If you have had the chance to watch WONDER WOMAN 1984 you know that the film opens with two rousing opening sequences that help launch the film. The first features a young Diana Prince (played by Lilly Aspell) back in the Amazon while the other is the high-octane mall action scene that sets up the lighter tone of the sequel. The two scenes are some of the best in the film (and the last bit of action you get for over an hour) but Warner Bros., according to director Patty Jenkins, was not into having two opening scenes and wanted her to cut one of them.
Patty Jenkins revealed this tidbit during a Zoom chat that our very own JimmyO was lucky enough to sit in on with a small group of journalists. The director had this to say about the opening scene:
“It was not always written in. 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.”
At the end of the day, Jenkins got her way and was able to keep both scenes in the film. Jenkins felt like she needed to keep the Amazon scene in the film as it helps people who aren’t particularly up to date in the world of DC Comics. She goes on to say “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 and suddenly it’s like, oh, it’s super hard to understand who Diana is and what’s going on without touching base there.”
What’s interesting about this info is that Jenkins seems to have seen her fair share of opposition from Warner Bros. that wasn’t really revealed until the release of Wonder Woman 1984. Jenkins made it known that Warner Bros. was the one that wanted the CGI-dominated climax of the first film that critics weren’t keen on, despite their love for just about everything else in the film. While Jenkins did not disclose the original ending of 2017’s Wonder Woman, she did say it was far more pared down than what Warner Bros. forced her to include.
“The original end of the first movie was also smaller but the studio made me change it at the last minute. And so, that’s always been a little bit of a bummer that that’s the one thing people talk about because I agreed and I told the studio we didn’t have time to do it, but it was what it was. I ended up loving it, but that was not the original ending of the movie.”
Jenkins also made it known that she nearly didn’t return for the Wonder Woman sequel due to monetary disagreements with Warner Bros. While they eventually came together on a deal, originally Jenkins wasn’t being offered what they would’ve coughed up for some of her peers:
I started to walk away. I was gonna’ walk away. I even said I’d be happy to go to another studio and make a quarter as much because it’s not a sequel, on principle, no problem. It’s interesting as someone who never made any profit in my career up until Wonder Woman, that I was always at peace with it. I was like, ‘Hey I get it.’ But now I was like, ‘Listen, I never made any money in my career because you always had the leverage and I didn’t.’ But now the shoe is on the other foot so it’s time to turn the tables.
Despite any disagreements with the studio, Patty Jenkins is returning to direct the final installment of the Wonder Woman trilogy so I guess the relationship is healthy enough to remain in business together. At the end of the day, it’s always going to be a push and pull scenario with any studio over the creative direction of a project. You win some, you lose some, and in the case of two opening scenes for Wonder Woman 1984, it’s a battle that Jenkins clearly won.
What are YOUR thoughts on the two opening scenes? Were two of them really necessary?