Breaking Down The DC FanDome Wonder Woman 1984 Panel

DC FanDome kicked off with a major DCEU panel: Wonder Woman 1984. Director Patty Jenkins was joined by lead actor Gal Gadot, along with Chris Pine (who returns as Steve Trevor), Kristen Wiig (who joins as Barbara Minerva/ Cheetah), and Pedro Pascal (who will be portraying Maxwell Lord).

The team were definitely excited to appear together, even with social distancing ensuring that everyone had to call in via video. (A little aside, I love that Gal Gadot makes a heart sign every time she appears at panels—it’s very endearing. And Pedro Pascal reworked the sign so it could be repurposed into the Wonder Woman insignia. Ingenious! I foresee a lot of fans co-opting that sign next year.)

They revealed that yes, the team is definitely still holding out for a theatre release, so we won’t be getting it on demand any time soon.

There weren’t as many behind-the-scenes details revealed during the panel, but Jenkins and Gadot did mention working on Diana Prince’s wardrobe in the film. Lindy Hemming, who was the costume designer on Wonder Woman, returns for this film. Based on what we’ve seen thus far, her work is going to be amazing. There was a lot of discussion about making Wonder Woman look elegant even when she was out of the uniform, as that was the highlight of Diana’s presence in World War I in the first film. One presumes that fashion won’t be the overwhelming driving force for the character in Wonder Woman 1984—the Justice League film nearly forgot Wonder Woman was a hero, after all, and not just a fashion model.

For Wiig’s Minerva, the clothes chosen for her weren’t obviously high-end or terribly fashionable. This isn’t a character with limitless resources, after all. However, animal prints are going to be seen on her frequently.

Another actor to weigh in on the ’80s fashion in Wonder Woman 1984 was Pedro Pascal. Max Lord is a businessman, so his fashion statement revolves around what he called “horrifying power suits.” Pascal was very concerned about looking a fool in them — ’80s clothes don’t always look great, so that is understandable.

Fortunately, Hemming, with all her experience behind her, put Pascal at ease. She had this intricate design board where she outlined how the clothes would conform to the characters. And Pascal looks really good—and intimidating—in the promos we have seen so far.

The fan questions section was fun—this is the kind of interactivity we missed at SDCC’s ComicCon@Home. People had sent adorable videos in—some of them had dressed up, which was fun.

The cast completely lost their minds when one of the fans who had sent a video turned out to be tennis legend Venus Williams. Of course, her question was tennis related—who would win a match between Cheetah and Wonder Woman? But she also asked whether these two characters could put their differences aside to work together.

Jenkins answered the second question: she was sure the characters would team up if they had to face off against Venus.

According to Wiig, Cheetah would win against Wonder Woman because of her speed and because Diana would likely have a heavy gold racket. Obviously, Gadot disagreed.

We didn’t get to hear much from Chris Pine (who, by the way, has fast gone up the Best Chris rankings over the past few years). But he did reveal that Steve Trevor would be the fish out of water character in Wonder Woman 1984. It seems he has been transported from WWI to the ’80s. The first trailer for the film seemed to show Trevor as quite in awe of the new world around him, with Diana helping him adapt. It’s a role reversal from the first film that I can get behind.

Another unexpected and enjoyable moment from the panel was the appearance of Lynda Carter. The cast weren’t informed that she would be joining, and their glee was palpable. Carter, who portrayed Wonder Woman in the ’70s TV show, entered in true Wonder Woman fashion by making the insignia.

Jenkins was effusive with her praise for Carter’s Wonder Woman. She repeatedly mentioned that this Wonder Woman series wouldn’t exist without Carter’s portrayal all those years ago. She also explained that Wonder Woman was never meant to reinvent the character. “We hope to take the torch and pass it forward,” explained Jenkins.

But for Carter, Gadot’s Wonder Woman has meant a great deal to her and her family. When her daughter saw the first film, she said she realised why people had idolised Carter’s Wonder Woman. A visibly moved Wiig weighed in, saying she had Wonder Woman underoos, and dressed up as the character for Halloween.

Fans on Twitter would have seen Gadot and Carter interacting on the platform but it seems, even off social media, the two have a connection. Gadot apparently calls Carter Mama Bear—how sweet—and thanked Carter for her guidance over the few films she’s appeared in. She also reiterated that the Wonder Woman 1984 panel was only complete because of Carter’s presence.

Following the Q&A, the team got to see some fan entries of cosplays and art. The entries were stunning, but the team gave special shoutouts to gender-bent Wonder Woman cosplayers and to a beautiful Indian Wonder Woman art piece. “Wonder Woman means different things to different people,” said Jenkins.

And then the moment most fans were waiting for: the reveal of the second official trailer. I am not a trailer person; I find they give away too much and diminish my enjoyment of the film. But you know what, this is the pandemic. There isn’t much to see, and I really need a badass, cool, superhero on my screen right now.

So yes, I watched the trailer and enjoyed every minute of it! Some highlights from the trailer: there’s a ton of action, which is expected from the superhero genre. But also, how cool is it to see a female hero leaping around and pushing trucks? Plus, there are some scenes on Themyscira so we’ll be able to see the Amazons again, and in non-sexualised suits, unlike in Justice League.

We’re also getting to see a cuter version of Steve Trevor, and he even has a scene where he tries out era-appropriate clothes like Diana did in the first film.

Most interestingly, fans got to see a lot more of Cheetah’s transformation and a bit about her motivations. She comes from nothing and hates that others haven’t known suffering. At some point, she and Maxwell Lord team up and Cheetah gets powers, or weapons at least. By the end of the trailer, though, we do see her fully transformed into a cheetah—presumably through CGI that’s going to be better than what we saw in Cats.

A lot is happening in this film and it looks really good. No idea when we’re going to see it, but when we do, it’s bound to be a fun experience.

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books or video games. She always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media.

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