Before Alan Taylor stepped in to direct Thor: The Dark World, Marvel had signed with Monster helmer Patty Jenkins, which was a pretty big deal. She would be Marvel’s first female director and it would be for the first Thormovie post-Avengers. However, she left the project after three months due to “creative differences.” Thanks to a new interview with Vanity Fair, we now know what those differences were: she wanted a good script and Marvel disagreed.
Jenkins spoke frankly about her departure: “I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing. I think it would have been a huge deal—it would have looked like it was my fault. It would’ve looked like, ‘Oh my God, this woman directed it and she missed all these things.’ That was the one time in my career where I really felt like, Do this with [another director] and it’s not going to be a big deal. And maybe they’ll understand it and love it more than I do.” The director shook her head. “You can’t do movies you don’t believe in. The only reason to do it would be to prove to people that I could. But it wouldn’t have proved anything if I didn’t succeed. I don’t think that I would have gotten another chance. And so, I’m super grateful.”
As we reported back in 2017, Jenkins was more interested in doing a “Romeo & Juliet-style space opera,” and the film we got was…not that. I don’t hate Thor: The Dark World and I think it picks up once Loki enters the picture, but it’s definitely not a film with much of a personality or guiding voice. For her part, Jenkins thinks Marvel finally got it right when they brought on Taika Waititi for Thor: Ragnarok:
“I really have nothing but positive things to say about Marvel, because, honestly, they gave me that chance in the first place and it was not en vogue to do so,” she said, then lit up talking about the next installment in that franchise, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. “They found Thor’s rightful director. Taika’s so good for Thor. Oh my God, I love that movie. His tone with Thor was just masterful. That felt like pure Taika to me.”
It’s an alls-well-that-ends-well situation. Patty Jenkins eventually landed Wonder Woman and Taika Waititi is at work on the fourth Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder.
Patty Jenkins’ much-anticipated sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, opens August 14th.