With ‘Wonder Woman’ less than a week away, comic book movie fans will soon get to see what director Patty Jenkins can do in the genre (and if early word is anything to go by, it’s definitely not one to miss).
However, fans with good memories may recall that the ‘Monster’ director came very close to making a comic book movie once before. She was the first director attached to Marvel’s ‘Thor: The Dark World,’ which ultimately reached screens with Alan Taylor at the helm.
The only reason given for Jenkins’ departure from the film (it’s still not entirely clear whether she jumped, or was pushed) was the age-old ‘creative differences.’ However, the 45-year old Californian filmmaker has finally shed some light on what happened, and how her vision for the 2013 ‘Thor’ sequel didn’t gel with what Marvel had in mind.
Jenkins tells Buzzfeed, “I pitched them that I wanted to do ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ I wanted Jane to be stuck on Earth and Thor to be stuck where he is. And Thor to be forbidden to come and save Jane because Earth doesn’t matter.
“And then by coming to save her … they end up discovering that Malekith is hiding the dark energy inside of Earth because he knows that Odin doesn’t care about Earth, and so he’s using Odin’s disinterest in Earth to trick him.
“And so it was like, I wanted it to be a grand [movie] based on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ … a war between the gods and the earthlings, and Thor saves the day and ends up saving Earth.”
It was widely rumoured at the time that Natalie Portman had been very eager to work with Jenkins, and was very displeased with her departure from the film. This, it has been speculated, may have soured the actress’s relationship with Marvel, which may at least in part be why she will not appear in the upcoming ‘Thor: Ragnarok.’
Still, in another interview with Uproxx, Jenkins is whimsical about the whole thing: “I don’t think I could have made a good movie out of ‘Thor 2’ because I wasn’t the right director. And I don’t think I would have been in the running for ‘Wonder Woman’ as a result.
“And that’s one of the reasons why I’m glad I didn’t do it. Because I could have made a great ‘Thor’ if I could have done the story that I was wanting to do. But I don’t think I was the right person to make a great ‘Thor’ out of the story they wanted to do… I was heartbroken. I was like, oh, what a bummer. But in retrospect it all makes sense.”
Perhaps ironically, Jenkins was herself the second director hired for ‘Wonder Woman,’ after first choice Michelle MacLaren left over – that’s right – ‘creative differences.’
‘Thor: The Dark World’ wound up a reasonable critical and commercial success, taking $644.5 million at the global box office and chalking up a 66% fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating. Even so, it isn’t held up as a particular highlight in the Marvel canon, and the upcoming third film from director Taika Waititi promises a significant change in tone and content.
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ arrives in UK cinemas on 27 October 2017 – but before that, Jenkins’ ‘Wonder Woman’ opens on 1 June.