WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Wonder Woman
As Wonder Woman's box office success continues to build, it sounds like it may carry her straight into the 1980s for Wonder Woman 2 - with her leading man returning, despite Steve Trevor's fate. DC Films has been careful not to shift attention away from the DCEU's runaway success and towards a sequel too soon, with director Patty Jenkins not yet officially returning, even as a a story treatment for the inevitable Wonder Woman 2 begins to take shape. A shape we may now know, at least in terms of setting.
The current timeline of the DCEU made fans question whether Wonder Woman 2 is tied to Justice League's fallout (as is the case with Jason Momoa's Aquaman solo film), or tell another period story set between Diana's origin and her Batman V Superman debut. Thanks to some new information, it seems that question can be answered, along with the villains Wonder Woman 2 will introduce decades before Steppenwolf ever challenged the DCEU's Justice League.
According to production details Screen Rant has learned, the story of Wonder Woman 2 will be another historical adventure prior to the modern day DCEU. Set during the 1980s, the film will send Diana against the forces of Soviet Union in the closing days of the Cold War. The production team is expected to remain on board for the sequel, with confirmation that Geoff Johns is developing Wonder Woman 2's script with Jenkins (who is still in negotiations, with all evidence and word of mouth pointing to her return once the contracts are signed).
As fans use their imagination to picture the sequel - swapping out the battlefields of World War I for the espionage and maneuverings of Moscow - the last detail may be the biggest relief. The report also confirms that Chris Pine will be returning, once again acting as Diana's ally Steve Trevor. Exactly how that's possible given the conclusion of his story in Wonder Woman... may be the real question moving forward.
From a marketing standpoint, the decisions all make complete sense. Across the critical and commercial acclaim heaped on Jenkins's film, the chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine was one of the most praised aspects - tinged with the fact that one glimpse may be all audiences ever get. On one hand, the winning combination of Steve Trevor and Diana makes his sacrifice in the movie's final act all the more meaningful for Diana's character in BvS and beyond. On the other... it's the kind of formula movie studios tend to pursue at all costs, even ones in less critical hot water than DC Films.
The same line of thinking may be to thank for the decision to tell another story set prior to Diana's introduction into BvS and the Justice League. The cynics will claim it's an effort to keep Diana somewhat removed from everything we know about Zack Snyder's Justice League (despite his role in shaping Wonder Woman with Jenkins), and allow Jenkins and Johns the freedom to tell whatever story she wishes. Taking a step back, though, it seems the smartest move all around. Jenkins has already explained how the Batman V Superman claim that Wonder Woman "walked away from mankind" can mean more than fans inferred, opening doors to any number of compelling stories set in the 20th Century.
With Justice League telling the next chapter of Diana's story alongside DC's younger heroes, why not have the cake and eat it, too - filling in the exciting years when Diana was Earth's only living superhero? And considering the comparisons to Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger the first time around, shifting the next film to World War II would only exacerbate the potential problems. Diana can still comment on the war and its role in shaping the Cold War that followed, after all.
Fans won't need to be convinced that seeing Diana during the 1980s would be worth the price of admission alone, but the promise of another pairing with Pine (whether a resurrected version, or a descendant of Steve Trevor) should seal the deal. Since Jenkins has stated her feelings that Wonder Woman 2 should be set in America, the heroes may be forced to swap No Man's Land for a Cold War spy thriller - and who would complain?
Let us know what you think of a 1980s setting for Wonder Woman 2, and whether Steve Trevor's return is the right move - no matter how the filmmakers explain it.
UPDATE: According to a new report, Warner Bros. will announce the Wonder Woman sequel at San Diego Comic-Con 2017.
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