There are those times when it’s best to step away from a project and admit the hard truth that you just can’t see yourself performing the way someone wants you to. Patty Jenkins, who did great when it came to Wonder Woman, had a chance to direct Thor: The Dark World, but ultimately decided it was better to bail than to sign on and take over something that was already making her doubt the ability to turn it around and create a hit that the MCU was wanting. Thanks to the debate between which movie was worse, Iron Man 3 or Thor 2, as mentioned by Kevin Burwick of MovieWeb and many others, this has become a subject that shines a light on just why Patty Jenkins decided to step aside and why, on her part, it was a great decision. As a lot of people have already stated, Thor 2 was actually pretty blah when it came to an MCU movie as there just wasn’t enough ‘it’ factor in the movie to really do much with. The whole angle with Malekith and the dark elves could have been great, but it was handled in a manner that kind of downplayed the whole idea and really never brought the main story into focus. Patty had this to say as per Kevin Burwick:
“I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing. I think it would have been a huge deal – it would have looked like it was my fault. It would’ve looked like, ‘Oh my God, this woman directed it and she missed all these things.’ That was the one time in my career where I really felt like, Do this with [another director] and it’s not going to be a big deal. And maybe they’ll understand it and love it more than I do. You can’t do movies you don’t believe in. The only reason to do it would be to prove to people that I could. But it wouldn’t have proved anything if I didn’t succeed. I don’t think that I would have gotten another chance. And so, I’m super grateful.”
It does take a bit of bravery to stand and say that a project, no matter who it’s for, just isn’t the right one for you, and thankfully Patty did just that since she looked at Thor 2 and determined that no matter how Marvel wanted it done that she might have harmed her reputation more by staying on than she ever could have by walking away. This is one of those times that a person might harbor regret or experience relief from such a decision, and it’s obvious which emotion she felt once it was all over and done with. Say what you will about Jenkins but she’s definitely the type of individual that knows when she’s not comfortable enough with a job and will most likely walk away to preserve her reputation and that of the projects in order to at least try and keep from bungling things. Mike Redmond of Uproxx had more to say on this matter. While Thor 2 was still one of the worst MCU movies ever it didn’t fall thanks to her effort and she in turn has been lauded as a very knowledgeable and skilled director that took a different comic book hero and made that story into something both inspiring and very needed for its time.
When Taika Waititi took over for the third Thor movie Patty was very supportive and believed that this movie was in fact made for someone like Taika since he came to the set with a voice that manages invigorate the hero once again and made the Thor franchise yet another great running addition to the MCU that obviously hit a brief snag with the second movie. Had she signed on and tried to make something of it the impact to her reputation might have required a good amount of time to recover from, though with Wonder Woman firmly under her belt as a massive hit things might have evened out a little quicker than she was thinking. With Wonder Woman: 1984, slated to come out this summer, hopefully, it’s easy to think that Patty might continue to earn those accolades since the heroine of the story has managed to inspire a lot of people despite the Justice League movie marring the reputation of the DC universe in a big way. Wonder Woman is still going strong at this point and is still impressive enough to keep moving forward as Jenkins is no doubt on board for another movie if the second one goes as everyone is hoping. As far as the MCU goes, Jenkins might still be able to take on a project in the future, but it definitely has to be something that would take full advantage of her own unique voice and style. Otherwise we might get another Thor 2-type moment.