Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins doesn’t want the DC Extended Universe film to be defined as a “woman’s movie.” Released in early June, Wonder Woman was an unequivocal smash out of the gate, earning $100 million domestically in its opening frame alone. On its way to become the top-grossing film of the summer and passing the $800 million mark in global ticket sales, the film broke several more records, including those previously set by female directors.
And while such delineations shined a light on the gender gap in Hollywood – proving once and for all that female superheroes are just as bankable as their male counterparts, and that women are more than capable of directing a film in a male-dominated genre – Jenkins is looking forward to the day when gender simply doesn’t matter when it comes to the making of films, nor the sex or racial makeup of the characters who bring the stories to life.
According to Variety, Jenkins pointed out at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment summit Tuesday that she made Wonder Woman not necessarily because the character was a woman, but because the story was interesting and the movie’s namesake was compelling. Knowing that the film had a universal appeal about it, Jenkins determined that Wonder Woman was a story about a “hero” who just happened to be a woman. She says:
“A movie about a woman doesn’t make it a ‘woman’ movie. Wonder Woman was about being a hero.”
Jenkins stressed that she feels the same way about the racial makeup of characters, and longs for the day when nobody asks her about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. For now, she’s happy to broach the subject, saying:
“It’s a conversation that has to be had. It’s less about observing diversity than it is about acknowledging that we are a very diverse world.”
Without question, Jenkins’ success with Wonder Woman has lit a fire under Hollywood when it comes to such issues as the disparity in pay, having signed in August an historic deal to helm Wonder Woman 2 that will make her the highest-paid female director in Hollywood. Perhaps most importantly, though, the success of Wonder Woman has helped pave the way for other female directors like Anna Boden (who will co-helm Captain Marvel with Ryan Fleck) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (the Black Cat and Silver Sable movie Silver and Black).
Luckily for Jenkins, Wonder Woman will remain at the forefront for some time to come, providing the director more opportunities to talk about the film and the changes it’s helped make in Hollywood. Gal Gadot is set to reprise the character in Justice League, of course, and Warner Bros. is making a push for the film this awards season, with the ultimate goal of the film being considered for Best Picture and Best Director Oscar nominations – two categories, appropriately enough, that aren’t defined by gender, but merit.
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