Entertainment

When Will 'Wonder Woman 1984' Actually Come Out?

It's the last blockbuster standing.

wonder woman 1984
Warner Bros.

At the beginning of 2020, Wonder Woman 1984, the highly-anticipated sequel to 2017's record-breaking blockbuster Wonder Woman, was one of multiple tentpoles scattered across the year's calendar of upcoming releases. Originally scheduled for a June 5, 2020 release, it would've competed with Marvel's Black Widow, the latest Fast and Furious stunt-fest, and, sure, Top Gun: Maverick to be the biggest movie of the year. Now, after the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the film distribution business, Wonder Woman 1984 is the last blockbuster still standing, slated for Christmas Day.

But will it actually come out this year? On November 19, Warner Bros. announced that Wonder Woman 1984 will be simultaneously released in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25, ending months of speculation. As most major studio releases previously scheduled for 2020 have fled for 2021, including Daniel Craig's final Bond movie No Time to Die and the TimothĂ©e Chalamet-led remake of Dune, Wonder Woman 1984 has stayed the course. Here's what we know about Wonder Woman 1984.

Will Wonder Woman 1984 be available HBO Max?

Yes! Wonder Woman 1984 will arrive on HBO Max on December 25 and it will be available for one month to subscribers. A subscription costs $14.99 a month. After that one month period, according to The Verge, the movie will follow a more traditional release schedule, meaning it will "head to digital retailers like Amazon and iTunes, before likely finding its way back to HBO Max."

In a blog post, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar explained the thinking behind the decision to release one of the most anticipated movies of the year on the streaming platform. "We see an opportunity to do something firmly focused on the fans: give them the power to choose between going to their local cinema or opening on HBO Max," wrote Kilar. "Super-fans will likely choose both. This incredible movie will be available both ways on the exact same day."

Director Patty Jenkins also released a statement saying she hopes the film "brings a little bit of joy" this holiday season. You can read her full statement below. 

Releasing Wonder Woman 1984 to HBO Max is an unprecedented move. When Disney released Mulan on Disney+ earlier in the year, it came with an additional fee. Obviously, WarnerMedia decided that drawing attention to HBO Max, which as struggled a bit out the gate, was worth potentially missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars at the domestic box office. Will other potential blockbusters slated for early 2021 follow a similar path? Or will they stick to a more traditional release plan to help revive the theatrical distribution business? There's no way of knowing for sure. 

wonder woman 1984
Warner Bros.

Will Wonder Woman 1984 still be released in theaters? 

Yes! Wonder Woman 1984 will be released in international markets on December 16 and it will arrive in the open theaters in America on December 25. 

The movie's path to a theatrical release was long and winding. When the coronavirus first upended the summer movie season, Wonder Woman 1984 was moved from its June release date to August 14 and then October 2. After Tenet's disappointing box office performance in the United States, where it grossed less than $60 million and cost $205 million to make, it became unlikely Warner Brothers, the studio behind Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984, would be eager to test a risky strategy again. In a normal year, a movie like Wonder Woman 1984—a sequel to a previous superhero hit—could make over a billion dollars. 

Movie theaters are still closed in New York City and Los Angeles, two of the largest markets in the country, and more closings will likely occur as cases continue to rise and lockdown measures are increased. The open theaters are still at limited capacities and, at least so far, audiences have shown a limited willingness to return to the movies under current conditions.

wonder woman 1984
Director Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot on the set of 'Wonder Woman 1984' | Warner Bros.

What is Wonder Woman 1984 about? 

As you may have surmised from the title, Wonder Woman 1984 is about Wonder Woman, an immortal Amazonian warrior who also goes by the name Diana Prince, set in the year 1984. Like the last movie, Wonder Woman is played by actress Gal Gadot, known for her appearances in the Fast and Furious franchise and for that viral "Imagine" video from the summer that made everyone really mad. Gadot's take on Wonder Woman was first introduced in 2016's Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, an attempt by DC to launch its own interconnected cinematic universe, but she really broke out with 2017's stand-alone Wonder Woman movie, which grossed over $800 million at the box office and generated mostly positive reviews. 

The first Wonder Woman was primarily set during World War I, which allowed Wonder Woman to run through trenches and blow up old-timey planes. Wonder Woman 1984 will shift the action to the '80s, and if the trailer is any indication, that means plenty of wild fashion choices, Reagan-era pop-culture references, and slightly more contemporary planes. While her love interest Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, will somehow be back—he appeared to die at the end of the first movie—she'll be facing new villains this time, including a scheming businessman and a frenemy archaeologist. Expect lots of kicking, punching, and golden lassoing.

wonder woman 1984
Warner Bros. Pictures

Who's in the cast of Wonder Woman 1984

As mentioned above, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine will both return to the series, along with director Patty Jenkins, who also shares a screenwriting credit this time around. Robin Wright, who played Diana's aunt Antiope, and Connie Nielsen, who played Diana's mother Hippolyta, will also be back, likely in flashback scenes. They'll be joined by The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord, an up-to-no-good CEO-type with a shiny-head of hair and other vaguely Trump-like qualities, and Bridesmaids star Kristen Wiig as archaeologist Barbara Ann Minerva, who comic book fans will recognize as the villain Cheetah. 

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Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.