If all went according to plan, Patty Jenkins would’ve been the first woman to direct a Marvel Cinematic Universe film six years before anyone else. The Wonder Woman director was set to make the Thor: The Dark World back in 2013 but left early in the process due to “creative differences.” Now, years later, she’s opened up about the experience and her thoughts shine a new light not just on the Thor sequel, but the role of gender in Hollywood.
“I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing,” Jenkins told Vanity Fair in a wide-ranging interview. “I think it would have been a huge deal—it would have looked like it was my fault. It would’ve looked like, ‘Oh my God, this woman directed it and she missed all these things.’ That was the one time in my career where I really felt like, ‘Do this with [another director] and it’s not going to be a big deal.’ And maybe they’ll understand it and love it more than I do.”
The job of directing eventually went to Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, and while Thor: The Dark World is technically “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, it holds that distinction by a slim margin of just six percent. That makes it one of the worst-reviewed MCU films to date and one of the least revered by fans. (“The first one is good, the second one is meh,” star Chris Hemsworth famously said to GQ.)
However, Jenkins was right about the people who made it. Though Thor 2 wasn’t as well-received as the Marvel films that came both before and after, Taylor went on to direct Terminator: Genisys, more Game of Thrones episodes, and a Sopranos prequel film potentially coming out this year. He did fine. Whether she would’ve enjoyed similar success is debatable.
“You can’t do movies you don’t believe in,” Jenkins continued. “The only reason to do it would be to prove to people that I could. But it wouldn’t have proved anything if I didn’t succeed. I don’t think that I would have gotten another chance. And so, I’m super grateful.”
That other chance that Jenkins got by not doing Thor ended up being Wonder Woman, a runaway smash that changed superhero movies as we know them. So yeah, Patty Jenkins took a risk in turning down the big Marvel blockbuster—but the risk definitely paid off.
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