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Wonder Woman 1984 Set Visit Reveals Some Eye-Opening Details

After some delays, Wonder Woman 1984 is finally inching towards the finish line. On October 2, 2020, we'll find out the answers to some of our biggest questions, especially concerning the resurrection of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).

When Wonder Woman 1984 was still in production back in 2018, journalists were invited to the set to sit down with the team, both in front and behind the camera, and learn what Wonder Woman 1984 is all about. While the wait for those set reports has obviously been a lot longer than with your average blockbuster, the results are illuminating — especially if you want a little extra taste of the '80s flavor that the Wonder Woman sequel will bring.

Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, was joined by Chris Pine, director Patty Jenkins, and associate producer Anna Obropta for a chat with Slashfilm about what audiences can expect. Topics included the sequel's plot, why it's important to use the '80s as a serious setting and not just a kitschy joke, and what makes the movie's villains, Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) and Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), so darn likable. Let's break the whole conversation down.

Steve Trevor and the story of Wonder Woman so far

Wonder Woman 1984 is set after Diana has been living in the world of man for alost seven decades. She's splitting her time working at the Museum of Natural History in Wahingon D.C. and saving the day, as superheroes tend to do. But she's also missing Steve Trevor. "She's very slightly disengaged with the world, and a bit lonely, as the world whips around her, as people chase after dreams of wealth and power and fame," said associate producer Anna Obropta.

"Dreams that are apparently for sale by the president of Black Gold International, played by Pedro Pascal," added Obropta. "This is this desperate, self-obsessed, fraudulent entrepreneur who runs a business selling the American Dream."

Dreams being for sale might be a key into the return of Steve Trevor. While we don't yet know all the details surrounding Trevor's return, we do know that the seed for the idea has been in the works for a very long time. "Patty told me this idea, it must have been, like, halfway into the first film, so she kind of had an idea, and she was kicking it around," Chris Pine revealed.

Pine also described the impact of Patty Jenkins' taste in film. "Patty is a cinephile and a lover of all storytelling, and there are definitely nods to... filmmakers of the past," Pine said. "She's a lover of classical Hollywood storytelling, and I think there's something huge and grand, and old romance about it."

Why is Wonder Woman set in the Washington D.C. of 1984?

Seven decades is a long gap for a sequel to cover. That said, we've also already seen Wonder Woman interact with the Justice League in the 21st century. According to Jenkins, setting the sequel in the '80s is perfect for telling the right story right now.

"It was particularly the '80s because of the fact that that was the height of everything that we're now paying the price for," Jenkins explained. "It was like we thought for sure it could go on forever and there was going to be no price and you could just [have] exponential growth then it could keep going, and all of this excess. And so I think in that way [what] we're talking about then, we're also talking about right now. We're talking about what we're dealing with right now because that struggle is very much alive in our own psyche."

Most important is the emphasis that the '80s not be treated like a joke. "Our version of the '80s... there's nothing kitsch or cliche about our take, or Patty's take, on the '80s," said Obropta. "There are many, many films set in the '80s, but this isn't like the funny 'ha ha' mockery. We do have fun with the rich cultural backdrop, for sure, but the intention is for it to be a celebration of the cutting edge design, fashion, the glamour, the lighting, the color, really celebrating the best of the decade."

Equally important is the setting: Washington D.C. "We had a blast shooting in Washington," said Gadot. "It's beautiful and it's definitely going to have a lot of presence in our movie. The movie is not a political movie, but you can definitely, you know, it taps on issues that are very current."

Cheetah and Maxwell Lord are likable villains

Let's talk about the villains of Wonder Woman 1984: Cheetah and Max Lord. In the comic book continuity, Cheetah has always been one of Diana's archest of enemies, and Maxwell Lord holds a very particular place in Wonder Woman lore, too. Diana famously kills Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman #219 in order to prevent Lord from using Superman via mind control to kill whomever he wishes. Her decision puts an enormous strain on her relationship with Superman and Batman.

But we're talking about Wonder Woman 1984, and the big thing we know so far about these incarnations of Cheetah and Lord is that they're, well, very likable. "When I first read the script, I told Patty, 'Wow, I like I like them as much as I like Diana and Steve,'" said Gadot. "We can see ourselves in them. And they're not bad people per se. But they just didn't make the right choice at the right time. And I find it so interesting and so appealing, and I actually care about them."

Jenkins went a little further in talking about Cheetah, saying, "There have been many physical manifestations of Cheetah, but the core has always been the same, which is someone who wishes they could be like these other superheroes and gods." The director added that she sees the mindset as "kind of emotion run amok" and "a little dangerous because of what are they wishing for." Wiig's version, Jenkins revealed, "stays very in tune with the core" of what the character has always been.

As for Maxwell Lord, Jenkins described him as "the epitome of the '80s, but also very symbolic to our times right now," adding that he's "everything about that era and what we believed in then that has resulted in who we are now."

Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in theaters October 2, 2020.