Patty Jenkins has detailed the conflicts she experienced with Warner Bros. over the ending of Wonder Woman – which they told her to change – and the opening scene of Wonder Woman 1984 she was able to keep. But there was actually an entire saga of difficulties with WB in making the first film she described as an “internal war.”
Jenkins recalled to Marc Maron on his WTF Podcast the studio cared more about their vision for the picture and likened herself to “a beard” covering the studio. “They wanted to hire me like a beard; they wanted me to walk around on set as a woman, but it was their story and their vision,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins revealed she had her own script they wouldn’t read. “And my ideas? They didn’t even want to read my script,” she said. “There was such mistrust of a different way of doing things and a different point of view.”
She added when she “first joined Wonder Woman it was like, ‘Uhh, yeah, OK, but let’s do it this other way,’” when it came to studio resistance.
There were things Jenkins wanted to change or didn’t feel was right, she further recounted. From her perspective, “‘Women don’t want to see…” Diana “being harsh and tough and cutting people’s heads off.”
She declared to Maron, “‘I’m a Wonder Woman fan, that’s not what we’re looking for,’” adding, “still, I could feel that shaky nervousness [on their part] of my point of view” because she could tell “They were nervous that it wasn’t viable.”
Jenkins continued, “They were all freaked out by all the female superhero films that had failed, the smaller ones that had failed, and also Christopher Nolan was making the Dark Knight thing, so I think they were just trying to figure out what they were doing with DC at that time.”
“That time” was the mid-2000s when several projects, such as Superman: Flyby and the original Batman vs. Superman movie, failed to get off the ground. The same is true for Wonder Woman as courting Jenkins to direct began in 2004.
An offer was made in 2007 but Jenkins had to pass due to a pregnancy. It wasn’t until 2011 she was ready to develop the Amazonian goddess’s big-screen debut and creative differences got in the way then too.
After running into similar problems with Marvel on Thor: The Dark World, she and WB finally reconciled, poised to ultimately follow through on a Wonder Woman film. It still wasn’t easy. 30 screenplays were drafted, only to be rejected.
“During that period of time, there were so many scripts, I could see the writing on the wall,” Jenkins recalls. “This was an internal war on every level about what Wonder Woman should be.”
Interestingly, Jenkins took to Twitter to downplay her remarks of a war and reports about them. She now claims “versions of this article” and what it reports aren’t true, and she writes off the “war” descriptor as, presumably, hyperbole summing up “10 years of discussions with 10 different execs.”
Her “beard” comment is equally written off as pertaining to “other projects at other studios.”
In any case, Patty Jenkins got to make the movie she wanted in the end with Wonder Woman 1984 and it has left fans and critics fairly divided, to say the least, with some comparing it to Batman & Robin.