On Sunday night, Warner Bros. pulled out the gauntlets as they capped CCXP in Sao Paulo with a presentation of the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman 1984 with Gal Gadot stepping into the boost of the titular iconic Amazon princess from the DC comics. True to form, the Sao Paulo crowd maintained their high energy and passionate fandom from day one as they welcomed the pair and the first trailer for the movie with a wild, deafening ovation.
Their visit to Brazil and the trailer debut kicked off the global marketing campaign as the movie heads toward its June 5, 2020 release date. But earlier in the day, Deadline participated in an exclusive group interview with Jenkins and Gadot, who have been itching to share this movie since the first day they started shooting.
“I’m super excited to finally people look at what we’ve been doing because there are two things I really care about,” started Jenkins. “First of all, 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 continued to say that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with the sequel and was excited to do something she would never be able to do again. She wanted to make a grand tentpole that was reminiscent of the ’80s — not only in look but in the actual making of the movie.
“I want it to feel like you’re seeing a movie in the ’80s so we did almost all of our stunts, our fights practically,” she pointed out. “We have some of the most extensive, incredible wire work that was, that nobody’s ever done before because no one has ever tried.” Jenkins said that they did wirework and fights in a way that hasn’t been done before — they even consulted with Cirque de Soleil.
Gadot chimed in and joked how she survived all the training and practical effects, adding “It was a lot of work and we’ve tried to make it our own with new fresh things that were never done before…and there’s something about our anticipation to share it with the world because it’s been a long, incredible journey for us.”
Wonder Woman earned over $400 million domestically and grossed over $820 million worldwide. It became a wild success for Warner Bros. and as one of the first female-led superhero films in the golden age of comic book pics, it broke records at the box office and marked a moment in cinematic history as Jenkins became first woman in history to helm a film with a budget over $100 million. With the sequel, Jenkins and Gadot looks to expand the Wonder Woman’s message and move the needle when it comes to representation in front of and behind the camera.
Jenkins explains that the vision, voice and message of Wonder Woman was super clear. She feels that the real power of representation and using a representative voice is when it is done silently and with action. Wonder Woman 1984 has many characters that are women including Gadot and Kristen Wiig in lead roles — and it’s not a phenomenon. “Now the message that Wonder Woman is sending out into the world is about love and belief in characters and trying to make people better,” she said. “She will fight if she has to fight, but she’s actually about something else.”
Jenkins adds that her son even plays with Wonder Woman and Hippolyta dolls in a fight scene, which is something that wasn’t commonplace even a decade ago. In fact, it would probably be scrutinized. Now, for many, it’s just the norm.
“That blows my mind because that’s where it’s super important to me that everybody is accessible to this movie,” she said. “That becomes an easy thing to do and you’re watching people of all genders and races up on the screen doing this and you’re not thinking about it.”
“This is how you can view the DNA of this movie,” Gadot adds. “We think about it, but we don’t struggle with it because for us it’s very clear.”
This is evident even behind the camera with Jenkins steering the ship. She admits that its the first time in her career where she basically has final cut. She still has time to “fiddle” with the movie before its release — but it’s technically done.
Setting the film in the ’80s puts Gadot’s Diana in a more modern setting than the first film, but there is a reason why Jenkins chose this era. “The easiest way for me to sum it up without giving away too much, is that 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 — and we’re running her right into mankind at their best and their worst and the villains that are born from that.”
She explains that the ’80s was a great metaphor for that because the ’80s was a time when the world was at its most extreme before we understood any cost. Jenkins said that it would be interesting to see what kind of journey Diana would have in this world as a wise, kind and loving half-God.
As one of Warner Bros. and DC’s most successful franchises, it is more than likely would go beyond Wonder Woman 1984 and create a whole universe within the DC Universe. She briefly mentioned an Amazon movie and said “We already have it all mapped out — it’s just a matter of will we change our minds and when.”
Jenkins continued, “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.”