After lots of waiting, we finally got a look at Wonder Woman 1984 courtesy of director Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot at CCXP 2019. The director and star of the sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman were at the event to both promote their new film and participate in a livestream event where they debuted the first trailer. During their time at CCXP, Collider had the chance to participate in a group interview and we got to ask both Jenkins and Gadot some of our biggest questions about the pic.
One of the first things we learned from Jenkins was what the potential Wonder Woman 1984 runtime would be. Typically the first cut is much longer than the final cut but, in the case of a movie like this one — a big tentpole superhero pic, to be exact — the first cut’s runtime might be more in the ballpark than we think. According to Jenkins, “The first cut was 2 hours and 45 so it wasn’t like 3 hours and a half — I’m not that kind of filmmaker.”
Among the other things we were curious about was where in the edit process Jenkins is at this point with a little over six months left until the film finally arrives in theaters. Jenkins was game and readily gave insights into the Wonder Woman 1984 editing process. What the director also revealed in her answer was where her mind is at as she’s goes through this process and prepares this summer event movie for the world to see. According to Jenkins,
“We’re done. The movie is done. Because it doesn’t come out for a few months, for the first time in my career, which is so great, I was able to say, ‘Hey guys, can you let me fiddle with this? Can you let me fiddle with that?’ So I’m fiddling but the movie is technically done.”
After confirming to us Wonder Woman 1984 is officially locked and the editing process is done, we wanted to dig a little deeper. Naturally, this is a big movie for the DCEU and that means visual effects aplenty, even if this film has been made as practically as possible (during the Wonder Woman 1984 CCXP livestream, Jenkins revealed practical stunts were the name of the game in an effort to provide authenticity to the action). So, could the VFX for Wonder Woman 1984 also done? We asked, Jenkins replied.
“Oh yeah. 100% done and so yeah, that’s what I mean. There were even these moments where I remember when we weren’t going to Comic-Con and somebody speculated maybe they don’t have enough action. I was like, ‘Just wait! You’re to see our action. You’re going to see there’s no way we just did that as a reaction.’ That’s a yearlong process. I’m just dying to show it.”
Confirmation the VFX are completed on a movie of this scale means that, from here on out, everything we’ll be seen in terms of footage will be what we’re seeing in theaters come June 2020. It’s atypical of the process but should be an exciting indication of how big Wonder Woman 1984 is going to be in the coming month. We even remarked on this to Jenkins, who concurred, continuing,
“I’m actually sitting around. [Usually] you just end and you’re done. This time I’m actually sitting around and saying, ‘What if I can do a different version of that shot? Can I try a different one?’ It’s incredible. I’m sitting in an editing room right now playing and seeing if I can pitch back something that I like better. That’s incredible. I’ve never gotten to do that in my life. And if we don’t change anything, we don’t change anything. But if we find something we like then we’ll do that. You know? It’s pretty incredible. Yeah, we’re psyched.”
She’s psyched, we’re psyched, everyone’s psyched. But wait, back to that whole runtime issue for just a sec. On the topic of how long the final cut is going to be Jenkins hinted that, because she’s technically done but still maybe has an urge to fiddle around a bit, there may be a different final cut runtime than first cut. As Jenkins put it:
“Everybody always wants you to make it shorter. So I have an idea and I’m like, ‘Maybe it would make it shorter.’ So anyway, we’re not going to officially say yet. However, it’s in a good territory. But it was interesting that so many scenes that we set out to shoot, then something great would happen and then we would expand upon it. Some things that were written to be very small, little moments turned into ‘but that’s so awesome!’ [moments]. So it’s hard when you end up with that situation. The movie is exactly the same movie. Almost nothing has changed since the first cut except for trying to tighten and music and changing those things.”
Jenkins’ comments here are great food for thought. We can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like, in full and in theaters.