Wonder Woman 1984 is now out in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, and a lot of DC fans have had some strong reactions to it. While the debate about Wonder Woman 1984 goes on, Wonder Woman 3 has already been confirmed for production, with director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot will both be returning. We already know details of what Wonder Woman 3 will be about, mainly because Patty Jenkins has already teased the next set of Wonder Woman stories she wants to tell. So knowing that Jenkins already has the larger vision in mind, let's talk about how Wonder Woman 1984 sets up Wonder Woman 3.
WARNING: Wonder Woman 1984 SPOILERS Follow!
Speaking about what comes next in Wonder Woman 3, Patty Jenkins told EW "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."
She's since added the caveat that things have changed so much in the world during 2020, that there is now some fluidity of those original plans: "I still love the story that we came up with. I'm sure that parts of it would come over to it. But I'm trying to say, 'Don't decide.' Don't fall in love with anything. 'What would Wonder Woman do now? What are you craving Wonder Woman to do in this world?"
Therein lies the question at hand: what do fans want Wonder Woman to do in a post-2020 world?
Ironically enough, Wonder Woman 1984 leaves the door wide-open for exactly that kind of story. The sequel also leaves room for Jenkins' next film to acknowledge the events of both Batman v Superman and Zack Snyder's Justice League, without Diana's solo franchise having to be directly connected to those films.
It's clear that the events of Wonder Woman 1984 are pretty standalone. The '80s setting means that any major connections to present-day event in BvS and JL would already be established. However, at the same time, Wonder Woman 1984 made a major point to establish that Diana keeps her superhero exploits (relatively) secret. It was a necessary piece of continuity, since Diana is still unknown to both Batman and Superman when she shows up in Dawn of Justice, some thirty-plus years after WW84. But it's also an ironically fitting launchpad for a present-day Wonder Woman 3 story.
So far in the DC movie universe, Diana has never had her official "coming out" moment, being recognized as a major hero of not just today - but of history. DC Comics lore has seen Diana take on work in places like the U.N., eventually in full recognition of her Amazon heritage and Themyscira homeland. That's rich canon to draw upon for a Wonder Woman 3 story that uses such a framework to tell exactly the story Jenkins seems to want to tell: women making a difference in the world, without having to change who they are to do it.
It would be fitting to see Wonder Woman finally recognized for saving the world (twice) in Batman v Superman and Justice League, and then turning that new fame into a bridge between Themyscira and the present-day world, in a way that particularly brings Amazonian ideals to young girls everywhere. There is another way to go with it: Jenkins has hinted that Cheetah could return in Wonder Woman 3; if Barbara Minerva never renounced her wish, she arguably doesn't age, just like Diana. She's also the one person who knows both sides of Wonder Woman/Diana Prince's identity, and connection to Steve Trevor. Wonder Woman finally bringing both sides of her identity together may not start out as a choice, but could be kind of core theme that is both personal and timely.
2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as a year where women stepped into the forefront of driving society - including Wonder Woman 1984 heralding bold changes in the film industry model. The opportunity is there for Wonder Woman 3 to be one of the first big films to reflect that milestone.