Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Wonder Woman 1984: New Trailer Gives First Look at Cheetah

Patty Jenkins' superhero sequel will premiere in inernational markets on December 16, then debut both in theaters and on HBO Max on Christmas Day in the U.S.

by | November 18, 2020 | Comments

Updated August 22 with the second full trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 and new details from DC FanDome, including our first full look at Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah. 

As the follow-up to the expectation-defying Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984 has a lot to live up to. How will it present a story about Diana (Gal Gadot) in 1984 Washington D.C. if she spent a century in seclusion? Can director Patty Jenkins take the visual language she developed in the first film to new heights? How is Steve Tevor (Chris Pine) back, despite exploding over Europe in 1918? What will this movie’s take on the comics’ villain, Cheetah, be?

More light was shed on a number of these questions at DC’s epic online convention, DC FanDome, where director Patty Jenkins was joined by Gadot, Pine, Pedro Pascal, and Kristen Wiig (with a special appearance from original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter) answered fan questions and dropped the second official trailer for the movie. The trailer revealed that the original movie’s mix of epic action and sharp humor is still in place – with Steve now the fish-out-of-water, marveling at the 1980s-ness of it all – and gave us our first full look at Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah, transformed.

Here’s what we know about about Wonder Woman 1984 so far.

[Updated on November 18, 2020]

It’s set firmly in the ’80s, Both in Style and Ethos

Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

From the moment it was put into production, Wonder Woman 1984 has not been shy about its Reagan-era setting. With the arrival of malls, digital watches, infomercials, and Atari, the film will feature a number of key cultural milestones and artifacts for comedic and dramatic purposes. But beyond the leaps in technology (and popular films), the 1980s represents something crucial to Jenkins. Beyond Wonder Woman’s association with the time period – thanks to reruns of the Wonder Woman television series starring Lynda Carter – the director told the audience at the CCXP fan event in December of 2019 that the ‘80s were “the height of our civilization.” Considering the way movie studios mine films from the decade for modern entertainment, we’re inclined to agree with her.

But beyond that, there was an incredible inequity brewing underneath the conspicuous consumption, blockbuster films, and power ties — the sort of thing Diana must have been appalled to see. Of course, it remains to be seen if the screenplay by Dave Callaham, DC mainstay Geoff Johns, and Jenkins will address that issue or use one of its villains as a simpler conflict. But the latest trailer, revealed at DC FanDome, suggests it will be a theme. In one scene, we witness villain Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) saying, “Anything you want, anything you dream of, you can have it.” And it looks like that ethos may be taken a little too far from the movie’s other villain, Wiig’s Barbara Minerva, or Cheetah.

For her part, the Amazonian exile is “quite lonely,” according to Jenkins — although the film will feature some sort of Themyscirian flashback with both Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright returning as Hippolyta and Antiope — but continues to help out where she can while avoiding the increased presence of security and news cameras. Which means, to some extent, the film will maintain the idea from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that she hid from the world following Steve’s death.

Steve Trevor Is Back

Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Despite his very heroic end, Steve is back in this installment. In fact, Jenkins said the story “couldn’t be told without Steve Trevor.” While we do not know the exact mechanics of his resurrection, we’re happy to see him (and Pine) return – and so is Diana, even if she looks like she’s seen a ghost when they reunite – as he was part of the first film’s magic. This time, though, it is clear Diana will be teaching him about his own country after being out of circulation for nearly 70 years. Movies were silent and Lenin was in power when he died, so Ghostbusters and the Cold War will only be the start of his culture shock. In the latest trailer, for example, he is surprised by the invention of radar technology.

But one thing we also noticed in the film’s first trailer, released in December 2019, was the revelation that Diana spent some time with Steve’s family after the war ended. The pictures of Diana on the Trevor Ranch only begin to tell the story we hope gets a little more meat when the film premieres.

Maxwell Lord Has A Plan 

Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Diana’s life in 1984 will not just revolve around simple crimefighting. Her opponent here is Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal). The character was introduced to the DC Universe in 1987 as an ambiguously virtuous but occasionally villainous multi-millionaire with mind control powers (yet susceptible to telepathic suggestion himself) and a plan to reform the Justice League. The heir to a family fortune, he finally chose true villainy at the turn of the century. In the comics, Diana killed him, but he made sure his death at her hands would be broadcast to the world, inspiring a movement against Wonder Woman.

While something so public is unlikely in Wonder Woman 1984, it is clear from the trailers he will use the power of television to broadcast his ideas (and maybe telepathic commands?) to the world. Jenkins referred to him as the “King of Infomericals selling a dream to the public” and “very much a man of his time,” so we’re inclined to believe a certain mesmerism is afoot. The glimpses of him we’ve seen so far also give him that used-car-salesman-on-a-local-TV-ad vibe. He may not be as polished as the Max of the comics, but Jenkins assured fans at CCXP that Diana has “never met anyone like him before.”

And his real plan in the film? That remains to be seen. But trailer two reveals he connects directly with the movie’s other villain.

Yes, Barbara Minerva Will Go Full Cheetah

Wonder Woman 1984

While Diana has faced off against the Olympian Gods, Darkseid, and would-be successors over the years, her best enemy is Cheetah. Introduced as a debutante with several personas in 1943, the character would evolve into a capable archaeologist with an interest in Diana’s Themyscirian roots and artifacts. And as those years went by, she also emerged as Wonder Woman’s archfoe. Jenkins described the film’s version of Cheetah, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), as both “sweet” and “Diana’s friend” as the film begins, but those qualities will reverse by its conclusion.

In the second trailer, revealed at DC FanDome, fans got their first look at Barbara’s eventual Cheetah form, a mixture of practical makeup and CGI. “Barbara, what did you do?” asks Diana, as the look is revealed; the trailer shows snippets of what looks to be an epic final battle between the two former friends.

Like Max, we’re unsure of Barbara’s full motives, but perhaps her comic book counterpart’s initial obsession with Diana’s Lasso of Truth gives us something to work with. So much so, we’d be willing to think her friendship with Diana is entirely a ruse. We do get hints in the new trailer that jealousy will play a part – Wonder Woman’s shadow is a substantial one to live in. “I wanna be an apex predator,” Barbara says at one point; at a mother, she tells Wonder Woman, “Now it’s my turn… get used to it.”

Young Wonder Woman Will Feature Again 

Wonder Woman 1984

The new trailer also revealed that we will spend some time in the past with young Wonder Woman and the Amazonians of Themyscira. We see young Diana in a huge, colosseum-like arena, competing in some sort of race.

It Will Feature Real People In Real Environments

Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Except for a handful of moments in the first trailer, Wonder Woman 1984 continues the renaissance of practical costumes, environments, and stunts. According to Jenkins, much of the film will be “real people in real environments,” even if one of the shots in the trailer looked to be an entirely computer generated thunder storm.

While speaking at the CCXP fan event, Gadot said, “We shot most of it… It was not easy to do, but it was amazing.”

And that sense of reality, even from just one trailer, sets Wonder Woman apart from many of the earlier DC films in the current cycle. The spirit of verisimilitude was there in the original Superman and appears again to some extent in films like Shazam! and the first Wonder Woman – both stories that benefited from having one foot in reality – while films like Justice League and Aquaman required more extensive use of CG elements. That said, we appreciate the level of dedication it takes to put real people into tougher stunts and to resist the impulse toward widespread CGI in any given shot.

Although, it is pretty cool to see Diana swing off that CGI lightning.

Wonder Woman 1984 will debut in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25, 2020.

Tag Cloud

El Rey Arrowverse target sports reboot IFC Films Starz boxoffice The CW cancelled TV series jurassic park Sundance TV japanese doctor who jamie lee curtis Premiere Dates slashers docuseries rom-coms Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cars revenge Marvel Studios facebook Marathons royal family VOD 21st Century Fox Mary Tyler Moore OneApp Esquire binge Superheroe YouTube Premium based on movie Amazon HBO Max Horror PlayStation Video Games VICE Universal Pictures 79th Golden Globes Awards Ellie Kemper cats YouTube french golden globe awards comics streamig documentary screen actors guild Pop kong disaster elevated horror Amazon Prime Video cancelled television strong female leads a nightmare on elm street chucky BET Mary poppins quibi Trivia australia crime drama 1990s TCA Awards PBS Fox Searchlight renewed TV shows Tokyo Olympics summer TV preview historical drama 2019 Trophy Talk Mindy Kaling USA tv talk Valentine's Day comic telelvision Fantasy dreamworks Winners Marvel First Reviews Amazon Prime RT History hidden camera popular comic books Apple TV+ Hulu Oscar TBS space AMC Plus Syfy live event joker screenings Spectrum Originals Women's History Month FX classics best all-time obi wan sag awards name the review Black Mirror San Diego Comic-Con Extras Tubi HBO Go black comedy award winner National Geographic BBC One posters trailers stand-up comedy what to watch APB festival child's play Cosplay TCM Classic Film true crime GIFs Alien game of thrones olympics documentaries Schedule 99% Emmy Nominations cults wonder woman vampires anime high school Infographic Certified Fresh TruTV Chernobyl saw universal monsters black Crackle book comiccon Best Director New York Comic Con Teen Fall TV summer preview OWN period drama 90s SXSW war DirecTV zero dark thirty Neflix Nickelodeon miniseries james bond comic book movies aliens free movies Lifetime nature political drama movie DC Comics live action satire Emmys TLC BET Awards new star wars movies spider-man ghosts Rock USA Network lord of the rings gangster Holidays police drama Nominations ID cops japan aapi Writers Guild of America Showtime Red Carpet Animation rt labs critics edition Epix Paramount Network Rom-Com Ghostbusters Holiday suspense razzies movies Thanksgiving romance Musical The Walt Disney Company hist rt labs sequels thriller AMC discovery Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2020 venice Wes Anderson MTV CMT heist movie Britbox Bravo ESPN crossover Mystery Instagram Live Mary Poppins Returns streaming movies adenture dexter canceled TV shows Fox News debate Box Office 71st Emmy Awards medical drama genre Winter TV Elton John Disney Plus Universal HFPA dceu Sundance Now Family feel good Grammys DGA 73rd Emmy Awards Warner Bros. Vudu supernatural President Crunchyroll 94th Oscars women prank Pacific Islander Stephen King Lifetime Christmas movies Television Academy Peacock Dark Horse Comics vs. Toys Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Photos spain leaderboard crime NYCC See It Skip It Reality Competition Apple TV Plus south america Superheroes legend Brie Larson theme song serial killer Adult Swim superman twilight parents 72 Emmy Awards game show anthology festivals halloween scene in color remakes harry potter Hallmark Christmas movies blockbuster spy thriller 20th Century Fox football YA Pirates blockbusters The Witch reviews young adult WarnerMedia History American Society of Cinematographers Image Comics nbcuniversal zombies hispanic mission: impossible SundanceTV Disney Channel Endgame rotten summer TV cancelled TV shows Binge Guide mcc king arthur unscripted Acorn TV Comedy Central LGBT Trailer Film Amazon Studios dogs monster movies Action TV transformers Western indiana jones SXSW 2022 technology breaking bad mutant Hear Us Out ABC Family Drama HBO Disney GoT Cartoon Network crime thriller Kids & Family 4/20 critics TCA FXX cooking Freeform Turner boxing worst canceled marvel cinematic universe Discovery Channel Film Festival 2017 MSNBC zombie First Look Prime Video die hard Cannes know your critic YouTube Red Netflix Christmas movies toronto batman biography 93rd Oscars video A24 adaptation X-Men Captain marvel Tags: Comedy Sci-Fi Comic Book Quiz king kong worst movies Mudbound DC streaming service Star Wars 2015 ITV science fiction politics ViacomCBS Awards Tour basketball Shondaland pirates of the caribbean Funimation Pride Month hollywood halloween tv WGN Christmas news justice league criterion Broadway IFC The Academy rotten movies we love BBC America witnail video on demand Spring TV werewolf Baby Yoda Election psycho blaxploitation E! Year in Review stop motion Anna Paquin new york ABC Watching Series TCA 2017 marvel comics Podcast ABC Signature Paramount Plus cartoon foreign Shudder Best Actress South by Southwest Film Festival The Arrangement Comics on TV travel BBC Reality comic book movie Apple Pet Sematary Song of Ice and Fire christmas movies films romantic comedy hispanic heritage month Turner Classic Movies Columbia Pictures finale dragons spanish language Fargo animated biopic Food Network Sundance Pixar teaser trophy 45 Spike composers sopranos Rocky E3 mockumentary Character Guide Rocketman MGM Walt Disney Pictures Music diversity 007 RT21 Pop TV television new zealand BAFTA directors Lucasfilm cancelled Set visit LGBTQ latino The Walking Dead A&E social media international kaiju Lionsgate IMDb TV fast and furious action-comedy emmy awards book adaptation Awards toy story scary movies obituary indie concert docudrama Polls and Games cinemax Musicals spanish Ovation children's TV Travel Channel GLAAD singing competition Tarantino psychological thriller VH1 slasher talk show DC Universe Avengers series sequel Best Actor TV renewals italian nfl scorecard rt archives 2021 kids Logo spider-verse dark Best and Worst Marvel Television Comic-Con@Home 2021 critic resources Exclusive Video Tumblr CNN Paramount TV Land franchise Super Bowl The Purge 24 frames fresh Black History Month Netflix NBA Best Picture Academy Awards Disney+ Disney Plus Heroines TNT laika Country superhero TV One Disney streaming service CBS All Access robots TV movies sitcom Hallmark mob godzilla 2018 Legendary Masterpiece 2016 comedies archives NBC TCA Winter 2020 Star Trek dc Oscars Tomatazos art house CBS Sony Pictures Opinion streaming stoner Interview spinoff golden globes green book PaleyFest Summer independent adventure FOX Calendar Countdown versus casting asian-american TIFF Sneak Peek 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards scary richard e. Grant dramedy SDCC Nat Geo ratings MCU Martial Arts natural history CW Seed FX on Hulu Television Critics Association Comedy deadpool Creative Arts Emmys Biopics