After the release of 2017's Wonder Woman, director Patty Jenkins was riding high. The film (starring Gal Gadot in the title role) breathed new life into Warner Bros.' shared comic book film universe by becoming the best-reviewed entry in the entire DC Extended Universe. A global box-office haul of $821 million didn't hurt either. To date, its Rotten Tomatoes score of 93 percent has yet to be bested in the DCEU.
Using all that goodwill she'd generated from the studio, Jenkins could have chosen any large-budgeted project she liked. Indeed, at one point, the chance to helm a giant crossover movie was floated her way. And this wasn't just any crossover, mind you — this was a Justice League movie! Chatting with Première magazine, the filmmaker explained why she turned down the incredible offer.
"I love comics, but I've come to superheroes through films," she said. "There is, in me, this desire to emulate compared to the movies I saw as a child. A certain spirit that reigned in those times. Is that relevant when I shoot? I don't know. The point is, unlike other directors, I don't really care about shared universes, continuity, and that kind of detail. I've been contacted to make a Justice League movie in the past, and it doesn't connect to me. Too many characters."
This does raise some questions, though. Did this offer come after the critical and financial disappointment of Zack Snyder's own Justice League film? Did the studio want Jenkins for the direct sequel or an entirely new team-up project that will eventually result from WB's current strategy of putting grand world-building aside in favor of character-based standalones?
Jenkins' creative standards are what caused her to part ways with 2013's Thor: The Dark World (ultimately directed by Terminator Genisys' Alan Taylor).
"I really like the people who work there, but they want full control over their movies," Jenkins said of Marvel Studios. "The director is under control. Yes, it can happen. Furthermore, it shows immediately if a director cannot impose his/her vision. When this is the case, I get the impression that these people are doing a different job than me. But with Wonder Woman 1984, I think I did exactly what I wanted. And then, everything a superhero movie needs comes naturally to me: I love shooting great action scenes versus great sets. I really enjoy it."
Wonder Woman 1984 is currently slated to hit theaters Friday, August 14. The sequel was originally going to open this coming weekend but was delayed two months by the coronavirus pandemic.
As for what the future holds for Justice League, Warner Bros. is allowing Zack Snyder to realize his long-fabled cut of the 2017 movie, which will debut on HBO Max sometime next year.