Wonder Woman is one of the best DC movies, managing to unite everyone who was arguing about Zack Snyder’s vision for the franchise when it came out in 2017. It was momentous, not least because Patty Jenkins became the first woman to direct a major superhero movie, a long overdue development – an honour that was nearly Marvel’s.
Back in the early 2010s, Jenkins was attached to a Marvel movie, right when the MCU was just starting to blossom. She had none other than Thor: The Dark World, the first sequel post-The Avengers, and she came close to sitting the director’s chair once cameras were rolling, but it fell through due to “creative differences”.
“I have had a great time working at Marvel, we parted on very good terms, and I look forward to working with them again,” Jenkins told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement on her leaving Thor 2. Ultimately, the project went to Alan Taylor, and it became one of the more blasé installments in the franchise.
At this point in time, Marvel Studios was a very different beast. The Avengers hadn’t come out yet, and the phases release model wasn’t set in stone. There were likely many disputes and disagreements over how MCU movies should handle themselves, and Jenkins’s vision was a casualty of that.
Although it’s disappointing, she dodged an Asgardian bullet, since there’s no guarantee her version of the Thor movie wouldn’t have been compromised like Taylor’s. Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot was spectacular, and seems a much better fit for Jenkins’s sensibilities as a storyteller.
That said, it still took six more years for Jenkins to get her heroic adventure movie, and the fact remains there’s too many barriers for entry on women directors in blockbusters. This story is a testament to her perseverance, as well as how far Marvel has come.