The career of Patty Jenkins, the new director of Wonder Woman

Patricia Lea “Patty” Jenkins, that’s how the name goes! After Michelle MacLaren stepped away from the upcoming Wonder Woman movie citing creative differences, Warner Bros. wasted little time in finding a replacement in Patty Jenkins. It’s good to see that the studio stuck with a female director, for if a Wonder Woman movie is also made by a man, then it becomes all the more difficult to figure out which kind of projects would give the female directors a break-through. Patty Jenkins’ career as a director also gives an inclination on how difficult it is for females to expand their scope and build a strong career in the movie industry.

Patty Jenkins_Monster

Patty Jenkins started her career as a director in the early 2000’s, initially with a couple of short films before making her debut with the indie flick Monster in 2003. Yep, the same Monster which won its lead actress Charlize Theron truckloads of awards including the Academy Award. It was a dark serious-toned drama flick based on a true story, which won Patty Jenkins many plaudits as well.

In 2004, she directed one episode of the TV series Arrested Development. In 2006, she directed two episodes of the TV series Entourage. Strangely, that was all the work that Patty Jenkins did until 2011. For someone who rattled Hollywood with something like Monster, she has had a rather insipid career in the subsequent years. But in 2011, Jenkins directed one segment of the well-reviewed TV movie Five, which was an anthology of five short films exploring the impact of breast cancer on people’s lives.

Patty Jenkins_Photo

Patty Jenkins got more recognition for directing the pilot episodes of the first two seasons of the crime drama TV series The Killing. She even got a Emmy nomination for her work on this show, and won the Directors Guild of America Award in 2012. Things were actually looking up for Patty Jenkins in those days as she was brought on board to direct the sequel to the Marvel movie Thor. That would have been the first movie in the Marvel cinematic universe to be directed by a female. But creative differences came in the way, and Patty Jenkins walked out of such a big opportunity. As fate would have it, a few years later someone else decided to walk out of a superhero film due to creative differences, and the next in line to get the job turned out to be Patty Jenkins.

Patty Jenkins_Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Patty Jenkins has a TV movie titled Exposed set for a release this year, which stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ben Barnes. But it is the involvement with Wonder Woman which has thrown her back in the spotlight. It’s a big project, critical in the Warner Bros. driven DC cinematic universe, which would require Patty Jenkins to do a lot of thinking on how to approach the subject. We all know that actress Gal Gadot will be playing the titular role, though we will get a look at her beforehand in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Warner Bros. has already set a June 2017 release for Wonder Woman, and so it was quite important for them to have the director’s seat occupied. With Patty Jenkins well tucked in, everything is going to be on fast track mode now, and I hope she nails this film and gives us something as memorable as Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. Good luck to her!


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