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Wonder Woman 1984: Four big questions we have after watching the new trailer

Wonder Woman 1984 – Official Trailer

The trailer for Wonder Woman 1984 has finally made its debut. Living up to the high standard set by 2017’s Wonder Woman is no small task, but luckily, the film brings back director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot to reprise their roles both behind the camera and in front of it, respectively.

Set nearly 70 years after the events of the first film, Wonder Woman 1984 introduces a host of characters from DC Comics lore, including the powerful businessman Maxwell Lord and one of Wonder Woman’s greatest foes, former archaeologist Barbara Minerva, aka The Cheetah. The first trailer provides a peek at both of these new characters, and also raises some big questions about them, as well as Wonder Woman herself, the DCEU, and what we know about her place in it.

Which Maxwell Lord is this?

Sleazy tycoon, criminal mastermind, telepathic terrorist, pawn of a sentient computer virus … Maxwell Lord has been all kinds of things in DC Comics lore, and his timeline has often intersected with that of Wonder Woman.

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Early incarnations of the character painted him as a comedic foil who comes up with harebrained schemes to make money off a C-list version of the Justice League. Things took a darker turn in the early 2000s, however, when Lord was revealed to be a powerful telepath who had been manipulating the world’s superheroes to his own ends, going so far as to push Superman to brutally assault both Batman and Wonder Woman.

So, which version of Maxwell Lord will we get in Wonder Woman 1984? The trailer isn’t offering much in the way of clues, hinting at a mix of a Gordon Gekko-inspired infomercial guru and a diabolical puppet master for Pedro Pascal’s character.

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There’s also the matter of the strange artifact he’s shown with at one point in the trailer, and the massive satellite dish and broadcast room that appear in some scenes and suggest there could be a mix of magic and technology at play in his plans. Will the comics inspire his story, or will we see yet another new side of Maxwell Lord?

Is Steve Trevor really there?

If Maxwell Lord is indeed manipulating people in one way or another with the promise of realizing their greatest desires, there’s a good chance that all is not as it seems with the return of Wonder Woman’s lost love, Steve Trevor.

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One popular rumor suggests that Chris Pine’s character in the film is of the Harvey or Fight Club school, and not a real character at all. While it doesn’t quite explain the punches he seems to be throwing in the trailer, it does offer an explanation for his return from the dead, looking as youthful as ever, seven decades after he detonated a plane full of explosives (with himself still inside it).

Will we see The Cheetah?

Barbara Minerva is one of Wonder Woman’s oldest and most formidable foes, and although the trailer features quite a bit of Kristen Wiig’s character, it doesn’t offer any suggestion of how she’ll look as The Cheetah.

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So far, we’ve seen some promotional images of Wiig in a variety of cheetah-print clothing, but that’s been the extent of our Cheetah sightings. Will she go full Cheetah with claws and fur and fangs? Is the studio keeping this particular visual under wraps, or is it not in the works at all?

We have so many questions about Cheetah, and at this point it seems increasingly likely that they might not be answered until Wonder Woman 1984 is in theaters — or possibly after that point, if the studio decides to save Wiig’s full transformation into Cheetah for the third film.

Does the DCEU timeline still make sense?

The Wonder Woman 1984 trailer has its hero doing what she does best in Washington, D.C. and various international locales, saving the world time and time again. So why did her conversation with Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice imply that she’s been out of action for decades?

Wonder Woman 1984
Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s no secret that DCEU timeline is a bit more flexible (to put it kindly) than that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has somehow managed to stay fairly coherent despite encompassing 24 films and multiple TV series. (Wonder Woman 1984 will be just the ninth film in the DCEU.) And yet, somehow Wonder Woman’s solo movie history seems entirely incongruent with the greater DCEU occupied by Man of SteelAquaman, and the rest of its big-screen adventures.

That’s not to say the lack of cohesion is a problem. Given the success of Wonder Woman, the DCEU would probably be smart to reset itself to line up with its popular superheroine, but here’s hoping Wonder Woman 1984 offers some clarity regarding the state of the DCEU timeline.

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Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
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