Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins reveals studio Warner Bros. wanted the 151-minute Wonder Woman movie to cut one of its two openings, both of which appear in the finished film now in theaters and on HBO Max. In the first, during a return trip to the island of Themyscira, a young Diana (Lilly Aspell) receives a talking-to from Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and Antiope (Robin Wright) when she takes a shortcut during an athletic contest with other Amazons. The second reintroduces Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) as a secret superhero operating in 1984 Washington, D.C., where she thwarts a black market heist by rounding up a gang of criminals inside a crowded shopping mall.
According to Jenkins, who co-wrote WW84 with Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham, the Themyscira-set flashback opening with Hippolyta and Antiope was not always part of the film's script:
"It was the success of the first film, but it was also something else. I wouldn't [have] jammed it in there because of the success of the film, because it actually made the movie too long," Jenkins told JoBlo. "We have two openings in our movie, and we would talk about it with the studio all the time, and they would say, 'You've got to cut the mall and the Eighties, or you've got to cut the Amazons.' I was like, 'We can't, we can't cut either.'"
Because young Diana learns a valuable lesson that later comes into play against the wish-granting Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), and the sequence re-introduces the super-strong Amazons, Jenkins argued WW84 needed to keep the scene and the voice over from Gadot's adult Diana.
"You do that thing where you're like, wait, you have to remember all the people that haven't seen the first Wonder Woman who watch this on a plane. And suddenly it's like, oh, it's super hard to understand who Diana is and what's going on without touching base there," Jenkins said. "I love the fact that you hear all of the 'being a great hero takes your whole life' [speech], you know? So there was this wisdom there that they were trying to tell her, which is not about being the strongest or the fastest, it's about these complex observations you have to make during life in order to become a true hero. I love that she doesn't understand that until that final speech."