Despite the disappointing returns on Justice League, Warner Bros. continues chugging along with the DC Extended Universe, although their plan may now involve less forced connectivity between films. While 2017’s Wonder Woman had little direct links to other heroes besides a letter from Bruce Wayne, director Patty Jenkins has told Entertainment Tonight that the Wonder Woman sequel she’s developing may be an entirely stand-alone affair.
“We’re actually making a totally different film with a lot of the same, similar like things that we love, but it’s its own movie completely, so it’s not ‘two’ to us,” Jenkins said. “It’s an entirely new adventure together that we couldn’t be luckier [to do].”
While it’s not unheard of for a direct sequel to a big superhero film to take a radical departure from the original (look at the ’89 Batman and Batman Returns), Jenkins’ freedom to carve her own path in the DCEU could mean more autonomy for other filmmakers who come to play in the sandbox in the future as well. As the weak performance of Justice League showed, audiences aren’t very onboard for the DC universe onscreen, at least not the way they are for Marvel Studios movies. The fact that Wonder Woman has been the DCEU’s highest grosser domestically, and second-highest worldwide, means that WB cannot simply reboot the entire universe given how much audiences love Gal Gadot’s version of the character. How the studio restructures to a more successful template for their heroes remains to be seen, but the solution may just be to have stand-alone entries punctuated by an occasional event film (ala Flashpoint, which may feature Flash, Wonder Woman and Batman) that combines characters.
Wonder Woman 2‘s release date was recently moved from December 13, 2019 to November 1, 2019 following the delay of Star Wars: Episode IX from its May 2019 release slot to December 20, 2019 when J.J. Abrams took over the film.
Director Patty Jenkins is returning behind the camera for Wonder Woman 2, and is currently co-writing the script with Dave Callaham (The Expendables, Godzilla) and DC Films co-chairman Geoff Johns. The producing credits on the film are still in flux after Zack and Deborah Snyder left DC Films during production on Justice League, and Warner Bros.’ deal with financier RatPac Entertainment is ending soon after the fallout from the Brett Ratner scandal.