This article contains Wonder Woman spoilers.
We loved Wonder Woman. It was glorious in its treatment of Diana’s origin story, giving girls and women a chance to see a female superhero in her own film, while also pushing what was topically possible in the superhero formula by giving us a compassionate, anti-war superheroine who refuses to look away from the smaller picture when faced with the atrocities of war.
Wonder Woman 2 has will happen, with Patty Jenkins most likely on board to direct. Here are a few of the things we’d like to see in the sequel…
Return to Themyscira
I understand why Wonder Woman couldn’t return to Diana’s home within the story of the first film (though I was sad about it). The first film was about Diana making her mark on the larger, “real” world, about learning what mankind looks like, and about fulfilling her Amazonian purpose as a guardian of mankind. Not to mention, as Hippolyte told Diana when she chose to leave with Steve: if she leaves Themyscira, she can never return.
That being said… can she return, though? Because Themyscira was one of the best parts of the film. It was goddamn revolutionary seeing the Amazons train to fight (and then actually engage in combat). It was also neat to see what their everyday culture looked like and how their women-only society was the norm for them.
Antiope might not have survived the first film, but there are plenty of other Amazonian characters we’d like to revisit/meet as the Wonder Woman series moves forward. We’d also like to see Diana try to convince her fellow Amazons to reclaim their roles as guardians of mankind. Frankly, the world could use some Amazonian guardianship right about now.
Give Etta Candy More to Do
Though we know Wonder Woman 2 is going to be set in America, it’s unclear when the Wonder Woman sequel will be set at this point. Will it pick up somewhere in the last 100 years, post-WWI, but prior to the current day setting of the Justice League? Or will it keep Diana in the present to protect the modern-day people of Earth?
If Wonder Woman 2 is set in the past, I’d like to see Etta Candy given more to do. While she was present in Wonder Woman and had some fun moments, she was mostly used for comic relief without giving much time to the relationship between Diana and Etta — which can be one of the best part of the comics. I wouldn’t mind seeing the occasion arise for Etta to engage in fisticuffs in Wonder Woman 2.
Populate the “Real” World with More Female Characters
One of my only critiques of Wonder Woman was the dearth of female characters and relationships once Diana left Themyscira, creating the illusion that, in order to be a female heroine, you need to be an Amazon. (It would have been great to see a Peggy Carter-type somewhere in Diana’s WWII crew — perhaps in the form of Etta Candy or perhaps in the form of another female character who accompanies Diana to the front.)
In Wonder Woman 2, I’d like to see the series expand on its female character population outside of Themyscira. Pro-tip: hire at least one female writer to contribute to the script. The lack of female scriptwriters working in big-budget franchises is a conversation we don’t have nearly enough.
Double Down on the “No Man’s Land” Moments
With the bigger budget that Wonder Woman 2 will inevitably get, it might be tempted to make Wonder Woman into a bigger movie — i.e. more big-budget action sequences. Frankly, the final CGI-driven fight between Diana and Ares was the least interesting part of the first movie.
Jenkins comes from an indie background and did such a good job with the “smaller” moments in Wonder Woman, but we’ve seen other directors with indie backgrounds go too big under the pressure of upping the ante for a blockbuster sequel.
The best parts of Wonder Woman came in Diana’s relatively quieter moments of heroism — when she decided to climb that ladder to No Man’s Land and when she asked Charlie “Who will sing for us?” — not in the major battles (though that Amazon v. German soldiers fight scene was pretty cool).
I’m not saying I don’t want some badass fight action scenes for Diana to face off against in the Wonder Woman sequel, only that I don’t want fights like the Diana v. Ares battle to overshadow these quieter, more grounded moments and explorations of heroism. Given that it was Jenkins who fought to keep the No Man’s Land Scene in the film when other DC/WB creatives wanted to cut it reassures me that Jenkins understands this delicate balance.
A stronger villain.
While the best moments in Wonder Woman‘s heroism came in the more nuanced explorations, the same was true for its villainy. Steve’s mid-movie suggestion that war is not caused by a villainous god, but rather by the weaknesses of humanity was much more effective and exciting than the Ares’ character.
Superhero films need a tangible villain for its hero to fight. It’s hard to punch inequality or famine in the face, but that doesn’t need to come at the expense of thematic complication. While Diana doesn’t exactly have the most inspiring rogues’ gallery around, it sure would be something to see her face off against a dynamic visual like the Cheetah in a second installment, and that’s a character who still offers plenty of room for Diana to explore wider themes, without this devolving into just another CGI punch-up.
What would you like to see in Wonder Woman 2? Sound off in the comments below…