Patty Jenkins is "Grateful" for Her 'Thor 2' Experience, But Walked Away to Avoid Director's Jail
It’s no secret that Patty Jenkins parted ways with Marvel Studios after a brief but conflicting time on Thor 2. Jenkins was originally set to direct the Marvel sequel before she stepped away over creative differences (which would consequently earn Marvel the ire of star Natalie Portman, before Taika Waititi won her back). That left directing duties to Alan Taylor, who would turn out one of the least-liked movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And Jenkins said, in a recent interview, that she saw the writing in the cards for what would become Thor: The Dark World, which led to her exiting the project.
In an interview with Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast (via The Playlist), Jenkins swapped a few more war stories about her time on Thor 2, and why she ended up ultimately walking away from the film. She admitted that she was grateful for the opportunity that Marvel gave her back in 2011, but saw that she was being set up to fail:
“Word got out that I wanted to do a superhero film and to Marvel’s credit—on a movie that didn’t require a woman at all—they hired me. So, I’ve always been super grateful to them even though it didn’t work out.
They wanted to do a story that I thought was not going to succeed, and I knew it couldn’t be me [to fail],” she explained. “It couldn’t be me that had that happen. If they hired any guy to do it, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I knew in my heart that I could not make a good movie out of the story they wanted to do.”
It’s true that, as a female director, Jenkins had more to lose. The filmmaker had won critical acclaim for her 2003 drama Monster, but one critical hit would not be able to balance out a blockbuster disappointment at that point in her career, and studies have shown that female directors get fewer second chances in Hollywood than male directors.
Jenkins would step away from Thor 2, and Alan Taylor would step in to direct Thor: The Dark World, which he would have his own bad experiences on. But despite The Dark World nearly tanking the prospects of a Thor franchise, the character would be saved by Taika Waitit’s Thor: Ragnarok, which reinvigorated the Norse god with one of the most critically acclaimed Marvel movies, and would push Thor into being one of the most popular Marvel heroes. Jenkins harbors no hard feelings for the franchise, and added that she loves Waititi’s sequel as much as the rest of the world.
“It was such a good movie,” Jenkins said. “Taika is the most genius fit for Thor of all time. It’s amazing. Ragnarok is one of the best Marvel movies of all time. So good and so executed.”
In the meantime, Jenkins is not wanting for big blockbuster projects. She’s set to helm Disney’s Rogue Squadron, and has Wonder Woman 3 and a Cleopatra film in the works.
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