When Patty Jenkins was named the director of DC’s Wonder Woman movie in the summer of 2015, a lot of observers weren’t quite sure what to think. Jenkins, who was stepping in to replace the highly regarded Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones director Michelle MacLaren, hadn’t ever directed a large-scale blockbuster, and hadn’t made any films at all since the Oscar-winning Monster, all the way back in 2003.
When Wonder Woman was released this summer, it was such a success that it silenced all doubters (well, most doubters) as to whether Jenkins was up to the challenge of directing the film. Wonder Woman was a critical hit -- the best-reviewed of any DCEU release, by far -- and a box office triumph, earning over $400 million domestically and $800 million worldwide, both records for a film directed by a woman. On Monday, Jenkins was officially announced as the director of Wonder Woman 2, and now we know she’s going to get a significant payday.
Patty Jenkins will earn in the “high seven figures” to write and direct Wonder Woman 2, according to the THR. Her compensation will be in the $7-9 million range, in addition to a “significant” percentage of the back end. Jenkins was paid $1 million for the first Wonder Woman; she was not credited with the screenplay or the story.
Jenkins, according to reporting by THR and other outlets in recent months, had been in talks with Warner Bros. to return for the sequel, but the talks dragged on as Wonder Woman’s box office totals kept climbing, which only served to help Jenkins’ negotiating position. The payday is almost certain to go down as the largest for a female director on an individual film in history.
The first Wonder Woman was such a success that it certainly behooved all sides involved to get Jenkins back on board as director, and every indication is that both sides got what they wanted out of the deal. Irrespective of what James Cameron thinks, the first Wonder Woman was an exceptionally directed film, and it makes sense for the next film to retain the same style and pace.
Would Jenkins, who didn’t direct a movie for 14 years, like the chance to direct something that’s not a sequel? Perhaps. But she’ll certainly have plenty of clout -- and money -- to follow such pursuits in the future.
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