Wonder Woman Trailer: More Like Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman

By  · Published on November 3rd, 2016

Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman

The new Wonder Woman trailer is unnecessarily heavy on Steve power.

When Wonder Woman hits theaters next year, we can be sure it will do justice not only to the iconic DC superhero but all women everywhere. This is the first major female-led comic book movie in a long time, and it’s certainly the biggest one ever and the first of its kind to be directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins), yet the new trailer is clearly marketing the thing with men in mind. Specifically men who can’t accept that a blockbuster is dominantly focused on a kickass woman superhero.

Watching this first official full trailer, you might think it should be titled “Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman,” because Chris Pine, as American pilot Steve Trevor, appears to get as much screen time as Gal Gadot, who plays Diana, princess of the Amazons, aka Wonder Woman. And it’s not just any kind of screen time. He’s shown to be a hero in his own right, because god forbid the movie should sell him again as totally reliant on her.

Yes, we get to see Wonder Woman in some much cooler action moments, especially towards the end, and there are a few nice bits addressing both feminism of the times and the much more prominent patriarchal attitudes of the early 20th century – the line where Trevor refers to Diana as a very good secretary acknowledges the sad status of women and somewhat subverts it even though we don’t get the full context of what she’s done in the scene.

Watch any other superhero movie trailer and you’ll find the love interest character barely there, if at all. Of course, most of those are female leads whose characters are barely significant in their movies anyway. Pine as Trevor is likely a much bigger role than just the male equivalent of a Pepper Potts or Lois Lane or even Peggy Carter. Maybe DC Entertainment actually elevated the part so the movie itself will appeal more to guys and the trailer is completely representative of what to expect. Or it’s desperate marketing.

Either way, if it gets the guys who would otherwise be uncomfortable with a female-led movie into the theater and they find themselves enjoying a female-led movie, then it’s a win for everyone. The Trevor-heaviness aside, this trailer looks damn good. This movie looks damn good. It’s bright and beautiful and epic in its involvement of the War to End All Wars, a complex conflict that was unlike anything anyone had ever experienced before, especially regarding chemical weapons and new technologies like airplanes.

It’s fine we don’t get much of Danny Huston’s villainous German military character. World War I itself is the villain of this movie, as far as this trailer implies. There’s also a glimpse at how another villain, played by Elena Anaya, becomes scarred by some kind of gas. She’s probably bad on her own, but it’s that new weapon of the Great War that makes her even badder, maybe. Also, of course, a female superhero must fight a female villain.

Overall, the trailer is a blast and has everyone really excited. DC and Warner Bros. need us to be excited and think this movie is going to be different, as in better than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad (not to mention Man of Steel, which I personally think is pretty good, though that too has its haters). They all also had great trailers yet disappointed in full. Can we believe this will be a more broadly satisfying blockbuster this time?

It could be true even with Trevor allowed to be a strong male heroic figure, along with a terrific supporting cast of military men played by Said Taghmaoui and Ewen Bremner. And balanced by more Amazon warriors played by Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Mayling Ng, Florence Kasumba, Madeleine Vall, Doutzen Kroes, and Ann Wolfe. The best female part, after Wonder Woman, however, appears to be Lucy Davis’s actual secretary, seen at the very end. Who can resist anyone who says “fisticuffs”?

Wonder Woman hits theaters on June 2, 2017. Will you be there with her?

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.