Wonder Woman 1984 initially received rave reviews when it released internationally, with critics praising its sweet, big-hearted nature. However, once it went up on HBO Max, a sizeable backlash against the DC sequel arose online from those who believed its romantic subplot between Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince and Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor was deeply problematic.
You see, the movie has Diana use the mystical Dreamstone to wish for her dead beau Steve to return to her – and he does, kind of. His spirit is returned to Earth but he inhabits the body of a random dude (though due to the magic of the wish, Diana still sees him as Steve). One scene features the couple waking up in bed together, heavily suggesting they had sex, and many have criticized this as a non-consensual act due to Trevor hijacking someone else’s body.
Director Patty Jenkins didn’t initially address the controversy, but she did eventually speak up on the topic following a defense of the storyline put forward by a fan. Twitter user @DustyDontshoot outlined his thoughts on why he believed the plot could be forgiven and seemed to touch on what Jenkins was going for, as she retweeted the post, commenting: “Hahaha. Exactly @DustyDontShoot!!”
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) December 30, 2020
The fan argues that Jenkins was deliberately “playing with” body swap movie tropes and “intentionally pointing out the problematic nature that all those movies have to skirt around.” He says that this is clear from the fact that the wishes the Dreamstone grants are portrayed as bad throughout the film. He also suggests that, due to the Dreamstone’s world-altering powers, Diana and Steve’s time together may have “actually been eradicated from the movie’s fabric of reality” come the end of the flick anyway.
Jenkins has left it at that with her initial tweet, but obviously the post inspired much discussion in the replies, which caused the original theorist to elaborate on his points in response. For instance, to those who think this action was out of character for Diana, the fan argues that this is the Dreamstone’s fault – just as it corrupted Cheetah and Maxwell Lord, the stone caused Gal Gadot’s heroine to temporarily “lose touch with truth and decency” in Wonder Woman 1984.