UPDATE: Jenkins has released a statement on Twitter clarifying what she meant when she said she was being hired as a ‘beard’ for a studio:
Versions of this article seems to be everywhere and not true. There was no "war" with warner bros. over ww. I'm talking about 10 years of discussions with 10 different execs through them. And whole beard thing was about other projects at other studios.
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) January 6, 2021
The original article is as follows:
While women directors are still trying to break in on the superhero genre, Patty Jenkins has soared with her work on Wonder Woman. What’s interesting is, it looked like WB wasn’t really interested in Jenkins’ vision when she was initially called onboard to work for them.
“They wanted to hire me like a beard; they wanted me to walk around on set as a woman, but it was their story and their vision… And my ideas? They didn’t even want to read my script. There was such mistrust of a different way of doing things and a different point of view. So that was definitely happening, even when I first joined ‘Wonder Woman’ it was like, ‘uhh, yeah, ok, but let’s do it this other way.’
Apparently, WB wanted to lean into something more adult and violent. Jenkins continued, “But I was like, ‘Women don’t want to see that. Her being harsh and tough and cutting people’s heads off, that’s not what— I’m a ‘Wonder Woman’ fan, that’s not what we’re looking for. Still, I could feel that shaky nervousness [on their part] of my point of view.” For context, here’s some concept art of Diana holding up a bunch of severed heads:
Jenkins apparently moved on from the project with WB bringing in Michelle MacClaren, but when things didn’t work out with her, they brought Jenkins back to the fold, and she was able to make the movie she eventually wanted. What’s interesting is, the part that fans thought was the weakest element of the film—the CGI fight in Act 3—wasn’t even Jenkins idea, but something the studio had ordered to be put into the film.
For now, Jenkins has been signed on to direct Wonder Woman 3, but she’s going to be teaming up with Lucasfilm first for the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. In the meantime, you can check out Wonder Woman 1984 in theaters and on HBO Max.