Waiting for the premiere for six months, the film finally hits theaters – and in the United States, also streaming, triggering a new policy and panic
In Wonder Woman 1984 ( Wonder Woman 1984, United States / England / Spain, 2020), already on display in the country, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) finds herself dealing with a relic of cataclysmic power: a rock crystal worthless, but which has the gift of granting wishes. Diana herself gives in to the seduction of the relic when she imagines back in her life someone whose absence has hurt her for almost seventy years. The aspirations of the bankrupt businessman/swindler Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and the lonely and ignored Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) is far greater. Because of them, more and more people make their requests worldwide, and the more their effects multiply and conflict with each other, creating a maelstrom of destruction. The antidote for this epidemic would be simple, were it not for human nature; it would be enough to renounce what was obtained to, for each undone desire,
If the year 1984 reimagined by director Patty Jenkins and the writers nods like this with hope, the year 2020 ends without its damage to the film industry showing any signs of reversal. Instead, he bequeaths a disturbing balance for 2021: produced for $ 200 million and often postponed, Wonder Woman 1984 will arrive on December 25 in American theaters – but not just them. In the United States, it will premiere simultaneously on Warner’s streaming platform, HBO Max. And so it will also be with all the titles that the studio has scheduled for next year, including other overproductions such as Duna and Matrix 4. It is not yet known what policy Warner will follow in the international market in the second half when HBO Max should also be available in Europe and Latin America. Nothing is known: from broadcast chains to directors and stars, the cinematographic community repudiated the novelty with a harshness that signals not only dismay but also panics that this exit will become widespread.
One wonders how much of Wonder Woman 1984’s most ambitious (and sometimes kitsch) sequences – like the tournament on Themyscira Island that opens the film, or the big showdown between Diana and the villains – the screen of a tablet will be able to embrace, or even to what extent Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot will be able to communicate, under these conditions, their affection for the character: although this continuation has a narrative cohesion and thrust lower than that of the original 2017 film, it is pleasant to enough to cry out for the big screen. Jenkins and Gadot were diplomatic; asked viewers to prefer movie theaters where it was safe, but said they were satisfied that there was an alternative in the other cases.
Behind the scenes, however, the fight is on fire. Warner’s turn was so sudden that none of the film crews were consulted beforehand. Cinema chains, already close to insolvency, expressed despair. Among the repercussions, there is the sensitive issue of remuneration, which in many cases should stop in the courts: in general, directors and stars are paid a small amount (way of saying) in the form of a fee, and the rest in percentage points on the earnings of the movie. How to calculate what would be a fair equivalent, however, with the coronavirus eroding the box office (at the moment, Europe has closed again, and only 35% of American rooms are in operation – with a very low frequency)?