‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins ‘Doesn’t Connect’ to Shared Universes; Will This Cause a Problem with ‘Wonder Woman 3’?
Zack Snyder gets a lot of credit for kickstarting the DC Extended Universe with Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But it wasn’t until Wonder Woman that the DCEU began to truly gain steam. Even the failure of Justice League couldn’t stop the momentum for long.
Ironically enough, Jenkins recently voiced her disinterest in interconnected shared universes. But Wonder Woman 1984 marks a 66-year time jump from the original film. With Wonder Woman’s own movies catching up to modern times, Jenkins might have to face her feelings about the DCEU soon.
Diana’s solo movies stand apart from the DCEU in one huge way
Since the disappointment of Justice League, the DCEU has pivoted away from imitating its competitor’s world-building. Movies like Aquaman, Shazam! and even Birds of Prey have featured tangential, if any, ties to the first few movies in the franchise. But even these more recent releases have a closer connection than Wonder Woman.
Jenkins’ 2017 movie is set entirely in 1918, save for a very brief framing device. And as such, it bears no responsibility toward acknowledging any other heroes or lore. This approach serves the first movie well, especially since Wonder Woman’s origin has never appeared on screen before.
But the sequel is sticking with that strict focus on Gal Gadot’s hero. As its title reveals, Wonder Woman 1984 jumps ahead from World War I to the 1980s. That still places the movie decades before Henry Cavill’s Superman reveals himself in Man of Steel. And judging by her recent comments, Jenkins much prefers Diana stay siloed off all by herself.
Director Patty Jenkins doesn’t care about shared universes
Wonder Woman turned out to be the movie that elevated the DCEU to the next level. But that doesn’t mean the director behind it wants to take control of the Justice League anytime soon. In fact, Jenkins recently revealed she outright rejected the chance to strengthen her grasp on the franchise.
“Unlike other directors, I don’t really care about shared universes, continuity, and that kind of detail,” she said. “I’ve been contacted to make a Justice League movie in the past, and it doesn’t connect to me. Too many characters.”
From a business perspective, it makes sense for Warner Bros. to offer Jenkins a greater stake in the DCEU. After all, Wonder Woman has emerged as one of the series’ undeniable highlights so far. But balancing such a sprawling ensemble does undermine the more personal, intimate character beats Jenkins seems to be drawn to.
When will Wonder Woman’s solo movies catch up to modern times?
Wonder Woman’s second adventure aims to put the hero in a whole new context. The film will see Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) somehow return. And Diana will face off against Cheetah (Kristen Wiig), one of Wonder Woman’s most popular foes. But the leap up to the 1980s bears the question: when will Wonder Woman 3 be set?
Assuming Man of Steel is in the 2010s, that means a third movie has a much smaller window before bumping up against the larger DCEU. The 1990s are likely out as a potential setting, as Captain Marvel already has that covered. Perhaps the only option is to catch up with Diana in a post-9/11 world. But that could be sensitive material for a superhero movie to take on directly.
The easy answer is for Wonder Woman 3 — which, to be fair, hasn’t been made official — to take place post-Justice League. This angle would likely require some reference to Diana’s super-friends. And therein might lie the conflict. If that’s the case, Warner Bros. may push for Wonder Woman 3 to tee up upcoming films or even serve as a Justice League-esque adventure.
The Captain America trilogy similarly started with a period piece. And it ended with a film many fans consider to be an unofficial Avengers movie. The studio might have something similar in mind, and Jenkins doesn’t sound like she wants that. Perhaps a compromise can be made or another solution found. But there’s still room for complications to arise.