In addition to directing Charlize Theron to Oscar glory with the Aileen Wuornos biopic Monster, Patty Jenkins is the woman behind this summer's biggest superhero blockbuster, Wonder Woman. Movie buffs may recall that she was once involved with a different comic book favourite: Thor.
Jenkins was originally attached to direct Thor: The Dark World, the 2013 sequel to 2011's Thor, which stars Chris Hemsworth. She pulled out of the project in late 2011, however, and Alan Taylor (a director best known for working on TV shows like The Sopranos and Mad Men) ended up taking over.
"There have been things that have crossed my path that seemed like troubled projects," said Jenkins told writer Tatiana Siegel. "And I thought, 'If I take this, it'll be a big disservice to women. If I take this knowing it's going to be trouble and then it looks like it was me, that's going to be a problem. If they do it with a man, it will just be yet another mistake that the studio made. But with me, it's going to look like I dropped the ball, and it's going to send a very bad message.' So I've been very careful about what I take for that reason."
It's a shame, though, that female directors (and actresses, producers, etc., for that matter) aren't given the same second chances their male counterparts are. Male directors helm a flop, and are rewarded with more projects; consider David Ayers, whose critically panned but profitable Suicide Squad is getting a sequel with him once again in the director's chair.
Compare that to Catherine Hardwicke, who had the highest-grossing opening for a female director when Twilight was released in 2008. The success, however, didn't pay off. Fast-forward almost a decade later, and Hardwicke hasn't made a feature film since 2015.
All the more reason to buy a ticket to Wonder Woman this weekend — and to lobby Warner Bros. to keep Jenkins on board for a sequel.
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