Alright, I’ve got a conspiracy theory for the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, and I can’t see anybody else suggesting it, so I wanted to get it on the record so I can be declared a genius if I’m right. If I’m wrong, then I demand everybody immediately forget I posted this.
We keep seeing this guy in the trailer who is ostensibly playing Maxwell Lord, but it seems to me that the snippets we see of him are much more in keeping with the obscure villain Neron.
Maxwell Lord was originally just a rich guy with somewhat suspect motivations who funded the Justice League, but in more recent comics he was revealed to be the most powerful psychic in the world capable of affecting the entire planet at once. He’s probably best known for killing Blue Beetle.
Neron is a demon in the classical archetype of the, “Let’s make a deal for your soul,” variety. He frequently offers people great power or other goodies in exchange for favors and/or souls. He has been the ruler of Hell at times, and he probably most famously starred in the Underworld Unleashed crossover event where he generally powered up baddies in exchange for their souls giving him massive power and nearly formed a villain coalition that took over the world.
In the film, we see Lord playing the standard evil rich guy stereotype which is boring and not particularly fitting with the character. We see nothing that indicates any psychic manipulation. However, Lord keeps on talking about being able to give people whatever they desire, and this is exactly the kind of offer Neron makes. We know Diana gets the impossible with Steve’s return. We know Cheetah makes a deal with someone to become an apex predator. Either we must believe Lord is somehow doing this or that there is some extra third villain hiding in the wings. Why not have the supernatural villain hiding in plain sight?
I think Neron has taken the persona of Maxwell Lord to make deals for people’s souls. I think he might be marketing some gizmo that supposedly makes dreams come true, but it will he revealed to have some spiritual dimension. This would fit in the same vain as WW’s usual villains from the world of various pantheons, and it would be similar to the twist they did with Ares.
DC has done this sort of thing previously. In season five of Arrow, they gave villain Prometheus the alter ego name of the hero Vigilante to keep fans from guessing the identify of the villain, and of course Marvel did the infamous switcharoo with Mandarin in Iron Man 3.
It’s a movie set in a comic book universe, so there are a million other ways things could go down, but every time I see these trailers, I think Neron.