Fans were primed and ready to enjoy director Patty Jenkins’ highly anticipated Wonder Woman sequel this year, that is until Warner Bros. pushed the release date back seven months. Initially, Wonder Woman 1984 was due to arrive in theaters in November 2019, but last October word surfaced that Warner Bros. was pushing the movie back all the way to June 5, 2020. That was a significant delay, and a bummer for those who were looking forward to seeing Gal Gadot back with the lasso in theaters in 2019.
A specific reason for the Wonder Woman 2 release date change wasn’t fully clarified, but when the new date was announced, Gadot took to Twitter to note that the film was “back to its rightful home,” referring to the June release date. Indeed, June 2017 is when the first Wonder Woman opened to stellar box office and critical raves, so it stands to reason the follow-up should perform quite well in that summer month.
So when Collider’s own Steve Weintraub spoke with producer Charles Roven in anticipation of the release of the Netflix thriller Triple Frontier, he asked why Wonder Woman 1984’s release date was moved. As it turns out, Summer 2020 is the date the filmmakers wanted all along:
“We always wanted the date that we are on right now. The studio felt that until their slate for the year before came together—and they had an amazing end of 2018—that they needed to have a big what I call aircraft carrier, a “tentpole”, in . We had a very rushed pre-production because Patty also did the TNT show and we had a very rushed post-production schedule in order to make the date that we were on, which was November 1, 2019. We were doing it because the studio said they really needed it, and then at a certain point they came to us and they said, ‘You know what, you guys are right. Let’s go back to the month that you guys released Wonder Woman 1 in, and take the extra time.’”
The release date change was announced in late October 2018, just after Warner Bros. released A Star Is Born to smashing success, and a couple months after Crazy Rich Asians was a bona fide hit. And that’s all before Aquaman swam into theaters in December and crushed it. So Warner Bros. looked at its slate and realized they didn’t necessarily need Wonder Woman 1984 in 2019, especially a rushed version of the film. They’ve already got the It sequel, two Conjuring-verse movies, and Joker on the way, and the DC film Shazam! is poised to hit big when it opens in theaters next week.
So all’s well that ends well, and I’m glad Jenkins and Co. were given the time necessary to make Wonder Woman 1984 on their own terms. Roven’s answer here provides a bit of an inside look at how many sizable compromises are sometimes necessary to get a movie of this scale made, and how release dates can often be determined by the monetary needs of the studio and not exactly the quality of the film.