This past weekend at Comic-Con, Warner Bros. released the first trailer for Wonder Woman, and, refreshingly, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. This was far from a guaranteed reaction. Wonder Woman directly ties into the widely-derided Batman v Superman, and the internet has been less than kind to other female-led blockbusters (to put it very lightly). But hey, what wasn’t to like? Gal Gadot cuts a badass figure as Wonder Woman, the action is vibrant and exciting, and the trailer featured something that’s become something of a rarity in Hollywood big action tentpoles – a touch of romance.
Actually, more than a touch. The trailer begins with Diana/Wonder Woman meeting love interest Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) for the first time, and ends with them sharing some affectionate banter. Sure, there’s also plenty of explosive action to be had, but the scenes between Diana and Steve as they dance, discuss their past, and negotiate the boundaries of their relationship give the trailer its spine. The message is loud and clear – there’s going to be some serious mushy stuff in his movie. And you know what? That’s a great thing.
So many recent blockbusters have been strangely chaste affairs, with sex only being broached via winking jokes or juvenile flirting. Jurassic World tries to set Chris Pratt up as the rogue-ish charmer, but leaves him and Bryce Dallas Howard hanging at the end. The new Ghostbusters strips away the rom-com elements at the heart of the original movies in favor of Kristen Wiig playing the lovestruck middle-schooler. The Avengers and Captain America movies largely send the love interests to a desert island, and force Scarlett Johansson into the role of scolding den mother. And don’t even get me started on Star Wars: The Force Awakens – the makers of that movie have done backflips to dispel the notion that anybody in the movie might be romantically interested in each other. Finn and Rey? Finn and Poe? Uh, BB-8 and R2-D2? Sorry, folks. If there’s any love coming to a galaxy far, far away, Disney doesn’t want to talk about it.