Looks like Chris Pine has found another wrinkle in time. Earlier on Tuesday, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins revealed via Twitter that the actor would be back alongside Gal Gadot‘s Diana Prince for the 1984-set sequel to last year’s World War I-era blockbuster. This despite the fact that Pine’s character, flyboy Steve Trevor, apparently perished at the end of Wonder Woman, sacrificing his own life in the midst of the climactic battle and thereby allowing the Amazonian warrior to see the goodness in mankind. And unlike another presumed-dead war veteran named Steve — as in Steve Rogers aka Captain America — Trevor didn’t crash-land in the Arctic, where his body would have the benefit of natural refrigeration. Instead, his plane exploded in the skies above Europe, a demise that would be hard to walk (or fly) away from.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) June 13, 2018
And yet, here Steve is in 1984, still sporting a flight suit and appearing more than a little confused. (To be fair, the ’80s were a weird decade, even for those of us who weren’t refugees from another time period.) Jenkins has understandably avoided commenting on the hows and whys of Trevor’s return, so fans have naturally rushed in to fill the void. One popular theory floating around is that the Wonder Woman sequel — currently being referred to as Wonder Woman 1984 — is borrowing from the second season of Lynda Carter’s iconic TV series, which took a time jump from the 1940s to the 1970s, and had Trevor return in the form of his son, Steve Trevor Jr., still played by the original Steve, Lyle Waggoner.
Second season of the television show.
— Jamal Igle™ (@JAMALIGLE) June 13, 2018
All of you guys, rent from Netflix DVD, the 2nd Season of the Wonder Woman TV show. It will explain everything!
— CanonChick (@chick_canon) June 13, 2018
As others have pointed out, though, assuming he was born right after his father’s death in 1917, Steve Jr. would have to be in his 60s — a little too old to be tangling with Wonder Woman’s new foe, the Cheetah (played by Kristen Wiig). It’s more likely that Jenkins and her creative team — including co-writers David Callaham and recently departed DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns — are raiding the character’s comic book history for resurrection ideas. For example, after his first death at the hands of evil scientist Doctor Cyber in the late ’60s, Trevor returned to the land of the living in 1976 courtesy of love goddess Aphrodite and was rechristened Steve Howard.
He met his end again in 1978, but remained in the picture after being replaced by a counterpart from one of the infinite Earths in DC’s pre-1985 multiverse. In a 1982 comic, this Trevor was used by regular Wonder Woman nemesis Doctor Psycho to create a new villain who went by the not-so-wonderful name of Captain Wonder. Two years later, all of Steve’s various lives and deaths were fused into one man, who married his longtime partner in crime-fighting in the last issue of the original Wonder Woman comic.
It’s likely that wedding bells aren’t going to be heard in Wonder Woman 1984, given that Diana has put Steve behind her in the years since his death and is solely focused on her career as a global superhero. (Not for nothing, but it’s also worth remembering that Diana didn’t respond to her Aquaman’s Lasso of Truth-enabled flirting in Justice League with a firm, “I’m married.”) She’s also trying to get a handle on life in the ’80s. Not long after Jenkins shared her photo of Pine, Gadot posted a shot of Diana gazing intently at a bank of TV screens.
As eagle-eyed viewers have noticed, those screens are displaying a menagerie of era-appropriate pop culture imagery, including Dallas‘s own J.R. Ewing, Christie Brinkley from National Lampoon’s Vacation, and a neon-lit soda commercial.
Jr Ewing ! Yes that’s so 80’s pic.twitter.com/68uvboAOg9
— Comics Party ⚡ (@ComicsParty) June 13, 2018
As long as they show Wonder Woman’s “Dallas” fandom throughout the movie. I’m in
— Brooks Langford (@BrooksLangford) June 13, 2018
Here’s hoping Diana doesn’t spoil the big “Who Shot J.R.” twist for Steve before he has a chance to catch up on repeats.
Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in theaters Nov. 1, 2019.
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