A lot of convoluted madness transpires in the recent Wonder Woman 1984, from a literal wish-granting rock to Diana’s dead boyfriend getting Quantum Leap-ed into the body of some random stranger who she promptly sleeps with and endangers. But one of the film’s low-key weirder scenes finds Pedro Pascal’s Max Lord meeting with The President of the United States who, as we all know, in 1984 was, um … this guy?
Yeah, whoever this President is, he looks and sounds nothing like Ronald Reagan. Of course, this could just be a fictional U.S. leader totally separate from our reality -- or there could be something else going on here ...
While the character is simply listed as “POTUS” in the credits, he’s portrayed by character actor Stuart Milligan who previously played another American President in a 2011 episode of Doctor Who: Richard Nixon.
So perhaps the movie is slyly suggesting that this President is more of a Nixon type? This isn’t the only subtle shout-out to the presidency of Tricky Dick; earlier in the movie, we see that Diana’s apartment is in the goddamn Watergate.
If this is secretly Nixon who’s in power, this would also suggest that Wonder Woman 1984, and by extension the rest of the DCEU, might take place inside the dystopian world of Watchmen in which, famously, Nixon is still in power well into the ‘80s. And other DCEU movies are full of Watchmen Easter Eggs, including a scene in Batman v Superman in which a football fan holds up a giant photo of Nixon, all leading fans to theorize that these stories might all be part of the same continuity.
But while Wonder Woman 1984 may not spell out the identity of the President, the set decoration certainly hints at it; the Oval Office boasts a jar of jellybeans, Reagan’s favorite snack, other than the blood of poor people, presumably.
The movie also namechecks Reagan’s Star Wars defense program. And that ultimately makes sense, considering the movie is clearly attempting to critique Reaganism and ‘80s excess -- as was the original Watchmen comic, with Alan Moore using the Nixon persona to obfuscate that he was really attacking the “power politics” of the current President. Hopefully, this means that we will never see Aquaman calling Rorschach “my man” on the big screen.
Top Image: Warner Bros.