Since opening in theaters last week, Wonder Woman has become a spectacular success. The DC Comics adaptation – the first in which the Amazonian superhero Diana Prince (played by breakout Gal Gadot) has been center stage – has earned near unanimous praise from critics, a coveted “A” CinemaScore from filmgoers and minted nearly $240 million at the global box office thus far. The success of the film has also stabilized – at least from a critical and fan perspective – the ambitious DC Comics cinematic universe that Warner Bros. has attempted in the past few years to establish following financial successfully but highly criticized films such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
More importantly, Wonder Woman has struck a major milestone for director Patty Jenkins. Aside from holding the record for the highest grossing opening weekend gross for a film directed by a woman, Jenkins is the first female director to headline a major superhero title, and one of a very select few to headline a large-budgeted studio film. (Notably, director Michelle MacClaren was first attached to direct Wonder Woman before stepping down due to creative difference; while Jenkins at one point was in the mix to direct Thor: The Dark World for DC rival Marvel.) Interestingly, The Hollywood Reporter notes Jenkins is not yet signed on to direct a second Wonder Woman installment.
On closer observation, this may not be as curious as it may seem. It’s noteworthy that ahead of Wonder Woman, Jenkins only had one feature under her belt – the 2003 indie Monster, which earned Charlize Theron an Academy Award – and the seemingly cautious steering of the DC Comics unit by Warner Bros. Furthermore, Wonder Woman appears to have massively overperformed compared to the studio’s expectations for the film – for instance, a few weeks back the studio pegged the film would open at or near $65 million domestically, a respectable number but considerably slimmer from the film’s actual opening take of $103 million.
While Jenkins may not be currently set for a Wonder Woman follow-up, reportedly talks between the director and Warner Bros. are set to commence, though a time-table is not yet established. Considering the blockbuster start for the film, Jenkins might be in a better position than previously.