This summer, Patty Jenkins has been shattering glass ceilings everywhere with the success of Wonder Woman. When the news came around for the sequel, questions arose as to if she would return or not. Months passed with nothing confirmed. Rumors spouted here and there, but nothing was ever set in stone. Even through Comic-Con, there was STILL no news.
So where was she?
Now we know… and it’s HISTORIC.
Negotiations were being delayed because Patty was asking for one hefty pay raise. She was waiting on the best deal she could possibly get on this film, knowing full well the talent she has and how well her film did. Waiting to make as much money as the boys’ club of Superhero Cinema.
Patty Jenkins will officially be the highest paid female director. Ever.
Now let me explain why this is both exciting and a sad realization of the lack of equality in payment between male and female directors in Hollywood.
4% of directors in Hollywood are female and will mostly take on smaller independent films instead of action movies, thrillers, or even Superhero films. Statistics from Sundance Film Festival showed that in the world of independent film, this year alone 34% of films screened there were helmed by women. In comparison to roughly 25% last year, so we are seeing an increase! We have also seen a rise in films outside of a drama or comedy category for women. Take this year’s French film “Raw” directed by Julia Ducournau or the four-part horror anthology “XX” directed by Karyn Kusama, Jovanka Vuckovic, St. Vincent and Roxanne Benjamin. Both of these were horror films that did extremely well at film festivals and showed women could jump into any genre and be extremely daring. Or even Detroit coming in on the scene this Summer, another smash hit for Kathryn Bigelow. We're seeing women breaking barriers and shattering a norm seen for a female filmmaker.
So why don't big name studios notice this rise in female filmmakers? This is mainly because studios feel that their main demographic in this area is male. It’s honestly that simple. They don’t look at “superhero” films as having a wide demographic. It’s a risk many studios have to be willing to take, which is what Warner Bros did with Patty. Typically, a beginning director for a blockbuster will make $1.5-3 million dollars. Whereas the Zach Snyder or Joss Whedon type in Hollywood will make roughly $10 million plus 10% of the box office revenue. No set amount has been said yet as to how much Patty will be making for the sequel, but reportedly she’ll be making around the same amount as the Zach Snyder’s of this genre. Wonder Woman showed that a lot of women exist in this demographic and will pay big money to see these movies. Hollywood studios are realizing that if they begin to expand to a wider audience, they’ll continue making the big bucks they’re currently raking in (Wonder Woman has a current worldwide gross of $798,808,376). We want more of it, and they’re finally listening.