Patty Jenkins’ career has been a weird one. Her feature film debut, Monster, back in 2003 was very much critically acclaimed and even got Charlize Theron her one and only Best Actress Oscar win thus far. One would assume that the critical success of Monster would’ve smashed the door wide open for the highly talented Jenkins. But it didn’t. Instead, Jenkins was relegated to making TV movies that nobody has ever heard of and a few episodes of TV series here and there. Of course, she was finally offered the chance to helm Wonder Woman that hit the big screens in 2017 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Interestingly enough, that wasn’t the first comic book movie that Jenkins was offered to direct. She was also offered to direct Thor: The Dark World, by Marvel Studios. However, she exited the project after three months due to “creative differences.” But what exactly was the problem? Well, in an interview with Vanity Fair, we finally know what those differences are: Jenkins wanted a good script and what she read simply wasn’t. She said:
I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing. 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. You can’t do movies you don’t believe in. 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.
Jenkins probably made the right decision there. Things may be slowly changing right now (keyword: slowly), but Hollywood, in general, has been incredibly unkind to women directors. If she had directed Thor: The Dark World from a subpar script and the film performed poorly at the box office or did not receive critical acclaim, old school Hollywood execs would’ve simply pushed the blame onto her.