Before eventually getting her shot at directing a big budget superhero movie with Warner Bros. and DC’s Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins was once briefly attached to get behind the camera for their great rivals before quickly departing Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel Thor: The Dark World.
The official party line was that there were creative differences, but based on her comments since, Jenkins had made it pretty clear that she felt her vision would have been heavily compromised by acquiescing to the studio and following the franchise’s established template. As well as not having much faith in the script, the filmmaker admitted that she never truly believed in the project and that if it had failed, she would have ended up taking most of the blame.
It worked out pretty well in the end for Jenkins, with Wonder Woman doing much better with critics and scoring bigger numbers at the box office than The Dark World, and with the world now established, it certainly looks as though the upcoming sequel will see her unleashing an entirely different type of movie than the first installment.
In a recent interview, Jenkins was once again asked about her time as part of the MCU and she expressed very little interest in ever collaborating with them in the future based on the amount of creative control that the director is forced to give up.
“The director is under the control of Marvel. 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. 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 on great sets. I really enjoy it.”
While it can’t be denied that everything in the MCU has to be approved by Kevin Feige, the filmmakers are given more creative control now than ever before. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies are most definitely James Gunn’s vision, and Thor: Ragnarok is very obviously a Taika Waititi movie.
Of course, the franchise has come under fire in the past for the uniformity of its output, but let’s not forget that the fingerprints of studio interference are also all over the DCEU’s Suicide Squad, the theatrical cut of Justice League and even the female-driven, R-rated Birds of Prey, so despite having worked for both sides, Jenkins is still pretty much just comparing apples to oranges.