Wonder Woman 1984 Director Patty Jenkins on the Tough Decision to Release on Streaming

Director Patty Jenkins with stars Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, and Kristen Wiig on the set of Wonder Woman 1984.
Director Patty Jenkins with stars Gal Gadot, Pedro Pascal, and Kristen Wiig on the set of Wonder Woman 1984.
Photo: Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins finished Wonder Woman 1984 before the world changed. The writer-director had completed work on the highly anticipated superhero sequel in early March, before covid-19 forced most of the world into a lockdown. Then everything went quiet.

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“I just cooked and cleaned all year and no one has seen it until today,” Jenkins told a group of journalists, including io9, via Zoom last week. “It’s been so surreal because you worked so, so hard and then all of a sudden you’re just like popped right out to a world as if it never existed.”

She’s talking, of course, about the fact that Wonder Woman 1984 was supposed to be out last year. Then it got moved to June. Then to August, October, and at last December—when it will finally be getting a controversial shared released simultaneously both in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. It’s not what she wanted, but Jenkins has begun to see the positives of the situation.

“It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made,” Jenkins said. “But it’s interesting to actually sit there and face, like, ‘OK, we’re giving up the money. You’re not making any money with your film.’ But the truth is, what’s the point of a film? The point of the film is the message you’re trying to connect to the world with. That’s the most important thing. So in that way, when this idea was presented, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is the moment.’ This is the moment where this thing we have can become something to give, and a better thing, and and try to be about hope.”

Jenkins has long been a strong proponent of the theatrical experience, but she said when the idea of a Christmas at-home release came up, it just was too perfect to ignore. And she can go back to advocating for theatrical releases another time.

“I love Christmas and the fact that we get to play in people’s houses on Christmas Day is like a great honor of my life. Really. Truly,” she said. “I never thought I’d say that about streaming over theatrical and I’m going to go back to my old ways down the road. But this is a special year. So to give people the film in anyway they can is really awesome.”

Wonder Woman 1984 is basically Patty Jenkins’ holiday gift to the world, and we can all unwrap it on December 25.

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Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.

DISCUSSION

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Sorry am I reading this right? Is she’s not making money of the HBO Max run?

It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made,” Jenkins said. “But it’s interesting to actually sit there and face, like, ‘OK, we’re giving up the money. You’re not making any money with your film.’ But the truth is, what’s the point of a film? The point of the film is the message you’re trying to connect to the world with. That’s the most important thing. So in that way, when this idea was presented, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is the moment.’ This is the moment where this thing we have can become something to give, and a better thing, and and try to be about hope.”