You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Patty Jenkins on Why ‘Wonder Woman’ Isn’t Just a Woman’s Movie

Patty Jenkins hopes that someday reporters will stop asking her about the lack of diversity in Hollywood, but until the movie business creates more opportunities for women and minorities, she’s happy to weigh in on the issue.

“It’s a conversation that has to be had,” Jenkins said during Vanity Fair’s New Establishment summit on Tuesday. “It’s less about observing diversity than it is about acknowledging that we are a very diverse world.”

Jenkins scored a hit with last summer’s “Wonder Woman,” but the director said she wanted to make the film because the character was compelling and the story was interesting. The film had universal appeal, she argued.

“A movie about a woman doesn’t make it a ‘woman’ movie,” said Jenkins. “‘Wonder Woman’ was about being a hero.”

When it comes to picking her own projects, Jenkins, whose credits include the Oscar-winning “Monster,” said, “I want to make great films about life experiences and they may have female leads.”

Jenkins was joined on the panel by Jason Blum, the producer of “Get Out” and “The Purge,” and Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley. Blum has made a name for himself by transforming low-budget horror films that cost less than $5 million to produce into major hits. The belt-tightening is key to creative freedom, he said.

“The reason we do low budgets is so we can take chances,” said Blum.

The panel unfolded as major studios are struggling to attract customers. The summer box office hit its lowest levels in more than two decades, and theatrical attendance has been essentially flat for years. Simply put, fewer people are going to the movies. It’s a situation that may get worse as Netflix and streaming services offer more compelling programs that can be seen in the home, and as the quality of television shows continues to improve.

“Our job is to make films that are inherently theatrical,” said Langley. “We have to kind of wow them.”

Jenkins said she always knew that Wonder Woman, the lasso-wielding Amazonian, would make an arresting screen character. She’ll tackle Themyscira’s favorite daughter once again in “Wonder Woman 2,” which is set for release in 2019. Returning to the world of comic books was an easy decision for Jenkins, but she’s been offered projects by studios that she knew weren’t right for her sensibility. She said she approaches picking projects the way she treated dating.

“Don’t try to date somebody who’s not right for you and then try to change who they are,” said Jenkins.

More Film

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

  • Berlin Film Festival 2019 Award Winners

    Berlin Film Festival 2019: Nadav Lapid's 'Synonyms' Wins Golden Bear

    Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s “Synonyms,” about a young Israeli man in Paris who has turned his back on his native country, won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale on Saturday. The Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize went to François Ozon’s French drama “By the Grace of God,” a fact-based account of the Catholic Church [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content