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How Patty Jenkins Made The Invisible Jet Believable In Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984 Invisible Jet sequence

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984. If you have not yet had the chance to watch the film, continue at your own risk!

Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 1984 packs a whole hell of a lot of surprises into its expansive 151 minute runtime, but one could make a strong argument that there is none better than the reveal of the Invisible Jet. While the vehicle has been a part of the superhero’s history since the very beginning, many fans were convinced that it was too goofy to ever appear in a modern live-action adaptation, but the 2020 blockbuster proves that thought wrong in the coolest way. And what makes it even better is the knowledge that the director has been trying to figure out a way to fit it in for as long as she has been working with the character.

Earlier this month I had the chance to talk with Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot in a virtual roundtable shortly after watching Wonder Woman 1984 for the first time, and during the conversation I couldn’t help but ask about how the film managed to find a way to include the Invisible Jet. It was a topic that Jenkins was elated to talk about, having kept the secret for so long, and she explained that it took years for her to come up with the method for making the plane believable, saying,

Ever since I joined Wonder Woman I was like, 'Hmm. Hmm.' Because of course the Invisible Jet and her sitting with her knees and you can't see the plane, people would say like, 'That's so dorky,' and I'm like, 'Yeah, but everything's dorky. Everything about all these superheroes is dorky until you make them cool. It's all silly. It all was silly originally.' How do we make it? So it's been like a Rubik's Cube I've been trying to figure out since the first movie, how we were going to do it.

So how did Patty Jenkins eventually figure it out? It turns out that it really just came down to a kind of eureka moment. The filmmaker described the scene for us, noting that the ideas came out of a conversation she was having with former DC executive Geoff Johns. Said Jenkins,

It happened just Geoff and I, one day we were sitting and talking and like it was just, [excited inhale]. I just remember that moment that we were like, 'Oh, and it's the way he made the island invisible! Yes!' It was a great, great moment.

In Wonder Woman 1984, the Invisible Jet isn’t something that just exists, but instead something that Diana essentially creates. While attempting to steal a jet with Steve Trevor, the superhero winds up using the same kind of magic that helped the Amazons hide Themyscira from Man’s World on the planet, and, voila, the famed comic book vehicle is rendered real. It’s further used to great effect, as it not only serves as transportation that gets the protagonists to Egypt quickly, but also lends itself to an awesome sequence that sees them fly through flashy Independence Day fireworks.

What further makes the inclusion of the Invisible Jet interesting is the fact that it’s paired with the revelation in Wonder Woman 1984 that the eponymous hero can naturally fly. Usually those two elements of her backstory are kept independent (as they can be seen as somewhat redundant), but Patty Jenkins reveled in the opportunity to make the former realistic and the latter important to the emotional development of the character:

For me, what it means for the character, I love that she learns how to fly in this emotional way. And then that metaphor stands for something for all of us, which is that you have to let go and embrace the truth and things for what they are to understand that it's just wind and air. I loved incorporating both of those things. She does not have an Invisible Jet, but she can make a jet invisible in the world we've now created. So I liked that that was a way to get it from Themyscira and have that.

On a more macro level, Patty Jenkins is also extremely happy that the presence of the Invisible Jet is something that didn’t get revealed in the months leading up to its release. As it turns out, she took some very insistent steps towards making sure that happened, saying,

I'm so excited that that works, and thank god that people don't spoil it for the American audience in Europe. It was a big fight with consumer products not to let them do any Invisible Jet stuff. I was like, 'No, I want people to experience it!’

Now you can experience that magic over and over again, as Wonder Woman 1984 is now playing in theaters where available, and is also streaming on HBO Max.

Eric Eisenberg

NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.