Patty Jenkins was adamant about a theatrical release for WONDER WOMAN 1984 when the film was shuffled around on the calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She insisted that the film wouldn’t go to streaming but that all changed when the announcement was made that the movie would be released simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters on Christmas day. Jenkins has admitted that there was no real good way to release the film in this current climate but Jenkins is also being pretty honest about her participation in a third film being in question if a streaming release was put in place.
Jenkins was asked about returning to direct for a third Wonder Woman film by “The New York Times” and while she would love to do a third movie, the circumstances would have to be right and those circumstances don’t seem to involve being released on streaming:
“We’ll see what happens. I really don’t know. I know that I’d love to do the third one if the circumstances were right and there was still a theatrical model possible. I don’t know that I would if there wasn’t.”
Jenkins has made it no secret that she fully respects the theatrical model and proper theatrical window but 2020 has put a lot of that in question as streaming came to the forefront when movie theaters shuttered due to the pandemic. Studios have had to shift movies all over the place, with some being pushed to next year and beyond, while others have sold off some of their lower-tier releases to streaming services as has been the case with Paramount Pictures. Warner Bros. is the studio behind the Wonder Woman franchise and they are continuing to get backlash for their decision to release all seventeen of their 2021 films on HBO Max and theaters simultaneously. The strategy has been attacked for its lack of transparency and for not being in line with deals that were already put in place with the filmmakers, production companies, and talent involved. Jenkins went with this release strategy for Wonder Woman 1984 because it proved to be the only feasible option to get the film out there without pushing it back further but she doesn’t seem down to do that for another film.
Jenkins has gone on the record saying that she agrees with director Christopher Nolan, who has denounced the release strategy on more than one occasion. Jenkins said “I agree with Chris. I don’t think it’s great for the future of filmmaking when COVID has passed. However, our film was different. It was presented in a very different way, which is that we are at the height of the pandemic right now and people are really suffering and struggling and the choices are to sit on our film and wait or release it.”
I would hate to lose Jenkins, who has now directed two Wonder Woman films to solid reviews, but I can understand her position and it’s a position of these filmmakers that I get more and more each day. They don’t want to see the theatrical experience die and personally, I don’t want it to either. If she feels that doing the third film under some kind of streaming strategy wouldn’t fit her creative needs, she has every right to step away.
Do YOU think Patty Jenkins will do a third Wonder Woman?