If you have seen any footage from the upcoming DC movie Wonder Woman 1984, you may notice something familiar. Pedro Pascal (who’s been making headlines of his own with The Mandalorian) is sporting a lighter hair color, giving his appearance as the villain a look that many of us have seen before. It’s a look that director Patty Jenkins says was inspired by none other than the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Jenkins told Screen Rant, “He’s one of them. I mean honestly, the funny thing is he is [an influence], but I’m not trying to make…We even have the president in [Wonder Woman 1984], and I’ve gone out of my way not to make it look like Ronald Reagan. I don’t want to get political, it’s not about being political. Actually, a huge influence of this movie was also Madoff. Those young Madoff stories fascinate me, because I’m like, ‘How do you end up being Bernie Madoff?’ And when you really start tracking that story, it’s like, it all started out in a way that made sense, and he was paying it off, and then doing this, and then paying it off again. And then you just become an evil dude when you don’t even realize that it’s happening.”
So while Jenkins says she doesn’t “want to get political”, it seems that because of where and when the story of Wonder Woman 1984 takes place, the political undertone is not so much an undertone. Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, spoke to Germany’s Cinema Magazine about the film’s locations, speaking directly to the political aspect of the film. We found the translation via boundingintocomics. “We felt like Washington and the White House are very political places and therefore the ideal backdrop for this film. We shot scenes at the Washington Monument and Pennsylvania Avenue, which was incredible. The whole street was closed and it was so chaotic that it almost became symbolic for everything that is currently happening around the world.”
Jenkins went on, though, about the influence Trump had over the shaping of Pascal’s character of Maxwell Lord. “So, yes, Trump’s definitely one of the people that we looked at, but it’s any of those kind of mavericks of business success that was big in the ‘80s. Who went on to be major players in our world in potentially questionable other ways. Yeah, I don’t have an agenda to have a political message to send to the world, but I think that the world all needs the same political message. Everybody needs to look at themselves right now, and our politics, our belief system of excess.”
Pascal, who plays the ethically challenged Lord in Wonder Woman 1984, didn’t come out and speak Trump’s name, but he did lay out his character’s motivation via Screen Rant. It definitely rings of a certain mid-80s business tycoon. “Max is a dream-seller. It’s this character who encompasses a component of the era which is, you know, ‘Get whatever want, however you can. You’re entitled to it!’ And at any cost, ultimately, which represents a huge part of our culture and this kind of unabashed — it’s greed. It’s f—ing greed, of course. But it’s also about ‘How do you be your best self? How do you win?’ So he’s definitely the face of that version of success.”
So, while the plan wasn’t to be in your face with a political message, it may pretty much be in your face with a political message. Are you still looking forward to Wonder Woman 1984? With its oft-delayed new release date of Christmas 2020 (yes, Christmas Day) let us know if you’re still as excited to see this as we are.