Patty Jenkins had one hell of a 2017. Wonder Woman kicked down the door and not only became a huge smash hit but could have changed the landscape of the superhero movie as we know it. Now there were numbers backing up what women have known for yeasrs; there is an audience out there and they are starving for material. In an interview with Vanity Fair Jenkins talked about what a momentous thing Wonder Woman was and these surreal moments she had when she realized it shouldn’t be that momentous at all.
“When I went into making this film, the mere idea [of] a woman-led film with a female lead was a massive question and really felt like a long shot,” Jenkins said. “I can even remember myself saying, don’t they keep putting out data saying that women are the majority of the audience now? I don’t understand why this is so hard for everybody to see how lucrative that could, and should, be.”
The right tone is something the other DC Extended Universe movies have had a hard time finding and Wonder Woman could have easily fallen into that trap. It’s World War I which is a horrible moment in history to begin with and could have dropped into the too dark and gritty trap. If the tone was too light then they could be seen as downplaying the horror of the war and the entire point of the movie could be missed.
“I was obsessed with the tone,” Jenkins said. “It was the hardest thing. Particularly because the story we were talking about could so easily skew another way with any of the chapters. You start in a fantasy world of women in costume, and then you go to real life, World War I England . . . and then you end up in the supernatural . . . and then you have a love story. So I brought in all of my [department heads] every week. I would sit and hammer home . . . we have to be so careful that we don’t veer from one movie to another movie, first of all, and, second, that anywhere that she walks out in a Wonder Woman suit, it just doesn’t look ridiculous.”
It sounds like, going into Wonder Woman 2, Jenkins is going to continue to work hard to make sure she finds the right tone for these movies. Right now she’s the only one with the critical and commercial success so pressure is on to make lightning strike twice.