When it comes to Wonder Woman, one of the most recognizable superheroes in the world, has had a long and hard journey to the big screen for some reason. Once Supergirl bombed at the theaters, the movie industry got cold feet when it came to putting lady heroes on the big screen. Elektra and Catwoman just made things worse, and people were blaming the fact that it was female heroes and not the fact that these movies were terrible. Director Patty Jenkins was the one who ended up bringing Diana to the big screen, but as she explained on Marc Maron's WTF podcast (via The Playlist), there was a lot of mistrust in the many times Warner Bros. tried to make this movie happen.
"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 recalled. "And my ideas? They didn't even want to read my script. There was such mistrust of a different way of doing things and a different point of view. So that was definitely happening, even when I first joined 'Wonder Woman' it was like, 'uhh, yeah, ok, but let's do it this other way.' But I was like, 'Women don't want to see that. Her being harsh and tough and cutting people's heads off, that's not what— I'm a 'Wonder Woman' fan, that's not what we're looking for. Still, I could feel that shaky nervousness [on their part] of my point of view."
She explained that Warner Bros. actually asked her to make a Wonder Woman movie in 2007, but Jenkins was pregnant at the time and had to turn them down. Jenkins described how nervous Warner Bros. was about making this movie and putting this character on the big screen.
"They were nervous that it wasn't viable. 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."
Warner Bros. did bring Jenkins back in in 2011, but even then, they couldn't agree on the direction of the movie. It got to the point where Jenkins ended up briefly leaving the project, and after Warner Bros. hired and lost yet another director to creative differences did they finally let Jenkins make the movie she wanted.
"Finally, the moment came [when Warners wanted me to make the film]," she described. "And there was a moment they wanted to make a story that I wasn't the right person for, so I [left and] said, 'it can't be me,' and they hired someone else for a little bit. I told them what kind of film I wanted to make. I said, 'I don't think this is the story you should tell with Wonder Woman,' and I didn't want to be the one to get in a fight about it for years. … During that period of time, there were so many scripts, I could see the writing on the wall. The was an internal war on every level about what Wonder Woman should be."
Jenkins revealed that there were something like 30 different Wonder Woman scripts floating around Warner Bros. at that time before they finally let her make the movie that she wanted. It very much ended up working out for Warner Bros. and Jenkins; whether or not it worked a second time is up for debate, and we'll have to see what they end up doing for a third movie. Warner Bros. let Jenkins have creative control over the first movie save for the terrible third act, and we don't actually know how much creative control she had for the second. The decisions made for that movie don't feel like ones made by a committee because they were choices that didn't really work, but they weren't safe either. Perhaps a happy medium will be found for the third movie.
Summary: Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big-screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.
Wonder Woman 1984, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Connie Nielsen, and Gabriella Wilde. It was released on December 25th in theaters and on HBO Max.