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Is Wonder Woman 1984 Sequel or Standalone?

How Wonder Woman 1984 Isn't Exactly a Sequel

(Updated 06/15/2020)

One of our favorite cinematic superheroes will finally return to the big screen later this year. As indicated by the title, WONDER WOMAN 1984 takes place in the 1980s, which is quite a jump forward from the 1918 setting in which most of the original film took place. It's a pivotal time in history, for both the United States and Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman).

Director Patty Jenkins, and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, return for the highly-anticipated sequel. But is it actually a sequel? The answer to that question is both yes… and no. Don’t worry; it’s not as confusing as it sounds! Read on for everything we know about Wonder Woman’s next cinematic adventure.

What’s the Story?

Wonder Woman in Justice League

WONDER WOMAN 1984 follows Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince during a crucial time in our history, as the Cold War rages between America and the Soviet Union. Diana finds herself mixed up in this conflict, and is confronted by a powerful new villain named Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig. (More on her in a bit.) The last time we saw Wonder Woman in action, she was fighting alongside her super-friends in JUSTICE LEAGUE, which took place in modern day. But what happened to Diana in the years between the first WONDER WOMAN movie, which was set during World War I, and this new movie? And how does Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor come back?? The answers to those questions will be revealed in WONDER WOMAN 1984.

A Superhero Stands Alone

Wonder Woman and comrades

Okay, so is this a sequel, or what? According to an interview with producer Charles Roven, it’s technically not a sequel, but more of a standalone story. Roven explains that director Patty Jenkins was “determined that this movie should be the next iteration of Wonder Woman,” with a new time period and an all-new story. But WONDER WOMAN 1984 has several connections to the first WONDER WOMAN movie: There are flashbacks to Diana’s life on Themyscira, the mythological island populated entirely by female warriors. And Diana’s love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) returns, somehow, despite his apparent demise in the previous movie. Roven says the new movie will have a lot of the same action and humor as the first, along with these plot connections, but that viewers should expect an entirely different experience. We'll also learn what happened to Diana in the years between World War I and the Cold War.

But Is It a Sequel?

Chris Pine as Steve Trevor

Again, the answer is both yes and no. Yes, because it features a few of the same characters and is a continuation of Diana’s journey. No, because it takes place 70 years after the first movie, and Diana has changed a whole lot since then. She’ll also presumably change quite a bit before she becomes the Wonder Woman we saw in JUSTICE LEAGUE. In general, Warner Bros. is moving away from a tightly-interconnected superhero franchise and more towards standalone stories, such as WONDER WOMAN 1984. In February of this year, studio CEO Kevin Tsujihara said "the universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters." Tsujihara, who a month later resigned as CEO, went on to say that the studio might eventually "come back to that notion of a more connected universe," but the focus right now appears to be on standalone stories.

Who’s Who in 1984

Kristin Wiig as Cheetah

You’re already familiar with Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman, played by the great Gal Gadot. Also returning for the follow-up are Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, the queen of Themyscira and Diana’s mother, and Robin Wright as Antiope, the general of the Amazon army – we’ll be seeing her in flashbacks. Chris Pine is back as Steve Trevor, but again, we’re not really sure how… maybe it has something to do with time travel or alternate dimensions, in which case, could we expect a cameo from a certain Flash-y superhero?

There are two important additions to the cast of WONDER WOMAN 1984: First is "SNL" vet Kristen Wiig, who plays Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva (above), an archaeologist who uncovers a lost city and is possessed by an ancient tribe’s powerful goddess, known as Cheetah. Minerva develops powerful abilities and becomes a formidable foe for Diana. And "Game of Thrones" favorite Pedro Pascal, who plays Maxwell Lord, an aspiring politician who takes a shine to Diana.

Even with all those details out in the open, we still don't know too much about WONDER WOMAN 1984. There'll be a lot more to learn in the coming months, and we'll report back after the first trailer is released, with a full breakdown of any reveals contained within.

WONDER WOMAN 1984 comes to Cinemark soon!

All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

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