Not long before signing on to direct the sequel to Warner Bros.' summer blockbuster Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins was already making headlines for firing back at James Cameron, who criticized her film as a "step backwards" for women. However, Jenkins contends that Cameron's remarks are the least of her concerns, as her main focus has been using her Wonder Woman 2 salary to help strike a blow against Hollywood's gender pay gap.
“You’re of course aware of the money,” Jenkins told Variety, referring to her rumored $7 million to $9 million payday negotiated with Warner Bros. “But I’ve never been more aware of a duty than I was in this deal. I was extremely aware that I had to make sure I was being paid what the male equivalent would be. 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. You have to ask for it to happen, and you have to ask when you’re the appropriate person.”
Elaborating, Jenkins referenced Charlize Theron, who won an Oscar for her role in Jenkins' 2003 independent film Monster: “I knew when Charlize had to [negotiate a higher salary] on Snow White and the Huntsman, and I felt that it was my job to do it here.”
Steering the conversation back toward Cameron's remarks, Jenkins confirmed she doesn't fault the director for critiquing Wonder Woman. However, after he chose to voice his criticism so publicly with remarks she viewed as misguided, Jenkins felt it was her obligation to respond. “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion," she said. "But if you’re going to debate something in a public way, I have to reply that I think it’s incorrect.”
Wonder Woman 2 opens Dec. 13, 2019, but Gadot’s heroine will be seen next in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which also stars stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Willem Dafoe as Vulko, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta and J. K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. Justice League hits theaters Nov. 17.