After setting the original Wonder Woman during the sober period of World War I, Patty Jenkins made a left turn for the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, putting the action in the gaudy, greed-is-good era of the 1980s.
Speaking during Warner Bros’ panel for the film during Deadline’s Contenders Film awards-season event, the director explains that the playful aspect of the ’80s setting was important to offset the film’s more serious message about the pursuit of absolute power in our modern world.
“We wanted to talk about something quite a bit more serious than we did with the first film, which is [about] the crisis facing our world,” ” says Jenkins, who was joined on the panel by star Gal Gadot, “How do you use a superhero to inspire and reach the people of tomorrow, the kids of tomorrow, and the younger people of the world to save our world? I mean, if we’re not doing that with our superhero films, what are we doing? But because it was a more serious subject, I wanted it to be a more enjoyable—visually—ride. And so, I loved the idea of the ’80s. It countered the seriousness of our message with something fun and delightful.”
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At the same time, she said, the ’80s offer a window onto today’s world. “We were celebrating excess wealth and power and money for no reason—having it all just because we wanted it,” she says. “Not because we’d earned it, not because of hard work, not because of any of these other things. And, of course, I grew up watching the Lynda Carter TV show, so it felt like such a wonderful home for Wonder Woman.”
For Gadot, the film was also a chance to pay back the fans of the first Wonder Woman.
“I never really realized what an impact she had on people across the board, all around the world,” she says. “This is the biggest movie and the most ambitious movie I’ve ever got to work on. And once we had the script and the vision, we just made sure that everyone gave a thousand percent for eight months to make sure that we could give the best movie we can to these amazing, amazing fans.”
Check out the panel video above.
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