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After years of anticipation, the world got its first major look at Wonder Woman 1984 this weekend as the first trailer for the 2020 release was released. With the twin threat of Barbara Ann Minerva and Maxwell Lord now known, the two women behind the movie are finally ready to reveal a little bit more about what one of next summer’s biggest movies has to offer.
Talking to press ahead of Sunday’s Wonder Woman 1984 panel at Comic Con Experience in São Paulo, Brazil, director Patty Jenkins noted she and Gadot already have a story for Wonder Woman 3, and are even considering a spinoff focusing on the Amazons.
“The movie is done. Because it doesn’t come out for a few months, for the first time in my career which is so great, I was able to say, ‘Hey guys, can you let me fiddle with this? Can you let me fiddle with that?’ So I’m fiddling but the movie is technically done.”
As to what form that fiddling takes, Jenkins was willing to tease. “I have an idea and I’m like, maybe it would make [the movie] shorter. We’re not going to officially say [how long the movie is] yet, however it’s in a good territory.” (She was willing to reveal that the first cut was 2 hours and 45 minutes, adding, “It wasn’t like three hours and a half; I’m not that kind of filmmaker.”)
“It was interesting that so many scenes that we set out to shoot, then something great would happen and then we would expand upon it and definitely with the action, what some things that were written to be very small little moments turned into, ‘But that’s so awesome,’” she continued. “It’s hard when you end up with that situation.”
Nonetheless, the movie as it currently stands is true to her first intentions, she said. “I knew exactly what I wanted it to be. But then, the thing that excites me the most is we literally set out to do something that I may never get to do again, which is to say, let’s not make a movie that’s ‘funny ha ha, the ’80s.’ Let’s make a grand tentpole like they made in the ’80s so it’s as if you, I want it to feel like you’re seeing a movie in the ’80s.”
That means practical effects and stunts wherever possible, including bringing Cirque de Soleil in for some of the more outlandish stunts.
“We shut down Penn Ave. in Washington DC, which was just [by] itself incredible,” Gal Gadot added. “And then we had wires, rigs, for kilometers, for miles, so I can run in the same speed that Usain Bolt ran in the Olympics.”
The stunts weren’t easy for Gadot, she admitted, but she felt compelled to do them because of her close relationship with Jenkins.
“She’s one of my very best, closest friends and it’s hard for me to say no to her. Also, she has a great will,” said Gadot. “I’ll find myself trying to negotiate my stance with Patty and she’d be like, ‘yeah, yeah yeah, I see what you’re saying, I know, but don’t you think it’s going to be so much better if…’ Those were the moments where I was like, ‘argh…!’ The physical moments, because it is hard, and I have found myself with many different spine injuries because shooting this movie, for real. But at the same time, it’s worth it. And watching the movie now a few times, it’s totally, totally worth it.”
It’s clear that both Jenkins and Gadot are believers in Wonder Woman as a character and a concept. “The message of this movie is something that I deeply believe in and came to us while we were even working on the first movie,” Jenkins said, defining that message as, “Wonder Woman is sent out into the world being about love and a belief in [people] and trying to make people better. She will fight if she has to fight, but she’s actually about something else.”
Of course, being a superhero movie, Wonder Woman 1984 will include fights — but not necessarily the fights audiences might be expecting.
“The easiest way for me to sum it up without giving out, giving away too much, is this movie is about colliding Wonder Woman with the evil of our times, which is the excess and opulence that we have found ourselves in a position of indulging,” the director said. “We’re running Wonder Woman right into mankind at their best and their worst and the villains that are born from that. So it’s talking about now as much as it is the ‘80s, and it’s using the ‘80s as a great metaphor to do it because the ‘80s really wore us at our most extreme before we understood any cost.”
Both Barbara Ann Minerva (Kristin Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) represent different takes on the idea of the opulence of the ‘80s, Jenkins said, describing them as “two very strong forms of want and what happens when you want so much.”
It’s not only the era that the movie takes place in that differentiates Wonder Woman 1984 from its 2017 predecessor, as its lead tells it.
“Watching the movie now, I’m just so happy and so grateful that it was all worth it and that we use this amazing opportunity that we got to tell the Wonder Woman story once again,” Gadot said. “And we’ve done it in a whole new way of its own. It’s a different chapter.”
And as to a future chapter … Gadot and Jenkins are on it.
“We actually already know the whole story to it,” Jenkins revealed, adding that there’s also a story for a spinoff focusing on the Amazons on the table as well. “It’s just a matter of, will we change our minds, and when [to make it]. I think what we don’t want to do is do it back to back. It’s been great doing these two movies back to back, but I think it’s important to give it a little rest in between. And I like doing other things in between. And Gal has other things to do. I never want to make decisions too far in advance. We have to see if we both feel like making the movie we think we want to make when the moment comes.”
It’s not as if the matter has to be rushed; after all, Wonder Woman 1984 isn’t even released until June 5, 2020.
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