Patty Jenkins’ highly anticipated follow-up to her 2017 feature Wonder Woman is gearing up for release. Wonder Woman 1984 is the film chosen to lead Warner’s daring experiment in releasing their movies on HBO Max at the same time as in theaters. Clearly, the studio has a lot of faith in what Jenkins has come up with. But that was not always the case, as the filmmaker revealed during a Variety interview that Warner had doubts about the viability of Wonder Woman 1984 all through production.
“The hardest challenge [in filmmaking] is keeping the map in your head and not losing faith. I think it’s absolutely imperative that you have your script done and you think it’s great. I don’t understand how people do it when things are changing. I don’t know how you could keep track of it. I’m not a believer in that. I’m not a believer in studios doing it. I wish they would stop doing it – get your shit together and get your script written before you start making a movie.”
“It drives me nuts. So we did very thorough writing, and then every single day, you have to have faith in the writer in you and then in the artists that you worked with to make a plan, that the plan is going to work. But let me tell you, it’s absolutely fascinating to have to wait so long to see it come together. This was such a complicated film that even in the middle, the studio was like, “I don’t know about these things.” I was like, “You can’t judge it yet. We don’t have the effects in. So it looks stupid now, but you have to wait.” Carrying that is very lonely.”
This is far from the first time that Warner has been reported to be hesitant about supporting a filmmaker’s vision for one of their superhero movies. David Ayer’s Suicide Squad famously fell victim to heavy-handed studio interference, and the filmmaker has since claimed that the serious drama he had set out to make was heavily edited to make it into an action-comedy similar to Deadpool.
Meanwhile, Warner was so unhappy with Zack Snyder’s take on Justice League that they fired him mid-filming and brought on Joss Whedon to finish the rest of the movie. Finally, there was Todd Phillips’ Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, which was reportedly such a point of contention for Warner that the studio tried to shut the project down by steadily shrinking the film’s budget.
More and more, it is starting to look like Warner’s superhero movies work in spite of the studio, rather than because of them. Considering that early reviews for Wonder Woman 1984 have been glowing, it seems once again Jenkins has hit a home run for the DCEU, and once again made Wonder Woman the franchise’s most successful property.
Directed and co-written by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, and Natasha Rothwell. The film arrives on December 25 in theaters and on HBO Max. This news was first revealed at Variety.