Why Wonder Woman 3 was cancelled by DC Studios

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot were supposed to return for a third Wonder Woman movie in the DCEU until it was cancelled. Here's why it never came to be.
GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “WONDER WOMAN 1984,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics. © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “WONDER WOMAN 1984,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics. © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

The DC Extended Universe had more downs than ups, but its crowning achievement was undoubtedly Wonder Woman. The 2017 film starred Gal Gadot in the legendary DC Comics character's first solo outing on the silver screen and it was brought to life beautifully by director Patty Jenkins; earning critical acclaim and a phenomenal box office performance of over $800 million.

The duo reunited for the sequel Wonder Woman 1984 two years later, which became a streaming hit during the pandemic. Though its box office performance suffered at the time (both in part due to the pandemic and the film's simultaneous streaming release on HBO Max), it was more than successful enough to earn a sequel, with Warner Bros. commissioning another film soon afterwards.

But Wonder Woman 3 has not - and seemingly will not - come to fruition. The film was among a long line-up of movies and TV shows to be cancelled in a huge culling in 2022 as Warner Bros. Discovery reshaped the DC Universe for a new era. It would all begin again, but it would begin again without Wonder Woman. And here's why.

The DCEU was being rebooted as the new DC Universe

After the completion of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, DC Studios was launched in a bid to streamline and reboot the DCEU. James Gunn and Peter Safran were appointed co-chairmen and CEOs and tasked with setting up a shared universe of superheroes that could rival Marvel Studios' juggernaut Marvel Cinematic Universe. That was the purpose of the DCEU, but after a lot of creative missteps, the shared universe once helmed by Zack Snyder was beyond saving. And thus, Gunn and Safran's new venture meant that the old one had to perish.

Wonder Woman 3 was still expected to be a success in spite of the DCEU's shortcomings at the box office. Diana, Princess of Themyscira's success on the silver screen and the streaming services suggested that a third one would have done well, perhaps giving DC movies a reprieve during a difficult era for them. But it was unfortunately still part of the DCEU, and that seemingly meant that it had to go.

Wonder Woman - WB
Wonder Woman. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment, HBO Max /

Gunn and Safran's new DCU consists of movies like Superman, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and The Brave and the Bold, as well as shows such as Waller, Creature Commandos, and Lanterns. The only official relic that will remain from the DCEU is Gunn's own Peacemaker, which will return for a second season (albeit in a rebooted timeline). However, the Wonder Woman prequel series crafted by the previous Warner Bros. leadership will live on, as the series - titled Paradise Lost - is expected to be a part of Gunn and Safran's vision.

But why have a Wonder Woman prequel series devoted to the Amazons, and not a Wonder Woman in your shared universe? Well, there might be a reason for that.

Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 3 didn't align with Gunn and Safran's vision for the DC Universe

Shortly after it was revealed that Wonder Woman 3 wouldn't be moving ahead, further details about the film's cancellation surfaced. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director's vision for the third Wonder Woman movie didn't "fit in" with James Gunn and Peter Safran's vision for the DC Universe. When the two couldn't find a middle ground, the project was officially cancelled.

It does sound like the pair were open to having Jenkins direct a third film featuring the character but that the creative differences simply didn't allow for that. This is further backed up by the duo's own admission that they offered Gal Gadot the opportunity to continue starring as the character in their new shared universe. Gadot herself supported these claims when she told Entertainment Tonight that "things were being worked behind the scenes" when asked about a potential return to the role.

Subsequent reports, however, have suggested that the actress won't be back in the role, with Variety going as far as to say that none of the actors who appeared in Zack Snyder's earlier DCEU movies will reprise their roles in the DCU. That much was certain for the other Justice League members, but fans were holding out hope that Gadot would be back as Wonder Woman. Though none of the actors have confirmed this yet, it would be disheartening if there were no further updates about the Amazonian Warrior's future.

Wonder Woman 3
GAL GADOT as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “WONDER WOMAN 1984,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Clay Enos/ ™ & © DC Comics. © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

The truth is that Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman could easily resurface in the DC Universe. If The Brave and the Bold is telling a story about an established Batman, there is no reason that we couldn't do an established Wonder Woman movie, too, especially if this is the same universe that is happily welcoming the DCEU's Peacemaker into the new universe of characters.

Taking all of that into account, there is an opening for Wonder Woman in the DC Universe. It doesn't seem right that the heavily-anticipated live-action adaptation of the world of DC Comics doesn't have one member of the core trinity - especially when that member was the only one that the previous DCEU got right. So, perhaps, Gunn, Safran, and Gadot will work something out in the near-future, because Wonder Woman's absence is very suspicious right now.

Nevertheless, the original version of Wonder Woman 3 didn't align with the direction of the new DC franchise and thus it won't make it to the big screen. Hopefully that doesn't mean we won't see Wonder Woman herself back on the big screen sometime soon.

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