Patty Jenkins On Choosing The Right Projects As A Female Director, Streaming & What’s Next

Wonder Woman
Warner Bros.

“I’d rather do pilots than a movie that is fatally flawed.”

That’s one set of criteria Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has before taking on a project. While she’s broken glass ceilings for female directors working on event films, delivering the best opening ever for a live-action tentpole helmed by a woman with Wonder Woman ($821.7 million in worldwide box office), Jenkins isn’t apt to sign on to a project “because it’s the first woman to take on something.”

Patty Jenkins

“If it’s not successful, then it will look really bad. I don’t want to end up in a debacle where I’m like ‘That wasn’t wise.’ I hope that time changes. The trajectory of a woman’s career has been sensitive at times,  and I’ve had to be aware of that as well,” said Jenkins.

Up next Jenkins said she has Wonder Woman 2 “for the next 15 years,” she joked. In addition, she’s directing Wonder Woman co-star Chris Pine in the TNT pilot One Day She’ll Darken in five days. She also hopes to direct her longtime passion project, the non-DC related I Am Superman, about a fighting pitbull who finds itself on a strange and unexpected journey that will ultimately decide its fate.

The Monster director said females as directors “comes quite natural. It’s a caretaking job that has to do with other jobs that women are great at: encouraging people.”

Jenkins was also optimistic about the streaming era in its ability to reach different audiences without being consumed over opening-weekend box office stats. When she arrived in Los Angeles 17 years ago, she said “It felt like the system was very behind. It’s actually a commercial venture (streaming) to diversify content.” Studios are now trying to catch up to this streaming trend, per the director, and meeting various consumers’ needs. “It only makes financial sense for everyone to catch up,” said Jenkins.

The subject of embattled filmmaker Brett Ratner was definitely not broached at Jenkins’ panel. After Gal Gadot stepped away from presenting Ratner with the Tree of Life Award for his philanthropic work for Israel on Sunday night, Jenkins stepped; the Rush Hour director once funded a short film of hers early on during her career. After the Los Angeles Times ran their expose on Ratner yesterday, Jenkins took to Twitter to say she was “extremely distressed” over the allegations made against Ratner, nor was she privy to them.

While the messages, advice and encouragement coming out of the Women in Entertainment conference was overall extremely positive for attendees, none of the panels addressed the elephant in the room: the recent wave of sexual harassment accusations that have rattled the industry post-Harvey Weinstein, giving rise to #MeToo and the masses of brave women calling out those who’ve inflicted their lives.

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