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Production is underway on Wonder Woman 1984 and while the biggest mystery surrounding the movie is how the hell Steve Trevor is alive, it's not the only curious thing about the sequel. (But really, how the hell is he alive?!) Pedro Pascal stars in the movie in a key role, but his character's details remain unknown. One would wager that this means he's playing a big DC character, and with only one official image of him (above), rumors and theories are already starting to pile up. Going off of that one image, plus a few other details about the movie, I think there's a very solid chance that Pascal is playing DC villain Maxwell Lord.
I don't expect anyone to recognize Maxwell Lord by the above photo. Unlike more iconic villains like the Joker or Lex Luthor, Lord doesn't really stand out, but that kind of plays into his character. For those who may not know, Maxwell Lord is a supervillain with a fairly complicated backstory. He's been rebooted a few times, but the basic gist is that due to some stuff that happened with his parents, he hates and distrusts all metahumans, believing that their heroics cause more harm than good. Nevermind the fact that he becomes a metahuman with the power of mind control later on.
Maxwell Lord is a millionaire entrepreneur who becomes a benefactor and ally to Justice League International, a branch of the Justice League consisting of B- and C-list characters who are sponsored by the United Nations. The team is kind of a mess, usually suffering some kind of embarrassment or failure while on missions. In his most memorable story, a lead-in for the Infinite Crisis event, it is revealed that Lord has been a villain the entire time, having worked from the shadows to embarrass the team and discredit superheroes. He had also been collecting deep intel on every superhero, and he killed a hero named Blue Beetle in cold blood after he was found out.
You might be wondering what any of this has to do with Wonder Woman. Part of Lord's grand scheme to prove how bad superheroes are is to mind control Superman into attacking Batman and Wonder Woman. Eventually, Wonder Woman is able to snare Lord in her Lasso of Truth and he tells the only way to free Superman from his control is to "kill me." So, Wonder Woman snaps his neck and the whole thing is recorded, causing her to lose the trust of the people, and her peers.
Heavy stuff! I very much doubt Warner Bros. would pull another Man of Steel or let its most compassionate character just snap a dude's neck, but the point is that there is a connection between these two characters. There isn't much evidence to support that Pedro Pascal is portraying Maxwell Lord, but what does exist offers some pretty strong hints.
First off is the picture director Patty Jenkins revealed of Pascal's character on social media. There's nothing too immediately alarming (other than that haircut) but the character seems to be a well-dressed businessman of some success. Lord was a millionaire in the comics, so that lines up pretty nicely. However, the main piece of evidence is what Jenkins wrote in the caption, "Can't...Stop... Watching..." We can take this to mean a few things like maybe Jenkins is praising his performance or is hinting at the sequel at large and not specifically the character. It can also refer to the fact that Max Lord has mind control powers and is literally forcing people to watch.
There's also the fact that the image is framed within a television. This could be a broader hint at the plot of the movie, but Max Lord is kind of known for having a wall full of televisions. He was spying on all the heroes at one point and even once utilized a program that Batman built called Brother Eye to do so. This makes a lot of sense to be in Wonder Woman 1984. The movie takes place during the 80s at the height of the Cold War and spycraft was a major focus. Even if it isn't meant to track metahumans, Brother Eye could still be a watchdog program meant to keep tabs of all potential threats. Maybe Lord has been spying on Diana.
It's also important to note that Lord is technically Maxwell Lord IV and it's possible that Pedro Pascal is his father, Maxwell Lord III. That character is basically a non-factor in the comics, but the movies could use him to set up his son as a villain in the present day DCEU. Maybe baby Lord first forms his metahuman grudge based what happens between Wonder Woman and his father. Plus, this way, we can still involve Brother Eye, which is way too advanced to exist in the 80s.
Max Lord isn't the only potential candidate, of course. There's a rumor that Pascal is playing a god in disguise, but the problem with that is we already got that with Ares in the first Wonder Woman. There's also an interesting theory that Pascal is Doctor Fate, who is kind of like DC's Doctor Strange. His blue and gold suit certainly match Fate's color scheme, but there isn't enough to back that up at this point. Maxwell Lord is our best guess with the information we have available. What say you?