by introducing a signal offset. For this reason, the use of X-ray transparent optical blocking filters (OBFs) are needed to allow the observation of X-ray sources that present a UV/Vis bright counterpart. The OBFs design is challenging since one of the two required filters is quite large (~ 160 mm × 160 mm), very thin (< 200 nm), and shall survive the mechanical load during the launch. In this paper, we review the main results of modeling and characterization tests of OBF partially representative samples, performed during the phase A study, to identify the suitable materials, optimize the design, prove that the filters can be launched in atmospheric pressure, and thus demonstrate that the chosen technology can reach the proper technical readiness before mission adoption.