Wonder Woman 2 began production today and to mark the occasion Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins tweeted out first-look images of Diana Prince and Steve Trevor. The sequel is titled Wonder Woman 1984—GREAT title—and so this is 1980s fashion for Diana and Steve. It’s not completely tragic? Observe Steve Trevor in his 1980s glory:
How is he alive again? Who cares? It’s not comic book stuff—they just brought back Chris Pine because he is terrific as Steve Trevor and why not? It’s a world of gods and magic, you can do some timey-wimey sh*t and get away with it. Jenkins specifically calls him “Steve Trevor”, and Pine’s expression in the shot is kind of confused, so I assume this is Steve Trevor, somehow brought back to life, and not a descendant or some dude who just looks like him. I am content to wait for the movie to explain how it happens. I assume it will be a major plot point, and I especially like it when superhero movies do new stuff not from the comics because then you have NO idea what’s going on, and it’s fun to be surprised. Also, shout out to costume designer Lindy Hemming for putting Pine in clothes that are full on 80s tragical and yet still reference his soldier’s silhouette from World War I.
The second look comes from Wonder Woman herself, and shows Diana staring at a bank of television screens:
I spot Dallas, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and what looks like a combination of music videos and commercials. (We don’t really get to see what Diana is wearing, which is slightly a bummer because I am REALLY looking forward to Power Suit Diana Prince.) We also don’t know what any of this means, and again, I’m fine with that. We don’t need to decode every symbol in the hopes of out-guessing the movie. The main thing is that, unlike Captain America, Diana doesn’t spend the 20th century asleep. She grows up alongside humanity throughout the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. How does that shape her? I’m SO interested in what they do with Diana’s character development because Jenkins and Gadot are working against that character beat Zack Snyder threw down in Batman v Superman, that Diana sat out the 20th century.
But the Diana we met in Wonder Woman was certainly not the type to stand by when she could be helping. Yet Justice League doubled down on the “my boyfriend died and I was so sad I didn’t do anything for a hundred years” angle, and now Wonder Woman 1984 is here to fix that sh*tty character arc. (DC Films is undergoing yet more upheaval and while the multiple Joker-origin movies in development is a living nightmare, dumping Snyder’s dark, depressing, no-real-heroes universe is a GREAT move.)
Patty Jenkins inherited a lot of nonsense from Snyder and the team of dudes who shaped Wonder Woman before she came on to direct it. But Wonder Woman 1984 is Jenkins’ vision from the start, and I am so curious to see how that affects the movie. My issue with Wonder Woman is that you could feel it being shoved into a certain shape so as not to upset the dude audience. (For instance, Diana is not shown to have female friends, and is barely allowed to talk to Etta Candy, as if women talking together too much would somehow ruin the movie.) But Black Panther proves you can immerse your film in a non-white-dude world and everyone will still get on board with it. My singular hope for Wonder Woman 1984 is that it is not just by women and for women, but ABOUT women (ditto for Captain Marvel). Especially since the 1980s is when women really started making strides outside the home. It’s the perfect time for the reemergence of Wonder Woman.