Turns out, it’s not actually a “sequel.”
Wonder Woman dominated the 2017 summer box office, and fans of the superhero have long been giddy over the forthcoming “sequel,” Wonder Woman 1984. However, the wait for the next installment has taken longer than expected. Here’s everything we know about the film so far.
WHEN’S IT COMING OUT?
Wonder Woman 1984 will now fly into theaters on October 2.
The premiere date has changed multiple times since it was first announced. It was initially set for December 13, 2019, then pushed to November 1, and again to June 5, 2020. The opening was then delayed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic, first pushed to August 14, then later to the October release date.
“When we greenlit Wonder Woman 1984, it was with every intention to be viewed on the big screen and are excited to announce that Warner Bros. Pictures will be bringing the film to theatres on Aug. 14,” Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich said in a statement, per Variety. “We hope the world will be in a safer and healthier place by then.”
Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution, Jeff Goldstein, told The Hollywood Reporter back in 2018, “We had tremendous success releasing the first Wonder Woman film during the summer, so when we saw an opportunity to take advantage of the changing competitive landscape, we did.”
IS WONDER WOMAN DIRECTOR PATTY JENKINS INVOLVED?
Yes! Jenkins—who became the highest-grossing female director of a live-action film with Wonder Woman—signed a deal to direct Wonder Woman II in September 2017.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Jenkins knows exactly where she wants to take Diana next. “The story will take place in the U.S., which I think is right,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s Wonder Woman. She’s got to come to America. It’s time.” While 2018’s Wonder Woman took place during World War I, the next installment, as the title suggests, takes place in the ’80s—perms, shoulder pads, and all.
“Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah,” Warner Bros.’ official log line for the film reads.
Gadot’s Diana Prince is all settled in the ’80s with a job in the art world (per the trailer), but she’s still struggling with themes of loss, according to producer Charles Roven.
“She has not only had the loss of [Chris Pine’s] Steve Trevor,” Roven told Entertainment Weekly in February 2020. “She’s lost nearly all the people that are important to her because they’re not immortal, and her life is actually quite lonely and spartan. In fact, the only joy that she gets out of it is when she’s actually doing something for people, if she can help those in need.”
IS THIS MOVIE ACTUALLY A SEQUEL?
No, according to Roven. He told Vulture that the upcoming film isn’t exactly a continuation of the original Wonder Woman story. “[Director Patty Jenkins] was just determined that this movie should be the next iteration of Wonder Woman but not a sequel. And she’s definitely delivering on that,” he said.
“It’s a completely different time frame and you’ll get a sense of what Diana-slash–Wonder Woman had been doing in the intervening years. But it’s a completely different story that we’re telling,” he continued. “Even though it’ll have a lot of the same emotional things, a lot of humor, a lot of brave action. Tugs at the heart strings as well.”
Jenkins didn’t personally respond to Roven’s statement, but a source close to her told Vulture that Wonder Woman 1984 is indeed a ‘stand-alone film.” Perhaps that’s why we see Steve Trevor in the promo imagery.
“We don’t pick up the story where we left it last, because it was 66 years ago,” Gadot told Total Film magazine. “So [Diana’s] been living for over six decades by herself, in man’s world, serving mankind and doing good. And this story is a story of its own. I mean, the only thing that we share in both stories is probably, you know, the fact that it’s Diana Prince and also Steve Trevor. But other than that, it’s a whole new world, and the era is different, and Diana is different, and the story is new.”
WHO’S THE NEW VILLAIN?
Kristen Wiig will play Cheetah, Jenkins confirmed on March 9, 2018, on Twitter. Cheetah (real name: Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva) is an archeologist and heiress who’s acquired super-feline powers, THR reported.
Wonder Woman will also face off with Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord, a treacherous self-made mogul. “Max is a dream-seller,” Pascal described his character to EW. “It’s this character who encompasses a component of the era which is, you know, ‘Get whatever want, however you can. You’re entitled to it!’ And at any cost, ultimately, which represents a huge part of our culture and this kind of unabashed—it’s greed.”
If you don’t know much about Cheetah, you’re not alone. Also speaking to EW, Wiig admitted to knowing very little about the iconic comic book villain before filming.
“I did not really know so much about Cheetah,” she said. “Before I even talked to Patty [Jenkins], there was an idea that maybe it might be about being a villain for the movie, so I went online and looked at all the villains of Wonder Woman to try to figure out which one, because I was so excited. And I was really, really happy to find out it was her.”
Jenkins was positive from the get-go that Wiig was the right actress for the role, however. In the same EW story, she explained, “In the lore, Cheetah is often someone who’s friends with Diana but jealous of her. And I feel like Kristen’s playing a character who’s both ends of the spectrum—she’s your warm, funny friend who’s kind and interesting and then can transform into something completely different. Yes, she happens to be a woman, but she’s straight out of the Gene Hackman Superman school of great, funny, tremendous actors. I don’t think of her being a female villain, although she is. I feel that way about Wonder Woman, too. The female component of it is huge, but she’s also just a hero, a universal hero.”
WHO ELSE IS IN THE CAST?
In addition to Gadot, Wiig, Pascal, and Pine, Warner Bros. confirms that Robin Wright returns as Antiope, and Connie Nielsen reprises her role as Hippolyta, Diana’s mother.
STEVE TREVOR IS DEFINITELY DEAD, RIGHT?
Nope. Even though Wonder Woman implied Pine’s character died heroically at the end of the film, in June 2018, Patty Jenkins confirmed Steve’s return when she tweeted a photo of him from the follow-up film. “Welcome to WONDER WOMAN 1984, Steve Trevor!” she wrote. But how did he survive? Maybe he gets a whole new story since Wonder Woman 1984 will be a different iteration of the heroine’s journey rather than a full-on sequel?
On the one hand, it might seem odd to bring the character back for the sequel, but on the other, Pine and Gadot’s chemistry would have been hard to top—or even replicate—and the Wonder Woman team feels lucky to have stumbled into that epic on-screen banter to begin with.
“There was no chemistry test!” Gadot told EW. “Honestly, we just had it…. And where other men could be intimidated by the fact that they’re not, you know, the hero hero that men usually are, with Chris he enjoys it, and it challenges him in a way that is so much fun and so funny.”
A new photo shared by Total Film magazine shows yet another scene of Steve and Diana together.
WHEN DID FILMING BEGIN?
Summer 2018. Roven, also producer for DC Extended Universe projects, told ComicBook.com in February 2018 that the team was working the screenplay at the time. “We’re hoping to start shooting the movie sometime this summer, and hope to have it out by the end of ’19,” he said then.
WILL WONDER WOMAN GET A NEW COSTUME?
Looks like it. A psychedelic poster shared by Jenkins on Twitter shows the titular hero wearing a new gold suit with a structural bodice and heavy metal plating on the shoulders, wrists, and legs.
And, according to additional photos, it has WINGS.
However, stills released from the film reveal that the kick-ass heroine will also sport her classic costume for at least part of the movie.
HOW DOES THE MOVIE LOOK THOUGH?
Nothing we can say in words could possibly measure up to seeing actual footage of Gadot back in action for the sequel, which is exactly what we got in the first official trailer, released in December 2019. Watch it below.