Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) are reunited in 'Wonder Woman 1984'

Everyone’s Dunking on the Most Uncomfortable Part of ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ After Third Movie Shake-Up

The last few days have been a turbulent time for the third Wonder Woman movie. After directing Gal Gadot in the first two films, a series of rumors and leaks resulted in the news that Patty Jenkins is not moving forward with the third film. Between this news and the strange Instagram post from Gadot (which has already been edited), there may not even be a third movie.

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The speculation as to why Jenkins left the sequel was all over the place. Maybe it was the poor box office returns for WW84 (despite it being released during a freaking global pandemic), maybe it was the unfair standards placed on women directors (who aren’t allowed to fail), or—the newest concern—this is part of the larger trend of David Zaslav canceling things that aren’t white and male (unless it’s reality TV). While Peter Safran and James Gunn are the new heads of DC Entertainment, Zaslav reportedly has the final say. The Jenkins exit is more likely due to a combination of all of the above. Despite this, many are pointing to one of the most controversial parts of Wonder Woman 1984 to explain the shake-up.

Diana Misses Trevor 2: Electric Boogaloo

WW84 had several problematic themes and scenes. From every scene set in a yellow-tinted Egypt (cue woman off-screen singing the Hijaz scale) to the poor character development of Dr. Barbara Minerva/Cheetah, played by Kristen Wiig. However, one of the most universally condemned moments was the scene in which Wonder Woman sexually assaults a man and plays it off as a romance. It didn’t help that Jenkins doubled down on her decision when faced with criticism. A key element of this plot point existing to begin with is the fact that they insisted on bringing Steve Trevor back, despite his character dying in the first film.

I promise there are more exciting things about Wonder Woman than who she’s in love with, but the live-action movies with Gadot would tell you otherwise. This bizarre and very harmful storytelling decision led to people making up lies and joking that Jenkins’ departure was due to her insistence that they find a way to bring Steve Trevor back in WW84, no matter how outlandish this would make the story. These lies were easily debunkable and often followed up with a version of the “when I purposefully spread misinformation over the internet” meme.

However, these were still funny because legacy character stories often have soap opera/telenovela-style plots where people return from the dead. Sprinkle in the mess of WW84, and Jenkins didn’t stand a chance. Those who didn’t want to make up a full story could pretend or imagine that Jenkins’ departure had to do with a version of the script bringing Trevor back again.

In response to an open letter in which Jenkins dismissed many of the rumors, Gunn replied, “I can attest that all of Peter [Safran] and my interactions with you were only pleasant and professional.” So, the genuine accusations of Jenkins being a diva and walking away from Wonder Woman 3 in some sort of dramatic way are as sexist as they sound on paper. To be fair, they were already teetering on that, and it didn’t take a peer of a different gender to make that clear.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.