Discussion of a sequel began shortly after the release of the first film in June 2017 and the decision to proceed was confirmed the following month. Principal photography began on June 13, 2018, with filming taking place at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England, as well as the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia in the United States, London and Duxford in England, Tenerife and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, and Almería in Andalusia, Spain. Production wrapped on December 22, 2018, after a six-month shoot, with additional filming in July 2019.
Wonder Woman 1984 premiered on December 15, 2020, via the DC FanDome virtual platform. It was theatrically released in the United States by Warner Bros. Pictures on December 25, 2020, and also made available to be streamed digitally on HBO Max for a month before it will go to premium video on demand. In international markets that do not have HBO Max, the film was theatrically released on December 16, 2020. Unlike its predecessor, it received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its "escapist qualities" and Jenkins' take on the 1980s, but found it "overindulgent or cliché". The film has grossed $131 million worldwide, and became the most-watched straight-to-streaming title of 2020. A sequel is in development, with Jenkins and Gadot returning.
A young Diana Prince participates in an athletic event on Themyscira against older Amazons. After falling from her horse, Diana takes a shortcut and remounts, but misses a checkpoint. Antiope removes her from the competition, explaining anything worthwhile must be obtained honestly.
In 1984, Diana works at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. while secretly performing heroic deeds as Wonder Woman. New museum employee Barbara Ann Minerva, is a geologist and crypto-zoologist. Barbara's co-workers barely notice the kind, mousey woman. Diana befriends her, and Barbara eventually comes to envy her. Later, the FBI asks the museum to identify stolen antiquities from a robbery that Wonder Woman foiled. Barbara and Diana notice one artifact—later identified as the "Dreamstone"—contains a Latin inscription claiming that anyone holding it will be granted one wish. Diana unknowingly wishes for her deceased lover Steve Trevor to be alive. After Diana saves her from an attempted sexual assault, Barbara wishes to become like Diana without realizing it gives her the same superpowers.
Failing businessman Maxwell Lorenzano, also known as Max Lord, visits the Smithsonian under the pretext of being a wealthy donor. He hopes to obtain and use the stone's power to save his bankrupt oil company. At a Smithsonian gala, Diana is reunited with a resurrected Steve, whose soul inhabits another man's body. Only Diana sees him as Steve Trevor. During the gala, Max tricks Barbara to get into her office and steal the Dreamstone. He then wishes to "become" the stone and gains its wish-granting powers, using it to obtain whatever he wants. Max becomes a wealthy and powerful figure who creates chaos and destruction as his powers trigger worldwide instability.
Barbara, Diana, and Steve discover that the Dreamstone was created by Dolos, the god of lies, treachery, deception, and mischief. It grants a user their wish while exacting a toll unless they renounce the wish or destroy the stone. Although Diana's power and Barbara's humanity diminish, both are unwilling to renounce their wishes. Learning from the U.S. President of a satellite system that broadcasts signals globally, Max, whose powers are causing his body to deteriorate, plans to use it to grant wishes to the entire world to rid himself of his power and regain his health. Diana and Steve confront him at the White House, but Barbara, having aligned with Max, defeats Diana, allowing Max's escape on Marine One. Steve convinces Diana to renounce her wish and let him go, restoring her strength and gaining an ability to fly.
Donning the armor of Amazon warrior Asteria, Diana heads to the satellite headquarters and again battles Barbara, who has transformed into a cheetah-like creature after wishing to become an apex predator. After defeating Barbara, Diana confronts Max and uses her Lasso of Truth to communicate with the world through him, convincing everyone to renounce their wishes. She also shows Max visions: first of his own unhappy childhood, then of his young son, Alistair, frantically searching for his father amid the chaos. Max renounces his wish and reunites with Alistair, promising to be a better father. Some time later, Diana meets the man whose body Steve possessed. Meanwhile, Asteria is revealed to be secretly living among humans.
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman: An immortal demigoddess, Amazon princess and warrior. Diana is the daughter of Hippolyta, the Amazonian queen of Themyscira, and Zeus, the king of the Olympian Gods. Gadot spoke about the character's evolution, saying in the first film "[Diana] really is a fish out of water, coming from Themyscira into man's world and learning about the complexities of human life, really. In Wonder Woman 1984, she's been around. She's wiser and she's more mature. She's guarded and lost all of her friends throughout the years. But she's still doing the right thing, yet she is different from when we last saw her." Gadot added, "In the first movie, we really explored the journey of the coming-of-age, of how Diana Prince became Wonder Woman, and owned her full strengths and powers."
Lilly Aspell reprises her role as young Diana from the 2017 film.
Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord: A struggling yet charismatic businessman, famous for TV infomercials, and the founder of Black Gold Cooperative. After spending the majority of his life searching for the mythical Dreamstone, Lord acquires it after manipulating Minerva. Lord uses it for personal gain and power, and he absorbs its gifts after wishing to become the living form of the stone. Director Patty Jenkins has stated Pascal's performance as Lord was inspired by Gordon Gekko from Oliver Stone's Wall Street and by Gene Hackman's portrayal of Lex Luthor in Richard Donner's 1978 Superman film, with Jenkins describing Lord as "a villain with potential to be dangerous and scary".
Lambro Demetriou and Jonny Barry appear as young Maxwell "Max Lord" Lorenzano at ages 8 and 15, respectively.
Lynda Carter, who played the titular heroine in the 1970s television series, makes a cameo appearance midway through the film credits as Asteria, a legendary Amazon warrior who anciently possessed the powerful winged suit of armor. Matt Costello[b] from Still Game cameos as a cab driver. Gadot's husband, Yaron Versano, and their two daughters, Alma and Maya, make brief appearances near the end of the film.
The director of the first film, Patty Jenkins, who initially signed for only one film, had expressed interest in returning to direct the sequel. In June 2017, during an interview with Variety, comic book writer Geoff Johns revealed that he and Jenkins had started writing the treatment for a Wonder Woman sequel and that he had a "cool idea for the second one". While speaking in a Q&A at a Women in Film screening of the film, Jenkins stated she would indeed direct the sequel. Jenkins later clarified that "it wasn't a confirmation. Just talking about ideas and hopes."
On July 22, 2017, at San Diego Comic-Con, the studio officially announced a sequel would be produced, with Jenkins returning as director; its title was listed as Wonder Woman 2. In September 2017, it was officially confirmed that Jenkins would be directing the sequel. On September 13, 2017, it was reported that The Expendables writer David Callaham would join the film to co-write the script with Jenkins and Johns, who had already been working on it for several months.
On February 28, 2018, it was reported that the film would be shot with IMAX film cameras in select action sequences. By late May 2018, long-time DCEU producer Zack Snyder confirmed on social media platform Vero that he, along with his wife Deborah Snyder, would serve as producers on the Wonder Woman sequel. On June 13, 2018, the title of the film was announced to be Wonder Woman 1984. A source close to Jenkins described it as a stand-alone film "in the same way that Indiana Jones or [James] Bond films are, instead of one continuous story that requires many installments."
Pre-production officially began by early December 2017 in the United Kingdom. That same month, director Patty Jenkins stated that the film would be another great love story. In April 2018, the film was confirmed to be set in the 1980s. In May, production designer Aline Bonetto (Amélie, Wonder Woman) was announced to be returning for the sequel, as well as Academy Award winner Lindy Hemming, also returning as costume designer.
Principal photography began on June 13, 2018, under the working title Magic Hour. Filming took place at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England, and at a number of locations around the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia in the United States, including the Landmark Mall in Alexandria, Virginia, and Georgetown during June and July 2018, with scenes shot in Alexandria from June 18 through July 14. Filming occurred outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., during mid-June. Other filming locations around D.C. included the Penn Quarter neighborhood, McPherson Square, the DAR Constitution Hall near the White House, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Smithsonian), and the Lincoln Memorial. By mid-July, production in the United States was completed and moved to England. In August, filming on location took place in several places around London, including St. Andrew's Place, Regent's Park and the Royal College of Physicians. Between September and October 2018, production also took place at Almería, in Andalusia, southern Spain, as well as Fuerteventura and Tenerife in the Canary Islands. From September 5 to 11, filming occurred at the Alcazaba of Almería fortified complex and the Wall of Jayran in Almería. Production moved to Fuerteventura from September 13 through September 26, with the Corralejo Dunes National Park, Parque Holandés, El Jablito, La Oliva and the Jandía Natural Park as filming locations. Filming in Tenerife began during the last week of September, lasting two weeks at various different locations on the island.
Production went back to England in October, with shooting on location taking place at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Hyde Park and the Savoy Hotel in Central London, and Torrington Square, adjacent to Birkbeck, University of London. By mid-November 2018, Pedro Pascal finished filming his scenes. Principal photography finished on December 22, 2018, after a six-month shoot. Additional photography and reshoots began on July 28, 2019, in London at Warner Bros. Studios, and was completed the following month.
Wonder Woman 1984 was theatrically released by Warner Bros. Pictures in a handful of international markets starting on December 16, 2020, and was theatrically released in the United States and Canada on December 25 in Dolby Cinema and IMAX while streaming on HBO Max in the United States and via premium video-on-demand in Canada the same day. IMAX theaters will show a version of the movie with a taller aspect ratio during select scenes. The film will be released theatrically in additional markets through January 28, 2021.
Later, Variety reported the film would be keeping its Christmas release date in theaters, while the film would also premiere digitally on HBO Max in the United States the same day, with the film being available at no extra cost to subscribers, after a staggered theatrical release schedule in most international markets that do not have HBO Max starting on December 16, including Greece, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Shortly after, Deadline Hollywood reported that in order to get exhibitors on board with the day-and-date HBO Max release, Warner Bros. agreed to take a lower cut of the rental revenue than it usually does with a tentpole release, as well as to pull the film from HBO Max after a month so that the second month of the film's run would be exclusive to theaters. The site also said industry analysts had estimated the film's break-even point at $500million and that it was expected to lose money for the studio. Adam Aron, CEO of US theater chain AMC Theatres, supported the simultaneous release strategy, stating, "Given that atypical circumstances call for atypical economic relationships between studios and theaters, and atypical windows and releasing strategies, AMC is fully onboard for Warner Brothers' announcement."
The film's simultaneous release strategy led to Warner Bros. announcing on December 3, 2020, that its entire slate of 2021 films would be given the same release strategy. This led to many filmmakers, production companies and theater chains (who were not informed and consulted with over the move) to voice their disappointment and displeasure over the move, especially in regards to the special treatment given to the cast and filmmakers of Wonder Woman 1984 that was not given to the other filmmakers and actors with their 2021 films. Despite being paid her bonus by Warner Bros. as a result of the move, Patty Jenkins herself expressed both worry and optimism over the move's impact on the future of theaters and moviegoing.
On December 19, 2020, Warner Bros confirmed a premium VOD release in the UK as a 48-hour rental for January 13, 2021, due to the closure of theaters in the UK.
On June 22, 2018, it was reported that Gal Gadot would be attending the Warner Bros. DC presentation at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), and some footage from the film would be shown to promote it. Director Patty Jenkins and actors Gadot and Pine attended the Wonder Woman 1984 panel at SDCC on July 21, 2018, where a short clip of the film was shown. New footage was shown during CinemaCon 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with a first look at Kristen Wiig in the film. In June 2019, Warner Bros. screened an extended look to European exhibitors at CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain.
A teaser poster debuted on June 5, 2019, one year ahead of the film's then-scheduled release date. In October 2019, it was announced that the film's first trailer would debut during Comic Con Experience CCXP 2019 on December 8, with Gadot and Jenkins attending the event in São Paulo, Brazil. By the end of the month, WarnerMedia Entertainment debuted new footage from the film during the HBO Max presentation to the press. The first trailer debuted on December 8 at the 2019 Comic Con Experience (CCXP), with the show being livestreamed on Twitter around the world in real time. It used the Sebastian Böhm's instrumental remix of "Blue Monday" by New Order. The same day, character posters for Wonder Woman, Maxwell Lord, Barbara Ann Minerva and Steve Trevor were released. In August 2020, the film's second trailer was released during DC FanDome.
The second trailer was "re-released" in November 2020 once the film's simultaneous theatrical and streaming debut was confirmed. Later that month, a new international poster was released, along with confirmation the film would have a presence at Brazil's Comic Con event CCXP 2020 on December 6. A one-minute final trailer was released during the convention.
Wonder Woman 1984 premiered on December 15, 2020, in a fan-first event, via the DC FanDome virtual platform. The "Virtual World Premiere" included the participation of director Jenkins, stars Gadot, Pine, Wiig and Pascal, and a performance from the film's composer Zimmer. The opening scene of the film was released during the event.
The week prior to its domestic launch, the studio spent $17 million on television ads promoting the film.
Following its opening weekend, Warner Bros. announced that HBO Max saw total viewing hours on the film's first day more than triple in comparison to a typical day in the previous month. Several days later, Screen Engine reported that 23% of viewers had subscribed to HBO Max in order to watch the film. The company also said that Wonder Woman 1984 was already the most-watched straight-to-streaming title of the year, beating Hamilton. Following its third weekend of release, Deadline Hollywood wrote "if there's anything positive to report, we'll hear about on the next AT&T earnings call" but if viewership numbers were noteworthy "we would have already heard about it."
As of January 10, 2021[update], Wonder Woman 1984 has grossed $32.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $99.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $132.1 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside News of the World, Promising Young Woman, and Pinocchio, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 2,150 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up debuting to $16.7 million, finishing above expectations and with the best total of the COVID-19 pandemic, but 87% less than the first film's opening weekend. Over 10,000 private screenings of the film were held, accounting for about $2 million (12%) of the opening weekend total. It fell 67% in its second weekend, grossing $5.5 million. In its third weekend the film fell another 45% to $3 million, with Deadline Hollywood saying it "continued to emulate the legs of a horror movie".
Internationally, the film was expected to debut to around $60 million from 32 countries. In China, the film had a disappointing first-day opening, only grossing $4.6 million, compared to the local film The Rescue, which grossed $8.9 million its first day. Global projections were subsequently lowered to $35–40 million, and the film went on to debut to $38.2 million, including $5 million from IMAX screens. China was the largest opening with $18.8 million, followed by Taiwan ($3.6 million), Thailand ($2 million), Brazil ($1.7 million), Japan ($1.6 million), Mexico ($1.6 million), Singapore ($1.3 million), the United Kingdom ($1.2 million), and Spain ($1.1 million). In its second weekend of international release, the film made $19.4 million from 40 countries. Its largest markets were Australia ($4.5 million) and Japan ($2.5 million), while China's running total reached $23.9 million.
Slate called Wonder Woman 1984's critical response "lukewarm", while Newsweek described it as "mixed".The Washington Post reported that the response changed from "early praise to precipitous decline". Critics praised the film's "escapist qualities" and Jenkins' take on the 1980s, but many commentators found it "overindulgent or cliché".
On the review aggregatorRotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 383 reviews, with an average rating of 6.10/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Wonder Woman 1984 struggles with sequel overload, but still offers enough vibrant escapism to satisfy fans of the franchise and its classic central character." Upon the initial drop of the review embargo the film had a score of 90%; however it progressively dropped upon release, reaching as low as 59%. According to Metacritic, which calculated a weighted average score of 60 out of 100 based on 57 critics, the film received "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale (lower than the "A" received by its predecessor), while PostTrak reported 78% of those gave the film a positive score, with 67% saying they would definitely recommend it.
Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a "B" and wrote "Wonder Woman 1984 is all about playing with magic and wishes and desires, only to see them lead to horrible ramifications, instant gratification, and the revelation that lying is never without consequence. Those are some big swings, and not every single one lands, but the ones that do are both joyous and genuinely worth pondering." Adam Graham of The Detroit News gave the film a "C" and wrote that "the result is far from wondrous, a reminder of the limitations of the superhero genre and the ways its escapist trappings sacrifice key storytelling elements (narrative, characters, dialogue) for empty spectacle." Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars, saying, "To be sure, we get a classic comic book movie storyline about a megalomaniacal madman intent on taking over the world, but there's often a relatively light tone to the proceedings. This is a throwback piece of pure pop entertainment."
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, wrote that "Patty Jenkins is behind the camera again, but this time without the confidence. Certainly some of the problems can be pinned on the uninterestingly janky script, a mess of goofy jokes, storytelling clichés and dubious politics."Alonso Duralde of TheWrap said: "Even if the notion of wishes — making them, and then takesies-backsies — isn't quite a cinematic enough concept to support Wonder Woman's final face-off with Lord, Wonder Woman 1984 still brings a freshness and a wit that's often lacking in these gargantuan costumed-hero sagas." Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and stated, "Gadot is terrifically imposing, while Kristen Wiig is the scene-stealing antagonist in Patty Jenkins' epically brash sequel."Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle praised Gadot, saying, "Her performance here has dignity and earned emotion" and called her the best thing about the film and "She was the best thing in the first installment, too, but that was an excellent movie. This one isn't." LaSalle concludes "Often, it's a beautiful-looking film — but it's beauty without substance." In her review for RogerEbert.com, Christy Lemire wrote, "The quality that made the original film such a delight has been squashed almost entirely."
The plot point of Steve inhabiting the body of another man, credited as "Handsome Man", was criticized for putting his body into dangerous situations and being used without his consent, including a sex scene between Diana and Steve. Criticism was aimed at the film's lack of acknowledgment of what happened to the man while Steve was inhabiting his body, as well as Diana and Steve not appearing to consider the issue of consent, even if Steve coming back but in another man's body was not any of the characters' intention.The Mary Sue described the event as a rape and strongly condemned it. Jenkins replied in agreement to a fan's tweet that tries to explain there were no issues with this plot aspect, that the film was following the trope of a body swap, similar to Big or Freaky Friday. Bonnie Burton, writing for CNet, stated that while this may have been Jenkins' intention, the body swap trope may not be as politically correct in the current period as it was in the 1980s.
Roxana Hadadi of Slate criticized the film for its negative stereotypical depiction of Arab people.
In January 2019, after principal photography on Wonder Woman 1984 was completed, director and co-writer Patty Jenkins announced that the plot for a third Wonder Woman film was mapped out. The filmmaker stated that the plot of the next installment would take place during the modern day. By December 2019, Jenkins expressed that the wait between the second and third films will be longer than the time it took to release the first sequel. In April 2020, Jenkins said she had a story arc that would take in all four Wonder Woman films, including an Amazons film, and then a third Wonder Woman film. In late June 2020, speaking to Heroic Hollywood about the third film's status, Jenkins revealed that she had stopped working on the story which she had been developing six months prior so she could see how to absorb the result of the COVID-19 pandemic into the story. In an interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast in December 2020, however, Jenkins stated that while she and Geoff Johns had already "beat out an entire story" for a third film, she now has doubts about whether she wants to make it with the world's current state, unsure if it will be her next film and if her feelings about it will change. When interviewed by MTV News about what she would want to see in a third film, Gal Gadot stated that she wants the third film to take place in the present, having no interest on revisiting the past as she feels that those time periods on Wonder Woman's life have been handled perfectly. The sequel was officially greenlit on December 27, 2020, with Jenkins and Gadot officially returning, and Warner Bros. confirming that the film would have a traditional theatrical release.
In December 2019, director Patty Jenkins announced that a Wonder Woman spin-off film was in development, with the story focusing on the Amazons of Themyscira. Jenkins is attached as executive producer. By April 2020, Jenkins revealed that she will not direct the spin-off, though she will serve as producer. Later that year, the filmmaker stated that the spin-off will take place after Diana leaves Themyscira and that it will be linked to the events between Wonder Woman 1984 and the third Wonder Woman film.