In the recently released Wonder Woman 1984, Princess Diana aka Wonder Woman finds herself facing off against not one but two supervillains: media mogul Maxwell Lord, and The Cheetah. In an interview with CBR, the director of the movie Patty Jenkins explained how she wanted to explore the "Why?" behind the creation of a supervillain.
"First of all, I love some of the villains that I grew up with, even where you had a really interesting and funny and dynamic character. In this one, not unlike my desire to make Monster and talk about why people do the things they do, I loved the challenge of saying, like, 'Okay, so how does this person become a superhero? What is the struggle of the journey, to begin there? How does this person become a villain? What is it?'"
The chief architect of the chaos in Wonder Woman 1984 is Maxwell Lord, played by Pedro Pascal, whose machinations also end up transforming Barbara Minerva, played by Kristen Wiig, into The Cheetah. According to Jenkins, both the characters' descent into super-villainy is propelled by a feeling of not being good enough.
"Particularly Max, I loved the fact that he's so preoccupied with trying to live up to this thing, probably, because of his own father or whatever, to tell his son, 'I'm going to be a winner' and the son never cared about that. Like, nobody cared about it! It's in your own head that you have to become this person to be worthy of love, you know? So watching that storyline and how far he's willing to go and watching Cheetah's storyline and Barbara, how far she's willing to go just to feel adequate."
In the past, Patty Jenkins has spoken of her desire to make Wonder Woman 1984 into a film where the main conflict is resolved through dialog rather than fisticuffs. In that same vein, the filmmaker hopes that the audiences see Lord and the Cheetah not as irredeemable bad guys, but rather normal, flawed human beings who took the wrong path to power.
"Hopefully, the important subtext of the movie is that we are all these people. Like, we are all people. We all have our moments of knowing that we could choose to not do the heroic thing, because there's some hole we need to fill, and when we're facing what we're facing in the modern world, we're all going to have to start facing, sacrificing and thinking on a global scale about caring for each other. So that was something I really cared about bringing to all these people."
Reviews for Wonder Woman 1984 have been generally positive so far, and critics are predicting that the DCEU has another hit on its hands. Directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 features a lead cast comprising of Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Natasha Rothwell. The film is now available in theaters and on HBO Max. This news first appeared at CBR.com.