Wonder Woman 2 will hit theaters in November 2019, two years after the original took the world by storm. There’s only so much we currently know about the sequel; director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot will be back, and it might take place in the Cold War.
However, it has become increasingly clear that we need this movie now more than ever. And we’ve just learned that the film will be advancing a highly important cause in a major way.
The original Wonder Woman was a groundbreaking film
Wonder Woman was not just another superhero movie; it was a cultural phenomenon. Finally, we were getting a huge superhero blockbuster about a female hero, and one directed by a woman. In retrospect, it seemed insane that it took so long for there to be a movie about this iconic character.
The film’s opening weekend actually wasn’t anything too extraordinary; it made less than Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming did on their opening weekends. But word spread that Wonder Woman was excellent, tremendously empowering, and inspirational. As a result, it ended the summer as the season’s highest-grossing film and the third highest-grossing movie of 2017.
Additionally, Wonder Woman became the highest-grossing live action film directed by a woman in history. In the United States, it’s the highest-grossing female-directed movie of any kind.
Next: Sadly, Wonder Woman was one of the few films to actually fit into this category.
We need more female-led movies directed by women
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in big blockbuster movies starring women in the lead roles. In 2017, the top three highest-grossing films were all ones where the main character is a woman: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, and Wonder Woman. For comparison, in 2007, no movies in the top ten had a woman as the lead character.
But of the top 30 highest-grossing movies of 2017, only a single one, Wonder Woman, was directed by a woman. The previous year, once again, only a single movie directed by a woman made it into the top 30 — Kung Fu Panda 3, which ranked in 20th place.
So although Hollywood has gotten better at providing strong female characters, those characters still tend to be directed by men. We saw what a difference that can make with Justice League. In Wonder Woman, Jenkins’ camera treats Diana like a Greek god. But in Justice League, Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon shoot her like a sexual object.
Jenkins has now become a role model for young women who dream of becoming directors — she has even appeared on talk shows like The Tonight Show, something directors don’t always do. It’s vitally important that she keep fighting the good fight, especially after all of the directors nominated at the Golden Globes this year were men.
Next: Since Wonder Woman came out, the world has completely changed.
Since the first film, Hollywood has completely changed
Just a few months after Wonder Woman came out, the entertainment industry changed forever. It started with the flood of accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein, followed by allegations made against famous men like Kevin Spacey and Jeffrey Tambor. Those who have experienced sexual harassment or assault themselves began using the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter. This grew into the Time’s Up movement, which gained traction in January 2018.
So in light of both the lack of female directors in Hollywood and the revelations about decades of men abusing women in the industry, Wonder Woman 2 is more important than ever. And there’s one significant way it will be making a difference.
Next: The crew of Wonder Woman 2 is making this huge change in order to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.
The film will be the first to adopt the new Producers Guild of America anti-sexual harassment guidelines
One other reason Wonder Woman 2 will be such a significant movie is that it will be the first to adopt the new Producers Guild of America anti-sexual harassment guidelines.
In response to the many allegations of sexual harassment and assault coming out of Hollywood, the PGA set up an Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force, which came up with a series of guidelines. First of all, all productions must comply with federal and state laws regarding harassment. But in addition, every production is to provide in-person anti-sexual harassment training to all members of the cast and crew.
Productions must also offer reporting procedures. Each member of the cast and crew must have at least two individuals, ideally of different genders, whom they can approach if they witness or experience harassment. The guidelines offer a variety of resources for victims of sexual harassment to make use of as well.
Now, Wonder Woman 2 is the first film to officially adopt these guidelines.
Next: Why it’s so appropriate that Wonder Woman 2 is the first movie to do so.
This is the perfect movie to be the first to adopt these guidelines
Wonder Woman 2 could not have been a better choice as the first film to adopt these guidelines. After all, the movie is about a woman who fights evil and advocates for everything good in humanity. And it has come to represent feminism and female empowerment, both for reasons on-screen and off-screen.
Plus, in real life, Gadot has used her platform in order to advocate for the Me Too and Time’s Up movements. She said at the Critics Choice Awards:
In the past weeks and months, we’ve been witnessing a movement in our industry and society. I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what’s right, for those who can’t stand of speak for themselves. My commitment to all of you is I will never be silenced and we will continue to band together to make strides uniting for equality.
Next: Another reason it’s so significant that Wonder Woman 2 is adopting these guidelines.
Brett Ratner, who faced accusations of sexual harassment, won’t be involved in the movie anymore
There’s another reason why Wonder Woman 2 being the first movie to adopt these new anti-sexual harassment guidelines is significant. One of the producers of the original movie, Brett Ratner, is embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal.
In November, six women accused Ratner of sexual misconduct. Ratner’s company, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, helped finance Wonder Woman, and their logo appears at the beginning of the movie. Not long after the Ratner allegations came to light, The New York Post reported that Gadot was refusing to return for the sequel unless Ratner was no longer involved.
Gadot later confirmed that Ratner wouldn’t be involved in Wonder Woman 2, although she suggested that it wasn’t due to her efforts and that he wasn’t going to be involved anyway. Either way, it’s appropriate that the crew behind Wonder Woman 2 has been so aggressive about weeding out sexual harassment, from firing a producer accused of it to becoming the first production to adopt the new anti-harassment guidelines.
Next: Wonder Woman 2 will also mark this important milestone.
The sequel will make Patty Jenkins the highest-paid female director ever
Amid all this talk of the lack of female directors in Hollywood — and of the few female directors around not getting paid as much as men — Wonder Woman 2 will mark a significant milestone.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, by directing Wonder Woman 2, Jenkins is to become the highest-paid female director in history. Warner Bros. did not sign Jenkins for the sequel until after Wonder Woman opened. This gave her tremendous negotiating power, as it became clear that Jenkins was as important to Wonder Woman as Gadot.
We don’t know exact numbers, but The Hollywood Reporter estimated that she’ll be paid between $7 million and $9 million. She has also negotiated a great backend deal, meaning she’ll be paid a lot more if the movie performs well. Jenkins could not be more deserving of that money.
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