WONDER WOMAN 1984 Director Patty Jenkins Says The Sequel's HBO Max Release Was A "Heartbreaking Experience"

WONDER WOMAN 1984 Director Patty Jenkins Says The Sequel's HBO Max Release Was A "Heartbreaking Experience"

Wonder Woman 1984 was released in theaters during the worst of the pandemic last year, and received a simultaneous HBO Max debut. Now, director Patty Jenkins has weighed in on what that meant to her...

By JoshWilding - Aug 27, 2021 01:08 AM EST
Filed Under: Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 was hit by multiple delays, and with COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing down last December, Warner Bros. made the decision to send the sequel to HBO Max. That would lead to a huge spike in subscribers, and the controversial decision to release the studio's entire 2021 slate on the streaming service at the same time they drop in theaters. 

The Wonder Woman sequel earned only $16.7 million at the domestic box office during its opening weekend, a sharp decline from its predecessor's $103.2 million debut. Globally, the movie would make a paltry $166.5 million and that, too, was a far cry from the first movie's $822.8 million worldwide haul in 2017.

Talking at CinemaCon (via Deadline), director Patty Jenkins opened up about Warner Bros.' release strategy for Wonder Woman 1984. Saying it was "the best choice in a bunch of bad choices at the moment," she added that it proved to be a "heartbreaking experience" (it's also one that's thought to have cost the filmmaker a lot of money in box office bonuses). 

"It was detrimental to the movie. I knew that could have happened," Jenkins said of those underwhelming numbers. "I don’t think it plays the same on streaming, ever. I’m not a fan of day-and-date and I hope to avoid it forever...I make movies for the big-screen experience."

Next up for Jenkins is Rogue Squadron for Disney and Lucasfilm, while it's been reported that she and Gal Gadot will reunite for a Wonder Woman 3 somewhere down the line. 

There's no denying that Wonder Woman 1984 was a flop, but it came out at the worst possible time and honestly performed better than most expected. Critically, the sequel received a tepid response from most, so it might be a good idea to leave some space between the latest movie and a threequel. 

Click on the "Next" button below to take a look
at 10 Easter Eggs from Wonder Woman 1984!

10. The "Bialyian Dynasty"


Maxwell Lord heads to Cairo, Egypt, and offers Emir Said Bin Abydos anything he wishes for...in exchange for his oil. We learn  that he wants nothing more than for the ancestral lands of the Bialyian dynasty to be returned to his family line, and this should mean a lot to fans of Black Adam. 

In the DC Universe, Bialya was introduced in 1987's Justice League #2 as a militaristic state which has suffered for years thanks to tyrannical leaders (like the villainous Queen Bee). 

Black Adam actually attacked Bialya when he was pursuing the man who murdered and wife and brother-in-law, and he killed millions during his mission. Needless to say, we wouldn't be remotely surprise if the upcoming movie starring Dwayne Johnson makes references to this fictional location!

9. The Original Steve Trevor

When Steve Trevor is brought back from the dead, he inhabits the body of a man played by Kristoffer Polaha. While both Diana Prince and the audience see Chris Pine's version of the character, his spirit is actually possessing someone else entirely (pretty weird when you think about it, right?).

Regardless, there's a good reason Polaha was chosen to play the other "Steve."

As director Patty Jenkins explains above, the actor's resemblance to Lyle Waggoner - who played Steve Trevor in the Wonder Woman TV series - was a deliberate inclusion for longtime fans. 

8. "Beautiful Lie"


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice remains something of a divisive movie, with the "Martha" scene one moment, in particular, that's still hotly debated online among those who loved and hated it.

During both that and a flashback to a young Bruce Wayne attending his parents' funeral, a beautiful piece of music title "Beautiful Lie" played in the background. Composed by Hans Zimmer, it was hard to fault the composer's work regardless of what you thought about that story beat.

Oddly, the exact same track returns in Wonder Woman 1984 when Diana Prince is delivering her emotional message to the world. Was Zimmer being lazy or did it just fit the scene? Who knows!

7. Gorilla Grodd?


When Steve Trevor's watch comes back to life in Diana Prince's apartment, a book can be seen on the same shelf which is titled "The Natural Life of the Gorilla." So what, right? 

Well, of all the books Wonder Woman could be reading, why that one? Honestly, we can't help but wonder (no pun intended) if the archaeologist has stumbled upon Gorilla City in her adventures, potentially crossing paths with Flash villain Gorilla Grodd and his occasional ally King Solovar. 

It would be pretty cool to pay a visit to that city in the now confirmed threequel, that's for sure. 

6. Simon Stagg


Upon gaining the powers of the Dreamstone, Maxwell Lord pays Simon Stagg and manages to exact his revenge on his former business associate. However, if the name rang a bell, it's because he's a recurring presence in the comics, most frequently as an antagonist to the heroic Metamorpho.

Stagg Industries managed to survive Lord's machinations because it was referenced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and more specifically, the 2016 movie's marketing campaign. 

In that, we learn that the company is best known for its chemistry and genetics industries, though it has several military defence contracts, the third largest such developer after LexCorp and Kord Industries, spending $628,000,000 annually. Clearly, someone decided that oil wasn't the way to go!

5. Duke of Deception


When the true nature of the Dreamstone is revealed, Wonder Woman mentions that the "Duke of Deception" is responsible for its creations. We don't learn much more than that, but it's clear that the magical artefact is tied to the ancient Gods this Diana Prince's origin story is connected to. 

However, while the "Duke" is mentioned in a throwaway manner, he does have a comic book counterpart. A relatively minor villain, he's actually often been shown working with Ares and Circe.

The former obviously battled Wonder Woman in the 2017 movie, while Circe is a villain many fans are hoping will be part of Wonder Woman 3. Regardless, this is definitely a cool hidden detail.

4. Etta Candy


Lucy Davis did a great job playing Etta Candy in Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, the fact this sequel takes place so many decades after the events of that movie means she's no longer around.

On the plus side, one of the photographs in Diana Prince's apartment confirms that they stayed friends for years after Steve Trevor's demise, and even went on what appears to be a cruise together.

There are other nods there, with Chief Napi spotted at a wedding featuring everyone aside from Steve Trevor. Sadly, this also emphasises just how alone in the world Wonder Woman is now. 

3. The Dreamstone


On the surface, the Dreamstome seems like a pretty terrible MacGuffin...and, well, it kind of is!

However, the name alone appears to be a pretty deep dive nod to DC Comics history, and more specifically, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Morpheus. Also known there as Materioptikon, the Dreamstone looked quite a bit different, but still turn the user's dreams into a reality.

That's pretty much where the similarities end, unfortunately, and the origin stories of both artefacts appear to be very different. However, as Geoff Johns worked on the screenplay, this may be his doing!

2. The Invisible Jet


In Wonder Woman 1984, the Invisible Jet is just a regular jet that Diana Prince is able to turn invisible. This is a far cry from the comic books where it's been revealed that it can fly at 144,000mph!

While you might think the hero using her powers to turn the jet piloted by Steve Trevor invisible is a little silly, this is actually pretty in line with the source material. Unfortunately, it feels like this might be a one-time deal, especially as Wonder Woman ultimately gains the ability to fly here. 

That likely means Diana won't be using her Invisible Jet to finally return home to Themyscira. 

1. Lynda Carter Returns


In the movie's mid-credits scene, it's revealed that Asteria - the original owner of the Golden Eagle armour - is alive and well. As Diana Prince reveals, she stayed behind to buy her fellow Amazons the time they needed to flee to Themyscira and hide themselves from the world. 

Sadly, that means she was forced to live a solitary life, though Wonder Woman appears to be under the impression she's died (especially as she only found her armour, and no sign of Asteria herself).

What this is teasing is hard to say, but the character is played by original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. Honestly, we just hope this is leading to her donning that Golden Eagle armour in Wonder Woman 3.

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Jaspion - 8/27/2021, 1:29 AM
Still not as heartbreaking as watching it.
nmasterofnaught - 8/27/2021, 5:19 AM
@Jaspion -

Tell us how you really feel. Lol.

I thought it was brilliant - absolutely silly dumb tongue in cheek fun.
dracula - 8/27/2021, 1:36 AM
You know what I didn't see on the big screen
Rocky (My favorite movie)
The Godfather
Lord Of The Rings
Casino Royal (Quantum was the first Bond movie I saw on the big screen)
Superman The Movie

Point being yeah if a movie is great, it will be great no matter how it is seen.

Wonder Woman was great

Wonder Woman 1984 was mediocre at best

Seriously take some advise from Stallone
dracula - 8/27/2021, 1:38 AM
That goes for all the complaining directors, seriously you got paid, most of those movies were made during a different time and the studios own the movies, they can release it how they want.
Fogs - 8/27/2021, 1:42 AM
@dracula - ohhh man, watching the LotR trilogy in the theaters was one of the best movie experiences to me. Lost count on how many times I repeatedly watched them.
dracula - 8/27/2021, 1:45 AM
@Fogs - Was a few years too young to notice it when it came out.

Would I like to see them on the big screen one day?

Yes. (Especially Rocky)

Although not seeing them there doesn't diminish them in any way
Fogs - 8/27/2021, 1:52 AM
@dracula - sure thing. There was a theater brand where I lived that constantly played classic films on their rooms, I believe it's a nice idea.
dracula - 8/27/2021, 1:59 AM
@Fogs - would love to find a theater like that.
Fogs - 8/27/2021, 2:12 AM
@dracula - it even had onlive voting so people would choose from 3 options what was going to be on the next week or something like that
TheUnworthyThor - 8/27/2021, 3:53 AM
@dracula - I’m so glad I didn’t have to watch Lord of the Rings for the first time at home.
DarthOmega - 8/27/2021, 4:24 AM
@dracula - Literally everything on that list, and so much more. Also, My first theater Lord of the Rings experience was Two Towers. GREATEST MOVIE GOING EXPERIENCE EVER! But it wouldn't have been possible if I didn't watch the first LotR on DVD.
MrDandy - 8/27/2021, 6:27 AM
@dracula - seeing an epic like LotR on the small screen instead of the big screen for the first time should be a jail-able offense. Personal opinion. and I saw Fellowship for the first time on my TV. That’s right! I’m turning myself in!
NegativeNerd - 8/27/2021, 7:25 AM
@dracula - Yep!

Patty, unfortunately, fired a lot of the people who worked on the first WW film with her. I think that was a huge mistake.
Fogs - 8/27/2021, 1:38 AM
Sue them! Sue them!
dracula - 8/27/2021, 1:41 AM
@Fogs - For what, releasing a movie during a pandemic.

Plus unlike Disney, pretty sure she and Gal were the first that WB made deals with over the streaming release.

She can complain about how a movie should be released but she isnt entitled to anything more
Fogs - 8/27/2021, 1:50 AM
@dracula - I'm being sarcastic with the whole ScarJo thing.
bobevanz - 8/27/2021, 1:40 AM
To the goons out there who say it's the same experience, you're delusional and you need help. Also saw Candyman last night, it was great! Witha couple tweaks here and there it would be a 9. Also why tf does Cinemark show 30 minutes of previews.. bring on Shang Chi next week, have fun watching it on your tv when it's available 🤣
bobevanz - 8/27/2021, 1:42 AM
@bobevanz - please delay Dune, you have execs praising it and saying it deserves to he seen on the big screen.. yet they're still releasing it on hbo max! Warner bros Heards the bed once again
WakandanQueen - 8/27/2021, 1:56 AM
@bobevanz - Candyman was entertaining and had some really interesting directorial decisions. Don't think it quite reached its potential though.
rebellion - 8/27/2021, 1:45 AM
So was watching it, patty. You are in no position to talk s#$t.
Unites - 8/27/2021, 3:29 AM
@rebellion - That's a little bith harsh, isn't it? She misfired one time, which can happen to all. I'm sure she'll up her game for the next one. And the quality of the movie has nothing to do with her opinion on day-to-date releases.
WakandanQueen - 8/27/2021, 1:58 AM
Weird movie but worth it just for the Max Lord memes.
Demigods - 8/27/2021, 2:20 AM
Oh! that's why the movie was terrible?! I wish I had known that I had to watch it on the big screen for it to be good.
MrDandy - 8/27/2021, 6:28 AM
@Demigods - I did watch it on a big screen. Didn’t make it any better
Demigods - 9/7/2021, 6:34 AM
@MrDandy - haha I was being completely facetious
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