Everything we know (so far) about Wonder Woman 1984
The Wonder Woman sequel, starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, is finally coming our way later this year. While we’ve been hearing rumblings about the plot for some time, we now know the title, when it takes place, the principal cast, and a few unexpected surprises.
The first film marked the first time DC’s Amazonian warrior woman came to life on the big screen in live action. Patty Jenkins directed 2017's Wonder Woman to the tune of $821.8 million worldwide and surpassed the box office gross of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League in the United States. Obviously, a sequel was gonna happen.
So how will the gatekeepers of the DC Extended Universe top the first one? Here’s everything we know (so far) about Wonder Woman 1984.
[Note: This article was originally published June 13, 2018, and most recently updated Aug. 25, 2020.]
What’s the title?
The film that fans and media had initially been referring to as Wonder Woman 2 is titled Wonder Woman 1984. While this certainly isn’t the Orwellian future a certain literary work predicted (or is it?!), the title confirms the sequel will take place in the 1980s towards the end of the Cold War. For reference, it was 1917 when Diana fished a crashed American military pilot out of the waters of Themyscira and embarked on a mission to stop the God of War, Ares.
For associate producer Anna Obropta, “America was at the peak of its power and its pride” in the year 1984. “Apple computers and parachute pants, wealth, commercialism, glamour, even violence — everything was larger than life,” she told EW. “It was a decade of greed and desire, a time of ‘Me, me, more more more.’”
“It was a time where no cost had shown up yet,” Jenkins added. “There was the fear of the Cold War. But it really was like, ‘This is gonna go on forever!’ The feeling that the world was this cornucopia that would never stop giving was so enormous.”
What’s it about?
WB released this surface-level logline initially: “Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing an all-new foe: The Cheetah.” Based on the characters at play and interviews with the cast and crew, direct from the film’s set, we know a few more tidbits.
For one, Diana is now working at the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. It’s a quiet life and she’s dealing with the biggest consequence of being an immortal. “She has not only had the loss of [Chris Pine’s] Steve Trevor. 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,” producer Charles Roven said. “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.”
Who’s in it?
Joining Gadot are Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva (a.k.a. Cheetah), Prince Oberon himself Pedro Pascal as another villain, Maxwell Lord, and (pause for dramatic effect) the return of Pine as Steve Trevor.
Indian actress Soundarya Sharma also confirmed to The Hindu that she has a role in the sequel. “This I can say is a ‘dream coming true’ situation,” she said. “It’s exhilarating to be a part of such a larger than life character film where you get to play your dream role. I have always dreamt of playing such a character and idolized it.”
Behind the scenes, Jenkins is directing Wonder Woman 1984, which she also wrote with Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham, according to reports. Joining her are director of photography Matthew Jensen, Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (Amélie), Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (Topsy-Turvy), and Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (United 93).
Jenkins will produce the film with Stephen Jones, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, and Zack Snyder. Snyder directed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, as well as produced the films thus far in the DC universe. Though he dropped off production on Justice League and was replaced by Joss Whedon. Rebecca Roven Oakley, Richard Suckle, Wesley Coller, Johns, and Walter Hamada will serve as executive producers.
Notice Brett Ratner’s name is nowhere to be found.
A new film deserves a new suit, and the first poster for Wonder Woman 1984 reveals Diana in golden armor. It certainly has echoes of the character’s glistening Golden Eagle Armor that first appeared in the Kingdom Come comics from Alex Ross and Mark Waid. Additional images from the film showcase the wings and helmet that go with it.
According to costume designer Lindy Hemming, “In the light it’s always liquid, moving. There’s a feeling of non-flatness…. Because in the comics, she does fight her mightiest battles in the golden suit.”
Who’s the villain?
Wiig’s Cheetah is one of Wonder Woman’s best-known adversaries, though there have been many incarnations of the character in the comics. She’s been envisioned as a burglar, a villain with split personalities, and a mutant cat lady with claws and a tail. Jenkins confirmed that this version is indeed Barbara Minerva, arguably the most well-known character to bear the Cheetah title.
In the comics, Barbara is a British archeologist obsessed with Greek mythology and artifacts who eventually invokes an ancient cat god and mutates into a literal cat woman. In the film, she’s a gemologist working with Diana at the museum. Based on EW’s exclusive photo (shown above), it appears a certain gem Barbara studies could be the impetus for her magical transformation.
“In the lore, Cheetah is often someone who’s friends with Diana but jealous of her,” Jenkins explained. “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.”
Wiig’s character starts the film as Diana’s friend. But then she's seduced by the false promises of a certain businessman on TV. Then Barbara seeks to usurp her.
As for Mr. Lord, described as somewhere in between a mogul and a guru, Pascal told EW, “Max is a dream-stealer. It’s this character who encompasses a component of the era which is, you know, ‘Get whatever you 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. It’s f—ing greed, of course. But it’s also about, ‘How do you be your best self? How do you win?’ So he’s definitely the face of that version of success.”
How exactly is Steve Trevor back?
Don’t get us wrong. We’re happy to see Pine’s face again — especially since he’s standing in front of a shop that sells Diana’s favorite tasty treat. But… how is this possible? Steve seemingly died in a plane explosion at the end of the first film, a moment that established the Diana of the present day and shaped her outlook on heroism. Now, in the first-look image, we see Steve nearly seven decades later looking just as fine as when we first ogled him in Diana’s bath caves on Themyscira.
Will the memory of Steve linger in Diana’s psyche throughout the film? Did he somehow survive the plane crash and get cryogenically frozen a la Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Did he accidentally fly through a black hole at the end of Wonder Woman and get spit back up in the ’80s? (Don’t knock it. Crazier things have happened in the comics.) Is Pine playing Steve Trevor, as in Steve Trevor Jr. or Steve Trevor IV?
Reports have come out speculating that the latter might be true, but the way Pine talks about the character now makes it seem less likely. “In the first movie, I played the world-weary soldier who has seen all the depravity that humankind is capable of displaying,” the actor said. “And in this one I get to be much more wide-eyed and joyful. My role is really just as a friend, lover, boyfriend-cum-bodyguard who’s trying his best to help Diana on her mission. I’m like the Watson to her Holmes.” Diana was the fish-out-of-water in Wonder Woman, and Steve takes that role in Wonder Woman 1984.
What’s the setting?
Ahem! Didn’t you see the title? The Wonder Woman sequel takes place in 1984! In case you needed further proof, the first image of Diana sees her keeping watch over a set of screens, one of which features a scene of Christie Brinkley’s famous Ferrari scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation. Meanwhile, the Pine image flaunts some totally ’80s fashion.
Jenkins had said previously that Wonder Woman 1984 takes place in the United States. A press release from WB further noted filming will take place in Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia as well as the U.K., Spain, and the Canary Islands. Canary Islands makes us think Themyscira, so maybe that means Connie Nielsen and her Amazons will also make a return appearance. (Excuse us while we pitch a Connie Nielsen and the Amazons TV pilot.)
The film, however, kicks off back on the island of Themyscira where a young Diana is competing against her fully grown Amazon sisters in the Amazon Olympics. The sequence was shot in IMAX.
When does the movie come out?
Wonder Woman 1984 was initially scheduled for theaters on Nov. 1, 2019, but Warner Bros. moved the release date multiple times, more recently because of theater closures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the movie is scheduled to open in cinemas on Oct. 2, 2020.