Patricia Lea Jenkins
July 24, 1971
Patricia Lea Jenkins (born July 24, 1971) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. She has directed the feature films Monster (2003), Wonder Woman (2017), and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). For her work on the pilot episode of The Killing, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and won the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directing in Dramatic Series. In 2017, she occupied the sixth place for Time's Person of the Year.
Jenkins was born 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 later worked in San Francisco as an environmental scientist. She has an older sister, Elaine Roth.
Patty spent her early childhood moving frequently because her father's military service. Living briefly in Thailand and Germany, the family would settle in Lawrence, Kansas. At the age of seven, her father died during a NATO mock dogfight at the age of 31. Her mother then took her and her sister to San Francisco so that Jenkins could go to school to become an environmental scientist. There, Jenkins said in 2017, seeing the original Superman starring Christopher Reeve inspired her to pursue film as a career.
She completed kindergarten through her junior year of high school while living in Lawrence. Her mom them moved the family to Washington D.C. where Patty completed her senior year of high school. She received her undergraduate degree from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1993, and a master's degree 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.
Beginning in junior high school, Jenkins took interest in photography, painting, and screen-printing. At age 20, while interning at a commercial production company, she heeded a suggestion that she could receive film training if she worked on set for free. After doing so for some months, Jenkins advanced to second assistant camera and focus puller, then spent eight years as a cameraperson. While shooting a Michael Jackson music video, her director of photography recommended that she attend the American Film Institute to learn directing. She later made a superhero short film that played the AFI Fest. There she met Brad Wyman, who later introduced her to producer Donald Kushner, leading to her directing her first feature film, Monster (2003).
After Monster, about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, proved a critical and commercial success, Jenkins was approached by former United States Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager to develop a film about his life. When that project did not reach fruition, she attempted to make a Ryan Gosling movie titled I Am Superman, a film with no relation to the DC Comics character, but development ended when she became pregnant. Jenkins spent the next decade working in television.
In 2011 she directed one segment in the made-for-television anthology film Five. Patty received an Emmy nomination because of her work on the film. Jenkins directed a lot of ads and TV programs like episodes of Arrested Development and Entourage. She received an Emmy nomination again for the directing work done on AMC's The Killing pilot. In October 2011, she was hired to direct Thor: The Dark World, the first sequel to 2011 superhero film Thor, but left the project after less than two months due to creative differences. In 2014, she was attached to Sweetheart, a film about a female assassin, 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 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. This film helped Jenkins become admired by critics and liked by fans and audiences. This movie grossed over $800 million worldwide, exceeding box office original predictions on how the film would perform in theaters. Wonder Woman eventually became the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing previous record holder Mamma Mia! by Phyllida Lloyd. However in 2019, Frozen II directed by Jennifer Lee (with Chris Buck) and Captain Marvel, directed by Anna Boden(with Ryan Fleck) became number 1 and 2 respectively, dropping Wonder Woman and Jenkins to number 3.
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 served as an executive producer.
In September 2017, Variety reported Jenkins would return to direct Wonder Woman 2. However, on MTV's "Happy, Sad, Confused" podcast, Jenkins revealed that she considered walking away from the sequel due to salary dispute between her and Warner Bros. On December 6, 2017, Jenkins was named by Time magazine as a 7th runner-up for the Time Person of the Year. Wonder Woman 1984 was scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the United States on June 5, 2020, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the release was delayed until December 25, 2020 worldwide. 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 would 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 counterparts would be getting for doing this movie and she seems to have succeeded.
In October 2020, it was revealed that Gal Gadot and Jenkins will be teaming up again for the film Cleopatra. The film will star Gadot as the titular Cleopatra, the historical pharaoh of ancient Egypt, with Jenkins as the director.
In November 2020, a spin off film set in the Wonder Woman universe focusing on the Amazons of Themyscira was confirmed to be in early development. Jenkins will not return to direct the film but cowrote the script with writer Geoff Johns. In 2021, Warner Bros. announced a third instalment of the Wonder Woman franchise with Jenkins attached to write and direct.
In December 2020, Disney announced that Jenkins is hired to direct Rogue Squadron, an upcoming Star Wars anthology film centered around the group of starfighter pilots that appear in the original trilogy of films. The film is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2023. Jenkins will be the first female director to helm a Star Wars film  but is not the first female director within the overall franchise. In June 2021, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Matthew Robinson had been hired by Lucasfilm to write the script.
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
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 that the audience never experiences from the outside. Jenkins suggests that the major theme of the film is the idea of there being no other villain than humans themselves. She mentions how she was influenced by Superman and how that is incorporated in her own superhero film.
Connie Nielsen (who plays Hippolyta in the Wonder Woman franchise) said that Jenkins fought for feminist themes to be included in the Wonder Woman film and rejected the idea of including a controversial origin story for the Amazons which portrayed them as victims rather than warriors.
Some of Jenkins' mentors and influencers include 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 theatre and drama. She uses this rhythm, as a director, to direct the delivery of dialogues.
|2020||Wonder Woman 1984||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|TBA||Untitled Wonder Woman 1984 sequel||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2004||Arrested Development||Yes||No||Episode: "The One Where They Build a House"|
|2006||Entourage||Yes||No||Episodes: "Crash and Burn" and "The Release"|
|2011||Five||Yes||No||Television film; segment: "Pearl"|
|2011–2012||The Killing||Yes||No||Episodes: "Pilot" and "What I Know"|
|2019||I Am the Night||Yes||Yes||Episodes: "Pilot" and "Phenomenon of Interference"|
|1996||A Modern Affair||Second Assistant Camera|
|2008||The Sarah Silverman Program||As Jill Talley||Episode: "Fetus Don't Fail Me Now"|
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 at the 2012 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, one for Dramatic Series for The Killing and the other for Movies for Television/Mini-Series for Five; she won the former.
Awards and nominations
|2001||Telluride Indiefest||Short Film Winner||Velocity Rules||Won|
|2004||American Film Institute||Franklin J. Schaffner Award Recipient||Herself||Won|
|Berlin International Film Festival||Golden Bear Award||Monster||Nominated|
|Edgar Allan Poe Awards||Best Motion Picture Screenplay||Nominated|
|Film Independent Spirit Awards||Best First Feature
(Shared with producers Mark Damon, Donald Kushner, Clark Peterson, Charlize Theron, and Brad Wyman.)
|Film Independent Spirit Awards||Best First Screenplay||Nominated|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards||Best Screenplay||Nominated|
|2005||Robert Awards||Best American Film||Nominated|
|2011||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series||The Killing (episode "Pilot")||Nominated|
|LA Femme International Film Festival||Visionary Award||Herself||Won|
|2012||Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series||The Killing (episode "Pilot")||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Mini-Series
(Shared with: Jennifer Aniston (Segment "Mia"), Alicia Keys (Segment "Lili"), Demi Moore (Segment "Charlotte"), and Penelope Spheeris (Segment "Cheyanne").)
|2017||Chicago Indie Critics Awards||Impact Award||Wonder Woman||Won|
|Philadelphia Film Critics Circle Awards||Steve Friedman Award||Won|
|Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards||Best Film||Nominated|
|2018||Saturn Awards||Best Director||Nominated|
|EDA Female Focus Awards||Best Woman Director||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Film Industry||Nominated|
|Cannes Film Festival||Kering Women in Motion Award Recipient||Herself||Won|
|Empire Awards||Best Director||Wonder Woman||Nominated|
|Dorian Awards||Wilde Artist of the Year||Herself||Nominated|
|Hugo Awards||Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form
(Shared with Allan Heinberg (screenplay/story), Zack Snyder (story), and Jason Fuchs (story).)
|National Board of Review Awards||Spotlight Award
(Shared with Gal Gadot)
|North Texas Film Critics Association||Best Director||Nominated|
|2020||IGN Awards||Best Movie of the Year||Wonder Woman 1984||Nominated|
|IGN Awards||Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie||Wonder Woman 1984||Nominated|
|Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards||Best Film||Wonder Woman 1984||Pending|
|2021||Hollywood Critics Association Awards||Best Blockbuster Film||Wonder Woman 1984||Nominated|
|Kids Choice Awards||Favorite Movie||Wonder Woman 1984||Won|
|Jupiter Award||Best International Film||Wonder Woman 1984||Won|
|Cape & Castle Awards||Best Superhero Movie of the Year||Wonder Woman 1984||Won|
|Cape & Castle Awards||Best Movie of the Year||Wonder Woman 1984||Won|
|Series Em Cena Awards||Best Movie of the Year||Wonder Woman 1984||Won|
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- "The Birth of Patricia Jenkins". CaliforniaBirthIndex.org. Archived from the original on July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
- del Barco, Mandalit (June 2, 2017). "'When Time Was New': 'Wonder Woman' Brings Sunlight To The DC Universe". New Hampshire Public Radio. 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 mother. Elaine Roth remembers her little sister Patty...
- "Patty Jenkins, Sam Sheridan". The New York Times. September 2, 2007. Archived from the original on July 27, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
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- "Congratulations to AFI Conservatory Alumna Patty Jenkins".
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- "'Thor 2' Director Patty Jenkins Exits". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- Kit, Borys (April 15, 2015). "'Wonder Woman' Movie Finds a New Director (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
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- Kroll, Justin. "Patty Jenkins Closes Deal to Direct 'Wonder Woman' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
- Luscombe, Belinda. "Patty Jenkins: TIME Person of the Year 2017 Runner Up". Time. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 22, 2018). "'Wonder Woman 1984' Flies To Summer 2020". Deadline. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
- Fleming, Mike Jr. (2020-10-11). "'Cleopatra' Epic To Re-Team 'Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot & Patty Jenkins; Paramount Wins Wild Auction". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- "Wonder Woman Spinoff Is Prequel & Sequel To Original Movie". ScreenRant. 2021-02-25. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- Rubin, Rebecca (2020-12-27). "'Wonder Woman 3' in the Works With Director Patty Jenkins". Variety. Retrieved 2021-07-09.
- "Patty Jenkins to Direct 'Star Wars' Movie 'Rogue Squadron'". Variety. December 9, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
- Kroll, Justin (2020-12-10). "'Star Wars': Patty Jenkins Tapped To Direct New Movie 'Rogue Squadron' For Disney And Lucasfilm". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
- Kit, Boris. "'Star Wars': Patty Jenkins' 'Rogue Squadron' Gets a Writer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. PMC. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
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- Roberts, Elizabeth (December 13, 2016). "UN drops Wonder Woman as honorary ambassador". CNN.
- CBS This Morning (2017-05-27), The woman behind "Wonder Woman", retrieved 2018-11-16
- "Wonder Woman Director Rejected Controversial Amazons Origin Story". ScreenRant. 2021-03-14. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
- Rosen, Lisa (Winter 2013). "Natural-Born Director". DGA Quarterly. Directors Guild of America. Archived from the original on October 26, 2020.
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- Hernandez, Eugene (February 28, 2004). ""Lost In Translation" Tops Independent Spirit Awards, "Station Agent" Another Big Winner". Indiewire.
- "Monster Screenwriter/Director Patty Jenkins Honored by AFI with 14th Annual Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal" (PDF). American Film Institute. June 7, 2004.
- "The Killing Nabs Six Emmy Noms, Including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series". AMC. July 28, 2011. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
- Killday, Gregg (January 28, 2012). "Directors Guild of America Awards 2012: Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter.
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