Wonder Woman 1984 finally arrives later this week, but what about Wonder Woman 3? Will director Patty Jenkins return to craft a trilogy?
Jenkins, who recently revealed that she has put the development of a third Wonder Woman movie on pause, suggests in a new interview that she might not make Wonder Woman 3 unless a theatrical model exists – and presumably exists in such a way that’s more in line with the robust model of years past instead of the limp, scattershot, life-support existence of movie theaters as they’ve been during 2020.
Speaking with The New York Times (via The Playlist), Jenkins implied that if Warner Bros. continues with its plan to simultaneously release films in theaters and on HBO Max past 2021, she might not return to direct Wonder Woman 3. “We’ll see what happens,” she said. “I really don’t know. I know that I’d love to do the third one if the circumstances were right and there was still a theatrical model possible. I don’t know that I would if there wasn’t.”
The art of negotiating in public is as old as the film industry itself, and it’s clear that Jenkins knows she’s a beloved figure to both fans and critics right now. She’s trying to do everything she can to secure the future of theatrical entertainment, and dangling the possibility that she’d walk away from the franchise is one of the only cards she can play right now. WB likely takes that seriously, too, considering Jenkins nearly walked away from making Wonder Woman 1984 until she received the level of payment that her male counterparts would have received for doing the same job.
When the studio made its big decision to release its entire 2021 slate to theaters and HBO Max at the same time domestically, it included language stating that this tactic would only be used in 2021. But many observers have pointed out that it’s going to be incredibly difficult to go back to the way things were after people have gotten used to the new normal.
“I would like to believe that [WB’s decision] is temporary,” Jenkins told the NYT, “but I’m not sure I do. But I’ll tell you, some studio’s going to go back to the traditional model and cause tremendous upheaval in the industry, because every great filmmaker is going to go work there. And the studios that make this radical change [of moving their theatrical releases to a streaming service], particularly without consulting the artists, will end up with a very empty slate of quality filmmakers working there.”
Will that studio be Universal, which many expect to be the new studio home of Christopher Nolan? As the coronavirus vaccine is distributed through 2021 and life begins to approach a return to the old ways, it will be fascinating to see how all of these fluid situations cement themselves into new shapes.