Greed is good… well, at least that was the motto back in the 1980s, the time setting for ‘Wonder Woman 1984’. And while this film will pit Diana (Gal Gadot) against a more traditional villain, The Cheetah, it will also introduce a foe tailor-made for this era, Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal. The character is described as a mix of Me-decade moguls, both real (Tony Robbins) and fictional (Gordon Gekko).
In the new cover story for EW, associate producer Anna Obropta stated:
“In 1984, America was at the peak of its power and its pride. Apple computers and parachute pants, wealth, commercialism, glamour, even violence — everything was larger than life. It was a decade of greed and desire, a time of ‘Me, me, more more more.’”
Director Patty Jenkins added:
“It was a time where no cost had shown up yet. There was the fear of the Cold War. But it really was like, ‘This is gonna go on forever!’ The feeling that the world was this cornucopia that would never stop giving was so enormous.”
Quite a different zeitgeist than the one we now find ourselves in, huh?
How does that man that plays Lord feel about the character? Pascal stated:
“Max is a dream-seller. It’s this character who encompasses a component of the era which is, you know, ‘Get whatever want, however you can. You’re entitled to it!’ And at any cost, ultimately, which represents a huge part of our culture and this kind of unabashed — it’s greed. [laughs] It’s f—ing greed, of course. But it’s also about ‘How do you be your best self? How do you win?’ So he’s definitely the face of that version of success.”
He would definitely have been featured on the era hit show ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’! (Anyone old enough to remember that? Anyone?)
In the comics, Maxwell Lord was smarmy, but ultimately a good guy, serving as the patron of the Justice League for several years. Unfortunately, in more modern comics, he has been recast as a sinister villain. During his ‘Justice League’ days, he discovered that he had latent telepathic abilities. During the ‘Final Crisis’ miniseries, he used those powers for evil, causing Superman to nearly kill Wonder Woman, before she was forced to snap Max’s neck to stop him. Unfortunately, this was broadcast live on television with no context, so for a while, Wonder Woman was public enemy #1.
Will Diana be forced to take such extreme measures in the movie? We’ll have to wait and see.
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ opens in theaters on June 4, 2020.