Warning — This article contains spoilers for Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman 1984 has officially released, now being available to watch on the big screen in theaters or on the small screen on HBO Max.
The film initially did incredibly well with early reviews, praising the lead performances, strong action, and a phenomenal score. Following its official release though, new reactions to the film have caused the film to lose its "Certified Fresh" status on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has also been somewhat divisive among fans, with many debating the plot decisions for Diana's latest story.
Nevertheless, Patty Jenkins is standing by the story of Wonder Woman 1984, especially after recently revealing that she was forced to change the ending of 2017's Wonder Woman by Warner Bros.
While the film is relatively disconnected from the rest of the DCEU, there are a still a few key Easter eggs and references to DC canon. One of the most notable of these references is the inclusion of a Batman character who is making his big screen debut...
In Wonder Woman 1984, Oliver Cotton plays the character Simon Stagg, head of Stagg Industries, who acts as a rival to Maxwell Lord. Stagg is an investor in Maxwell's Black Gold Cooperative who constantly disagrees with Maxwell's questionable decision-making and business practices. This culminates in Stagg losing it all, after Maxwell Lord tricks Stagg into getting arrested by the police.
In the comics, Simon Stagg is portrayed as more of a corrupt businessman, often using the facade of philanthropy through Stagg Industries to conduct evil-doing mishaps on the side. Stagg is most commonly associated with Batman, appearing in various comics, cartoons, and video games opposing the Dark Knight.
Stagg's shady business dealings are made less apparent in WW84, though it is implied that he was up to no good in his spare time, much like his comic counterpart.
Although Simon Stagg is by no means a household name, the character has appeared in several DC properties over the years.
Stagg Enterprises is briefly mentioned in a marketing campaign for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by Fortune. William Sadler portrays Simon Stagg on the CW's The Flash, replicating his comic book motivations by acting as a philanthropist to mask his underground operations. Simon Stagg also plays a larger role in the video game Batman: Arkham Knight, aiding Scarecrow to manufacture and distribute his fear toxin across Gotham City.
WHAT THIS MEANS
It is unlikely that Simon Stagg will have a prominent role going forward in the DCEU, given that he is often used sparingly or in relation to other corrupt business owners, like Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman 1984. With the film being a period piece, and Stagg also being taken into custody, there is little reason for the character to return. This is especially true with the time period of the Wonder Woman threequel likely being in the present day. But who knows, perhaps Stagg could conduct some shady dealings with Lex Luthor Sr., prior to his son's takeover in Batman v Superman.
Despite his limited role, it is nice to see an inclusion of a DC character outside of Wonder Woman's typical circle. WW84 sought out to remain separate from the rest of the DCEU, very much existing as a sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman above anything else. Therefore, it is great to see the film connect to the wider DC universe, even if the universe it is connecting to isn't necessarily the extended one.
Wonder Woman 1984 is out now in theaters and on HBO Max.