“Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins says fans had a lot of influence on the film — as they should!
Superheroes inspire us, give us strength and hope, show us that there is good in the world, and so much more. It makes sense, then, that they are often the subject of fan art — and Wonder Woman is no exception. As a testament to that, the film of the same name (in theaters June 2nd) is even calling for fan art to be highlighted.
But, how did creations like these affect director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman filmmaking process?
“Going into this, you research everything about who loves Wonder Woman and why,” Jenkins said at the Wonder Woman Master Class at YouTube Space LA last Friday. “I tried to remember very clearly what the genesis of it is, and in the case of Wonder Woman, I always thought about the fans…because I should, but also because all these people have been dressing up as Wonder Woman for 75 years. There’s a reason. What is it? What’s the reason that I love her, that you love her? How do we celebrate that and stay true to that?”
Considering, it makes sense that Jenkins — best known for her work on Monster — celebrated the many interpretations that Diana Prince has inspired.
“I invite alt versions of Diana that people have done. I think it’s great. I embrace all of them, but this is the original movie and I thought it was an incredible opportunity to really try to keep our finger on what that was. You don’t even know where you’re drawing from. Am I drawing from the little girl who thought she was Wonder Woman, or the little girl in the wheelchair who thought she was Wonder Woman, or the grown man who found his voice in Wonder Woman?
“It might be anywhere, but all of those people — and what they’re drawn to, just like I’m drawn to — that was everything to me,” she continued. “Like, ‘Yes, let’s never deviate from that.’ Everybody else is working at a studio. That’s not their job. They might say, ‘Well, maybe she would punch somebody right in the face and smile.’ My job is to say, ‘That’s not what we want. That’s not our Diana — not this time. Maybe later when she’s really angry, but not here.’ So, I drew from everywhere and everyone that loves her.”
Jenkins also made sure to count previous iterations amongst her myriad inspirations, like William Marston’s TV series starring Lynda Carter, George Perez’s comics, DC Comics’ The New 52 revamp and relaunch, and more. “I always — even to Lynda Carter early on — I said ‘We’re not the new generation saying, ‘This is my Wonder Woman,’” Jenkins explained. “‘It’s the same Wonder Woman. I want to expand what’s already been there.’”
At the event, the director also addressed a fan’s concern that it seemed the film wasn’t receiving a big advertising push.
She said it’s hard for her to know the film’s advertising reach for the individual, being in the unique position that she’s in, but that she thinks it was always the plan to wait to push the advertising until the right moment — and that she believes the film has received a comparable marketing budget to other films. “I think it’s unclear,” she went on. “You could point a finger to the fact that something’s been shortchanged, but I always wonder if the world at large believes that she could be a major blockbuster. I don’t point the finger.”
“Maybe I’m being naive about it, but I’ve always said, ‘I think you guys don’t realize who’s been knocking on the door at Halloween. That’s not for nothing.’ So it’s interesting to me that it took so long for her to have a movie. I don’t think that there was any one reason to blame for that, but I’ve always thought, ‘Am I the only person who thinks there’s a lot of people that want to see a Wonder Woman movie?’ I love the fact that the fans took that point of view of defending whether we’re being backed up enough. It’s great to be cared for in that way.”
Patty, you’re definitely not the only one to have wanted this film for a long time — and we’re so happy it’s FINALLY about to hit theaters.