Wonder Woman has done something that Batman and Superman failed to accomplish: launched a big, colorful, fun superhero film that connected with and inspired its audience. I know, I know, there are plenty of fans of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, but these two films were dark and melancholy and brooding in a way that Wonder Woman is light and joyous and positive, and yet the film is still deadly serious about its themes and subject-matter.
Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot’s movie is not only a major financial success, it also struck a deep chord with both audiences and critics alike, as evidenced by Wonder Woman‘s Rotten Tomatoes 92% rating and Metacritic score of 76 — only Logan has received better reviews and ratings in the recent superhero genre.
Business Insider recently interviewed Patty Jenkins to talk about her experience making Wonder Woman and how she approached the character, the story, and the awesome task of making such an epic motion picture and whether there was executive pressure from the board room to focus on specific aspects, like “tone”:
“We were incredibly fortunate… [DC] didn’t ever give me a mandate of tone. I pitched to Warner Brothers and DC ten years ago, I want to make the origin movie, a la the first Superman [movie] with Christoper Reeve. I want to go back and try to do a grand piece of cinema for [Wonder Woman]… It’s hard to apply anything about one movie to another, so luckily no. We just kind of carried on.”
One interesting thing about Patty Jenkins career, she had a massive breakout directorial debut with Monster in 2003, starring Charlize Theron, which Jenkins also wrote, but she’s only worked in television over the intervening years. Jenkins started pressing Warner and DC to make Wonder Woman almost immediately after Monster. she describes how the current film evolved from her initial vision:
“I wanted to make it a great love story, and have humor and all of those things as well. As far as the logistics of what [time] period the film takes place or who was the villain is… it’s changed plenty. But that’s not the point… to me, the spirit of it has remained, and also it feels to me it feels like the right spirit to do Wonder Woman in anyway.”
Hollywood is a risk-averse industry, and big films with mammoth budgets tend to incite a certain amount of oversight and scrutiny. Perhaps the industry’s most successful director, Francis Ford Coppola, famously struggled to get support for almost every film he made both before and after The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. So it’s remarkable that Warner Brothers and DC (who are both owned by TimeWarner Inc.) gave Jenkins such freedom to direct what was only her second feature film ever.
Jenkins provides some additional detail about her core vision for the film and what the character meant to her:
“She’s such a clean, grand superhero that I really liked the idea of her eliciting that same kind of treatment in a big, classic movie… I remember [TV’s Wonder Woman in 1975], and what it felt like to be the little kid of the playground… I want to be Wonder Woman, I get to be Wonder Woman. You were dying to be the one that got to be Wonder Woman and that fantasy… It was the imagery and iconography of being a girl and being self-realized.”
What’s also interesting, reading between the lines, is that Warner and DC were interested in exploring a different, even throwback kind of film. Much has been written about the differences between the MCU and the DCEU, but one thing stands out for me: Marvel has kept humor and character at the forefront of their films, wherein the special effects and spectacle are certainly prominent, but aren’t the keys to their continued success. In this way, Wonder Woman is much more like Iron Man or Captain America: The First Avenger than Man of Steel or Batman v Superman.
Jenkins shares quite a bit more insight in this interview, which is well worth watching to understand and appreciate the enormity of effort requiredto create a blockbuster like Wonder Woman, from a childhood idol to cinematic vision to the theatrical product it is today. If the future of the DCEU can be distilled from the roots of Wonder Woman, then the upcoming Justice League could be much bigger than any of us can even imagine!
What do you think of Patty Jenkins long path to making Wonder Woman, are you inspired by her story? Let us know in the comments down below!
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SOURCE: Business Insider