Wonder Woman already has a new director, but does it matter?
Less than two days after Warner Bros. and director Michelle MacLaren parted ways over “creative differences,” Wonder Woman has a new director. According to Deadline, the studio has already found its replacement in Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing).
Jenkins made a massive splash with 2003’s Monster, which she wrote and directed. The film won its star Charlize Theron several awards, including the Oscar for Best Actress. After that though, Jenkins took a step back (at least in terms of scale) and directed a handful of TV shows, including Arrested Development, The Killing, and Betrayal.
Coincidentally, this will be Jenkins’ second attempt at directing a superhero film. She was hired to helm Thor: The Dark World, but less than three months in she and Marvel had a falling out over – wait for it – “creative differences.” Marvel then turned to another director, Alan Taylor, who was also best known for his TV work.
That’s not irony, that’s just Hollywood being Hollywood.
Wonder Woman doesn’t have a release date yet, but it is set for 2017. Justice League is also coming in 2017, but Wonder Woman will come first. The hiring of Jenkins ensures that the production will still be on track, and she will likely begin work as the new Wonder Woman director soon, if not immediately.
The speed of the hiring suggests that Warner Bros. already knows exactly what it wants from the film, and it doesn’t necessarily need – or want – much outside input from its director. That could explain the “creative differences” between WB and MacLaren, but if so it’s odd the studio would turn to a director who was recently fired from another superhero film for the same reason.
Unless, of course, Jenkins learned from that experience and is simply eager to be in charge of a major Hollywood film. And who can blame her?
Wonder Woman is a high profile film, and if it does well it will open several doors for her. If it does really well, it will kick those doors wide open. If the studio is looking for a manager more than a director, it could end up being relatively risk free for Jenkins – or it could be a total disaster and there’s nothing she can do about it, at which point she can console herself with the giant bags of money she will be paid.
Either way, it’s looking more and more like Wonder Woman is going to be a paint-by-numbers, formulaic film – don’t expect anything groundbreaking. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it probably isn’t a good one either.
The character of Wonder Woman will make her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will have its first trailer released this coming Monday.