Jenkins at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Patricia Lea Jenkins
July 24, 1971
Victorville, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Cooper Union|
Sam Sheridan (m. 2007)
Patricia Lea Jenkins (born July 24, 1971) is an American film director and screenwriter. She directed Monster (2003) and Wonder Woman (2017), and is slated to direct the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984.
Jenkins was born July 24, 1971, in Victorville, California, to William T. Jenkins, an Air Force captain and fighter pilot who earned a Silver Star in the Vietnam War, and Emily Roth, who worked in San Francisco as an environmental scientist. She has an older sister, Elaine Roth.
Her father died when she was 7 years old during a NATO mock dogfight in the ocean at the age of 31. Her mom decided to take her and her sister to San Francisco so that she could go to school to become an environmental scientist. Her mom dropped her off at the movies to pass the time while she was at school. This was where she fell in love with the movies. She watched the original Superman starring Christopher Reeve and after leaving that movie she saw what superheroes were designed to do, inspire the superhero within. In that moment she set a goal for herself to make a movie that left people feeling the way she felt walking out of that theater.
She spent kindergarten through her junior year of high school living in Lawrence, Kansas. She received her undergraduate degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1993, and her masters in directing from the American Film Institute's AFI Conservatory in 2000. While a student at AFI, Jenkins, an avid fan of the films of Pedro Almodóvar, made the 2001 short film Velocity Rules, that she describes as a cross between a superhero film and Almodóvar's tone about an accident-prone housewife.
Since junior-high, Jenkins took interest in photography, painting, and screen-printing. Soon she was interning at a commercial production company. She met a guy on the set of an American Express commercial, when she was 20, who suggested she could receive training if she worked for free on set. After working for free for a few months, Jenkins soon moved up to the ranks of Second Assistant Camera and Focus Puller. She ended up being a cameraperson for the next ten years. While shooting a Michael Jackson music-video her Director of Photography recommended that she could go to the American Film Institute to become a Director. She later made a superhero short-film which got into the AFI Fest. At the fest, she met Brad Wyman who later introduced her to producer Donald Kushner. With the support of Brad Wyman and Donald Kushner Jenkins directed her first feature film Monster.
Jenkins began her career as a painter at The Cooper Union in New York City. She wrote and directed the 2003 crime drama film Monster about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men in the late 1980s and early 1990s. After the success of Monster, Jenkins was approached by United States Air Force record-setting test pilot Chuck Yeager to develop a film about his life, but the film fell apart. She then attempted to make a movie titled I Am Superman, a film with no relation to the DC Comics character, with Ryan Gosling, but that film was delayed when she became pregnant. After these films fell apart, Jenkins spent the next decade working in television in order to spend more time with her child. During promotion for Wonder Woman, Jenkins stated she still hoped to make I Am Superman with Ryan Gosling.
In 2011 she directed one segment in the made-for-television anthology film Five. In October 2011, she was hired to direct Thor: The Dark World, the first sequel to Thor, but left the project after less than two months over creative differences. In 2014, she was attached to a film about a female assassin called Sweetheart, but that film was never made. In 2015, Jenkins signed on as director for the DC Extended Universe film, Wonder Woman, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and a story co-written by Heinberg, Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs. Wonder Woman was released in June 2017 and gave Jenkins the biggest domestic opening of all-time for a female director (surpassing previous record holder Fifty Shades of Grey by Sam Taylor-Johnson). With this film, Jenkins also became the first female director of an American studio superhero movie. Wonder Woman eventually became the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing previous record holder Mamma Mia! by Phyllida Lloyd.
While promoting Wonder Woman, Jenkins mentioned that her next project would likely be a limited television series developed with her husband. This project was later revealed as a horror series titled Riprore to premiere on the video-on-demand service Shudder. In July 2017, the US cable network TNT announced Jenkins would direct the premiere of a six-episode television drama, I Am the Night, written by her author husband Sam Sheridan and featuring her Wonder Woman star Chris Pine. She additionally will serve as an executive producer.
In September 2017, Variety reported Jenkins would return to direct Wonder Woman 2. On December 6, 2017, Jenkins was named by Time magazine as a runner-up for the Time Person of the Year. Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on June 5, 2020. It had originally been scheduled for November 1, 2019. She has been negotiating the terms of her contract with Warner Brothers for an estimated 7 to 9 million dollars, which will be a record breaking salary for a female filmmaker. She signed on to the first film with no guarantee of directing a second film, but envisioned the second one during the making of Wonder Woman, which turned out to benefit her greatly. When she was signed on to do the second film, she had the ability to get a much higher salary than she would have if she had been signed on to do both films from the beginning. Her goal with her negotiations were to make sure she would get the same salary that her male counter parts would be getting for doing this movie and she seems to have succeeded.
Jenkins, Wonder Woman actresses Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, and U.N. Under-Secretary General Cristina Gallach appeared at the United Nations on October 21, 2016, the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, to mark the character's designation by the United Nations as its "Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls". The gesture was intended to raise awareness of UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. The decision was met with protests from UN staff members who stated in their petition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the character is "not culturally encompassing or sensitive", and served to objectify women. As a result, the character was stripped of the designation, and the project ended December 16.
Style and themes
As a filmmaker, Jenkins’s main interest lies in superhero films, as apparent through Monster and Wonder Woman. In the film Monster, she explored the issues of morality and feminity. In Wonder Woman, Jenkins suggests that the audience experiences the journey of the lead character Diana Prince through Diana's eyes. Diana is portrayed as the universal human character who the audiences never experience from the outside. Jenkins suggests that the major theme of the film is the idea of there being no other villain, but humans themselves. She mentions how she was influenced by Superman and how that is incorporated in her own superhero film.
Some of Jenkins' mentors and influencers includes Gary Ross, Kathryn Bigelow and Steve Perry. She mentions that she often likes to discuss the process of making music with musicians like Steve. The organization and structure of music, according to Jenkins, has a lot of parallels to theater and drama. She uses this rhythm, as a director, to direct the delivery of dialogues.
In 2004, Jenkins won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for her work on Monster and received the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal from the American Film Institute. In 2011, Jenkins received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for the pilot of The Killing. She received two nominations from the 2012 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, one for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series" for The Killing and the other for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series" for Five. On January 28, 2012, she won the DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a Dramatic Series for the pilot of The Killing.
Awards and Nominations
|Institution||Nominee/Winner||Nominated for||Work Nominated||Year|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Nominee (Primetime Emmy)||Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series||The Killing (2011)||2011|
|Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA||Nominee (Saturn Award)||Best Director||Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||Nominee (EDA Female Focus Award)||Best Woman Director||Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||Nominee (EDA Female Focus Award)||Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry||Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|American Film Institute, USA||Winner (Franklin J. Schaffner Award)||2004|
|Berlin International Film Festival||Nominee (Golden Berlin Bear)||Monster (2003)||2004|
|Cannes Film Festival||Winner (Kering Women in Motion Award)||2018|
|Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle Awards||Winner (Impact Award)||Wonder Woman (2017)||2017|
|Directors Guild of America, USA||Winner (DGA Award)||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series||The Killing (2011)
(For episode The Killing: Pilot (2011)
|Directors Guild of America, USA||Nominee (DGA Award)
Jennifer Aniston (Segment "Mia")
Alicia Keys (Segment "Lili")
Demi Moore (Segment "Charlotte")
Penelope Spheeris (Segment "Cheyanne")
|Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series||Five (2011)||2012|
|Edgar Allan Poe Awards||Nominee (Edgar)||Best Motion Picture Screenplay||Monster (2003)||2004|
|Empire Awards, UK||Nominee (Empire Award)||Best Director||Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|Film Independent Spirit Awards||Winner (Independent Spirit Award)
Mark Damon (producer)
Donald Kushner (producer)
Clark Peterson (producer)
Charlize Theron (producer)
Brad Wyman (producer)
|Best First Feature||Monster (2003)||2004|
|Film Independent Spirit Awards||Nominee (Independent Spirit Award||Best First Screenplay||Monster (2003)||2004|
|Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA)||Nominee (Dorian Award)||Wilde Artist of the Year||2018|
|Hugo Awards||Winner (Hugo)
Allan Heinberg (screenplay/story)
Zack Snyder (story)
Jason Fuchs (story)
|Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form||Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|LA Femme International Film Festival||Winner (LA Femme Filmmaker Award)||Visionary Award||2011|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards||Nominee (Sierra Award)||Best Screenplay||Monster (2003)||2004|
|National Board of Review, USA||Winner (Spotlight Award)
|Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|North Texas Film Critics Association, US||Nominee (NTFCA Award)||Best Director||Wonder Woman (2017)||2018|
|Philadelphia Film Critics Circle Awards||Winner (Steve Friedman Award)||Wonder Woman (2017)||2017|
|Robert Festival||Nominee (Robert)||Best American Film (Årets amerikanske film)||Monster (2003)||2005|
|Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards||Nominee (Rondo Statuette)||Best Film||Wonder Woman (2017)||2017|
|Telluride Indiefest||Winner (Short Film Winner)||Velocity Rules (2001)||2001|
|1996||A Modern Affair||No||No||Yes||Second Assistant Camera|
|2001||Velocity Rules||Yes||Yes||No||Best Short Film at Telluride Indiefest|
|2003||Monster||Yes||Yes||No||Independent Spirit Awards for Best First Feature|
|2017||Wonder Woman||Yes||No||No||Nominated- Saturn Award for Best Director|
|2020||Wonder Woman 1984||Yes||Yes||Yes||Post-production; also producer|
|2004||Arrested Development||Yes||No||No||Episode: "The One Where They Build a House"|
|2006||Entourage||Yes||No||No||Episodes: "Crash and Burn" and "The Release"|
|2008||The Sarah Silverman Program||No||No||Yes||Episode: "Fetus Don't Fail Me Now"|
|2011||Five||Yes||No||No||Television film; segment: "Pearl"|
|2011–2012||The Killing||Yes||No||No||Episodes: "Pilot" and "What I Know" |
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Drama Series
|2019||I Am the Night||Yes||Executive||No||Episodes: "Pilot" and "Phenomenon of Interference"|
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- del Barco, Mandalit (June 2, 2017). "'When Time Was New': 'Wonder Woman' Brings Sunlight To The DC Universe". New Hampshire Public Radio. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
She was born in 1971 on an Air Force base in Victorville, Calif. Her father had been an F4 fighter pilot during Vietnam. And the family moved around a lot - Cambodia, Thailand and Kansas after he died. In Lawrence, Jenkins' mother worked as an environmental scientist, raising two daughters as a single mom. Elaine Roth remembers her little sister Patty...
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- "The Killing Nabs Six Emmy Noms, Including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series". AMC. July 28, 2011.
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