When it was announced that Chris Pine would be returning for Wonder Woman 1984, there was a mix of confusion and excitement from fans. The actor had been One of the first movie’s undoubted highlights, but not only was Steve Trevor killed off in the third act as he made a heroic sacrifice play, but even if they’d retconned it to have him survive then he’d be 66 years older, and Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk is far too handsome to be slathered in old age makeup.
However, after the blockbuster sequel was released on HBO Max and into theaters on Christmas Day, a lot of people wished the creative team had come up with something much better and a whole lot less creepy. Having wished for Steve to return via the Dreamstone, Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince gets a shock when the love of her life turns up but has inhabited another man’s body.
Once the initial surprise of seeing a dead World War I pilot assume the physical form of a random dude wears off, Diana does what anyone would do in the same circumstances by immediately brushing off the fact that Steve’s hijacked someone else’s life, presumably sent their consciousness off to purgatory and commandeered their flesh by having sex with him.
The plot point has generated more than a little backlash, but despite the questionable setup, it does yield one of Wonder Woman 1984‘s most emotionally powerful moments when Steve convinces Diana that finally letting him go is the right thing to do, and in a recent interview, Pine admitted that it was a difficult scene to shoot.
“We shot that off of Pennsylvania Avenue. We shot that that day when we did part of that huge, week-long sequence running down Pennsylvania Avenue, and her running down and then her lassoing up. We did it in stages, and we went behind this pillar and did the scene. It’s a really hard scene to do, especially when there’s a lot of other action and stuff to do in the rest of the day, and certainly really emotional for her. And Patty’s just very good about making sure we have the space to really figure out the scene and make it authentic, and then really pushing us as actors to get there, and not accepting anything less than absolute truth. It really was a credit to Gal for being so emotionally open and Patty for being such a stickler.”
Two great performances from the stars in the moment along with the sense of loss and pain marked against Diana’s desire to do the right thing give the scene plenty of impact, it’s just a shame we had to get their by such bizarre means in the first place.