Before Patty Jenkins came aboard Wonder Woman, director Paul Feig tried to get the rights to the film for himself. After writing and directing movies like Bridesmaids, The Heat, Spy, and Ghostbusters, this would have been his fifth consecutive female-led movie.
Despite skeptical expectations concerning whether or not a Wonder Woman movie would ever be successful, the movie turned out be a record-breaking phenomenon. It became the highest-grossing superhero origin story, earned director Patty Jenkins the record for biggest opening weekend for a female director, and even became the highest-grossing movie in the DCEU, beating out DC's Avengers equivalent Justice League. In short, calling it a success is an understatement. So, after Feig's personal success with movies that included female-dominant casts, he attempted to get his hands on the rights to Wonder Woman before anyone else. Obviously, his attempts weren't successful.
When ComicBook reached out to Feig on the red carpet for Deadpool 2's premiere, he was asked if he was ever interested in helming a superhero movie himself, and his response was enthusiastic. Though typically drawn to comedies, he explained that he's always had a soft spot for superheroes—specifically something like the Deadpool franchise, considering how heavily it leans toward humor. That said, the superhero that attracted him most of all was Wonder Woman. He explained that he "tried to get the rights to it" years ago, but couldn't because "Warner Bros. had it." In hindsight, though, he seems happy with the way things played out, impressed with Jenkins' direction. He said:
“I loved Wonder Woman, actually! Years ago, I tried to get the rights to it, but Warner Bros. had it. And thank god they let Patty Jenkins do it, because she killed it. Absolutely nailed it."
Though Feig isn't personally attached to the Wonder Woman franchise, Kristen Wiig, one of his frequent collaborators, will star in the sequel as the villainous Cheetah. Apart from starring in two of Feig's movies, Ghostbusters and Bridesmaids, she received an Academy Award nomination for the latter for Best Original Screenplay.
As interesting as it might have been to see what Feig could have brought to the Wonder Woman franchise, it was vital that it went to a female director. Gender disparity has been an ongoing battle in Hollywood since the birth of the industry, and especially given the fact that the #MeToo and Time's Up movements have been drawing attention to inequality and abuse against women, evening the scales in opportunity showcases a necessary evolution of the industry. Would the movement have stopped dead in its track had a man directed Wonder Woman? Not necessarily. But allowing a woman to direct showed concrete proof that Hollywood is willing to right its wrongs and embrace a new, more inclusive future.
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019