SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ that could be considered SPOILERS so proceed with caution.
It appears to have been confirmed that Pedro Pascal is playing Maxwell Lord in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’. An earlier version of the screenplay depicted this character as a Greek god in disguise, similar to Ares in the first ‘Wonder Woman’, but that was changed. Now it seems that Lord is trying to become a god “by any means necessary.” He will also play an important role in resurrecting Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). This version of Maxwell Lord will not have telepathic powers. He is also described as being “hammy,” “eccentric” and “determined.”
Lord’s inclusion is fitting, in that he was introduced in 1987 and was loosely modeled on Donald Trump and other successful business tycoons of that era. Created by writers Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis, and artist Kevin Maguire, he secretly pulled the strings in order to reunite the Justice League, which had disbanded following the events of ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ and ‘Legends’. He remained a major character in that series, during the fan favorite ‘International’ era when the book was more of a comedy than an actual superhero adventure series. During ‘Invasion!,’ he learned that he had latent mind control abilities which he would later use for evil and that would, in essence, lead to his death.
In the 2005 book ‘Countdown to Infinite Crisis’, it was revealed that Lord had secretly been a criminal all this time and that he spent his time with the Justice League gathering intel on the world’s heroes, whom he considered a treat to ordinary humanity. It was explained that the comedic ‘International’ era of the League was concocted by Lord in an effort to make the heroes as ineffective as possible. He killed one of his “best friends,” Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle after he unearthed Lord’s plan.
Then Lord took over Superman’s brain, making him think that Wonder Woman was Doomsday and that she had killed Lois Lane. With no other recourse, Wonder Woman executed Lord, snapping his neck. Unfortunately, this was captured by TV cameras and broadcast worldwide turning the population against Wonder Woman.
So while Lord didn’t really have much (if any) contact with Wonder Woman for most of his existence in comics, he ended up playing a major role at this point.
We’ll have to wait and see how the live action version factors into ‘Wonder Woman 1984’.
Gil Bellows portrayed Lord on ‘Smallville’, while Peter Facinelli played him on the first season of ‘Supergirl’.