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SYFY WIRE Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984: Patty Jenkins hints at Diana's Indiana Jones-type role in the sequel

By Josh Weiss
Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 will present us with a less naive version of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), but the character's matured understanding of mankind is only one part of her ability to keep the world safe.

According to Empire Magazine's June 2020 issue, the sequel opens with Prince working at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Not only is America's Capitol the perfect setting for Diana (who lives at the Watergate complex) to keep her ear to the ground for worrisome political stirrings, but a museum job also allows her to keep an eye out for dangerous mystical artifacts.

"It's a world with other gods and other lores," director/co-writer Patty Jenkins told Empire.

Does this mean that the film's two main antagonists — Barbara Ann Minerva/Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) — get their hands on an object that could help them rule the planet? We simply don't have the answer to that question yet, but we do have a sense of the villains' personalities. Jenkins has already said that Lord, a shrewd and greedy businessman, is the epitome of 1980s capitalist excess. His quest for more power leads him to Minerva, Diana's fellow scientist at the Smithsonian.

"What makes Barbara turn into Cheetah is feeling like she's never been as good as someone like Diana," Jenkins explained. "She reminds me of certain people I've known who have such low self-confidence, that they're always holding themselves back. Then once they start to embrace change, out comes this ugly resentment built up over all those years." 

The more Barbara pursues a confident lifestyle with Lord, the more her relationship with Diana begins to fracture. Jenkins described their dynamic as having "this real misunderstanding at its core," while Wiig was always being reminded to keep her "shoulders back! You're Cheetah!"

Wonder Woman 1984

Taking place all over the world, the movie also finds the time to flash back to Diana's native island of Themyscira — an idea that reportedly wasn't part of the original plan. Nevertheless, it allowed for appearances by the main character's mother, Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), and mentor Antiope, (Robin Wright).

"It made sense to start again with where she comes from, to have the juxtaposition to who she is in our world," Jenkins admitted.

As for the movie's big action set pieces, the production tapped Cirque du Soleil of all things to design the more physically-involved sequences. This unusual hiring fit into Jenkins' vision of harkening back to '80s cinema by doing as many practical stunts and effects as possible.

"For months, we worked on crazy wire rigs to figure out how to make it work," Gadot said. "It's so original, so fresh and powerful, but yet so graceful and sexy. We pushed it to the next level."

Wonder Woman 1984

Chris Pine returns to play Steve Trevor, although it's still a mystery of how he survived the plane crash at the end of the first movie. Jenkins co-wrote the sequel with David Callaham and Geoff Johns.

If all goes well with coronavirus containment, Wonder Woman 1984 will arrive in theaters everywhere on Friday, August 14. The film's initial release of June 5 was scrapped in light of the health crisis.