Wonder Woman is already the best-reviewed film of the DC Extended Universe thus far (which currently includes Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad), and now the film is on track to be the most successful. The film opened to a record-breaking $103 million, dropped a mere 43% in its second weekend, and then scored a minuscule drop of only 29% in its third weekend. That kind of hold is reserved solely for films that are good and are generating great word of mouth, which Wonder Woman absolutely is. So Warner Bros. would be silly not to A. Greenlight Wonder Woman 2 straight away but also B. Secure Patty Jenkins to return to direct.
We know that Jenkins wasn’t locked down, contractually, for a sequel, meaning she currently has a lot of leverage in negotiations. But her enthusiasm for sticking with this franchise has been crystal clear, and in a new interview with Variety, DC Films co-head Geoff Johns reveals that he and Jenkins are already hard at work planning Wonder Woman 2:
“Patty and I are writing the treatment right now. The goal is to make another great Wonder Woman film. I had a blast making it with Patty the first time. We’ve got a cool idea for the second one.”
Johns stopped short of confirming that Jenkins will be directing Wonder Woman 2, which likely means negotiations are still ongoing. But Johns, along with producer and exec Jon Berg with whom Johns oversees the entire DC Films unit, also spoke about the DCEU overall and what they can learn from Wonder Woman’s success. Berg flat-out says the other films have been “too dark” while also admitting the problems with Suicide Squad:
“There are lessons from every movie. You would be silly not to analyze how a movie was received — what went right and what went wrong on the making of a movie. On Suicide Squad, the movie did incredibly well commercially. It didn’t work narratively. You had some great casting and some great characterizations, but where the story fell down was on narrative, on plot. We could do better. Batman v. Superman was tonally dark. People didn’t respond to that.
Johns added that this doesn’t necessarily mean the DCEU characters will change, but insinuated that Wonder Woman shows them it’s better to stick to who the character is inherently rather than try to deconstruct it:
“Wonder Woman celebrated exactly who the character is, but looking at it, it’s not like we should change everything to be about hope and optimism. There’s nothing to change. That’s what these characters are.”
Johns notes that they have “a lot of plans” for their female characters at the moment, with movies like Gotham City Sirens and Batgirl in development. He also freely admitted that with Joss Whedon not only writing and directing Batgirl but also directing and overseeing reshoots and post-production on Justice League, they hope to stay in the Joss Whedon business for a long time to come:
“He’s a big part [of the DCEU] already. We love him. He’s a great partner, collaborator; we want him to be ensconced. We bring people by, have general meetings and talk about comics and their favorite superhero movies. With Joss, he saw the master board, and he saw a Batgirl title and he said, ‘You guys seriously want to do Batgirl?’ And we said, ‘Absolutely.’ He said, ‘That’s my jam.'”
Johns and Berg were upped to their roles after the release of Batman v Superman, when Warner Bros. realized it may have a tonal issue with its DCEU films. It’s encouraging to hear them speak frankly about the shortcomings of the films so far, and they seem to have a clear handle on exactly why Wonder Woman worked as well as it did. Here’s hoping there are more great films to come.