Hell hath no fury like an Amazon, and there's no greater Amazonian warrior than Diana Prince. Wonder Woman smashed the box office like a wrecking ball in the summer of 2017, and (as so often is the case in Hollywood) that means a sequel is coming to us with a fast and furious pace. With that in mind, we have put together a handy guide to everything that you need to know about Diana Prince's next foray into the world of solo movies -- following her last team-up outing in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Check out our guide, and let us know how excited you are for the sequel, now officially titled Wonder Woman 1984, in the comments below! Now, without further ado, let's kick this off with one of the most pressing questions about Wonder Woman 2: when is it even happening?
I suppose this really is as good of a place to start as any if we want to talk about the follow-up to the Patty Jenkins film. From the moment the credits began to roll on the first ever screenings of the first ever Wonder Woman movie, fans demanded to know whether or not a sequel would actually happen. Although WB initially played coy about whether or not Wonder Woman 2 was on the horizon, the studio's San Diego Comic-Con 2017 panel definitively confirmed that the sequel is one of the central tentpoles on the newest incarnation of the DC film slate. And, after months of small snippets of news trickling out about the project, mid-June 2018 saw filming finally get underway, along with the announcement of the official title for the blockbuster sequel: Wonder Woman 1984.
It's really not all that hard to understand why Warner Bros. has opted to give Wonder Woman 1984 the green light. The first film in the franchise proved itself to be an overwhelming box office smash when it debuted in June, and it has handily gone on to become one of DC's most well-received films (both critically and commercially) since Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Success begets success, so keeping Diana Prince on the sideline for the foreseeable future wouldn't have been a particularly smart move.
Although Wonder Woman 2 received an official confirmation from Warner Bros. at the San Diego Comic-Con 2017 panel, the studio did not go so far as to give it a definitive release date at that time. Luckily, though, just a few days after the SDCC panel, Warner Bros. revealed that the film would actually be released on December 13, 2019. However, presumably when faced with the genuine challenge of going up against Star Wars: Episode IX at the box office, Wonder Woman 1984's release date was moved up to November 1, 2019. This takes it out of Star Wars' path, and pits it against the November 8, 2019 release of Bond 25.
This means that, as of this writing, the wait for Wonder Woman 2 is roughly a year and a half away. And, that wait seems plenty reasonable among the other sequels in the DC Extended Universe. For starters, the franchise is currently standing on solid footing, which means audiences will likely have no trouble waiting eagerly to see another entry in this series. Beyond that, compared to someone like Ben Affleck (or whoever ends up being Batman by then), Gal Gadot is still very young (she was 32 as of Wonder Woman's release), which means she will remain physically able to stay in the role for at least the next few years. Add to that the fact that the release date gave DC time to solidify the story and get the script right before filming, and November 2019 feels like the perfect time to release Wonder Woman 1984.
While we're sure we will see an R-rated DC movie at some point within the next few years, the possibility of Wonder Woman 1984 receiving the more restrictive rating seems slim. Wonder Woman has become one of Warner Bros.' flagship franchises, and that typically means slapping the film with a PG-13 rating for broad appeal. Besides, an R-rating simply doesn't make sense for a character like Diana Prince. She's meant to be a symbol of hope, so seeing her spill buckets of blood on a battlefield likely wouldn't sit well with the armies of kids (or their parents) who will flock to the next Wonder Woman movie when it finally premieres.
You cannot have a Wonder Woman movie without Diana Prince herself. Barring some significant behind the scenes drama taking place at some point within the next few years, we can confirm that Gal Gadot has returned to the DC Extended Universe for Wonder Woman 2. The Israeli actress' contract with DC specifically stipulated that she would come back for at least one sequel to the original Wonder Woman, and beyond that, it is already clear that Gadot simply loves playing the character, so the odds of her walking away willingly were pretty slim. Gadot is even a producer on Wonder Woman 1984, so you can be sure she's fully invested in making sure the character gets another solo movie worthy of everything she stands for.
While we already knew for a while that Gal Gadot would return to take center stage as the Amazonian princess, whether or not Patty Jenkins would come back remained to be seen for quite a few months after the release of Wonder Woman. The director's contract with DC never included the option for a sequel, and Jenkins had not specified whether or not she would come back. Having said that, many had assumed that Jenkins' public hesitance to return was more of a negotiating tactic than real hesitation. And, it looks like that may have been the case, because word that Jenkins was officially on board the sequel dropped in September 2017, along with the news that her payday for directing, co-writing and producing the film would net her $7 million to $9 million up front, compared to the $1 million she got for Wonder Woman. With the two most important factors in the original's success now attached to the sequel, it would seem that things are moving along nicely for the new movie.
Even before she officially signed on the dotted line to return to Wonder Woman's corner of the DC Extended Universe, Patty Jenkins did pitch a version of Wonder Woman 2 that most people would likely demand to see. Jenkins' pitch propositioned the idea of taking Diana Prince into the 1980s (still long before she meets Batman and Superman during the events of Batman V Superman) and placing the action firmly within the United States. And, true to the now-revealed title of the sequel, the next Wonder Woman film will take place in 1984.
Such a change in setting will obviously go a long way towards helping differentiate Wonder Woman 2 from its predecessor -- which set its action primarily in Europe during WWI -- and it would also assist in creating a new avenue to explore in the timeline of the DCEU. Who knows? Maybe Wonder Woman actually came across guys like Barry Allen, Vic Stone, or Clark Kent during their younger years? DC films have done a great job when it comes to weaving characters in and out of each other's worlds, so such an idea could ultimately be too good to pass up. Patty Jenkins worked on the script with Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham (The Expendables), and we're eager to see what they come up with.
Wonder Woman 2 is still a long way off, so we really don't know much about the story of the upcoming DC solo film. The first film in Diana Prince's franchise dealt heavily in her conflict against Ares (arguably her greatest foe), so it seems reasonable to assume that the sequel will dive into her rogues gallery and pick new bad guys for her to face off against -- like Cheetah (more on her below), Giganta, or Doctor Psycho. Also, considering the fact that the film has confirmed a 1980s American setting, the odds of the film taking place within the confines of a massive war are low, at best. Though, because of the time period of the new movie, the idea of Diana fighting to stop an evil plot from the Soviet Union during the Cold War isn't beyond the realm of possibility.
Another thing worth noting about Wonder Woman 1984's possible storyline is the fact that it will likely need to have a much smaller scale than the film that preceded it. That is because Wonder Woman and Batman V Superman both heavily imply that Diana has been in hiding since World War I and that her antics as a superhero were far more covert before Superman and Batman received her help to fight Doomsday. Luckily, this fits the idea of a Cold War era espionage-style superhero film, and Jenkins has already said that Wonder Woman 1984 is "its own movie completely," so we'll see where the sequel takes the character.
We have already said this a million different times in a million different ways, but it is worth repeating: Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman. Patty Jenkins' solo movie allowed the Israeli actress to show off sides of the character not seen during her brief stint in Zack Snyder's Dawn of Justice, and her charismatic performance really helped carry the entirety of Wonder Woman's heavy story. You cannot have a Wonder Woman movie without Wonder Woman, and Gal Gadot (in fact, she's currently the film's only listed cast member on IMDb) will almost certainly be back when her second solo movie finally debuts on the big screen.
With Gal Gadot expected to return to the role of Diana Prince in Wonder Woman 2, we are now on pins and needles waiting to see how she evolves Wonder Woman as a hero. The first film in the franchise relied heavily on the concept of Diana's naiveté, but by the time that movie came to an end she had learned a great deal about man's inherent darkness -- as well as his natural goodness. With potentially decades of experience under her belt once the story of Wonder Woman 2 kicks into full swing, the version of Diana that we see in the next film could look and feel far more badass than the initial portrayal of the character -- which we didn't even think was possible.
As of right now, it remains to be seen whether or not Connie Nielsen will return to the Wonder Woman films as Queen Hippolyta. Although it's never explicitly mentioned in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or Wonder Woman, it seems implied that Diana never returned to Themyscira, so the chances of them regularly seeing each other seem remote. Besides, their tearful goodbye in Wonder Woman seemed fairly definitive.
Luckily, Hippolyta did actually survive the events of Justice League. Steppenwolf arrived on Paradise Island to obtain one of the infamous Mother Boxes. While Darkseid's trusted general is not exactly the type of guy who leaves many survivors in his wake, and his arrival in Diana's home world did have some devastating consequences in the long run (with many Amazons falling in the ensuing battle), Hippolyta managed to live through the encounter and get word to Diana of the coming invasion by shooting a flaming, enchanted arrow into the shrine of the Amazons. So, Hippolyta can return, but we will just have to wait and see if the character actually does.
Now, this is where things get truly interesting for Wonder Woman 1984, while recent rumors actually suggested that Chris Pine could potentially return to the DCEU as Steve Trevor. And, when filming on the sequel was announced, Pine was confirmed to be playing a character named Steve Trevor. This is obviously a bizarre occurrence, because Steve gave up his life in the final moments of the first Wonder Woman movie in order to make sure that General Ludendorff's lethal gas never made it beyond the airbase in Belgium. Although, this does make sense within the confines of a superhero movie universe. After all, death is almost never permanent in comic books.
On that note, we think it might not be the best story decision if Steve Trevor actually comes back from the grave. The character received a near perfect send off (after a similarly perfect character arc, no less) during the events of the original movie, and bringing him back (as much as we love Chris Pine) could sully that creative decision. Steve Trevor was a phenomenal character to help introduce Diana Prince into the world of men, but his death needs to mean something in order for us to care about the DC universe. Now, since Wonder Woman 1984 takes place in the '80s, it wouldn't be impossible to cast Chris Pine as a relative of Steve Trevor's...say, a look alike nephew or younger cousin, perhaps. After all, the Wonder Woman TV show in the 1970s did exactly that, by having one actor portray Steve Trevor Sr. in the 1940s portion of the series, and Steve Trevor Jr. in the modern day portions.
While she admittedly didn't get much to do during the first Wonder Woman solo movie, Elena Anaya still managed to deliver a suitably creepy performance as chemical weapons expert Dr. Poison. Considering the fact that she is the only bad guy from the original Wonder Woman to explicitly survive the events of the film (Ludendorff and Ares both get pretty fantastic send offs) then it is not outside the realm of possibility to think that she could potentially come back. Some rumors have suggested the very real possibility that Anaya could return as Poison in a future Wonder Woman movie, but we have not received confirmation from Anaya or DC as to whether or not those rumors have any merit. Until then, we will keep our fingers firmly crossed.
We may not get to see Doctor Poison again in Wonder Woman 1984, but we do know who will be serving as the movie's central antagonist. Patty Jenkins herself has confirmed that the famed villain Cheetah will be the big bad in the anticipated sequel, and, what's more, the filmmaker has already found the actor she wants for the part. Jenkins confirmed on her personal Twitter account that Saturday Night Live veteran Kristen Wiig has signed on to play the character in the blockbuster.
But which version of Cheetah will we see in Wonder Woman 2? That's hard to say, given that there hasn't been any firm confirmation, and there have been many characters who have taken that moniker over the years. That being said, the rumor mill is suggesting that Kristen Wiig's Cheetah alter ego will be Barbara Minerva, the current version of the villain in the comics (pictured above). Her origin story sees her start as a British archaeologist and rival of Diana Prince's who transforms herself using a tribal ritual in the lost city of Uzkartagan. It's both a blessing and a curse, however, because the ritual is supposed to be for virgins only. As a result, she experiences great pain in human form, and bloodthirsty rage in cat form. A new rumor, however, suggests that the DCEU version of Barbara will begin as a friend of Diana's, and then look to usurp Wonder Woman, so, we'll see.
Kristen Wiig being a part of Wonder Woman 1984 is obviously a big deal, as she is the first non-established character to be confirmed for the blockbuster. That being said, she apparently isn't the only new actor who will be a part of the ensemble. Early trade reports said that the production had added Game of Thrones and Narcos star Pedro Pascal to the cast list, and with the confirmation of the start of filming, his presence among the cast was officially revealed by DC. Unfortunately, that's all we know about the situation right now. It has not been said or even suggested what role he might be playing in the film - and given the number of characters that exist in the DC Comics universe, it's pretty hard to make an educated guess.
When compared to competitors like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or 20th Century Fox's X-Men universe, the DCEU has arguably done the best job of weaving characters and storylines in and out of its movies. Whether it's a hero like Batman showing up in Suicide Squad, or Green Lantern side character Carol Ferris making an appearance in Man of Steel, DC films feel like a legitimately cohesive universe. With that in mind, it's entirely possible that the next Wonder Woman film could serve as a platform for other DC heroes as well. We have no way of knowing if this will happen until Wonder Woman 1984's release date approaches, but it's certainly an opportunity that DC would be wise to take advantage of.