Patty Jenkins Almost Walked Away from 'Wonder Woman 1984,' and She's Currently Hitting Pause on 'Wonder Woman 3'

With the coming release of Wonder Woman 1984Patty Jenkins has been hard at work doing the press rounds for the superhero film. And naturally, with the unique release of Wonder Woman 1984, which will be hitting HBO Max and theaters day-and-date on Christmas Day, the conversation turned to the future: what is the future of theaters, with this industry-shattering release strategy? What is the the future of the Wonder Woman franchise if it doesn’t make billion-dollar box office money?

Jenkins touched on all these topics, as well as the alternate timeline in which she never made Wonder Woman 1984 at all (which nearly happened!), in a recent all-encompassing interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast.

Wonder Woman 1984’s Release and the Future of Theaters

In an interview with the Happy. Sad. Confused podcast, Jenkins spoke about the future of the film industry, which forever changed when Warner Bros. announced that its entire 2021 film slate was being released on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously. At the forefront of this game-changing announcement was Wonder Woman 1984, which had separately been set to be released day-and-date on the streaming platform on Christmas Day. While Jenkins said that she thinks this release is the right thing to do at this time for Wonder Woman 1984, she hopes that it isn’t going to be the new norm:

“I’m feeling very worried, very worried [about the future of theaters and cinemagoing] I never thought I would be someone who would embrace [the ‘Wonder Woman 1984’] release plan, but I do. I embrace our release plan. It felt like the right moment. I felt the desire to share something positive with the world overrode money.

I was like, ‘Listen, every movie happens for a different reason. Let’s not keep waiting forever when we could give this right now. Let’s just do it.’ Release it, it won’t make as much money, and yet, it feels like it will be something that could fill this holiday season with something new to watch.”

“However, I am not at all behind the idea of doing this as a [regular] release plan going forward,” Jenkins added. “Also, I don’t understand it because I feel like there are already streaming giants out there and I feel like Hollywood has this tragic repetition of everybody going after the same thing and it just makes no sense.”

Jenkins spoke articulately about the subject, going into issues with streaming rights and competitive pricing, as well as the question of whether WarnerMedia can beat streamers like Netflix and Apple TV+ at their own game (she doesn’t think so). The entire conversation is worth listening to, but we’ll get into more subjects she touched on, like how she almost didn’t direct Wonder Woman 1984.

Why Patty Jenkins Almost Walked Away From Wonder Woman 1984

Jenkins made history when she came away from negotiations with Warner Bros. as the highest-paid female director in Hollywood. But Jenkins revealed that this almost didn’t happen, as her paycheck became a major point of contention with the studio — leading her to nearly walk away from the sequel altogether:

“I started to walk away. I was gonna’ walk away. I even said I’d be happy to go to another studio and make a quarter as much because it’s not a sequel, on principle, no problem. It’s interesting as someone who never made any profit in my career up until Wonder Woman, that I was always at peace with it. I was like, ‘Hey I get it.’ But now I was like, ‘Listen, I never made any money in my career because you always had the leverage and I didn’t,’But now the shoe is on the other foot so it’s time to turn the tables.”

Jenkins pointed to male directors who had “made an independent film and then a first [superhero] movie. They got paid seven times more than me for the first superhero movie. Then on the second one, they got paid more than me still.”

Luckily, Jenkins fought for the pay she deserved and the 2017 hit Wonder Woman got a worthy sequel.

Wonder Woman 3

So if pay isn’t an issue for Wonder Woman 3, what’s to stop Jenkins from moving forward with a sequel? There’s a post-credits sequence, which Jenkins confirmed was saved for the audience when they see the film on Christmas Day, which must mean there’s a future. But Jenkins said to not hold our breath for the next Wonder Woman movie or the Amazonian spin-off film, even though the third Wonder Woman film has a story ready to go:

“It’s interesting, I can actually came up with a story, and Geoff Johns and I beat out an entire story for ‘Wonder Woman 3’ that we were super fired up about, but I’ve never felt this way before as much as I do now,” she explained, teeing up her reasons. “I sort of—, I don’t think I’m doing it next and so I have to sort of wait and see where we are in the world, you know? What I wanted to talk about in [‘WW84’] was very prescient to what I was feeling and what you were sort of feeling was coming. So now I’m not sure. So much has changed in the world.”

She continued, “I still love the story, I’m sure parts of it, would come over to it, but… I’m trying to say [to myself], ‘Don’t decide. Don’t fall in love with anything. What would Wonder Woman do now? Like, what are you craving Wonder Woman to do now in this world?”

Jenkins didn’t state the reason that she hit pause on Wonder Woman 3, but it’s likely that it has to do with a little Star Wars movie called Rogue Squadron .

Wonder Woman 1984 hits theaters and HBO Max on December 25, 2020.

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