It had briefly appeared that Wonder Woman's head start on bringing a female-led superhero blockbuster to the big screen had been lost, with director Michelle McLaren dropping out of the project. But Warner Bros. has wasted no time in finding a replacement, as it is now being reported that director Patty Jenkins (Monster) has signed on to direct the Amazonian Princess' first solo movie.
If Jenkins' name ring some bells with comic book blockbuster fans, it should: Jenkins had previously been in place to direct Thor: The Dark World, before creative differences saw her leave the film (replaced by Alan Taylor). Jenkins now has a second crack at a superhero movie, and fans, another development to hotly discuss.
The report comes as an exclusive from THR, claiming that Jenkins has finalized a deal to helm Wonder Woman, expected to begin production this Fall. This reveal comes hot on the heels of Collider reporting that Angelina Jolie was being considered to direct, but it now seems that Warner Bros. foresaw the deal with MacLaren coming to an end, and had been looking for a replacement for some time.
That's to be expected, but the added twist of a former Marvel director being selected will add some flavor to the online conversation (and potentially, those carried out among studio executives). Regardless of the motivations, Jenkins' credentials aren't in question - Marvel deemed her up to the task of helming a film, and now, Warner Bros. does as well. Not to mention the poetic justice served, as Jenkins - once set to become the first female director in Marvel's shared universe - now becomes the first female director for DC.
Having made her acclaimed appearance on the scene with Monster (for which star Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Oscar), Jenkins has since moved to the small screen, directing episodes of Arrested Development, The Killing, and more. Though her resume may be shorter than the other names in contention, having crafted a female-led drama like Monster proves she's worthy of a larger forum.
Jenkins, Marvel, and Warner Bros. would most likely all wish to put the past behind them, but her departure from Thor: The Dark World is hard to forget. Actress Natalie Portman was rumored to be the most displeased with Marvel's decision, but claims that the studio desired a clearer plan for the film may be called into question, given the criticism of the finished product - and the exodus of directors taking place at the same time.
It was claimed at the time that Marvel was still interested in retaining Jenkins as the first woman to helm one of their comic book properties (but not a sequel), but it seems that's no longer in the cards. Jenkins, however, will now have the opportunity to make history bringing a mystical warrior to life in a superhero shared universe - in more ways than one.
What this means for the actual story of Wonder Woman is anyone's guess. Rumors appearing after MacLaren's departure claim the more outlandish elements of the plot (its 1920-s era setting, for instance) may have her to thank, but production fast approaching means more details should trickle out soon.
Let us know what you think of Jenkins landing the role: does she seem a good fit for a grounded, emotionally-driven Wonder Woman story? Are you happy to see DC give her the chance she ended losing at Marvel? Sound off in the comments.
Wonder Woman is slated for a June 23, 2017 release.