Wonder Woman is credited for not only saving the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), breaking multiple box office records and garnering serious Oscar buzz, but also for breaking new ground for women working in the film industry. With a record-breaking superhero movie under her belt, director Patty Jenkins is now a role model for all aspiring female filmmakers, and has actively taken it upon herself to progress this movement even further.
Equality Is Wonderful: Patty Jenkins And Her Push For Fair Pay
In her latest interview with Variety, Jenkins revealed that she'll be directing the yet untitled Wonder Woman 2 for a fee of up to $9 million – a record salary for a female filmmaker. Jenkins was able to reach this deal after months of negotiating with #DC and Warner Brothers, and the celebrated director was always aware of the positive implications that a record-breaking fee would have on the industry.
"You’re of course aware of the money. But I’ve never been more aware of a duty than I was in this deal. I was extremely aware that I had to make sure I was being paid what the male equivalent would be.”
Jenkins' salary pales in comparison to those of her male counterparts, and recent studies showed that women only earn roughly 80 cents to every dollar of a man's wage. For reference, What Women Want director Nancy Meyers receives roughly $5 million per film, and this has been considered the most a female filmmaker can earn unless there is a significant change in the industry's pay gap. The director told Variety that if change was to occur, those with as much clout as herself would have to lead the charge.
"Women who have not been in a system that allows them to build up the same level of pay as men are not able to be paid the same as men forever if that’s the way it continues. You have to ask for it to happen, and you have to ask when you’re the appropriate person.
Jenkins also cited actress Charlize Theron's experience, where she had to demand a $10 million paycheck for her work in The Huntsman: Winter's War after the Sony hack revealed the massive pay gap between male and female actors. Despite sharing top billing with Chris Hemsworth, Theron was paid less than the Marvel star, which was something she would not stand for. Ultimately, the producers garnered her a paycheck that was on par with Hemsworth's.
For far too long, the filmmaking industry hasn't been treating female professionals with equality, but with people like Jenkins standing up for what they rightfully deserve, the times could finally be changing for the better. The second Wonder Woman movie is set for a December 2019 release date, with Jenkins and #GalGadot expected to return.
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