With Wonder Woman 2 thought to be taking place in the 1980s (in no smal part due to an unsubtle hint from DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns), we had to wonder: if you were making a Wonder Woman movie set in the '80s, what would be the people, cultural forces, and challenges she might run into?
Turns out there were a handful that might be kind of fun to explore, so we decided to share some of those thoughts below.
From world politics to pop culture, the '80s provides a wealth of interesting opportunities for storytelling with Wonder Woman -- and that is without actually getting into the events that were taking place in the Wonder Woman comics around that time.
...Although, if you want to know? Wonder Woman #318 from August of that year saw Diana transported to the 63rd Century to defend Pardise Island from a race of alien pig-men.
The Pig-Men are unlikely to show up in Wonder Woman 2, but what are some challenges the Amazing Amazon might really face?
How does a feminist icon deal with the rise of the most powerful woman in the modern industrialized world?
Given how much of Wonder Woman took place in Europe, it seems like a no-brainer that any sequel set in the 1980s would inevitably deal with the rise of Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" and a fearsome female figurehead for a reactionary movement that grew in England an much of the Western world in the '80s.
Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990.
Notoriously, Jamie Delano tackled his own feelings toward Thatcher in the pages of DC Comics -- by putting them pretty explicitly in the pages of his run on Hellblazer.prevnext
The '80s pop culture landscape was dominated by things like Rambo, The Terminator, and The Predator. How would this narrow view of masculinity look to someone from Paradise Island?
Since gender politics and expectations were such a big part of the DNA of the first Wonder Woman film, jumping forward a couple of generations to a time where the idealized male is ultra-violent, largely non-verbal, and believes the best answer to any problem is to blow it up?
Well, that feels like a pop culture landscape ripe for some comedy and commentary.prevnext
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall is something that went up after World War II and came down in 1989, meaning that any Wonder Woman movie set after the first film but still in the '80s would likely grapple, at least in passing, with the issue.
In a scene that could be conceptually similar to the No Man's Land scene, it would not be farfetched to imagine Diana crossing the wall in a single bound for one reason or another.prevnext
The commodification of everything
Think of a decade where things started to appear on t-shirts everywhere, businesses grew increasingly corporate, and toys were made of...well, everything. Then those toys spun off into various other things, all in the service of selling more toys and more things.
Add to that a figure like Wonder Woman, ripe for commercialization.
This could serve as something of a precursor to David Samberg's Shazam! film, set photos from which have already revealed that toys of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and even the Suicide Squad exist in-universe.
Extra bonus: Parodying David E. Kelley's notoriously-bad Wonder Woman pilot.prevnext
George Orwell's 1984
Themes from George Orwell's dystopian sci-fi classic 1984 would likely be impossible to avoid when setting a film in 1984 -- especially because popular culture remains obsessed with how much the book "got right."
In the novel, Great Britain has become a province of a superstate named Oceania, ruled by the "Party", who employ the "Thought Police" to persecute individualism and independent thinking.
The Party's leader is Big Brother, who enjoys an intense cult of personality but may not even exist (this particular aspect of Big Brother was recycled for Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again). The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a rank-and-file Party member who secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.
It seems Wonder Woman is unlikely to give us a dramatically different version of world politics in the '80s than happened in real life, since we already know that the world has turned out relatively the same as the real world (after all, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League feature this same Wondy). Still, themes and concepts from 1984 could easily find their way into the story.prevnext
It is difficult to consider a family-friendly action/adventure film, set in the '80s, and not believe that it will be influenced by films like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and The Goonies.
This is particularly true in the wake of huge hits like Stranger Things and It, which have fetishized '80s kids-culture.
In that same vein, do not be too surprised if they go a little more monstrous with Cheetah than would be immediatley obvious. It would not be hard to see Wonder Woman 2 dipping their toe into the popular world of '80s-monster culture.
It would allow them to take something of a more body-horror bent with Cheetah, giving the movie real stakes, but without the gruesome elements of more modern horror.prevnext
An '80s Soundtrack
While Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok have turned '70s anthems into modern-day hits, they did that while having their stories set in the modern day and simply featuring classic rock.
A movie set in the '80s would have a built-in reason to incorporate '80s pop and rock into the soundtrack, clearning the way for some nostalgic hits on the soundtrack without even breaking the tone and world of the movie or feeling too much like they were playing it for laughs.prevnext
Badass '80s Action Heroine2comments
Look no further than last year's Atomic Blonde (also a comics adaptation) to see that the archetype of the badass female assassin is alive and kicking in modern cinema.
That movie, with an '80s motif all around, could give some sense for what is next for the world of Wonder Woman -- but as a kind of counterpoint to the testosterone-powered action megastars of the decade, do not be surprised if Wonder Woman also draws some inspiration from characters like Ellen Ripley, who did all of this decades before it was "cool."prev