Patty Jenkins almost walked away from Wonder Woman 1984 over money disputes. The director had just put out Wonder Woman, which was a box office monster for Warner Bros. and a hit with critics and viewers. Everybody knew that Jenkins was about to cash in with a sequel already in development, but it nearly didn't work out that way. The long-awaited sequel is about to open in select theaters on Christmas Day, while simultaneously premiering on HBO Max for no additional cost to current subscribers.
In a new interview, Patty Jenkins spoke about the negotiation process with Warner Bros. She also revealed why it took so long for the studio to formally announce that she was officially attached to direct Wonder Woman 1984. "I started to walk away," explained Jenkins. "I was gonna' walk away. I even said I'd be happy to go to another studio and make a quarter as much because it's not a sequel, on principle, no problem." She went on and had this to say.
"It's interesting as someone who never made any profit in my career up until Wonder Woman, that I was always at peace with it. I was like, 'Hey I get it.' But now I was like, 'Listen, I never made any money in my career because you always had the leverage and I didn't.' But now the shoe is on the other foot so it's time to turn the tables."
In the end, Patty Jenkins and Warner Bros. were able to come to a satisfactory agreement for Wonder Woman 1984. "I don't want to talk about a quote system that's boxed me out and it's not even true. It was easy to find that all of the men not just had quotes, they'd made an independent film and then a first [superhero] movie," Jenkins explained. She claims that there were plenty of male directors in the same position as her who were making a lot more money. Unfortunately, it sounds like Jenkins really had to fight for what she believed was hers.
Patty Jenkins says that those unnamed directors "got paid seven times more than me for the first superhero movie. Then on the second one, they got paid more than me still." As for her Wonder Woman 1984 fight, it was easy for her to say, "'This can't be. It super can't be. And it really can't be on Wonder Woman... it was an interesting thing to do, but it was an easy thing to do in the fact I was dead serious." In the end, Jenkins feels that there was a lot of pressure on her shoulders to fight for women and the industry for getting the sequel made.
Had Patty Jenkins not stepped up to direct Wonder Woman 1984, DC fans might still be waiting a lot longer to see the sequel. Luckily, the movie will premiere next week and it has been getting good reviews from critics. As for how Warner Bros.' new system of delivering new content to consumers goes, that is another question. You can check out the full interview with Patty Jenkins over at the Happy Sad Confused Podcast.