‘Wonder Woman 1984’: Patty Jenkins Reveals the Dark Reason the Movie Was Set in the 1980s

We’ve been waiting a long time for Wonder Woman 1984, after the pandemic pushed the movie’s release date back — and sent it to a streaming service (HBO Max) in place of theaters.

The movie is finally out — and set in the ’80s. Recently, the director Patty Jenkins revealed why she wanted to put her Wonder Woman sequel in that particular decade.

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ director Patty Jenkins on setting the movie in the 1980s

Chris Pine in Wonder Woman 1984
Chris Pine in Wonder Woman 1984 | Clay Enos/DC Comics

In a recent interview with The New York Times Jenkins talked about her thinking behind the second Wonder Woman film.

“I wanted to do a full-blown Wonder Woman movie, but what I really wanted to talk about was what I was feeling is happening in the world,” she explained.

The director hinted that there are much bigger issues at play in Wonder Woman 1984 — things that she almost didn’t want viewers to pick up on.

“Not to get too heavy about it — I don’t want people to even know it’s about climate change — but we’re about to lose this world,” Jenkins continued to The Times. So, she placed the movie in a time period that could best represent the questions we should be asking ourselves.

“What are we, when we’re at our most excessive, when we can’t stop wanting more?” Jenkins continued. “We all have a hard time changing our lives, but if we don’t, we’re going to lose everything.”

‘Wonder Woman 1984’ gets deep

In many ways, the 1980s were a simpler time — meaning, Jenkins could deal with these giant questions from a different perspective than we have now.

“… what better time than the ’80s, before we knew any of the costs of these things?” she asked in the interview.

However, Jenkins did more in Wonder Woman 1984 than just subtly address climate change and the end of the world.

“I did a couple of things in this movie that everybody said we couldn’t do: Nobody dies, and she wins in the end with a conversation,” she explained. The director expanded, in her conversation with The Times:

To me, this was a Trojan horse: I wanted to tick off every box of what you’re looking for in a superhero movie, but actually what I’m hopefully pulling off is a subversion where instead you’re saying to this younger generation that sees these movies, ‘You have to find the hero within.’

Why cast member Kristen Wiig wanted to play Cheetah

Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984
Gal Gadot and Kristen Wiig in Wonder Woman 1984 | Clay Enos/DC Comics

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In her own interview with The New York Times, Wonder Woman 1984 cast member Kristen Wiig (who plays Barbara, AKA Cheetah, in the movie), shared that she was thrilled to join the cast after seeing Gadot take on that “hero” role in the first movie.

Wiig says she loves “big action movies and superhero movies,” and appearing in one herself was always “an aspiration.”

“It was huge on my list of things I wanted to do,” she told The Times. Wiig cited Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the Avengers films, and Deadpool as some of her favorite action movies.

But with Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, it was a whole new level for Wiig when she saw it in theaters.

“… when [Gadot] came over that trench, the crowd was cheering,” the actor remembered. “And it was a female superhero, so I got really emotional about it.”