'Wonder Woman 1984' Is Sounding An Awful Lot Like 'Winter Soldier'

It won’t be too long until audiences reunite with Wonder Woman on the big screen. But Warner Bros. is insistent that the sequel film, Wonder Woman 1984, isn’t a “sequel” to the 2017 hit blockbuster.

Parsing out what producer Charles Roven told Vulture, the movie may look more like sequels such as The Dark Knight and Captain America: The Winter Solider, which took dramatic creative left turns from their predecessors, rather than straight-forward follow-ups like Spider-Man 2.

On Thursday, Vulture heard from Wonder Woman 1984 producer Charles Roven, who explained how the next Wonder Woman movie isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense. As Roven explains, the explanation actually comes from director Patty Jenkins, who is helming the not-sequel.

“She was just determined that this movie should be the next iteration of Wonder Woman but not a sequel,” Roven said. “And she’s definitely delivering on that.” 

Roven continued to Vulture, “It’s a completely different time frame and you’ll get a sense of what Diana-slash–Wonder Woman had been doing in the intervening years. But it’s a completely different story that we’re telling. Even though it’ll have a lot of the same emotional things, a lot of humor, a lot of brave action. Tugs at the heart strings as well.”

If reading that feels like trying to decode Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation, here’s what he means: Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t a sequel because it doesn’t just riff over the story of 2017’s Wonder Woman. It won’t be another story of Diana (still played by Gal Gadot) discovering her purpose or understanding Man’s World. It will be, well, its own story entirely. (For more on what Wonder Woman 1984 will be about, see our continually-updated codex.)

An early promotional image for 'Wonder Woman 1984,' showing Gal Gadot's "Diana Prince" observing the tense Cold War.Warner Bros. Pictures

This doesn’t mean Wonder Woman 1984 is rebooting Wonder Woman. Nor does it mean the movie isn’t set in the “DCEU” continuity. Roven only means that Jenkins and Warner Bros. aren’t interested in simply making “Wonder Woman 2” and revisiting the original with elements moved around — a thing many superhero sequels tend to do.

See, for example: Superman II (1980), Blade II (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), Iron Man 2 (2010), and even Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017).

Expect Some Tonal and Directional Shifts

Instead, based on Roven’s comments, Wonder Woman 1984 is shaping up to be a lot like other movie sequels that make tonal and directional shifts from their predecessors. These include movies like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), which felt different to 2005’s Batman Begins, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), a modern spy thriller that bore little semblance to its dieselpunk predecessor, Captain America: The First Avenger from 2011.

Roven may sound confusing. But it’s likely a safe bet that he and his team know what they’re doing. Roven’s producing credits include almost the entire DC cinematic franchise, including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League the last Wonder Woman film, and even Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which we literally just said has sequential movies that aren’t very much like each other.

Set in the latter years of the Cold War, Wonder Woman 1984 will follow the immigrant Amazonian princess, Diana Prince, as she tries to exist as a symbol of love and unity in a period of international conflict. The film will also introduce one of Wonder Woman’s most infamous archenemies, Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig.

Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in theaters on June 5, 2020.

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