Diana Prince faces off against two new formidable foes, and reunites with an old love, in the hotly anticipated first trailer for Wonder Woman 1984, with Gal Gadot reprising her titular role. Director Patty Jenkins unveiled the trailer today at Comic Con Experience (CCXP) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Inspired by the comic book heroine created by William Moulton Marston in the 1940s for DC Comics, Wonder Woman made her big screen debut in the DCEU with 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed by 2017’s Justice League. The first fell short of box office expectations; the second bombed outright. So when Jenkins took on Wonder Woman’s origin story, she deliberately departed from the grim humorlessness and dark sensibility of those earlier films, bringing a brighter energy and wit to her tale, along with the usual action. That vision paid off: Wonder Woman went on to gross $821 million worldwide, and earned critical raves, making it the most successful of the DCEU films thus far.
Jenkins first broached the possibility of a sequel shortly after the first film’s release in June 2017, and principal photography began a year later. It has been described as a standalone film rather than a direct sequel, “in the same way that Indiana Jones or [James] Bond are, instead of one continuous story that requires many installments.” (That standalone strategy worked well for Warner Bros’ 2019 box office smash Joker, which became the first R-rated film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.)
This second film is set almost seventy years after the original film. “In this movie we find [Diana] in 1984 and [she] is quite lonely — she’s lost her friends and doing what she needs to do,” Gadot said at CCXP. “She’s helping mankind and saving them until something crazy happens to her.”
This being the 1980s, Diana is operating in a Cold War scenario, taking on Pedro Pascal’s villainous Maxwell Lord, a shrewd and powerful businessmanan. Kristen Wiig also co-stars as Barbara Ann Minerva, a British archaeologist in the comic books who becomes Wonder Woman’s arch-nemesis Cheetah. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright reprise their roles as Diana’s mother, Hippolyta, and aunt, Antiope, respectively, in flashbacks to Diana’s Amazonian upbringing on Themyscira.
As New Order’s “Blue Monday” plays in the background, we see Diana having some heart-to-heart girl talk with Wiig’s Minerva about long lost loves, and a glimpse of an old photograph of Steve Trevor. “My life hasn’t been what you probably think it has,” Diana tells Barbara. “We all have our struggles.” Then trouble breaks out at a local supermall, and Diana intervenes to restore order. Inside the mall there are walls of TVs that just happen to be showing Maxwell Lord giving a motivational pitch. “Life is good but it can be better,” he says. “All you need is to want it. Think about finally having everything you always wanted.”
Lord has had various incarnations in the comics, including one where he had supernatural powers of persuasion. It’s unclear from the trailer what, if any, powers he displays in this film, but there are hints he might play some role in the miraculous reappearance of Steve while Diana is attending a gala. We see Diana and Steve’s emotional reunion, and then a shot of Lord declaring he will now take what he wants in return.
The rest of the trailer is a series of action shots as Diana and Steve work together once again to thwart whatever evil plan is threatening the day—including flashbacks to a young Diana competing in an Amazonian tournament, and a glorious shot of Diana’s iconic golden armor. But we don’t get to see Wiig in full Cheetah mode, which is a shame.
Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters June 5, 2020. If it’s as successful as its predecessor, we can probably expect a third Wonder Woman film. Jenkins told the Hollywood Reporter earlier this year she has already mapped out the plot for a third installment, in a more contemporary setting.
Listing image by YouTube/Warner Bros