…but don’t get too carried away crying sexism, THEY SAY it’s standard operating procedure at the still gun-shy about superheroes studio. THR reports that, contrary to what everyone has assumed, director Patty Jenkins was NOT signed for an option for a second Wonder Woman film (which is inevitable given the huge reaction to the first film.) Gal Gadot was signed up for a sequel however.
While star Gal Gadot has an option in place for Wonder Woman 2 as part of her overall deal to appear in several DC movies, Warner Bros. executives enlisted Jenkins for just one film, a decision that could end up costing the studio millions of dollars if Jenkins’ reps drive a hard bargain for her to return.
At the time she was hired, Jenkins had directed just one movie, her 2003 feature debut Monster, and she was taking over the long-gestating project from Michelle MacLaren, who left over creative differences. A one-picture-only deal is said to be standard practice at Warner Bros. for directors taking on a big-budget studio film for the first time.
Warners execs also may have been a bit unprepared for the level of success and acclaim Wonder Woman has achieved; initial tracking reports predicted Jenkins’ $150 million-budgeted film would open to about $65 million domestic, solid but hardly a reason to begin planning a long-range strategy. And the studio had been focusing on putting together Justice League Dark, a supernatural team-up project, and Batgirl, a Joss Whedon-helmed film (among other Bat-offerings), as the likely next movies to go into production in the DC Comics universe.
The piece suggest that not signing up a director for a second film is standard, as was done with Man of Steel. Except of course, director Zack Snyder has made two more DCCU films since then, BvS and Justice League.
The report notes that WB has also been swift to sign up sequels in advance, such as greenlighting a Hangover sequel before the first film even opened. But Wonder Woman came at them fast. And I’d say Jenkins is sitting with a full house at this point – ditching her from the sequel, as is traditionally done with female directors on big budget franchises like Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey (both of which lost their female directors after the first outing) – might be more difficult this time. In fact given the success of WW and its WWI setting (reportedly Jenkins’ idea) she could even be given a bigger say in the DCCU going forward:
Sources say the studio intends to begin negotiations with Jenkins shortly (although the exact timing is unclear), and the filmmaker and her reps at CAA, Anonymous Content and Jackoway Tyerman will enjoy enormous leverage. Jenkins could not only return to the director’s chair on Wonder Woman 2 but also could ink a more expansive deal that would allow her to work with DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns on a script treatment for that movie and possibly others as well.