Chris Pine sat in his chair on the set of Wonder Woman 1984, his brow furrowed as he pondered the question from one of the journalists visiting the set of the superhero film. The answer he gave was just as serious and erudite as he appears to be — much more philosophical than we’re used to getting on the set of a comic book movie. But as Pine rattles off words like “archaic” and “cataclysmic,” all eyes except his suddenly turn to Gal Gadot behind him, comically poised to creep up and grab his shoulder, surprising Pine. Pine’s face lights up, and the serious atmosphere that had taken hold of the entire group beforehand eases, as Gadot settles into a seat next to Pine and the two of them give the group a peek of the sparkling banter that made the first Wonder Woman such a hit.
The relationship between Diana, the optimistic Amazonian princess of Themyscira, and Steve Trevor, the world-weary World War I spy, was one of the most delightful aspects of Wonder Woman, so it’s no wonder that director Patty Jenkins would want to go back to that well for Wonder Woman 1984. But there’s more to Diana and Steve’s dynamic in Wonder Woman 1984 than the romantic-comedy flirtation that we saw in the first film, or seeing the impossibly attractive Gal Gadot and Chris Pine light up the screen together again, this time in glitzy ’80s clothes. Wonder Woman 1984 takes the relationship into new territory, this time flipping the fish-out-of-water dynamic to make Steve the one who is a man out of his depth.
“That was definitely one of the highlights comedically in the first one, you know, straight man, funny man,” Pine said. “And in this, it’s flipped.” Pine enjoyed being the less knowledgeable one this time around, showing a new side to Steve Trevor:
“I think you see in Steve this time, which is a bit fun, is that, less that the jaded realist that’s seen the worst sides of humanity, there’s a playfulness and a boyishness to him. There’s an earnestness to this wide-eyed, glorious taking in of this role that he could never imagine, which for a man, is interesting to play, I think, because heroes are meant to be furrow-browed and that whole thing, and that’s not Steve’s deal in this at all.”
The new dynamic also shifts their power dynamic, which was somewhat criticized the first time around for partially perpetuating the “born sexy yesterday” trope — the naive, ultra-powerful woman who falls immediately for the first man she sees (though I would argue that Wonder Woman subverts this trope). But Wonder Woman 1984 put the power firmly in Diana’s hands. It allowed the two of them to expand the relationship beyond their meet-cute flirtation of the first movie, Gadot said:
“[We’re approaching] it from an adult place, rather than, you know, being a young woman who falls in love. She’s much, much more mature. You could say she’s very old. It’s a different relationship. I think it’s even more intimate this time.”
Intimate enough that Steve will let Diana dress him, perhaps? Yes, we asked about the fan-favorite fanny pack that Steve is seen wearing in the film, and Pine was as excited about his accessory as everyone else. And he could have looked even wilder, he teased.
“Oh man, I gotta tell you. My costume fitting for this was so much fucking fun,” Pine said. “There was a leather American flag fanny pack that I wore, that did not get in. There was a denim fanny pack. Unfortunately none of them got used. Herrera sunglasses, I mean.”
“The solar hat with the fan,” Gadot added.
“Oh yeah,” Pine laughed.
No matter what fresh tragedy Wonder Woman 1984 may or may not have in store for our former star-crossed lovers, it won’t be as sad as depriving us of Pine in an American flag fanny pack.
Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters on October 2, 2020.
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August 19, 2020