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Spoiler alert! The following discusses major reveals and the ending of “Wonder Woman 1984,” so beware if you haven’t seen it yet.
Move over, “Die Hard.” You’ve got some new heroic company in the Christmas movie canon.
The superhero sequel “Wonder Woman 1984” (in theaters and streaming on HBO Max) featured Gal Gadot saving the world from magically wishing itself into nuclear armageddon. After the big climax, an epilogue found heroine Diana Prince at the holidays, enjoying a winter wonderland of falling snow, playing children and peace while also being able to move on with her life.
The holiday coda was a family affair for Gadot and director Patty Jenkins: Jenkins’ 12-year-old son Asa appeared in the scene as well as Gadot’s husband Jaron Varsano and their two daughters, Alma, 9, and Maya, 3.
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Gadot’s and Jenkins’ families are “very, very close,” the actress tells USA TODAY. “They’re always on set and they come and go and they do dinners and we do dinners. It’s fun. It’s like a commune.
“And it just felt right to have them there for us to cherish them and everything they sacrificed and everything they do in order to allow us to be able to shoot such long movies.”
The seasonal setting feels right for Christmas Day release. Jenkins acknowledges, however, that she almost changed it: The “Wonder Woman” sequel was originally planned to release on Dec. 13, 2019. But when Jenkins found out it was being delayed to June 5, 2020 (which would change again because of COVID), the director had a week of extra filming to do and she tried to revamp it as a warm-weather scene.
“We were in London at that time and it was going to be too phony-looking to try to re-create Washington, D.C., in summertime,” Jenkins says. “And so I ended up deciding not to and just sticking with the scene we had.”
While “1984” ending doesn’t offer any big reveals or connections to past or future DC superhero movies, the epilogue does close a chapter on Wonder Woman’s love life. In the movie, she inadvertently wishes to bring back her lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who possesses the body of a Washington dude (Kristoffer Polaha, credited as “Handsome Man”). When Wonder Woman realizes that having Steve back in her life is sapping her of her superpowers – which she needs to foil the magical machinations of villainous businessman Max Lord – she says goodbye, undoes her wish and runs down a Washington street in an emotional rage.
“It’s brutal, but it’s also very effective where she has to run away from it because she doesn’t even want to think about it,” Jenkins explains. “What I love is that it’s a metaphor, not only for loss and losing people, but it’s also for just relationships ending, when you realize you have to walk forward and you can’t just sit and pine for what didn’t work out.”
In the Christmas scene, Diana runs into the man Steve had possessed and they have a pleasant conversation where she points out his snappy scarf-centric outfit, a callback to an earlier scene where Steve didn’t want to wear the exact same clothes because he felt he’d look like a “pirate.”
Does that mean Diana’s asking the new guy on a date soon? “I don’t think so, just because it would be too strange that it was the same guy,” Jenkins says. “But I think what it shows is that she’s open. She’s going to move on in her life and meet other people.”