Wonder Woman 1984 May Break DCEU Sequel Tradition (& Change Its Future)

Wonder Woman 1984 is easily one of the most anticipated superhero movies on Warner Bros.'s slate, but when it finally does hit theaters in summer 2020, it just might break the DCEU's informal sequel tradition. It's been three years since WB launched their DC movie universe with Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was quickly expanded with David Ayer's Suicide Squad back in summer 2016. While the franchise has endured its fair share of criticisms, there have been some highlights along the way.

Even though Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, and Suicide Squad each have their own fan bases, it was Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman that was seen as a turning point for the DCEU in the eyes of the general public. It garnered rave reviews, eventually becoming one of Rotten Tomatoes' highest-rated superhero movies ever, as well as becoming the highest-grossing superhero origin story at the box office. That significantly bolstered excitement for a sequel, which is coming next year.

Related: How DC Films & The DCEU Really Works

Wonder Woman 1984 sees Jenkins back in the director's chair, with a screenplay from herself, Dave Callaham, and former DC Films chief Geoff Johns. It'll be the ninth installment in the DCEU when it hits theaters, and while it continues Diana's story decades after her fight with Ares in 2017's Wonder Woman movie, it remains unclear at this stage exactly how it fits into the overarching shared universe. It seems that, based on everything we know about the upcoming sequel, Wonder Woman 1984 will ultimately break one of the few traditions the DCEU has left from its inception.

Every DCEU Movie Has Been A Sequel In Some Form

Wonder Woman Superman and Batman

So far, every DCEU movie has been a sequel to the one before it. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was very much a result of the Black Zero event in Man of Steel, and because Superman died in Batman V Superman, that convinced the US government to allow Amanda Waller to form her Task Force X in Suicide Squad. At the start of that movie, David Harbour's Dexter Tolliver was primarily concerned about the next Superman not sharing their ideals for truth, justice, and the American way.

From there, Wonder Woman took place sometime between Batman V Superman and Justice League, as evidenced by its opening and ending scenes. While the bulk of the movie was set during World War I, it was the photo that Bruce Wayne delivered to her that triggered her memory. The entire movie was a flashback. And then after that, Justice League happened, which audiences can sort of see at the beginning and end of Wonder Woman.

Related: After Aquaman, The Next DC Movies Are All 6 Months Or Less Apart

And while Aquaman is technically an origin story, it's still a sequel to (Zack Snyder's) Justice League, with Mera even referencing Steppenwolf's defeat. Next up on the docket are Shazam!, Joker, Birds of Prey (and the Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), and Wonder Woman 1984. Joker, of course, is separate from the DCEU; Shazam! takes place after Justice League and Birds of Prey is at least set after Suicide Squad. That just leaves Wonder Woman 1984 as the odd one out here.

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Key Release Dates
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
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