Starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman 1984 is Diana Prince’s second solo adventure (and Gadot’s fourth big-screen outing in the DC Extended Universe). In an inspired move, director Patty Jenkins has set Wonder Woman sequel in the excess-all-areas 1980s.
So who’s who in Wonder Woman 1984? Join us as we reveal the major players in what promises to be the feel-good superhero smash of 2020.
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot has owned the DC superhero role ever since 2017’s Wonder Woman – a blockbusting origin story set during the chaos of World War I. But, rather than the new Wonder Woman movie seeing Diana Prince rejoin her Justice League mates in the present day, Gadot and director Patty Jenkins are taking a neon detour to the 1980s.
In the 66 years between the events of Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 a lot has changed for the Amazonian crown princess of Themyscira. Sure, she looks the same but she’s no longer the innocent (albeit super-powered) fish out of water she once was.
So, Diana has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight among mortals but she’s not exactly brimming with confidence. In fact, the beginning of WW1984 finds her leading a surprisingly quiet life. Producer, Charles Roven, explained it this way to Cinemablend:
“She has not only had the loss of [Chris Pine’s] Steve Trevor, she’s lost nearly all the people that are important to her because they’re not immortal, and her life is actually quite lonely and spartan. In fact, the only joy that she gets out of it is when she’s actually doing something for people, if she can help those in need.”
And it just so happens that the number of ‘those in need’ is about to skyrocket with the arrival of not one but two formidable villains: unhinged entrepreneur, Maxwell ‘Max’ Lord, and Diana’s colleague and friend Barbara Ann Minerva – a woman who’s about to go through some pretty dramatic changes…
Kristen Wiig is Cheetah/Barbara Ann Minerva
Played by Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters, Despicable Me 2 and 3), Barbara Ann Minerva is Wonder Woman 1984’s seismic before and after story. We’ve glimpsed the ‘before’ in the trailer – a shy, bookish archaeologist who’s a friend and colleague of Diana.
But then, if Barbara Ann’s story is true to the DC Wonder Woman comics, she gains cheetah-like abilities, appearance and apex-predator confidence after a run in with the sharp end of an Amazonian relic called the God Killer knife. Becoming the vessel for a malignant jungle deity puts the newly empowered Barbara Ann/Cheetah on a collision course with her former BFF that’s sure to tug at the heart strings even as it has us perched on the edge of our seats.
And if you’re wondering why an actress best known for her comedic roles landed the role of one of Wonder Woman’s most deadly foes, Patty Jenkins had this to say to Total Film:
“We were super fans of Kristen and we love how funny she is, but also I’ve been a huge admirer of what a great actress she is for a long time. So when we needed someone to go all the way from one end of the spectrum of being funny, sweet Diana’s friend, all the way to a totally different place, we knew that Kristen Wiig would kill it, and she went beyond our wildest dreams.”
Pedro Pascal is Max Lord
Wonder Woman 1984’s abominable baddie-in-a-shiny-suit, Max Lord, is played to perfection by Pedro Pascal (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, TV’s The Mandalorian, Narcos, and Game of Thrones).
In the DC comics, Maxwell Lord has undergone a handful of character reinventions over the years but one thing remains consistent – whether harnessing technology or innate metahuman powers, Max has a BIG thing for mind control. And he’s good at it, too. At one point, he managed to manipulate Superman himself. That is, until Wonder Woman intervened in spectacular style.
As the Wonder Woman 1984 trailer shows, Pascal’s Max Lord is a too-smooth-for-his-own-good media mogul and entrepreneur; a man with a silver tongue and designs on world domination. We’ve glimpsed gigantic satellite dishes in the trailer, too – could Max be hiding his mind control commands in his slickly produced infomercials?
Come to think of it, what’s to say any of what we’ve seen of Wonder Woman 1984 so far is real? With Max Lord shaping events in the background who can be sure? Incidentally, director Patty Jenkins has revealed Pedro Pascal’s performance is inspired by two iconic movie villains – Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor in Superman (1978), and Michael Douglas’s Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street (1987).
Chris Pine is Steve Trevor
Blond-haired, blue-eyed US pilot (and love of Diana Prince’s life), Steve Trevor, is played with roguish, self-effacing charm by Chris Pine (Star Trek, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse). But wait! Didn’t Trevor give his life for the greater good at the climax of 2017’s Wonder Woman? And even if he hadn’t made the ultimate sacrifice back in 1918, wouldn’t he be at least 90 years old in 1984?
It’s the biggest surprise of Wonder Woman 1984’s trailer: how is it possible, not only for Steve to be back but also for him to still be a young man? Is he a clone? Is he Steve Trevor’s grandson? (Please don’t let it be that.) Is there some kind of Themyscira-sourced Amazonian resurrection malarky at work? Or, could Steve be a heart-wrenching illusion created in Diana’s mind by Max Lord’s evil, psychic manipulation?
Director Patty Jenkins has promised that Trevor’s welcome return makes “perfect sense”. Whatever the specific reason for his presence in 1984, we’re just delighted to have Steve Trevor back – the Watson to Diana’s superpowered Sherlock.