Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins talks villains and Chris Pine’s return

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Wonder Woman 1984 is looking to up the ante. The sequel features not one, but two major villains: Kristen Wiig’s Barbara Minerva, aka the Cheetah, and Pedro Pascal’s Max Lord. Barbara is a friend of Diana’s before she becomes foe, whereas businessman Max (as the name suggests) is a power-suited businessman fronting a get-rich-quick oil company offering the public the chance to invest in ‘Black Gold’.

“It turned out that the story was the thing that gave birth to the need for both [villains],” Jenkins tells our sister publication Total Film magazine in the upcoming issue. “It wasn’t that I thought I needed both. Cheetah was the villain that we were focused on having in this movie, but then Max Lord, throughout the history of Wonder Woman comics – he serves a very mechanical purpose, often." 

Max will act as the figurehead of a major corporation, and Pascal – Jenkins says – is "like you’ve never seen him before”. The filmmaker also discusses Chris Pine's return as Steve Trevor, who previously perished in the first Wonder Woman. While remaining coy about specifics, she reveals that the characters are not exactly sure themselves how the heroic fighter has returned. 

“You all go on the journey together,” Jenkins says. “The movie and the characters all go on a journey together. It did not at all come from, ‘We’ve got to have Steve back.’ I was so pleased when I thought of the story idea, and then intrinsic to that story was Steve coming back, because we love Chris. But it just came naturally.”

You can read the extended interview with Jenkins – plus conversations with the team behind Free Guy, including Jodie Comer, Reynolds, and Joe Keery – in the upcoming issue of Total Film, which hits shelves and digital on Friday, May 1. You can subscribe online here. Wonder Woman reaches cinemas 14 August.

(Image credit: Future)

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(Image credit: Future)
Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.