Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Wonder Woman 2 is still set to be released in cinemas later this year. Gal Gadot, who of course plays the titular role, has just shared more details on what fans can expect from the film.
It’s now been nearly three years since Wonder Woman hit cinemas in the UK. The first female-led superhero blockbuster to be released in over a decade, it went on to become the highest-grossing superhero origin film of all time, raking in more than £613m at box offices worldwide and reducing both little girls and grown women to joyful tears.
As well as being a commercial success, the critical reception for Wonder Woman was overwhelmingly positive: it currently has a 93% positive rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Neither did it only appeal to women. Audiences during the film’s opening weekend were almost 50% male, crushing fears that men wouldn’t be interested in a superhero film with a female lead.
After such a rapturous response, it’s hardly surprising that Warner Bros – the studio behind the first Wonder Woman film – quickly began planning a sequel. But what exactly do we know about the upcoming Wonder Woman 2? And how will the pandemic affect its release?
Read on for all the details confirmed so far.
First look at the Wonder Woman 1984 poster
Director Patty Jenkins and lead actor Gal Gadot shared the first official poster for Wonder Woman 1984 last summer. The fierce image shows Diana wearing her new armour against a colourful backdrop of Wonder Woman logos. Smith shared the poster after revealing that Warner Bros. won’t be attending Comic-Con International in San Diego this July. Clearly, she just couldn’t wait to get this out there.
Chris Pine is returning – despite having died in the first film
There had been much speculation about whether Chris Pine’s character, American spy Steve Trevor, would reappear in the Wonder Woman sequel. Those in favour of him coming back pointed out Pine’s crackling chemistry with Gal Gadot, which gave their characters the kind of sparky, eye-rolling, god-you’re-annoying-but-I-love-you dynamic of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Those against the idea noted that it wouldn’t make any sense for Trevor to return, given that he nobly blew himself up in a plane at the end of the first film.
However, new photos shared by director Patty Jenkins show that – defying all traditional rules of time and space – Trevor will be making an appearance in Wonder Woman 2 after all. On 13 June, Jenkins posted a film still on Twitter showing Pine in a shopping mall wearing a khaki tracksuit, Casio-style watch and retro trainers, surrounded by women with perms and men with very questionable facial hair.
The accompanying caption reads: “Welcome to 1984, Steve Trevor!”
Wonder Woman 2 is set in the Eighties at the height of the Cold War (more on that below), and it makes perfect sense for Diana, aka Wonder Woman, to have travelled from World War One to 1984. She’s a princess from a mythical tribe of women who can live for thousands of years without ageing at all: she can do that kind of thing.
But it’s much less clear how Trevor, a regular mortal human man, has managed to leap forward in time by 66 years without ageing at all. We’ll bring you updates as we have them.
It will be set in the Eighties
On 2 June 2019, director Patty Jenkins changed her Twitter header image to the film’s decidedly ominous logo, confirming that Wonder Woman 2 will be set in 1984. Geoff Johns, the president and chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, shared the same image on his Facebook page (above).
This means the sequel will take place during the Cold War, 60 years after the first film’s World War One setting. Jenkins had previously announced the movie’s Eighties backdrop at a CinemaCon presentation in April.
Setting Wonder Woman 2 in the Cold War feels like a timely move, given the current tensions between Russia and the Western world. The relationship between the US and the Soviet Union was dangerously rocky, to put it mildly, in 1984, with both sides building up their nuclear arsenals dramatically.
Later, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev would say that world politics was more “explosive and hence, more difficult and unfavourable… in the first half of the Eighties” than at any other time since World War Two. Sounds like the perfect backdrop for a superhero movie.
Kristen Wiig will play the villain
Jenkins confirmed last March that Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig will play Wonder Woman’s new nemesis, the Cheetah, in the sequel. Otherwise known as British archaeologist Barbara Ann Minerva, the Cheetah is a selfish, neurotic, sarcastic and extremely powerful villain who covets Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.
Diana and the Cheetah have a long, fraught and complex relationship in the film’s comic book source material. Indeed, Vulture describes the Cheetah as “ubiquitous and colourful enough to possibly be defined as Diana’s Joker”, which gives you an idea of what to expect.
We have a new UK release date
Originally, the movie was set for release on 5 June 2020. However, due to lockdown, it is now set to be released in UK cinemas on 2 October 2020.
The set will be the first to adopt new anti-sexual harassment guidelines
The PGA presidents confirmed in January that Wonder Woman 2 would be the first movie to adopt the guidelines during filming. The suggestions for combating harassment include providing “in-person anti-sexual harassment training for all members of the cast and crew”, and designating “at least two individuals, ideally of different genders”, who cast or crew members know to approach if they experience or witness harassment.
Patty Jenkins is directing and co-writing the script
Jenkins originally only signed a contract to direct one standalone Wonder Woman film for Warner Bros. However, after the success of the first film, she negotiated a deal to direct the sequel in September 2017.
Jenkins will be paid almost £7m ($9m) to helm Wonder Woman 2, more than triple what she made on the first film – making her the highest-paid female film director ever. In October, she spoke about her sense of responsibility to ensure she was earning the same as her male equivalent would for a blockbuster superhero film.
“Women who have not been in a system that allows them to build up the same level of pay as men are not able to be paid the same forever if that’s the way it continues,” she said. “You have to ask for it to happen, and you have to ask when you’re the appropriate person.”
DC boss Geoff Johns had previously confirmed that he was working with Jenkins on the script for the sequel. “Patty and I are writing the treatment right now,” he told Variety last year. “The goal is to make another great Wonder Woman film.”
Gal Gadot will return as Wonder Woman
Well, duh. The Israeli actress received rave reviews for her portrayal of Diana, an Amazonian royal raised in a matriarchal society of warrior women and transplanted to WWI-era Europe, in the first film. A Wonder Woman 2 without her? Inconceivable.
“I really, really love Diana,” Gadot told Collider. “I love everything about her. I love the story. She has a heart of a human being, powers of goddess and a very wise brain… She’s everything. I love her.”
The original Wonder Woman may make a cameo
Lynda Carter played Diana in the Wonder Woman TV series, which ran from 1975 to 1979. She has been a vocal cheerleader for the remake, tweeting endless praise for Gadot’s performance and Jenkins’ direction.
Jenkins revealed on Twitter in June that she tried to persuade Carter to appear in the first Wonder Woman film, but was unsuccessful. (Carter, 65, said that she was unable to appear due to scheduling conflicts.)
But that hasn’t put Jenkins off: she says she’ll keep trying to get a Carter cameo in Wonder Woman 2.
It’s not actually a sequel at all, apparently
Speaking to Total Film in June 2020, Gadot explained why this film really doesn’t feel like a sequel.
“We don’t pick up the story where we left it last, because it was 66 years ago. So she’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,” Gadot said.
“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.”
She added: “It’s totally of its own. It’s true. And I feel, in the first movie, a big thing that we played off was the naiveté of Diana. And she’s not naive anymore. She’s been around. She’s wiser. She’s more mature. We meet a very much evolved character in this one.”
Images: Warner Bros / Rex Features / Getty Images