It's a trope seen in far too many comic book movies: the male hero takes names and saves lives, all while his female love interest stands patiently off to the side, supporting him while doing, well, little else. Yet in Wonder Woman, out Jun. 2, that cliche is turned on its head, with Wonder Woman's love interest, Steve Traynor (Chris Pine), playing the kind, patient, boyfriend of the movie's crime-fighting heroine. And, as, the film's producers Curt Kanmoto and Rebecca Steel Roven reveal, this was a purposeful reverse of film's usual gender norms.
"His character is really there to support and elevate her on the journey," says Roven, speaking on Wonder Woman's London set. Adds Kanmoto, "Chris Pine — he’s the love interest. There’s no other way to really shape it. He’s her connection to humanity."
It's not that Steve has no strengths of his own; the producers describe him as being an intelligent, capable character who teaches Wonder Woman the ways of the world. Still, while Gal Gadot herself reveals that Steve helps an "idealist" Diana learn all about "reality and mankind," it's Wonder Woman's story through and through, not that of her male companion. Says Kanmoto, "She is truly the leader."
That gender reversal is echoed throughout the overall movie, especially when it comes to Diana's costume, the producers reveal. "[Gender inequality] is one of those things that doesn’t make sense to her, because she’s a warrior. And then when she’s trying to find her disguise, it’s more about, 'This corset, is this [what you call] armor?'" Kanmoto says. "We get to see how much further the conversation of equality needs to go."
Adds Gadot, "She doesn’t see that difference between any gender ... It’s not even an issue, you know? She comes from this world where men and women are equal, and it’s not a thing to be a man or to be a woman. She feels that she can do everything and she will go for it."
That sounds like the kind of action hero 2017 could use ASAP.