It remains a big mystery how Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor appears in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 given that his character hasn’t aged in the 70+ years between the two films, not to mention the part where he totally died in the last Wonder Woman. (Uh, spoilers.)

Obviously, everyone involved in 1984, from director Patty Jenkins to Pine and co-star Gal Gadot, are not going to spoil how and why Steve is magically alive yet. But during a recent set visit, Jenkins did reveal that Steve’s resurrection was not a last-minute addition to 1984 after audiences responded so strongly to the chemistry between Gadot and Pine in the first movie. Jenkins told IGN that Steve’s role in 1984 was always part of her master plan:

The shape of this came to me, I'd say, midway through shooting the first movie. It was not born from, ‘Oh s— that was so great, we have to get Steve back.’ All of the story is one story that fits hand in hand.

Above all, she explained, this was a “pre-determined story that called for their reunion.”

That story involves a “role reversal” in 1984, where Diana, who now works at the Smithsonian, is the one accustomed to the modern world and Steve, miraculously alive in “the future,” is baffled by what he finds. As for why Jenkins set the film in that particular year, Jenkins explained that the ’80s showcased “mankind at their worst, most excessive and their greatest, most grand and opulent,” all of which reflects back on Wonder Woman 1984’s key themes: “excess and want.”

Wonder Woman 1984 opens in theaters (theoretically) on October 2, 2020. We’re sure to hear a lot more about the movie this weekend during the DC FanDome online event.

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