Before tackling and saving the #DCEU with Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins had only one feature film directing credit under her belt: the crime drama Monster, a debut hit that earned Charlize Theron an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2003. Because of this, an incredible amount of pressure was placed on Jenkins's shoulders prior to Wonder Woman's release — but she silenced all doubts when #WonderWoman hit theaters to thunderous applause.
The final product managed to exceed financial and critical expectations, and has legions of fans worshiping at Jenkins' feet. She recently participated in a Reddit AMA to give insights into the production of Wonder Woman. From her favorite karaoke tune to the film's key influences, here are some of the most interesting tidbits Jenkins shared:
1. Jenkins Had Free Creative Rein Over The Film
Jenkins was asked how much influence director Zack Snyder, who is also a producer on Wonder Woman, and DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns had on the project. She commends them for helping with the story — and had nothing but nice words to say about the two — but made it clear that she was calling the shots:
"I think Zack mostly had an influence in getting things back in order to be a good origin story, and then Geoff and I worked super closely to work on the script and the story and Zack was a great producer, but creatively they gave me the reins."
2. Diana Would Belt Out Some Sia During A Hypothetical Karaoke Session
A redditor mentioned how "modern women" always get asked what their go-to karaoke song is. So what would Wonder Woman's and Jenkins's go-to karaoke songs be?
Jenkins reveals that she is a classic Journey fan — with her pick of "Don't Stop Believin'" — while Diana would choose the Sia track from the film, "To Be Human."
3. Casablanca And Indiana Jones Were Among Wonder Woman's Big Influences
Redditor KylosApprentice praised Jenkins for her incredible ability at creating a superhero film that left him feeling "inspired and full of courage." He asked what other films or comics influenced the film besides Richard Donner's Superman, and she provided a list that ranged from the chemistry shared between Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca to the original Wonder Woman comic book and Lynda Carter series. Interestingly, Raiders of the Lost Ark inspired Chris Pine's take on Steve Trevor.
4. The Film Is Full Of Improv
Wonder Woman has a number of hilarious sequences that somehow felt "off the cuff" from the talented cast — and that's because they were! Jenkins reveals that she always encourages humor on set and confirms Pine's "above average" comment was entirely improvised:
"There was plenty of improvising. Great lines arrived every day, and particularly the boat scene, Chris Pine's entire riff about not being an 'average' man was improvised on the spot — as were many other great moments."
5. Shaping The Tone Was No Easy Task
Asked about the hardest aspect of creating Wonder Woman, Jenkins gave a surprising answer: it wasn't the CGI or practical effects but rather "the tone."
There are a number of sequences that seamlessly switch from showcasing the unbelievable power and strength of the Amazons to a quiet, emotionally-driven scene. Jenkins states that "pulling all of those different worlds together into one movie" was "extremely difficult and complicated."
Of course, she managed to pull it off brilliantly. Redditors told Jenkins they loved how the humor never felt forced and "when it needed to be inspiring, it was inspiring."
6. Patty Jenkins Is Looking Forward To Marvel's Next Films
Like all of us, Patty Jenkins is a movie lover first and foremost, no matter which studio makes them. Jenkins revealed which films she is most looking forward to, being "very excited to see a number of things," including the Edgar Wright-directed Baby Driver and Ava DuVernay's highly anticipated A Wrinkle In Time adaption. She also gives a shout out to three films that will surely crush it at the box office: Justice League, of course, plus Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok.
With the incredible success of Wonder Woman, audiences will be clamoring to see what Patty Jenkins directs next. Whether she chooses to helm another major blockbuster or return to her independent roots, she will certainly bring her own special touch to it. Either way, Wonder Woman will continue to break box office records and encourage more women to conquer the superhero realm.
Wonder Woman is in theaters now.
What was your favorite response in the AMA? Let me know in the comments below!