“Wonder Woman 2” director Patty Jenkins has shared a first look at Chris Pine on the set of the movie. This raises some very big questions about how this movie is going to function.
Spoiler alert for the end of the first “Wonder Woman”, by the way.
At the end of “Wonder Woman”, Chris Pine’s character, Steve Trevor, does the heroic thing and sacrifices himself to save the world.
It’s a touching moment, and it gives the movie the kind of dramatic depth that most recent comic book movies struggle to achieve.
It’s exceptionally rare, in the modern era, for a movie studio to approve the death of a character that can be turned into action figures.
All of that feels almost instantly undone with this single picture of Chris Pine, back as Steve Trevor, for the sequel.
The Sequels That Won’t Move On
This is a common trend in sequels. Many of these movies refuse to let go of the original cast and dynamic that made the first film work.
The classic example is “Men in Black 2”. The sequel throws away the incredibly appealing set-up delivered at the end of the first movie in favor of bringing back Tommy Lee Jones.
Sure, Agent K has a complete story arc that resolves beautifully at the end of the first movie. But people liked his character, so let’s just give them more of the same!
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” has exactly the same problem. Sometimes it’s better to give up a popular character in favor of giving a sequel room to breathe.
That said, I suspect “Wonder Woman 2” won’t go down this route.
I get the feeling that Patty Jenkins realizes just how stupid it would be to throw Steve Trevor back into the mix for this sequel in any meaningful way.
“Wonder Woman 2” is set in the 1980s, meaning that a 1910s-era Steve Trevor must be some kind of hallucination or dream.
Or a clone.
I really hope he’s not a clone.
The Problem With Ghosts
Honestly, I don’t think any of these elements are ideal. I think the film could work beautifully without Trevor. His absence could be used for poignant storytelling. Shoving him in is tantamount to a big sign that says “THIS IS WHAT DIANA IS THINKING”.
For examples of doing this wrong, take a good, hard look at “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”.
“PETER IS CONFLICTED”, the movie screams. “ALSO, THIS IS PROBABLY FORESHADOWING”.
It’s dumb, and I’d really like to see “Wonder Woman 2” do better.
So, either way, I suspect Pine is most,y back to aid with marketing.
Perhaps someone at Warner Bros thinks that Chris Pine was, in fact, the magic ingredient that made “Wonder Woman” a success.
I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone thinks this, but then, I don’t have a very high opinion of studio executives.