Patty Jenkins has discussed similarities between the impending Wonder Woman movie and her previous flirtation with the superhero genre on Thor: The Dark World. Before the first solo big screen outing for DC’s iconic hero, the Monster director was linked to Marvel’s Thor sequel. However, just as things were getting moving her relationship with the studio broke down due to “creative differences“, leading to Game of Thrones‘ Alan Taylor taking over.
We’ve not known what sort of ideas Jenkins could have brought to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or how her vision would have differed from what Taylor eventually delivered. Since then, though, Jenkins has been hard at work on rival DC’s Wonder Woman, and it seems that some elements of her The Dark World have made their way into the DCEU.
Speaking to ComicBook.com at WonderCon, Jenkins compared her visions for the two projects and revealed she worked in several key themes into the film:
“I mean they’re very similar in a lot of ways. It’s a lot of the same questions and a lot of the same struggles that I was interested in Thor’s story or here, although in that case it was the second movie so it would never have been as pure and as simple of an arc so I really think it was meant to be that I ended up doing this one, which I had always wanted to do anyway. And I got to do it in a kind of bigger and purer arc rather than putting it in that other story.”
While Thor and Wonder Woman are unique heroes, they do have a lot of similarities; both have strong ties to ancient mythology (Thor is a long-standing Asgardian figure, Wonder Woman an Amazon with links to Zeus) and serve as the bridge between humanity and a purer homeland. Their screen versions have even both seen a comparable backstory change, with their alter egos (Donald Blake and Diana Prince respectively) considerably less secret.
Jenkins’ comments highlight these elements but also suggests that some more granular ideas are being brought over from her The Dark World pitch. What these are specifically aren’t known for a while, but it could be linked to the romance subplot; Natalie Portman (whose Jane Foster was vastly underserved in the sequel) was outwardly displeased by Jenkins’ departure, while in contrast Diana’s relationship with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor appears to be balanced and fully fleshed out. Another possibility is the villain, Ares, who has some similarities to Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith; they’re ancient forces who operate with massive, simple goals (war and darkness).
The director further insinuates that, whatever these themes are, she was unable to realize them with Marvel due to Thor 2‘s position in the wider MCU (it was the franchise’s 8th film, both paying off Phase 1 while setting up Phases 2 and 3); the difference between crafting an origin story and a film as part of a much larger whole may be what ultimately led to her leaving, something the director has stated wasn’t an issue with DC.
In the past, Jenkins has also talked about how Superman: The Movie was a big influence on her love of film and has directly impacted Wonder Woman. Richard Donner’s ground-breaking blockbuster likewise featured a hero from two worlds and a host of big ideas, which may be why she’s been so drawn to characters like Thor and Diana.