Wonder Woman 1984 Set Visit: Why the Sequel is a Standalone
Today Warner Bros. Pictures will release a new trailer for the hotly anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 during their 24-hour DC FanDome event. During our visit to the film’s London shooting in August of 2018 the filmmakers, including director Patty Jenkins and producer Charles Roven, explained why the movie should be considered a standalone not necessarily intertwined with the rest of the DC Extended Universe.
“We’re making a second film,” said producer Charles Roven bluntly. “We don’t want to call it a sequel because it’s so different. One of the things you have to be careful of is to not overcompensate. We always want to try to outdo the one we did before and make it better and interesting and more exciting and still have the flavor of the first one. It’s a high bar, but you can’t allow yourself to be so intimidated by that bar that you actually overcompensate. I guess that’s the tricky thing.”
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice it was suggested that Wonder Woman had been hiding in the shadows of human society for decades after the death of Steve Trevor, but in Justice League it was clarified that she DID intervene when she was needed. Wonder Woman 1984 will reinforce that idea, including a sequence at the beginning of the film where she smashes through a skylight in a mall to stop a heist. She does it all with a wink and a smile with no casualties.
“She’s been involved in the Men’s World when she was needed,” emphasized star/producer Gal Gadot. “She doesn’t really want to make close connections with anyone, because she knows either she’s going to hurt them because she’ll have to disappear one day, or she will lose them because they’ll grow old. So after the loss of Steve and the entire team later on, I think Diana is in a place where she’s happy where she is. She’s fairly lonely, but she made the decision to do that. She does go to the world whenever it’s needed, but she’s not complete, you know what I mean? She has issues.”
In terms of how the events of this film, which pre-dates Man of Steel and the other films that followed, will effect the greater DCEU or even the inevitable Wonder Woman 3, Jenkins insists that was never even considered despite the fact that DCEU architect Geoff Johns co-wrote the script. However, she did promise a few links to the larger universe!
“Geoff is such a great writer and such a great partner and he doesn’t have an agenda in the greater picture like that,” said Jenkins. “I went to him and talked to him about this story, and we both just got really excited about telling this exact story. There are little things, but those things come secondarily to the story. I’m not a huge fan of doing chapter two of a seven chapter story. That’s just not my jam. I feel like that may happen in the way background, but every movie I want to make should be its own great movie. So I have my own ideas about what her overreaching arc is, of the whole thing, but it’s the story first.”
“Patty and I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, because we don’t even know where this could go,” added Roven. “She wanted to make sure that we had the character in a universe that was standalone so that we can continue her character without having to weave the other characters that could affect how we make other films. We wanted to just make sure we could deal with her themes. You don’t have to worry about anything post this film. However Steve Trevor finishes in this movie, Diana still has from 1984 to 2017 to deal with whatever happens to Steve Trevor. You just have to see where he ends up at the end of this film, right? All of the events of this film take place before ‘Justice League,’ they take place before ‘Man Of Steel.’ So you can look at it as a standalone because those things are irrelevant, because the entire timeframe happens either in Themyscira, a place where time doesn’t exist, and then between Armistice Day until the end of this movie, which is still in 1984.”
Of course this was all said in 2018, shortly after the box office disappointment of Justice League and before the global success of Aquaman and the fan outcry that would ultimately bring us Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the return of Batfleck in The Flash. Is it possible more connective tissue has been added into WW84 since this? Absolutely, but we will have to wait until the film opens on October 2, 2020!