With the long anticipated Wonder Woman by DC Entertainment exploding in popularity in theaters worldwide, movie fans are looking to the director who made it all possible. Patty Jenkins, Primetime Emmy Nominee and known for her feature ”Monster” starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, debuted her film career with the production of one of this summer’s hottest movies. Despite being so early in her career, Jenkin’s directorial vision grabs more and more attention as the box office sales place Wonder Woman on top for the second week in a row. Unlike other DC movie box office flops, this film’s instant success leads us to ask: What did Jenkins do differently?
In an excerpt from an interview with Slash Film, Jenkins shares her thoughts on how she wanted to take Wonder Woman in a unique direction.
“I went into [the film] saying, ‘She’s my Superman,’” said Jenkins. “She can’t be dark and angry and nasty. I kept seeing that female characters always had to be some alt character. They couldn’t just be the main lead. They had to be made more interesting somehow. And I was like, no, no, no, no, no. Not her. She’s just going to be Wonder Woman. She’s Wonder Woman. I love Wonder Woman. Let her be.”
When asked about how the development of the story line reflected the realities of women today, Jenkins responded that she faced challenges coming into the film – but worked to stay true to the character. “I grew up in a bit of a feminist fantasy with a single mom. I was totally shielded, in a way, from the idea that I couldn’t do something or couldn’t be something… Like, why can’t everybody see that it doesn’t matter if it’s about a dog or a woman or a person from another country, it’s about the story you’re telling. We’ve told universal stories about different things. I think people were much more nervous about that than they are now. It’s ironic that you could make an animated film about a dog as a universal character, but God forbid it be a human being.”
As for Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman’s close confidante, Jenkins stated that his character was very difficult to get right. “I didn’t want him to be a damsel in distress,” Jenkins said. “He actually is very difficult, but also very easy, in a way… I wanted the guy, who you want to be with, who’s cool that you’re trying to do something else at the same time.”