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SYFY WIRE Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 team goes behind the scenes on golden armor and Cheetah's big screen debut

By Jacob Oller
Wonder Woman 1984

Even though Wonder Woman 3 and the untitled Amazonian superhero spin-off are on hold while filmmaker Patty Jenkins assesses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry at large and her storytelling in specific, the helmer of Wonder Woman 1984 still has plenty to tease for the future of her DCEU entries. The delayed summer blockbuster sequel (now out in October) looks to jump Wonder Woman forward in time, showcasing a brand-new decade and tons of novel experiences for comic fans -- not the least of which is Diana's golden armor shown off in the trailers. New villains, new gear, and more were all on the table as the Wonder Woman 1984 team recently gave fans a peek behind the curtain at the long-coming superhero follow-up.

Speaking to Total Film, costume designer Lindy Hemming explained that her work on the film was much, much more than picking out which retro fashions its characters would flaunt. She needed to bring some comic armor to life. That meant a lot of little inventions: "a fantastic undersuit" made of "tiny panels of urethane" applied to a catsuit, over which gold-painted, 3D-printed polyurethane items (created by Pierre Bohanna) were placed. Cosplayers better get to work ASAP.

"It's like the Batsuit, or anything: all small parts," Hemming, who was also the designer on Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, said. "An armadillo-like articulation means that the person can move and twist and turn, and it will return to its previous position. Having said that, it was not pleasant to wear -- and no armor of any kind is pleasant to wear!"

Luckily, it sounds like Gadot didn't have to don the full suit too often. "She could wear part of the armor," Hemming said. "So she could have her legs free while she was being filmed from the waist up. And the wings would be taken away when they weren't needed, which was often." Those wings were some of Hemming's wildest creations -- and there were multiple variations on them. The designer said that "Patty wanted the wings to become 'a one-woman formation of shields, so no one can attack her.'" That meant making "several sets of wings," including some that "have cages behind them, so that Gal can be shot in among them."

Although the armor is one of the film's most visually striking new components, Gadot's Wonder Woman 1984 co-stars are equally impressive -- especially seeing as one of the heroine's top nemeses is making her big-screen debut. Kristen Wiig's Cheetah is going to give Diana a run for her money, but -- just as in the comics -- it doesn't start out that way.

Barbara Minerva and Diana Prince become pals in the film, Total Film reports, meeting in the Smithsonian and bonding over "geology, gemology, lithology, and part-time [cryptozoology]." The latter subject may influence Cheetah's sometimes-supernatural powers. "What I love about it is they genuinely start out as friends," Jenkins explained. "And hopefully you'll agree that the evolution into being foes tracks kind of organically. It's like a friendship gone wrong -- as two people go on different journeys in life."

That journey, for Cheetah at least, may end up in a pretty wild place (pun intended) alongside her close working relationship ("They never become exactly a couple or anything," Jenkins said) with Pedro Pascal's Max Lord. While the intial version of Cheetah is "not as costume-y" as some of her comic iterations, according to Wiig, "there's a whole different version of Cheetah that you'll see in the movie." Are fans in store for a full-blown, light-of-the-moon supervillain transformation? "To be continued!" Wiig teased.

Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters on Oct. 2.