Petty Jenkins: Warner Bros. Took Issue with ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Double Opening Scenes

While “Wonder Woman 1984” did not receive the level of critical acclaim that greeted its 2017 predecessor, most reviewers were in agreement that Patty Jenkins’ sequel started strong with back-to-back action-driven set pieces: The Themyscira flashback depicting the Amazon Olympics and the thwarted Washington D.C. mall heist in 1984. Jenkins was a fan of this double-opening story structure, but she told JoBlo during a recent interview that Warner Bros. was not a supporter of the decision and wanted one of the sequences cut to keep the film’s total runtime down.

“It was not always written in,” Jenkins said of the Themyscira flashback. “It was the success of the first film, but it was also something else. I wouldn’t have jammed it in there because of the success of the film, because it actually made the movie too long. We have two openings in our movie and we would talk about it with the studio all the time and they would say, ‘You’ve got to cut the mall and the Eighties, or you’ve got to cut the Amazon.’ I was like, we can’t, we can’t cut either.”

“The reason I ended up realizing that you need the Amazon is because…you do that thing where you’re like, wait, you have to remember all the people that haven’t seen the first ‘Wonder Woman’ who watch this on a plane,” Jenkins continued about protecting the double-opening structure. “And suddenly it’s like, oh, it’s super hard to understand who Diana is and what’s going on without touching base there.”

Jenkins added, “I love the fact that you hear all of the ‘being a great hero takes your whole life,’ you know? So there was this wisdom there that they were trying to tell her which is not about being the strongest or the fastest, it’s about these complex observations you have to make during life in order to become a true hero. I love that she doesn’t understand that until that final speech.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” is now playing in theaters and streaming on HBO Max. Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are already in development on a third “Wonder Woman” movie. The comic book tentpole’s HBO Max streaming window ends January 24.

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