Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins knows that Diana of Themyscira is a role model for women everywhere, but what she’s also learned is she’s become a heroine for female filmmakers. And the desire to help them was an important drive in negotiating fair pay for the highly anticipated sequel.
“I’ve never been more aware of a duty than I was in this deal,” Jenkins told Variety. “I was extremely aware that I had to make sure I was being paid what the male equivalent would be.”
This could be why Jenkins spent months negotiating with Warner Bros. for Wonder Woman 2, reportedly getting $US7 million to $US9 million ($9 million to $11.6 million) to direct the follow-up to her blockbuster DC debut. That’s a record salary for female filmmakers, beating What Women Want director Nancy Meyers, who got about $US5 million ($6.4 million) per film on average. Still, it pales in comparison to what some of Hollywood’s more-successful male directors receive.
Jenkins said she was aware that she wasn’t just asking for a higher paycheck, she was helping open doors for other women in Hollywood in the future. She pointed to how Charlize Theron negotiated to get $US10 million ($12.8 million, the same as co-star Chris Hemsworth) for The Huntsman: Winter’s War after the Sony hack revealed their unequal pay, saying she felt it was her “job” to do the same.
“Women who have not been in a system that allows them to build up the same level of pay as men are not able to be paid the same as men forever if that’s the way it continues,” Jenkins said. “You have to ask for it to happen, and you have to ask when you’re the appropriate person.”
Wonder Woman 2 is scheduled to be released December 2019.