This rumour has been around for a while now, and gone through several variations. First, there were reports that Chris Pine was going to play Steve Trevor in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie opposite Gal Gadot. Then there were reports that it was all just a cover to obscure the fact that he was actually going to be in Green Lantern and Scott Eastwood was playing Steve Trevor. Now we’re back to the first rumour, and people seem to be buying it this time. If I’ve learned anything from following various Wonder Woman adaptations over the years, it’s to believe nothing until it’s official, and even then don’t get too invested in it, but folks seem rather confident about the casting this time around.
I like Chris Pine a lot, in general. I think he’s a great Captain Kirk, and I’ve enjoyed him in several films. However, I think he’s kind of a dull choice for Steve Trevor. It doesn’t help that Steve Trevor doesn’t have a lot going for him to begin with; I mean, anyone is going to pale in comparison to Wonder Woman, but Steve is particularly prone to that. I think there’s a big reason that he hasn’t been a significant part of Wonder Woman comics for 20 years or so, and that’s because no one can come up with anything interesting to do with him. The military thing made sense in World War Two but really hasn’t worked great since then, and while the male damsel in distress angle is sort of fun, there’s not a lot more to him than that in terms of personality. He’s kind of bland. Pine is good with a character with a strong personality, like Captain Kirk, and Steve Trevor doesn’t have that unless they invent one for him whole cloth for the film.
I was recently chatting about Steve Trevor with Caitlyn Rosberg (a writer for The AV Club) and she made some excellent points in favour of a POC Steve Trevor. I was advocating for a Stephanie Trevor, but she brought up that a POC Steve would have a different perspective on the military than a white Steve, and that both he and Wonder Woman would have different but critical perspectives on America’s white patriarchal ways. I really liked the idea then, and it’s been growing on me ever since.
Chris Pine is about as white as you can get, and continues the superhero film industry’s trend of giving big roles to white dudes named Chris. I was hoping they’d find some way to do a different take on the character, be it race, gender, or something else, because generic white military guy is such a dull character, and one we’ve already seen so many times. Of course, we know next to nothing about the Wonder Woman movie, much less what they’re doing with Steve Trevor, so they may well do something cool with him. But at first glance, this casting strikes me as predictable, bland, and rather uninspired. I’m hoping for some diverse and surprising choices as the rest of the cast fills out; something a little more Suicide Squad than Avengers would be nice.