Sequels are par for the course for superhero movies. If a first comic book movie was successful, than there is bound to be a follow-up to expand on the continuing adventures of the hero. But Patty Jenkins wanted to make sure from the beginning that Wonder Woman 1984 wasn’t just seen as a simple sequel to her 2017 smash hit Wonder Woman.
The title is the first obvious move at distancing the film from the sequel structure (there’s no Wonder Woman 2 here), the second is the 66-year separation between Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984. But the main thrust of why Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t a sequel is that it’s a film prioritizes “the story first” over telling the second part in the “greater picture,” Jenkins told /Film during a set visit to Wonder Woman 1984.
Even though Jenkins had considered planting the seeds for Wonder Woman 1984 in the first Wonder Woman, she is adamant that the upcoming Gal Gadot-led superhero movie stands on its own. Jenkins is not fond of “doing chapter two of a seven chapter story,” she told /Film, saying that what drew her to directing Wonder Woman 1984 was its story, which she penned with Geoff Johns and David Callaham:
“[Geoff Johns] is such a great writer and such a great partner and he doesn’t have an agenda in the greater picture like that. I went to him and talked to him about this story, and we both just got really excited about telling this exact story. And I think there are little things, but those things come secondarily to the story. I’m not a huge fan of like 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 in my opinion that I want to make should be its own great movie, and I kind of like to think about them that way. So I have my own ideas about what her overreaching arc is, of the whole thing, but it’s the story first.”
One of the enduring appeals of Wonder Woman was that it made no attempts to connect to a greater DC Film universe, choosing instead to tell a great war drama (with splashes of action, romance, and screwball comedy) inside the format of a superhero movie. But Jenkins “never really thought of the first one as being a war movie either. I thought of it more as an origin story.”
Compared to the first film, she would call Wonder Woman 1984 “part romantic comedy meets action. You know? It’s like romantic comedy meets a great action story that ends up having a significant emotional impact.” A “grand and old romance” in the old Hollywood tradition is how star Chris Pine ended up describing it.
Whatever it is, it’s definitely not a sequel.
Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on October 2, 2020.
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