Few would fault fans for thinking Wonder Woman 1984 is a sequel to 2017’s superhero blockbuster Wonder Woman. Both films star Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, a magical lasso-wielding Amazonian princess and indomitable warrior with a sworn mission to protect mankind from destruction. Both movies are theatrically distributed by the DC Extended Universe of inter-locking comic-book adaptations and directed by Patty Jenkins — the first woman to direct a superhero film. And yes, the Wonder Woman follow-up (which was quickly green-lit by its studio distributor Warner Bros. after its predecessor took in $821.8 million worldwide and set for release in June 2020) picks up with the character after the World War II–based events of the earlier film.
But Wonder Woman 1984 producer Charles Roven — the veteran producer behind Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, the Dark Knight trilogy and, yes, Wonder Woman — would like those fans to know that they are wrong. Wonder Woman 1984 is by no means a sequel to the previous Wonder Woman installment. And according to him, Jenkins herself would like to avoid any perception of the S word. “She was just determined that this movie should be the next iteration of Wonder Woman but not a sequel,” Roven tells Vulture. “And she’s definitely delivering on that. It’s a completely different time frame and you’ll get a sense of what Diana-slash–Wonder Woman had been doing in the intervening years. But it’s a completely different story that we’re telling. Even though it’ll have a lot of the same emotional things, a lot of humor, a lot of brave action. Tugs at the heart strings as well.”
Jenkins, who is currently holed up in London and about 25 percent of the way through post-production on 1984 — which is set that year and features Chris Pine wearing a fanny pack — was unavailable to confirm or deny Roven’s assessment. However, a source close to the director told Vulture that Jenkins does indeed envision this latest Wonder Woman installment as a strike against sequelitis: “It’s a stand-alone film in the same way that Indiana Jones or Bond films are, instead of one continuous story that requires many installments.”
At Comic-Con last year, Jenkins similarly made clear that her continued involvement in the franchise was far from a cynical cash grab. “I never want to do more of anything for the wrong reason,” Jenkins said. “We can make a whole new movie about something completely new, and as unique in its own right as the first one.”