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SYFY WIRE Wonder Woman 1984

Patty Jenkins teases why she chose 1984 as the setting for Wonder Woman sequel

By Josh Weiss
Wonder Woman Gal Gadot

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

During a recent guest appearance on Deadline's Crew Call podcastPatty Jenkins teased her reasoning for setting next summer's Wonder Woman sequel in 1984. As some have speculated, that very specific choice of year could be a not-so-subtle nod to George Orwell, whose 1949 book of the same name is an exemplar of the dystopian subgenre in science fiction.

“All I can say is that 1984 itself is definitely very evocative to what’s important in that movie and resonates with right now. I picked 1984 for a very specific reason," said Jenkins, who co-wrote the feature's screenplay with Geoff Johns and David Callaham. "I think it was the pinnacle of the success in the ‘80s, in my opinion, because it’s before the market started to get a little more struggling as the ‘80s went on. And it was like the top of the top. It was such an incredible time. I feel like there’s something about the excess of that period of time, which is so linked up to where we are in the world right now, that it’s set there for a reason. That’s all I can say.”

1984 George Orwell

Known for over-the-top decadence and Wall Street mystique, the Reagan Era may end up playing a secondary villain for Gal Gadot's Diana Prince to face. Can she stomach the rampant excess and questionable, Gordon Gekko-esque stock trading practices of the era? Indeed, the entire decade may be personified in Pedro Pascal's coiffed mystery character, who may or may not be the classic DC supervillain known as Maxwell Lord.

"I really felt like the 1980s is mankind at their most extreme and at their best. It was when we could do anything we wanted and we had no idea of the price yet. So we have really committed to that version of the '80s, where it’s not needle drops and it's not a bunch of jokes,” Jenkins said back in January. “It's actually the most kind of aspirational and elegant version of the ‘80s in many places. And then you kind of throw it away. You get used to it. I enjoyed rolling around in remembering what it was like when we had no idea it was going to stop."

Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman

In any case, we know for certain that SNL's Kristen Wiig will be playing Barbara Minerva, aka Cheetah, a mainstay Wonder Woman antagonist. The iteration of her that we'll see in the film first appeared in the late 1980s from George Perez and Len Wein.

In addition to Gadot, Chris Pine will be reprising his role of Steve Trevor despite his supposed death at the end of the last movie.

"This one is a little different for me tonally. The tables are turned, and I’m more of the deer in the headlights," said Pine in January.

Wonder Woman 1984 opens in theaters June 5, 2020.