Director Patty Jenkins explains why Wonder Woman 1984 would've been a worse movie if it had been released in 2019 as originally planned.
Director Patty Jenkins explains why Wonder Woman 1984 would've been a worse movie if it had been released in 2019 as originally planned. Jenkins' second DC outing serves as a follow-up to her 2017 movie Wonder Woman. This time around, Gal Gadot's Diana Prince has settled into a solitary life in Washington D.C. decades after her introduction to the world of men, though she's quickly pulled back into action with the emergence of threats like Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Barbara Minerva, aka Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). Further complicating matters is the fact that her long lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) has returned from the dead.
Once upon a time, Wonder Woman 1984 was scheduled for release in December 2019, then November 2019. However, Warner Bros. ended up bumping the film to June 2020, which proved to be a disastrous move. The coronavirus pandemic effectively slashed the moviegoing industry this year, and as a result, Wonder Woman 1984 had to be shuffled around to various dates. Finally, after all this time, Jenkins' sequel will debut in theaters and on HBO Max this Friday, with select international markets even getting it this past weekend.
It's easy to say the move from 2019 to 2020 is what really doomed Wonder Woman 1984, but Jenkins insists things would've been far worse if it had come out last year. In an interview with the NYT, Jenkins explains how, when Warner Bros. first scheduled Wonder Woman 1984 for release in late 2019, she was frustrated by how little time she would actually have to make the movie. As Jenkins was in the midst of a different project, her timeline was shortened considerably, which would have impacted Wonder Woman 1984's quality. She explained:
I never wanted it to come out in the winter. I was fighting the studio because we were supposed to come out summer of 2020, and then they didn’t have a big movie for 2019. I was in the middle of making a limited series, and all of a sudden they announced that they had moved up the release date by seven months, which was going to give me way less time to make the movie than I had for “Wonder Woman.” I was saying, “You guys, why would you guarantee I can’t make as good of a film by making it too quick?”
So we argued about that all year, and I had to drop out of doing a whole limited series and only do the first two episodes, and just race to write an 80-page treatment at the same time as I’m trying to direct the show. We finally got lucky that it got moved back. It would have been a much worse movie if it had come out then.
Sadly, Wonder Woman 1984 didn't get the chance to be a summer blockbuster, but at least Jenkins got the extra time she needed for production. Fans might wish Wonder Woman 1984 had stuck to 2019 to avoid the pandemic, but when it comes to the quality of the movie itself, 2020 seems to have been better. Since reviews rolled out online last week, Wonder Woman 1984 has been deemed fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, currently holding an 82% critics' score at the time of this writing. Sounds like Jenkins really did put that extra time to good use in making an excellent movie.
While Wonder Woman 1984's release isn't exactly what people were expecting, the HBO Max and theatrical plan is undoubtedly the best option for right now. Those who have access to a movie theater can venture out to see it if they wish, while others who might not feel safe about going out in public can watch it at home. After all the hard work Jenkins and the rest have put into Wonder Woman 1984, it's a relief to know that audiences can finally see it.