Director Patty Jenkins says she’s thrilled by the Oscar buzz that Wonder Woman is generating, ahead of this year’s Academy Awards nominations being announced. Following the highly divisive 2016 installments Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, DC Films needed Wonder Woman to be a proper critical success. Jenkins had already demonstrated her ability to helm a film that properly depicts a female protagonist with 2003’s Monster, but more than a decade has passed since that film’s release when she was recruited to bring Diana Prince to the big screen.
Fortunately, when Wonder Woman was released in theaters, both Jenkins and star Gal Gadot proved their naysayers wrong. Wonder Woman was a smash hit and it quickly became clear that if there’s anyone capable of further expanding the DC superhero’s movie franchise, it’s Jenkins. Warner Bros. has since locked Jenkins in to direct the Wonder Woman sequel scheduled for 2019. However, before she fully dives into the follow-up, Jenkins continues to celebrate the groundbreaking success of her first DC Comics adaptation – one that might even land an Oscar nod or two, very soon.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, Jenkins talked about the odds of Wonder Woman nabbing at least a nomination at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. While Wonder Woman was very much a critical darling, the filmmaker is keeping her expectations in check, based on the superhero movie genre’s track record when it comes to the Oscars:
“I know that superhero movies have had a very hard time. I know that women directors have had a very hard time being acknowledged. I know that superhero lead actors don’t get acknowledged. It is what it is . . . So to have my peers acknowledge [Wonder Woman] in this way and celebrate it in this way is a huge honor.”
Shall Wonder Woman fail to formally enter the Oscar race, the movie has already been celebrated by other award-giving bodies. It was nominated by the Producers Guild of America for Best Film of 2017, and was included in the American Film Institute’s Top Ten Films of the Year. Gadot and Jenkins have been recognized for their efforts on the film in other ways too, despite the lack of Golden Globe nominations for Wonder Woman last month.
While Wonder Woman may not be as innovative from a storytelling perspective as other awards contenders, its greatest strength lies in its simplicity, executed flawlessly. The movie is very straightforward and even mimics the usual superhero origins format that we have all seen before, but it does so brilliantly, bar its underwhelming villain. Jenkins further deserves to be celebrated for presenting Diana as a strong, yet complicated woman capable of compassion – something a lot of other movies still fail to do, with their own female protagonists. Wonder Woman‘s timing couldn’t be better either, given the growing calls for gender equality across the globe right now. The superhero film may be a period piece, but it’s quite topical and relevant in that respect.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Wonder Woman 2 release date: Nov 1, 2019