Patty Jenkins most known for her directing the award winning movie, Monster, based off of serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She is now returning to the director’s seat for Wonder Woman, making history as the first female director to direct a superhero film with a female protagonist.
Screen Rant sat down with Patty on press day, where we discussed the importance of getting the character of Wonder Woman correct, how she brought Themyscira to life, and what Diana meant by her turning her back on mankind in Batman V Superman.
Patty, thank you so much for this movie. Congratulations on the film.
Patty Jenkins: Thank you.
I can actually see your passion on the screen completely. My first question is why was it so important to get this character right?
Patty Jenkins: I think, first of all, because I am a fan of Wonder Woman and I’m a fan of the genre. So, both of those things. She’s never had a film before and that any superhero film, particularly an origin story, can be great. Those two things set the bar so high for me where I was like, “Then we must try for great.” But then, second of all, because I think I’m such a believer in the genre because I’m a believer in mankind turning stories into about what it means to be a hero and what would I do if I was a hero and how would that feel. And so, you know, there is always that opportunity in any movie with a metaphor to use to make something beautiful that really touches people. And this is such an important time in the world for people to think about what kind of hero they would want to be and what we’re going to do to save this world that I was honored to get to join in the dialogue.
That’s amazing that you say that because this is the one time where I thought Diana, that it was so refreshing to have somebody that wanted to actively be a hero. I thought that was amazing.
Patty Jenkins: Yeah.
One thing that I always imagined when I was younger and I read the Gail Simone and Brian Azzarello was Themyscira and this is exactly what I imagined.
Patty Jenkins: Awesome!
How did you bring that to life? It looked amazing!
Patty Jenkins: That is so awesome. Because I too had, you know, in all of Themyscira I had ever looked at. The funny thing is the looks of it have changed. From Greek columns to floating, there has been so many different versions of it. But it always felt the same and it always felt the same to that artist, which is you want it to feel like a real place that could exist somewhere, but it’s just a little bit magical and more special. And so, that was always what we were marching towards was like, “That does look real. That does makes sense.” But it’s a little bit better and different. Also, I wanted to stick to the idea that the Amazons are not more primitive and they are not more advanced. Time has continued on that island as time continued in man’s world and they have solved problems differently. And, in some cases, much better, you know. They are using water for their light. They are living with animals in a different way. Animals are wandering amongst them in a different way. They are just functioning differently. And, so that was really cool to think about.
It was quite amazing.
Patty Jenkins: Cool!
One thing I had a question about was that in Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman says that she is kind of like turned her back on mankind for centuries. There obviously is a gap there, but why is that?
Patty Jenkins: Well, I think that I can only tell the origin story of who she is. I think that there is potentially a misunderstanding between what it means to turn her back on mankind. I think that actually, you know, there could be a difference between having people save themselves and knowing that people must save themselves and even still being optimistic and loving about them, but I think that there were sort of more sunk up, but we were aware that her snippet there versus the story that unfolded, you know, there is a journey of time between.
From Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment comes the epic action adventure starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright, directed by Patty Jenkins.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.