Shot by Shot with the ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Trailer

We pick apart a few of the best shots from the latest trailer and ascertain what threat the demigod faces in the sequel.
Wonder Woman Jet Shot
Warner Bros.
By  · Published on December 9th, 2019

Life as a demigod is an isolating experience. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) has spent the last 66 years exiled from the land of her birth because she chose the safety of an outsider over the quarantine of her people. She believed her gifts could affect positive change on the globe, not just her tiny island community. She was not wrong. As Wonder Woman, she stepped into the trenches of war and suggested another way. Her way, where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Diana fell hard for the damsel in her arms, and then he went and got himself killed. Or maybe not. As you’ll see in the below trailer, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) lives! How? We’ll get to that. First, bask in the glory of Wonder Woman 1984, bopping to the New Order beat of “Blue Monday.” How does it feel? That I can answer immediately. Pretty damn good.

Patty Jenkins and cinematographer Matthew Jensen return, and they’re bringing a righteous, heroic neon glow with them. Wonder Woman 1984 beams with enthusiasm for its champion, presenting Diana Prince as a beacon of humanitarian aid bucking against the greed of a capitalist creature eager to wield power over the rest of us. Another day, another monster to punch. There’s one big difference this time. Her man is back, and he’s a stranger in a strange land. It’s Diana’s turn to navigate her partner through the modern world, complete with shopping malls and Smithsonian sculpture gardens. Is this trash? It’s all trash, dude. We love it.

There are lots of images to dig through in this trailer, but I’ve pulled out the ten most significant shots. Let’s sift through them and see if we can figure out what exactly is going on between Diana and Steve, as well as the magical plot that’s brought them back together.

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The trailer begins with Diana explaining to an excitedly curious Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) that her life is not the rapturous adventure depicted in comic books. As we see from her barren apartment, while humanity may be her mission, her connection to it is maintained from a distance. She is alone. Her soul struggles.

Their conversation fades with laughter over lost loves, and the trailer kicks into action on this shot of limousines and red carpet arrivals. 1984. Each numeral hits the screen with a synthetic pop. The ’80s were not a decade designed to comfort the lonely. Welcome to the me generation, Diana. It’s a ravenous beast.

Of course, 1984 is an incredibly specific year, and one of obvious importance to pop culture and literature. George Orwell’s dystopian novel depicted a future where an all-seeing, all-knowing government monitored every human interaction. Step out of line, or think the wrong thought, and the Thought Police would be at your door to take you away for re-programming. What’s this all got to do with Wonder Woman? Welp, meet Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).

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“Welcome to the future. Life is good, but it can be better.” The billionaire tycoon has plans for the rest of us, but before he can engage them, he must first win our trust. He does that by entering our homes through our wonderful little TV boxes planted in our living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms. He makes irresistible promises, preying on our desire for the wealth and fame we witness others achieving on those very same TV sets.

Lord is a relatively new comic book creation. First appearing in Justice League #1 written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, illustrated by Kevin Maguire, and published in May of 1987, Maxwell Lord began life as a Tony Stark type minus the creativity. He seemingly helped finance the Justice League out of the goodness of his own heart, but it was eventually revealed that he was being manipulated by a maniacal computer created by the New God, Metron (see Ava DuVernay’s upcoming movie).

In his most popular plot against the DC Universe (occurring in the maxi-series Infinite Crisis), Lord used an advanced A.I. program called Brother Eye (named after Orwell’s ever-watchful Big Brother from 1984) to create an army of O.M.A.C. cyborgs to hunt down metahumans. While I doubt we’ll ever see a platoon of Robocops on the march in this film, we do see Lord interacting with a glowing Brother Eye-like device later on in the trailer.

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Lord jams a seed into your mind, “Think about finally having everything you always wanted.” Archeologist Barbara Minerva clearly idolizes Diana Prince. She sees the goddess of her dreams and wants to walk alongside her into battle, but she’s a puny human with little to offer beyond her ambition…until Maxwell Lord grants Minerva the She’s All That transformation.

We’re still waiting to see the full-Cheetah glow-up, but clearly, Wigg knows how to bring a room to her attention. Similar to what occurred in the most recent DC Universe Rebirth reboot, Wonder Woman 1984 will introduce Minerva as a tagalong accomplice to Diana at the start of the film but inevitably push her over to the dark side as Lord massages her ambition.

The Cheetah of the comics is a cat lady. No, not like Catwoman. We’re talking a real-deal cat lady. Claws, tail, and teeth. Wonder Woman 1984 doesn’t seem to be holding much back, and I’m confident that Wigg can and will pull off the meow.

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Steve Trevor returns to the land of the living. Is he the dream that Lord granted Diana? The madman is mixing magical rocks with his mechanical brilliance, and whatever the result, it will be poisonous to all around him. That doesn’t mean Diana can’t enjoy the miracle she and Steve have been granted.

High above Washington DC, the sky erupts in fireworks. Diana and Steve fly through the explosions, in awe of the beauty around them, attempting to ignore the weight of the world that presses down on their shoulders. They stare gobsmacked at the display of light, daring not to look at each other, for to do so would remind them of their limited time together.

The first Wonder Woman film supplied several of Diana’s key instruments of justice but denied us her most ridiculous and totally rad invention: the invisible jet. Batman has his ‘mobile, Superman his fortress. We gotta give Wonder Woman her jet, and let’s not toss Steve the keys because canon says he’s a pilot. He can cut an entrail or two, but I want Diana steering this fighter.

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Steve and Diana storm the White House, bringing the lasso of truth to the Secret Service. Is Ronald Reagan in cahoots with Maxwell Lord? Probably. Diana Prince is an Ambassador of Themyscira, and part of the gig is speaking truth to power. When a global superpower steps out of line, it’s on her to put them in their place.

Frankly, it’s just nice to see her running wild with the lasso. Patty Jenkins provided some nifty rope-work in the last film, but it appears Wonder Woman 1984 will up the game on that front. Roy Rogers has nothing on her.

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While Diana is banished from Themyscira, Wonder Woman 1984 is not. We’re treated to a few flashback shots, including a much younger Diana competing against her sisters in the Paradise Island equivalent of American Ninja Warrior. Part of Wonder Woman’s origin involves convincing her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), of her worth. She did that by partaking in an annual physical contest to determine the mightiest Amazon in the realm. Naturally, she slayed.

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Speaking of upping her lasso game, Wonder Woman can now ride the lightning. Makes sense. She is a demigod. Could Superman do such a feat? No. He’s an alien and subject to the natural laws of the universe. Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus; she can wield his power to her advantage.

I love seeing Jenkins taking this route with the character. Where Marvel decided to convince us that Asgard operates on a level of science so advanced that it appears magical, Wonder Woman 1984 embraces its mythological roots. The new era of the DC movie universe waves its freak flag high, and I am here to genuflect.

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The trailer concludes with Diana donning the Golden Eagle armor made famous by Alex Ross and Mark Waid in the Kingdom Come miniseries. In that storyline, a nearly geriatric Diana suited up to take down Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom alongside a crippled Bruce Wayne and a still sturdy Superman. Diana is not afraid to show a little skin, and her body can take the most vicious punishment that man’s weapons can dish, so when she encases herself in wings and gold, you know her adversary is formidable. Basically, she’s not messing around.

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So, what is she facing? More bullets? That’s not much of a challenge for Wonder Woman. We’ve already seen her bounce lead with her regular ol’ bracelets, and this speeding shell is easily…

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…deflected. What threat do Cheetah’s kitty claws hold against her? Not much. The Golden Eagle must be there for some other purpose. Maybe Maxwell Lord does have those O.M.A.C. cyborgs up and running. Or maybe, the Golden Eagle armor just looks rad, and that’s all the excuse Diana needs to dress fancy. We’ll have to wait and see who’s on the other side of that bullet. They ain’t gonna last, though.

Wonder Woman 1984 wages war against Ronald Reagan, Gordon Gekko, and Maxwell Lord on June 5, 2020.

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Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)