Long story short, while examining a mysterious artifact for the F.B.I., Diana and Barbara unwittingly wish upon a “Dream Stone” which grants the return of Steve for Wonder Woman and the ability to fend off drunken catcallers and look hot doing it for Barbara—she wanted to be more like Diana, okay? Of course, there’s a catch, and Diana must destroy the stone or renounce her one true wish before she loses her powers. Unfortunately, Barbara—now known as Cheetah—is less than willing to give up her newfound strength even as it drains her of her humanity.
What follows is two hours and 35 minutes of whimsical escapism with a pinch of heartbreak and a dash of hopeful idealism. I spoke to Patty Jenkins about the film’s message, fighting for her paycheck, and the possibility of Wonder Woman III. Warning: spoilers ahead.
I wanted to start by asking: If you didn’t know the consequences of the dream stone, what would you wish for right now, and what would it cost you?
That’s a hard one. I do think I would wish for the end of climate change and for people to be better than they are—for mankind to have been much better. I think it would cost me my family. That’s my thing that is the most valuable to me. I don’t know if it’s my greatest strength. My ability to make movies would be a terrible thing to lose.
In a recent interview, you said that Trump was not the inspiration behind the film’s poignant wall moment. But I found there to be so much Trump in Pedro Pascal’s character, Maxwell Lord, from his hair to the line, “I’m not a conman, I’m a television personality.” How much of that was intentional?
You know what’s funny is that none of it was intended to be about him. It may seem like I’m lying or like I’m trying to hide it, but it’s actually true. It was about someone who wants to be a Trump. In the [comic book] lore, Max Lord is somebody who is a powerful businessman, right? The way we were subverting it a little bit is that actually, in this case, you end up with somebody who’s trying to emulate a powerful businessman.
So there’s definitely Trump, Madoff, and Gordon Gekko—all of those guys are definitely there—but how he got there was just by trying to be exactly those kinds of guys. If Lord was Trump, the story would have ended a lot differently. I couldn’t have told the story about Trump.