"Wonder Woman 2" gets a release date as DC movies get a new direction

The success of the Amazonian's first standalone film has become somewhat of a turning point for Warner Bros.

Published July 26, 2017 11:52AM (EDT)

Gal Gadot as Diana in "Wonder Woman" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Alex Bailey)
Gal Gadot as Diana in "Wonder Woman" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Alex Bailey)

According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has announced a release date for the premiere of "Wonder Woman 2". The Followup to the massively successful film — a critical hit that has also become the highest-grossing movie of the summer and the biggest box-office win directed by a woman ever — will hit screens on December 13, 2019.

There is no word on who will direct at this stage, but the odds and the rumor mill have it that "Wonder Woman" helmer Patty Jenkins will step behind the camera again. Gal Gadot will reprise her role as the Amazonian warrior in what reports say is a narrative tied to the Cold War.

Currently, December has been somewhat given over to the revived "Star Wars" franchise — both "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" were year-end successes for Disney. "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" bows on December 15 of this year. However, the upcoming Han Solo spin-off film and the remainder of the projected Star Wars slate after it are on track for May releases, leaving a hole in the blockbuster schedule that Warner Bros. already claimed. After some dithering, it's chosen "Wonder Woman 2" for that slot on the — probably correct — belief that the Amazonian can carry the Christmas season.

Interestingly, the release of "Wonder Woman 2" will come in the same year that Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise releases their first film centered around a female character, "Captain Marvel". Starring Oscar-winner Brie Larson, "Captain Marvel" is currently slated for release on March 8, 2019.

Overall, the setting of the release date for "Wonder Woman 2" demonstrates that Warner Bros. understands the value of the relatively upbeat, openly heroic film to their much-maligned DC Extended Universe franchise. One could say the same thing for the character's prominence in the latest trailer for the DCEU's November release, "Justice League". It's not hard to guess that, as the only one of the franchise's four films to survive critical attention with high marks and exceed box-office projections, "Wonder Woman" and its positive tone may indeed mark a turning point for the series.

Recent reports have it that Zack Snyder, the director and producer seen as most responsible for the dour, mean-spirited and ultimately unheroic tone of the first three DCEU films may have been sidelined as a creative force in the franchise.

Already, Snyder and his producing partner, wife Deborah Snyder, have stepped back from "Justice League" after the March death of his daughter Autumn. Joss Whedon, director of Marvel's "The Avengers" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron", has taken over the film throughout its extensive, two-month, $25 million series of reshoots.

Reports have it that Whedon, who will not get a director's credit, has shifted the tone of the production from Snyder's mirthless voice to his lighter, more beloved (and profitable) style. Producers have already called him the DCEU's "secret weapon" and he is on track to develop a Catwoman film.

While Warner Bros. has affirmed its support of the Snyders in press releases, details on the couple's official involvement in the franchise going forward remain unstated and "Suicide Squad" director David Ayers — a Snyder pick — also seems to be on the outs at the studio.

One thing is sure, the DCEU is Wonder Woman's world for the moment.

By Gabriel Bell

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