When it was finally released to theaters and HBO Max last Christmas, Wonder Woman 1984 had a year’s worth of hype surrounding it from being pushed back so many times. Even though a number of critics loved it, once fans started watching the film either in theaters or via streaming, there was some disappointment, especially when compared to the first Gal Gadot-led Wonder Woman film. Connie Nielsen, who plays the role of Wonder Woman’s mother Hippolyta, reveals why she thinks the sequel wasn’t as well received as the original.
Connie Nielsen believes that Wonder Woman 1984's less than favorable reception was due to the unfair expectations put on the film after it had been delayed for over a year due to the pandemic. Nielsen also spoke on the weight director Patty Jenkins had to carry in terms of making a worthy follow-up. Here it is in the Gladiator actress’ own words:
I think that Patty has this extraordinary vision. 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.
In addition to the director taking on more expectations, Connie Nielsen says fans also felt like they were holding out for more from the film with having to wait so long to see it. Usually when delays happen with films in the pre-pandemic world, it's because the film needs fine tuning or it is getting improved in some way. That just hasn’t been the case since COVID hit and, in the same interview with Den of Geek, Nielsen says she believes Wonder Woman 1984 was put under abnormal judgement - even more so than your typical sequel would have been. She said:
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.
Connie Nielsen does make a lot of sense, especially when you consider that Wonder Woman 1984 was one of the first big releases to make it back to theaters since the onset of COVID other than films like Tenet and Unhinged, which released right at the beginning of theater re-openings. Needless to say, Patty Jenkins’ film was the biggest and most anticipated Christmas film, and it was hoped that it would spark the box office after shutdowns.
Even though Wonder Woman 1984 may not have hit as hard as Patty Jenkins and the cast would have hoped with fans, it wasn’t all bad, especially considering the unpredictable time it was released in. The cause isn’t lost, either, as Jenkins will have another crack at it. A third Wonder Woman film has been announced and, by the time it's released, these issues that Connie Nielsen believes to be at the root of Wonder Woman 1984’s dissatisfactory reception may be significantly lessened.