A crowd of extras heads for a food tent near McPherson Square in downtown Washington. (Michael E. Ruane/The Post)

The old black taxi cruised past the orange Volkswagen Beetle, made a U-turn on I Street and pulled up behind a vintage Mercedes-Benz.

A crowd of extras, including a bodybuilder wearing blue satin pants, a dude in pink short-shorts and a woman on roller skates with green hair, crossed the street, headed for the food tent.

A man going in the other direction cradled a white Chihuahua in his arms, but they weren’t part of the movie.

“Where are we?” asked a passerby on a rented bicycle.

Washington’s McPherson Square on a lovely Saturday, where past and present met as filmmakers re-created the gaudy 1980s while the weird reality of 2018 hovered just out of frame.

As an old powder-blue-and-white D.C. police “prop car” sat nearby, real police sirens echoed in the distance, a homeless woman sat on the sidewalk, and people on Segways waited at an intersection.


A car used in the filming Wonder Woman, was parked near McPherson Square in downtown Washington on Saturday. (Oliver Contreras for The Washington Post)

Word was that the crew was filming part of the Wonder Woman movie sequel, “Wonder Woman 84.” Sightings of actors Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and Gal Gadot have been reported around the D.C. area for the past few weeks.

On Saturday, a scene was being shot with the old cars on I Street. However, access was blocked by security people, and it was not clear what was going on.

A man driving a 1979 red Pontiac Trans Am prop car said, “You’ll want to watch this.”

But after an hour, not much had happened.

Bystanders congregated on street corners, only to be shooed away by security people who warned that the curious could ruin the shots.


Bystanders congregated on street corners near McPherson Square in Washington July 7, 2018. (Michael E. Ruane/The Washington Post)

“We can see you,” a security person told onlookers.

Jacky Casumbal, 36, a district psychotherapist, paused while out getting lunch and asked, “Have there been any sightings?”

“Gal Gadot is the main [actress],” she said. “She’s gorgeous, strikingly beautiful. . . . She was in the most recent Batman with Ben Affleck. . . . Wonder Woman, the first one, is excellent. It’s really, really good. It’s very female-empowering.”

She said at first she was annoyed at the private-security people blocking the streets. Then she remembered that filming was underway in the city and that there had been “sightings.”

“Once I paid attention and looked up to what was happening, I was like, ‘Oh my God. They’re filming the movie.’ So I was like, ‘Let me relax and . . . be nosy.’ ’’

“I don’t know how this works,” she said as she stood on the corner of 15th and I Streets. “You just wait until something happens, and maybe you see someone famous. . . . Then you post it on Facebook.”

Later, Cristina Mercurio, 49, paused on a bike with some friends in the intersection, where the street was closed to traffic.

“What movie is it?” she asked Robert Pence, who was snapping pictures.

“Wonder Woman II,” replied Pence, who said he was a distant cousin of the vice president.

“Oooh, it’s Wonder Woman,” Mercurio called to her friends.

“Have we seen her?” Mercurio asked. “Have we seen Gal Gadot?”

The question went unanswered. A security man approached: “It’s fine to stay where you are for now,” he said. “But when we do start the filming, we’re going to have to ask you to go to the sidewalks.”

Nearby, Jason Walston, 37, from Front Royal, Va., sat in the square under a tree, playing his guitar. He said he was the owner of one of the prop cars, an ’87 Cadillac Brougham.

He said he saw an ad on Facebook seeking old cars for a movie: “If you’ve got an ’80s model or ’70s model car, show up,” he said. So he did.

His car — gunmetal color with a black top — was in use as a parked car. “They’ve been moving it around,” he said.

The movie people are paying him $325 a day for use of the car.

Plus, it might make the movie.

If so, he said, he’ll get to go see the film and brag: “That’s my car!”