The best movie villains are never the moustache twirlers hellbent on world domination, rather the ones who are layered, whose motivations are clear and feel personal (even when they’re not) and who’s in a way connected to the central theme of the film. The likes of Joker from The Dark Knight, Killmonger in Black Panther and Thanos in Infinity War, come to mind.
And it looks like Patty Jenkins has something interesting in store for us when it comes to one of the Wonder Woman 1984 villains, Maxwell Lord. In an interview with Screen Rant, Jenkins was asked if she looked to Donald Trump for influence when fleshing out the character. To which she said:
“He’s one of them. I mean honestly, the funny thing is he is [an influence], but I’m not trying to make…We even have the president in this movie, and I’ve gone out of my way not to make it look like Ronald Reagan. I don’t want to get political, it’s not about being political. Actually, a huge influence of this movie was also Madoff.
Those young Madoff stories fascinate me, because I’m like, ‘How do you end up being Bernie Madoff?’ And when you really start tracking that story, it’s like, it all started out in a way that made sense, and he was paying it off, and then doing this, and then paying it off again. And then you just become an evil dude when you don’t even realize that it’s happening.
Jenkins elaborated that she didn’t just look at Trump but many mavericks of business who became successful through questionable means.
“So, yes, Trump’s definitely one of the people that we looked at, but it’s any of those kind of mavericks of business success that was big in the ‘80s. Who went on to be major players in our world in potentially questionable other ways. Yeah, I don’t have an agenda to have a political message to send to the world, but I think that the world all needs the same political message. Everybody needs to look at themselves right now, and our politics, our belief system of excess.”