Both ‘Wonder Woman’ and its upcoming sequel have turned out to be period pieces. In and of itself, that’s really not surprising, given that there is roughly a century between the character’s present-day introduction in ‘Batman v Superman‘ and her arrival in Man’s World. What has, however, proven to be a consistent surprise is the specific periods in which the films take place.
In the case of the first film, the choice of the First World War was surprising more for the fact that when Wonder Woman’s origin is associated with a particular historical period, it tends to be the Second World War (as that is when the character was created). The real surprise was learning that the sequel – ‘Wonder Woman 1984 – would be set in, well, 1984. To be sure, it was more or less a given that the sequel would continue filling the gaps between Diana’s arrival in Man’s World and her present day activities, but the twentieth century covers a lot of time (a hundred years of it!), with plenty of fertile narrative ground to be found in that history. So why the eighties?
Speaking at Warner Bros’ Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, director Patty Jenkins explained her choice of the time period in which her ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel would be set. And as it happens, the rationale is actually quite similar to that for the decision to set the original film during World War I:
“That era [in the first film] was the beginning of the modernized world. This is its entirely own eighties movie and its own thing… It really was mankind at its best and worst. We’re aware of some of the prices of our behavior nowadays but back then we weren’t. Great music and elegant and incredible things [came out] of the eighties too, but also revealing the worst of us. To have Wonder Woman visit a period of time as us at our most extreme.”
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is being directed for Warner Bros. by Patty Jenkins. The film features returning cast members Gal Gadot and Chris Pine alongside newcomers Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Natasha Rothwell. The film is scheduled for release on November 1, 2019.