Connie Nielsen: ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Release Delays Set Patty Jenkins Up for Backlash

Outrage over Patty Jenkins' sequel was all the rage during the Christmas movie season.
Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta
Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta
Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Wonder Woman 1984” divided critics and audiences and ignited outrage against director Patty Jenkins from certain sections of the fandom when it opened in theaters and on HBO Max last Christmas. The reception to the comic book sequel was a blow for Jenkins and Warner Bros., whose original “Wonder Woman” was celebrated around the world as a game-changing superhero tentpole. In a new interview with Den Of Geek, Connie Nielsen reasons part of the backlash against “Wonder Woman 1984” was created by the film’s numerous release delays. Nielsen stars as Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira in both of Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” films.

“I think that Patty has this extraordinary vision,” Nielsen said. “And it must have been incredibly painful to not be able to have a normal release and to have your release shuffled over and over, feeling this enormous weight on your shoulders for a pretty big blockbuster film, that you’re supposed to be bringing the bacon back to the company, and you can’t because you can’t open the film.”

Nielsen continued, “I think that what happens psychologically is that a lot of movies like that then get into this insecure territory where they’re up for a judgment that would not normally have happened. The fact that it was moved so many times, put it under scrutiny that it did not deserve. It also, as a sophomore film, will always be compared to the one before.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” was originally going to open on December 13, 2019, before Warner Bros. settled on November 1, 2019. The movie’s first big release push came when the film bumped to June 5, 2020 in order to follow the same summer release strategy as the original “Wonder Woman.” The pandemic forced the sequel to delay first to August 14, 2020, and then again to October 2, 2020. Ultimately, Warner Bros. decided to open the film on Christmas day, both in theaters and on HBO Max. The film debuted over a year after its initial release date, all the while anticipation for it continued to build.

“A lot of people were so willing to just critique certain elements instead of seeing it as a whole,” Nielsen said of the backlash against the sequel. “And I think that as a whole, everything that happens in this film makes a lot of sense. It makes a lot of sense, and I think it’s a beautiful film.”

Both Nielsen’s Queen Hippolyta and Gal Gadot’s Diane Prince/Wonder Woman appeared most recently in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” but the warrior-bent Snyder gives the superhero differs from how Jenkins imagines the character in “Wonder Woman 1984.” Nielsen told Den of Geek that she supports Jenkins’ vision.

“I say this with all the deepest respect of everyone who maybe thinks differently,” the actress said. “No one can say that Patty is not true to the vision that she has of Wonder Woman, which is to me, an incredibly brave, incredibly important vision. The way in which she transforms the expectations of a superhero may not be to everyone’s liking, because they’ve been conditioned to seeing a bunch of other films that follow these specific tent markers.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” is now available on on Blu-ray, DVD and digital.

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