As audiences have collectively voiced their opinions that Wonder Woman 1984 is an average experience at best and a cinematic disaster at worst, a new rumor claims that the film’s issues sparked from director Patty Jenkins’ active ignoring of Justice League and DCEU architect Zack Snyder.
In a new report, YouTube scooper and Rooster Teeth content partner Grace Randolph says the blame for WW84’s numerous issues rests on Jenkins’ shoulders, as the director allegedly chose to deliberately scrub the film of Snyder’s and his influence, including his team of stunt people and his visual effects artists.
Though Jenkins worked with these teams on the first Wonder Woman film, Randolph reports that creative differences led to their departure from the sequel.
“On the first Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins was working with Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder’s people extensively, and from what I’ve heard, they didn’t always see eye to eye,” explained Randolph. “But that friction, I think created a really great, really unique and very well-balanced film, you know that people really enjoyed.”
On Wonder Woman 1984, Jenkins had “complete creative control” as a writer, producer, and director – something she is proud of even with the dropping critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Now on Wonder Woman 1984, even though the Snyders are still producers, Warner Bros. gave Patty Jenkins complete creative control as she’s made very clear in her interviews before the Rotten Tomatoes score had dropped,” Randolph added.
She continued, “That’s another lesson to be learned here: don’t give interviews or do a victory lap before you have your final Rotten Tomatoes score, because as I am going to show you, she just made a problem for herself even worse by some of the comments she has made in the last few weeks.”
Randolph further noted that Jenkins “cleaned house” in order to supposedly better suit the production to her personal and creative visions, an act which cost her Wonder Woman co-screenwriter Allen Heinberg.
“I’ve said, you know this movie has been coming out for two years now, I’ve made videos talking about how I felt these changes were a mistake,” said Randolph of Heinberg’s exit. “So two of the biggest ones that were really big mistakes was that she got rid of Zack Snyder’s stunt team and his VFX people, and she also got rid of screenwriter Allan Heinberg. Oh, that was a huge mistake. Those two things were horrible.”
Heinberg, perhaps best known for creating the 2005 Young Avengers series for Marvel, is credited as the source of the ‘Princess’ angle of the first movie.
Given that Heinberg’s ideas, such as Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie Lang and Kate Bishop’s role as a second Hawkeye, are making it into the MCU, Randolph accuses Jenkins of passing him over in favor of Geoff Johns, who may have seen Jenkins as his last connection to DC’s cinematic offerings.
“Instead, Jenkins doubled down on Geoff Johns, who to be fair I think has zeroed in on Patty Jenkins as his only remaining connection to DC films as everyone else abandoned him,” Randolph said.
The scooper further charged that a working relationship then developed between Johns and Jenkins which Jenkins the lattter though could be beneficial for keeping WW84 comic-accurate. However, it’s apparent that this supposed relationship failed to accurately materialize, as the film doesn’t reflect any established origin for Cheetah or Maxwell Lord – or even Simon Stagg, for that matter.
“She should have picked up the comics herself and she would have seen that they were really not following the source material, but I think if she felt Geoff Johns felt it was a good idea, it was a good idea,” said Randolph.
“Very few people knew how bad Geoff Johns was at the time that they really were making Wonder Woman 1984,” stated Randolph. “And despite his extensive work at DC Comics, where, again to be fair, Geoff Johns was very successful as a comic book writer, that’s how he got moved up to the movies.”
Randolph previously broke the scoop Johns that was the one who hired Joss Whedon to finish Justice League after Snyder’s departured the project to tend to a sudden family emergency, noting at the time that Johns likely drove Ben Affleck away from Batman. He allegedly threatened Ray Fisher’s career too, if the number of recent claims made by the Cyborg actor are to be believed.
He may have also pushed his own comic stories over others as well for the money. “I’ve talked about this many times, but I just have to add it in, he’s a very selfish individual who only pushed his own comic book stories because you get more money if your stories sell and are based on the films,” Randolph explained.
She adds that Jenkins not consulting “some of the most popular Wonder Woman comic book writers of all time that are still around today,” such as Heinberg, “underlines how much Patty Jenkins knows about comic books.”
Jenkins also brought on her own people as co-producers and associate producers working under her. Some of them, including Gal Gadot, had no prior experience.
Matt McGloin of Cosmic Book News, who’s been covering the WW84 debacle as long as Randolph, similarly believes that Jenkins “surrounded herself with “yes-men” on the sequel, which led to such a bad movie compared to the first film.”
“Regarding surrounding herself with “yes-men” (or people), checking the writers and producers on Wonder Woman 1984 compared to the first movie seems to reveal that Jenkins brought in her own people,” wrote McGloin. “including ten new producers (herself included and Gal Gadot), which judging from their credited work looks to be rather questionable as a lot of them seem new or don’t have much producer credits, and the ones that do, the movies aren’t that good.”
These new producers include Andreas Wentz (Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Chantal Nong Vo (The Meg).
Unfortunate, if true, but things could get worse if the same people return for Wonder Woman 3 and Jenkins has full control again.
What do you make of Randolph’s latest scoop? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!