Wonder Woman 1984 star and producer Gal Gadot believes the DC movie's day-and-date release in theaters and on HBO Max was the best option for the superhero sequel, saying its Christmas Day release "warmed [her] heart." Earlier this month, WarnerMedia announced Warner Bros.' entire 17-movie slate for 2021 would have a simultaneous theatrical and streaming release after last month's announcement that WW84 would be available to watch on HBO Max at no extra cost to subscribers. The decision sparked controversy, drawing ire from directors Christopher Nolan (Tenet) and Denis Villeneuve (Dune), but Gadot says it was the best option for WW84:
"Look, if you would have told me a year ago that that's gonna be the case, I would flip out and be super angry. But the truth of the matter is we just didn't have other better options," Gadot told Digital Spy. "We felt like we were sitting on this movie for such a long time, we shot the movie in 2018, we started promoting the movie in 2019, we pushed the movie four times. We felt like the movie was so relevant to what's happening in the world right now that you come to a place at a certain time where you're like, 'OK, I just want people to watch the movie.'"
She added, "The idea of having people be able to watch the movie on a Christmas morning just warmed my heart."
Once planned for December and then November 2019, Warner Bros. set WW84 for June 5 of this year before the coronavirus pandemic forced the studio to push the Patty Jenkins-directed sequel to August 14. In June, WW84 moved again — this time to October 2 — in the wake of Nolan's Tenet being pushed back by two weeks over the summer.
In September, as many movie theaters remained shuttered amid the pandemic, Wonder Woman moved to Christmas.
"When I first heard the idea, I both felt skeptical and gasped with excitement. I was like, 'Oh my God, that's so right, something about it feels so right,'" Jenkins told Digital Spy. "The reason being is if the point of going to the movie theatre, the reason that I love the theatrical experience, is communion with the audience and all sharing something together... The idea of being able to take something that puts me in a good mood and give it to other people when they could use something to put them in a good mood is profound to me, so I'm just honored to get the chance."
WarnerMedia had to "shovel tens of millions" at Gadot and other key players behind WW84 to secure a release on the streaming platform, according to a recent report from THR. Warner Bros. wants to keep the Wonder Woman team happy for a third film, according to the report.
The AT&T-owned WarnerMedia came under fire this past week from industry talent and their representatives who are upset over the unilateral decision to send the 17 movies to HBO Max, a move under increasing scrutiny from above the line talent and other profit participants.