We now have a little clarity on how Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is back in the highly anticipated sequel Wonder Woman 1984. One of the biggest revelations when the follow-up was developing was that Pine would reprise his role as Steve Trevor. This was confusing not just because Trevor (spoiler alert) sacrificed his life in the first film, but also because Wonder Woman took place in 1918. Even if Trevor did somehow survive that plan crash, he’d be either super old or super dead in the Wonder Woman sequel, which takes place in the year 1984.
Director Patty Jenkins took the stage at CCXP in Brazil on Sunday to tease the new film and premiere the trailer, and while she remains tight-lipped about exactly how Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor returns, she revealed that the idea was born on the set of Wonder Woman 1 and has to do with the plot more than the desire to have Pine back come hell or high water:
“I can’t tell you [how he’s back], but here’s what I will say: We didn’t put Steve Trevor in this movie because we just wanted to put Steve Trevor in this movie. When we thought of the story for this film while we were making the first film, a eureka moment came and it couldn’t have been told without Chris Pine playing Steve Trevor. So I promise you it’s not a gimmick, it’s integral to the story, it was incredibly important that we had him and we just super enjoyed it. So it was great having Chris back but it’s also important to the story that I can’t wait for you to see.”
While the Wonder Woman 2 trailer doesn’t reveal how Steve Trevor returns, it heavily implies that his return is at the hands of the film’s villain, Pedro Pascal’s Max Lord. Jenkins described Lord onstage as “the king of infomercials” who was “selling a dream to the public” adding that “sometimes when you get what you want, greatness comes with a price.”
Indeed, Jenkins also teased how the film was influenced by 80s blockbusters, and the world of 1980s America—in all its celebration of excess—is essential to the themes of the film. If Max is a sleazy 80s businessman who somehow resurrects Steve Trevor only to reveal a deadly catch, that would certainly be in line with the themes Jenkins was hinting at.
So how does he do it? We don’t quite know, but Steve’s potential loss (again) or something to that effect could be the “price” that Diana pays to get him back. Which, again, would be in line with the themes of 80s excess and its affect on American society. Which is neat! It’s nice that Jenkins is tying all of this inherently into theme and story as opposed to simply bringing Steve back because he’s a great character, and I can’t wait to see what other surprises Wonder Woman 1984 has in store.
The sequel opens in theaters on June 5, 2020.