You may recall all those years ago during Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Patty Jenkins was on board to direct. The film in question was Thor: The Dark World — a movie that is universally accepted as one of the worst. It went on to be helmed by Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, but before that Jenkins stepped away. It was a high-profile loss at the time, as she was set to be the first female director to helm a superhero movie.
Of course, Jenkins still snagged that title a few years later with Wonder Woman, but it was quite the loss for Marvel Studios. So, what was the reasoning behind that? What was it about the project that Patty Jenkins simply did not like? Speaking with Vanity Fair, Jenkins opening up about her reasoning for leaving Thor: The Dark World. Unfortunately, the reasoning she had was depressingly true.
“I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing,” Jenkins told the outlet. “I think it would have been a huge deal—it would have looked like it was my fault. It would’ve looked like, ‘Oh my God, this woman directed it and she missed all these things.’ That was the one time in my career where I really felt like, Do this with [another director] and it’s not going to be a big deal. And maybe they’ll understand it and love it more than I do.”
Jenkins continued: “You can’t do movies you don’t believe in. The only reason to do it would be to prove to people that I could. But it wouldn’t have proved anything if I didn’t succeed. I don’t think that I would have gotten another chance. And so, I’m super grateful.”
Yeah’s not wrong there. While times have changed in the five or so years since then, you can bet Hollywood would have made the most shallow assumptions. While historically, male directors can go several failed projects while having a career, the same cannot be said of women. I have to agree with her when she said her career wouldn’t have had another chance to do a superhero movie. Maybe eventually she could have circled back, but you know the instant she attached herself to one, there would be fans who would point to Thor: The Dark World as a reason why she was a bad fit.
When the odds are stacked against you as a minority creative, these kinds of career decisions are that much more important. You’re not always afforded the same opportunities to fail as everyone else. Regardless, Jenkins is nothing if not grateful for Marvel Studios.
“I really have nothing but positive things to say about Marvel, because, honestly, they gave me that chance in the first place and it was not en vogue to do so,” she said. And she then pointed to the studio righting the ship with the next Thor flick. “They found Thor’s rightful director. Taika’s so good for Thor. Oh my God, I love that movie. His tone with Thor was just masterful. That felt like pure Taika to me.”
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SOURCE: Vanity Fair