The first Wonder Woman movie was a triumph for the fledgling DC Extended Universe, and one of the most successful films of 2017. However, as comic book fans know, the project languished in development hell for many years, as director Patty Jenkins attests in a new interview on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.
As the AV Club writes, after the success of her 2003 debut film Monster, Jenkins says that “everybody in the industry wanted to hire me.” Though she turned down Wonder Woman in 2007 due to pregnancy, Jenkins came aboard the project in 2011, only to eventually depart due to creative differences.
According to Jenkins, the dispute between her and the studio was rooted in the approach to the Wonder Woman character. The studio wanted what Jenkins describes as a grittier take on the superhero. “But I was like, ‘Women don’t want to see that. Her being harsh and tough and cutting people’s heads off,” Jenkins said. “…I’m a Wonder Woman fan, that’s not what we’re looking for.’ Still, I could feel that shaky nervousness [on their part] of my point of view.”
However, when the studio decided not to proceed with MacLaren as director, Jenkins and the studio reconciled, and that eventually led to a well-received film. Even after she came back to the project, Jenkins notes that the project had gone through “something like 30 scripts” by the end of production. Jenkins describes the experience as “an internal war on every level about what Wonder Woman should be.”
Jenkins later returned to direct Wonder Woman 1984, which is currently in theatres and streaming on HBO Max. Though Jenkins expressed uncertainty about returning for a third film, Warner Bros. announced that she will be directing the inevitable sequel late last year. According to Warner Bros., Wonder Woman 3 is being fast-tracked due to the impressive box office returns of 1984 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.