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Wonder Woman: ‘No Mandate on Tone,’ Says Director

by  in Movie News Comment
Wonder Woman: ‘No Mandate on Tone,’ Says Director

The topic of tone has been rather closely examined when it comes to Warner Bros.’ current slate of DC Comics-based movies, especially compared to the comparatively lighter fare of Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe. Both Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” were criticized for their bleak atmosphere and content; last summer’s “Suicide Squad” contained more levity, but still didn’t meet many fans’ expectations.

At a press event last week in London attended by CBR, “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins made it clear that there is “no mandate on tone” for the DC films, from what she encountered making her film.

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“From my point of view, there is no mandate on tone that I experienced,” Jenkins said. “I think every filmmaker is making their own movies that they see right for that movie. I had no pressure on me to not do the same.”

During her chat with reporters, Jenkins mentioned the Richard Donner-director 1978 “Superman” film — noted for its optimism and hopeful nature — as a source of inspiration for “Wonder Woman.”

“I came in saying, ‘Oh, “Superman 1,” it’s an origin story…,’ and casting Chris [Pine], who I knew and is so funny,” Jenkins said. “They were seeing it shape up as what it was shaping up as, and supporting it. I think that will be also true with ‘Aquaman’ and with ‘Flash’ and all of those movies.”

For “Wonder Woman,” Jenkins said to expect a mixture of drama and humor, which she said she sees as something of a prerequisite for a film with this type of wide appeal.

“Very rarely do I not look for both, because I believe the truth has both,” Jenkins told reporters. “I’ve had tragedy in my life, and it doesn’t stop comedy. I think it’s important to do both, particularly in a superhero movie, but even in any movie that accesses all people — nobody wants to be abused for two hours.”

Jenkins attributed the perception that DC movies have a darker, more serious tone due to the still fairly small number of DC-based films released in recent years, and the individual aesthetic choices of the directors involved thus far.

“I don’t think there is one tone,” Jenkins continued. “I think maybe [“Dark Knight” trilogy director Christopher] Nolan had a serious tone, and then Zack has a different tone that also is serious in a different way. I think it became a perception that there was one tone, but that’s not what I had heard encouraged. I heard that there were these different superheroes, and I was coming in to make one, and I was supported in making it the tone I wanted to make it.”

Jenkins’ comments are consistent with a similar message from Warner Bros. and DC filmmakers at the “Justice League” set visit last fall: That “Batman v Superman” was as dark as the franchise is planned to get, and subsequent films will feature a variety of tones.

Warner Bros. has also released a new photo from the film, seen in full below:

Wonder Woman still

Gal Gadot as “Wonder Woman.”

Directed by Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot in the title role, “Wonder Woman” is scheduled for release on June 2.

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