4 things you should know about record-breaking Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins

Wonder Woman has broken the record for the biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman.
Director Patty Jenkins and actress Gal Gadot arrive at the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Wonder Woman" at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Frazer Harrison)

Wonder Woman landed in cinemas last weekend, pulling in $100 million in the United States and $223 million worldwide. It's not only a big achievement for Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the film, but also for director Patty Jenkins, as the numbers represent the largest-ever opening weekend for a female director.

Here are four things to know about Jenkins.

1. Jenkins began studying painting, not filmmaking 

Jenkins' big break came in 2003, directing Charlize Theron to a best actress Oscar as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Prior to that, she had made a couple of low-budget short films and had worked on a number of sets for documentaries, television commercials and music videos. But her initial schooling was in painting at The Cooper Union in New York City.

2. She turned down a chance to work on another superhero film before Wonder Woman

Jenkins was initially slated to direct Thor 2, but her plan to turn the plot into a film based loosely on Romeo and Juliet was rebuffed by the studio and Jenkins parted ways with the project due to creative differences.

3. She first discussed directing Wonder Woman over a decade ago

After the success of Monster, Jenkins discussed her desire to make Wonder Woman into a movie with Warner Bros., but things did not progress at the time. She would eventually turn her attention to directing episodes of television shows like Arrested Development and Entourage as the schedules were more conducive to her family life. Even when Wonder Woman was eventually given the green light, Jenkins was not the first choice. The film was initially meant to be directed by Michelle MacLaren, who had directed episodes of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, but she left the project in the early stages of development.

4. She's working on a long-gestating project with Canadian actor Ryan Gosling

Jenkins has been working on a film entitled I Am Superman with Ryan Gosling for a number of years. Contrary to what the project's title might imply, it isn't another superhero vehicle. Instead, the proposed film explores how "a fighting pitbull finds itself on a strange and unexpected journey that will ultimately decide its fate."

— Del Cowie, q digital staff


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?