×
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.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Margot Robbie Big Ticket Podcast

    Margot Robbie Was 'Pretty Rattled' After Reading the 'Bombshell' Script for the First Time

    Margot Robbie took to Twitter to prepare for her role as a conservative news producer and aspiring broadcast journalist for Fox News in “Bombshell.” “Understanding her upbringing and her point of view on politics in the world, that really took me a minute,” Robbie says on today’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s [...]

  • Randy Newman My First Time

    My First Time in Variety: Randy Newman

    “What?! My god.” This is Randy Newman’s reaction upon learning of the first time he ever appeared in the pages of Variety, back in May of 1965. That was three years before he released his first album as a singer-songwriter, at which point he began steadily accruing fans of his warped musical character sketches until [...]

  • Kiri Hart Stephen Feder Ben LeClair

    Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman Expand T-Street With Producer Trio

    Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman are expanding their T-Street studio with Lucasfilm veterans Kiri Hart and Stephen Feder, along with Ben LeClair. Johnson is best known for directing and writing 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which Bergman produced with Kathleen Kennedy. The duo is teamed via T-Street on the upcoming “Knives Out,” starring Daniel [...]

  • Branko Lustig

    Branko Lustig, 'Schindler's List' Producer and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 87

    Holocaust survivor and Academy Award winner Branko Lustig, who nabbed best picture Oscars for “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” has died at his home in Croatia. He was 87. His death was announced on the website for Festival of Tolerance, which Lustig oversaw as president since 2008. Lustig was born in Osijek, Yugoslavia, in 1932 to [...]

  • Frozen 2

    ‘Frozen 2’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Early reviews are in for the highly anticipated “Frozen 2,” and the sequel stands its ground amid lukewarm responses. Currently sitting at 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Frozen 2” has released to mixed reactions, the main sentiment being that while the film is unnecessary, Disney has released another money-maker that knows how to satisfy its audience. [...]

  • The Way Back Trailer

    'The Way Back' Trailer: Ben Affleck Struggles With Addiction in Basketball Drama

    Ben Affleck struggles with sobriety in Warner Bros.’ first trailer for his sports drama “The Way Back.” Affleck plays construction worker Jack Cunningham, who has a routine of drinking at every opportunity — in the shower, at work and at home. That routine is interrupted when he’s asked to coach the high school basketball team [...]

  • Mark Koven Music

    Film Composers Tap Into Offbeat Inspirations for Scores

    An electro-acoustic cello for a comic-book villain. Sampled whistling for young revolutionaries in a Latin American jungle. A German rendition of a Beatles song for a satire on the Third Reich. A retro synth score for the tribulations of a gambling addict. Angry, dissonant music for two men alone in a 19th-century lighthouse. Avant-garde saxophone [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content