In the grand scheme of things, the opening scene of Wonder Woman 1984 serves very little purpose in the overall narrative other than bringing back Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright as Hippolyta and Antiope for brief cameos and foreshadowing the reveal of the Golden Eagle armor later on in the movie, and it feels like it was designed to kick things off with a bang to plunge audiences right back into the world of Themyscira.
The prologue also features another returning cast member, though, with actress Lilly Aspell reprising her role as the young Diana from the first installment, and the 13 year-old acquits herself exceptionally well in the action stakes. After all, as the daughter of a jockey and an equestrian show jumper, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Aspell proved to be a dab hand at careening through the wilds of the Amazon’s homeland on horseback.
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Essentially a Themysciran triathlon, the extended set piece sees the younger Diana up against much older competitors as they run an obstacle course and dive from a cliff face into the water below before swimming to shore to mount their steeds and embark on a race back to the finish line. And in a recent social media exchange, Gal Gadot revealed that her teenage counterpart performed all of the stunts herself.
Between the two movies a lot! I absolutely love @LillyAspell she’s a true wonder girl. So sweet, kind and talented and she did ALL her stunts by herself… My oldest daughter Alma became good friends with her . She’s the best! #WW84WatchParty https://t.co/zdfTGj51fs
— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) December 26, 2020
Diana may have taken a shortcut and been denied victory in the race, but Aspell clearly avoided taking the easy route when she could have easily had a more seasoned performer tackle the dangerous stunts, especially when a $200 million comic book blockbuster like Wonder Woman 1984 was capable of using green screen and CGI to get the job done without anyone even noticing.