Of all the what-ifs out there in the world of comic-book movies (and comic books in general) one of the most interesting is the career trajectory of director Patty Jenkins, who made Wonder Woman a massive success, and is now finishing its sequel, Wonder Woman 1984 — which was just pushed back to August because of coronavirus.
That’s what happened. But Patty Jenkins almost directed Thor: The Dark World. Jenkins signed on to make the first Thor sequel, but after a few months in pre-production, she departed the project because of “creative differences” with the rest of Marvel. Game of Thrones’ Alan Taylor replaced her, and the film became one of the least-beloved movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
What if Jenkins had stayed? Would The Dark World be better? Would it have been just as bad? Would Patty Jenkins have been blamed for its failure? Would it have tanked her career? Who makes Wonder Woman then? Is it still as big of a smash? We’ll never really know — but they’re all fun questions to think about.
One thing we can know is why Jenkins left Thor: The Dark World in the first place. In a new interview with Vanity Fair about Wonder Woman 1984, she laid out exactly why her collaboration with Marvel didn’t work out, saying she didn’t believe she “could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing.” She continued…
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.’
Jenkins didn’t have bad things to say about Marvel overall, and she offered high praise to Taika Waititi, who turned the Thor series around with Thor: Ragnarok. (“I love that movie,” she told VF.)
Ultimately, it all worked out; Taika became Thor’s director, Jenkins got to make an awesome Wonder Woman (and hopefully another). But man, it’s such a fun what-if. Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled to open in theaters on August 14, 2020.
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