45-year old filmmaker Patty Jenkins has been waiting for an opportunity like this her whole career. Transitioning from various television projects to a major Hollywood blockbuster. The DC installment Wonder Woman will premiere on June 2, 2017, as Warner Brothers anxiously hold their breath to see if the film will resuscitate the ailing DCEU franchise.
But the Jenkins appointment is considered somewhat groundbreaking. An incredible reality in the context of 2017. Outside of 2008's Punisher: War Zone from Lexi Alexander, Jenkins is only the second female to take the reigns of a superhero movie.
Jenkins: I Believed I Was Superman
Talking about her other work, where gender was taken out of the equation, Jenkins explains that an old DC classic was the moment she fell in love with movies. A property that acted as the catalyst for her journey to this juncture.
"When I made Monster, I didn’t think about it being about a woman, I didn’t think about that she was a lesbian," she started. "I was telling a story about a specific person who was tragic and looking for love in the world, and the more I could make her you, the more of a victory. Because I’m here because of Superman. I’m here because when I saw (Richard Donner’s) Superman as a kid, it rocked my world, and I was Superman. I was that little boy. I took that ride and that journey.
I always say that Star Wars had a huge effect on me too, but what Star Wars did for some people, Superman did for me. I remember the theater, I remember the feeling, I remember I cried and I laughed and I went through that whole thing and I was Superman. I believed in myself as Superman, and that’s the beauty of film."
Jenkins Leads Wonder Woman
Yet it is Wonder Woman that specifically resonates with Jenkins because for her, as the character is bound by a set of beliefs that predicates what she values and why she strives to save the vulnerable.
"She, besides Thor, is the only one who’s a god, and yet she has a very strong point of view. She believes in love, and she believes in truth. That’s a strong point of view. So Superman wants to save the world and all the superheroes want to save the world for a variety of reasons or they want revenge or they’re defending themselves. Whichever it is, she’s one of the only ones I can think of where she has a belief system that’s almost religious... That’s wonderful to work with. And that is in this time. That’s something amazing to have. I believe in her. I believe that’s an important message right now."
Doctor Poison Delights In Death and Destruction
Casting Elena Anaya in the part of Doctor Poison, a DC character that is male in the comic books, why did Jenkins go down this path?
"It was important that it wasn’t the evil done by any gender or any person," argued the director. "It was about damage and darkness and what creates evil. In her case, she’s an interesting character because—we don’t get super into her backstory—but we know her backstory, which is that she’s a woman who’s had all kinds of damage in her life and now she delights in—and I’ve known people like this—delights in bringing that to other people’s lives. Like, 'Oh, now you see. Now you see what I know. You can’t take it.' There is that way of being a damaged and dark person. You’re waiting for other people to face that wrath too. So I loved that about her, and she’s a character who’s focused in on developing all kinds of toxic weapons and tools."