‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins Finds Balance Between Strong and Feminine, Plus a New Image
With zero female-led superhero movies since 2008’s Iron Man, and one of the best movie trailers of the year, Patty Jenkins has a lot of expectations to fulfill with her upcoming Wonder Woman. Ideally, she shouldn’t, because we’d have an equal number of men and women leading the charge against Chitauri or Dark Elves or warmongering arms dealers, but the prospect of finally seeing a powerful lady at the center of her own movie is exciting nonetheless. But with all these guy protagonists out there, how do you make a female superhero relatable? It’s not actually that hard. Just treat her like a male superhero.
Time has a fascinating piece about Wonder Woman’s origins, the recent U.N. ambassador controversy, and Jenkins’ new film. They asked the director how she decided on Diana Prince’s characterization for the movie, and Jenkins said that it wasn’t much different from any male character.
We’ve spent years treating male heroes in certain ways. I just applied those same tropes to her, and all these incredible radical moments suddenly appear to an audience.
Still, the concept of “female superhero” comes with enough baggage that finding a way to make the character strong, relatable, and still feminine was a delicate matter.
We knew it was tricky. We wanted to find the balance between portraying her as confident and strong and feminine and warm. I didn’t want her to be a ball buster. I didn’t want her to be bossy. You can be powerful and also loving.
Below, check out a new image of Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.
Jenkins also kept in mind how Diana’s love interest Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine in the movie, needed to match the hero in strength and character. Wonder Woman is not about emasculation: “After all, none of us wants to be in love with someone who isn’t grand in their own right.”
The question of gender politics surrounding Wonder Woman certainly isn’t over, and will continue long after the movie is released. It’s heartening that Patty Jenkins seems to know how important it is to have Diana be equal to her male peers, uniquely powerful as a woman herself, but not to treat her any differently because she’s a woman. When you’re writing your female superhero movie script, don’t have her do what a female superhero would do. Have her do what a superhero would.
Wonder Woman hits theaters June 2, 2017.