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From Amazon Olympics to Washington, D.C.: What we learned on the Wonder Woman 1984 set
Director Patty Jenkins' original Wonder Woman film introduced the world to Diana Prince on her own terms three years ago. Now Patty and Diana are back for Wonder Woman 1984, and the new trailer will debut at the film's DC FanDome panel on August 22. SYFY FANGRRLS visited the set of the upcoming film, and not only did we get a glimpse of a return to Themyscira, we also had the opportunity to check out Diana's (Gal Gadot) D.C. apartment and Barbara Ann Minerva's (Kristen Wiig) very '80s pad.
According to associate producer Anna Obropta, Wonder Woman 1984 begins back in Themyscira, on a day of celebration. "It's the Amazon Olympics. Really, it's just this amazing opening sequence of the Amazons performing these events that are like Cirque de Soleil meets American Ninja Warrior meets extreme sports, but yet none of that. Like nothing you've ever seen before."
At the studio set in London, press were given a look behind the scenes at how this sequence would be brought to life. There was blue screen behind the structure, and some of the pieces were obviously going to be extended with effects, but a huge set had actually been built. The structure was like a massive diving board raised high on poles, with the pool existing below. Not only was it a sports center, but it was practically a work of art.
Obropta explained that the camera will pan up to these "fearsome and focused tall Amazon warriors, and you get to the very last, and she's much smaller than the rest, because it's young Diana (Lilly Aspell), who is 10 years old." This is the obstacle course portion of the Olympics, but there are also horseback riding and archery, and according to Obropta, "it's dazzling and exciting." You can catch a glimpse of it in the trailer at 1:46.
Most of the film, however, will take place in 1984, as the title suggests, and Diana is "still doing her best to stoically perform her duty to protect humanity." She's isolated herself as well, while "people chase after dreams of wealth and power and fame, dreams that are apparently for sale by the president of Black Gold International, played by Pedro Pascal."
This is going to sound familiar to anyone who's seen a scam in the works. Maxwell Lord (Pascal) is releasing infomercials left and right, selling the idea that you can have it all. If you were alive in the ‘80s, you know the sound of all this. Obropta explained that the message really hits people like Barbara Ann Minerva. "She feels more seen and respected in the world, but her powers take on a very fast, very dark turn as she transforms into this vicious and savage creature, like nothing we could ever have imagined."
Yes, we're finally going to see the top member of Wonder Woman's rogues' gallery — but before that happens, Barbara and Diana will become semi-friends, as briefly revealed in the trailer. We'll also get a sense of who Barbara is by way of her apartment. The set we saw was full of lucite and gold, salmon shades, and teal.
Meanwhile, Diana is living in Washington, D.C., in the Watergate building — on the 10th floor, with a great view. In contrast to the very dated look of Barbara's place, Diana's apartment is huge, full of glass, geodes, and metal, as well as bits of art she's collected over the years. It's done in all neutrals and very simple. By this time, Diana's also working at the Smithsonian, and the signs of that are very evident throughout her place — as well as pieces from her past, like old photos and other bits from the first film, which you can see in the opening scene of the trailer, along with Steve Trevor's (Chris Pine) watch.
The contrast between the two women is very visually apparent, and producer Charles Roven spoke a bit more about the casting of Wiig for the role. "We felt very strongly about the fact that Kristen was going to be able to do the Barbara Minerva that we meet, this person who's not very visible, even though she wanted to be, because she's a geek. She could give that character both the humor and the warmth that Diana sees in her, and that we the audience see in her, so that hopefully we'll like her because Diana invests in her."
Barbara is good at her job, according to Roven, and Diana even admires things about her. "We knew Kristen would be great at that, but we did have to do what we call a chemistry read to make sure that, as she was progressing into the Cheetah character, she could have that toughness, that aggression that we're going to believe when she gets nasty. Boy, she could get nasty." We were told that the look of this version of the character was inspired by Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner.
Though we can't say much about the scene we saw being filmed, we can say that it was set in the hallway of what appears to be the White House. You can see it in the trailer, of course, and the moments we saw are in the shot. Diana is taking everyone down, using her lasso.
At one point, Maxwell Lord is also walking down the hallway flanked by men with the lasso around his wrists (an effect that would be added later in post). The fight ensues; Steve Trevor is there in a flight suit and uses a silver tray he finds on a table in the battle.
Wonder Woman 1984 is set to hit theaters on October 2.