CS Soapbox: THAT WW84 Cameo and What it Might Mean for WW3
Wonder Woman 1984 is a strange movie. Not a bad movie, mind you, just a strange one. Of all the directions Patty Jenkins and Co. could have taken Diana, the most badass of badass Amazonians, they decided to throw her in the middle of a wacky wishing stone plot ripped straight from that Hawaiian episode of The Brady Bunch. No matter. The film is destined to make lots of money with over 50% of HBO Max users having already watched the film on Christmas Day. Regardless of audience reaction -which as it stands appears quite polarizing- Warner Bros. saw fit to immediately fast track a third film to be written and directed by Jenkins.
Clearly, Jenkins (in Joker voice) has plans for Diana, particularly considering that post-credit cameo that saw the OG Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter (who played Diana in the Wonder Woman TV series that ran from 1975-79) emerge as the mysterious Asteria.
Will WW3 see Diana square off against Lynda Carter? Will it be set in the 90s? Will Steve Trevor return, again? We’re here to run through what we know about the film so far and offer our oh-so-important insight as to what we think might happen. Read!
Midway through WW84, a quasi-reincarnated Steve Trevor bumps into some golden armor Diana has stowed in the corner of her apartment. The scene raises several questions, the least of which is: why the hell does Diana have legendary golden armor stashed in the corner of her apartment? (Answer: because she needs it for the finale – duh!) And, where did this armor come from?
As it turns out, the armor once belonged to the powerful Amazonian Asteria, who used it to hold off a bunch of no good rotten men so that her sisters could escape endless cat calls and flee to Themyscira. Diana explains that Asteria was presumed dead after her momentous stand — and possibly left naked somewhere since her armor was found sans body — which led the Amazonians with one… nay, two tall tasks: build a statue and hold a bunch of Olympic-style games in her honor.
Here’s the twist: Asteria isn’t dead at all — so, f**k that statue! In fact, she’s very much alive and perfectly content wandering the world adorned in a blue poncho discreetly saving people at random. Asteria clearly knows she’s the sh*t as evidenced by her overtly theatrical turn-and-pose-for-the-camera, but questions remain: How is Asteria alive? Is she good or bad? And why is she 70?
Note: Asteria only appears twice in the Wonder Woman comics and has a complicated relationship with Zeus in Greek mythology. Though, none of these sources will do much to help us understand the character Lynda Carter is portraying.
WUT IT MEANS
Word on the street is Patty Jenkins has two more Wonder Woman stories already mapped out in her brain. “The story continues after this in movies that I may or may not direct,” the director told EW, “but I have two more stories that become the completion of this story and it’s all about women stepping in as women, in the most loving, kind, pure and natural way. And making a difference in the world without having to change who they are to do it.”
So, since she included Carter’s cameo at the end of WW84, and seeing how the new movie is basically one giant homage to the original TV series right down to Pedro Pascal’s decidedly, ah, campy villain, one might surmise that Jenkins’ plans include Asteria/Carter in some way shape or form in future installments.
In all likelihood it will probably be an extended cameo. You know, one of those moments where the writers are stuck the heroes are stuck and need some answers? Diana will turn to the camera and say, “I know someone who can help.” Then we cut to a no good rotten man stealing a purse from a woman, after which a mysterious figure steps forward, knocks him down with ease and says, “(Something witty)” before tossing the purse back to the woman and winking at a suddenly inspired young girl sitting nearby. Diana will say “(Something witty)” off camera, Asteria will turn to see Diana, smile and embrace her friend while Steve Trevor (who is somehow brought back from the dead again) stands idly by looking completely dumbfounded. “I thought she was dead,” he will proclaim like an idiot. Then, we’ll get an expository dump revealing how Asteria escaped her fate and blah, blah, blah … End scene.
Or, maybe Jenkins will take a different angle and make Asteria the villain, which could set up a unique story in which Diana learns some hard truths about the Amazonians, her mother and her place in the universe — a story that could tie into Jenkins’ planned Amazonians spinoff! Nah. It’ll be a cameo.
What we do know about Wonder Woman Trois is that WB is perfectly comfortable with the tone established in WW84. Which means we’re likely to get something more on par with that horrible mall sequence in which Diana fights off a trio of bumbling, Home Alone-esque villains than any of the badass bits of Diana going toe-to-toe against beings from other planets as seen in Batman v Superman or the upcoming Zack Snyder’s Justice League Cut of Joss Whedon’s Justice League Snyder. To each their own.
The film could also further explore Cat-ra Cheetah, who was last seen seemingly bereft of her powers sulking into the camera at the end of WW84. In the comics Cheetah basically serves as Diana’s Joker, and since WW84 basically eschewed any and all comic book-inspired versions of the character, there are more than enough unique stories the threequel could tackle.
Or — and this is a bit of a stretch — since rumors abound that Chris Pine may return for the all-star Flash movie, it’s possible Steve Trevor is actually brought into the modern world for good this time so we can have funny montages of him figuring out cell phones — whilst avoiding any conversations revolving around what it was like to be dead, what it feels like to walk in someone else’s skin, etc. What would a Wonder Woman movie be without Steve Trevor, amirite?
Of course, if Jenkins wants to remain faithful to the TV show, she could always adapt one of the series’ many outlandish plotlines. There’s one in which Diana must take down a crazed Disco psychic, another where she battles a businessman looking to take control of the skateboarding industry, and yet another where she fights a giant gorilla. Sure, the plotlines sound ridiculous, but if I wrote “Diana takes on an oil tycoon corrupted by a powerful wishing stone,” you’d probably think that sounded stupid too.
In all seriousness, WW84’s characterization of Diana veers much closer to Lynda Carter’s portrayal of the heroine than Zack Snyder’s. That’s not a criticism, just an observation. In the TV series, Diana was a plucky superheroine who looked out for the little guy and used her powers to do more than just pummel bad guys to death – mainly due to budget limitations, but still, you get the gist.
In WW84, Jenkins has pushed Diana further away from Snyder’s initial depiction of the character, and Carter’s involvement likely cements this current direction moving forward, regardless of where Snyder’s Justice League takes her. Couple that with WB’s upcoming slate of films, namely Shazam 2 (featuring Sinbad!), Black Adam (featuring the Rock!), Aquaman 2 (featuring, uh, Amber Heard!) and James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad (featuring King Shark!) and it seems WB is keen to replicate Marvel’s lighthearted tone over Snyder’s apocalyptic, metal-heavy style — at least in terms of its shared universe.
Whether you believe this is the right course for the studio depends on just how excited you were to see Lynda Carter in that blue poncho.