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While we don’t doubt that the situation is dicey, there is something to be said about how strange the accounts read when describing what went down. The insider source told the trade that Jenkins “doesn’t want to allow” Gunn or Safran “a seat at the table,” while also claiming that Jenkins believed that De Luca and Abdy “didn’t understand her” or Wonder Woman. These are strongly personal claims to make, and given the industry’s vehement treatment of women directors that don’t meet expectations, it would be remiss of us not to approach this with even a bit of skepticism.
Granted, this would not be the first time that Jenkins had parted ways with a project due to alleged creative differences. She was originally slated to direct “Thor: The Dark World,” but told Vanity Fair that problems with the film’s script and the refusal to make any positive changes caused her to leave. Her “Star Wars” film “Rogue Squadron” allegedly had similar creative disputes that caused its current purgatorial state, according to former Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni’s Puck News (via Collider). It is important to keep these incidents in mind, but it’s equally important not to fall into regressive rhetoric.
It is no secret that “Wonder Woman 1984” underperformed both critically and commercially. However, its shortcomings should not be considered proof that the minuscule progress in the treatment of women directors post-#TimesUp should be rolled back. It was a misstep that would likely be considered little more than a mistake on a male director’s resume, but for Jenkins, it’s being treated like a potential career-ender.