Patty Jenkins Says WB Made Her Change Surprise Girl’s Authentic Ending

The director originally wanted something more toned down.

Gal Gadot in 2017's Wonder Woman

The ending of 2017’s Wonder Woman is weird. While I don’t dislike it as much as others, it’s still weird that the emotional catharsis of the film has already kind of happened and that Diana (Gal Gadot) is having a conversation with Ares (David Thewlis), which is a sensible conclusion, although it lacks the bombast of a traditional ending. Then the bombast arrives, and it’s super awkward, especially since it requires a jacked David Thewlis. The VFX-heavy ending isn’t so bad that it derails the movie, but it does feel out of place, and there’s a reason for that.

In an interview with IGN, director Patty Jenkins reveals that Warner Bros. made her change the ending at the last minute, and she’s a bit annoyed that people still talk about the bad ending since it wasn’t her call to do it that way. “The original end of the first movie was also smaller but the studio made me change it at the last minute,” Jenkins told IGN (via Indiewire). “And so, that’s always been a little bit of a bummer that that’s the one thing people talk about because I agreed and I told the studio we didn’t have time to do it, but it was what it was. I ended up loving it, but that was not the original ending of the movie.”

Jenkins doesn’t detail what exactly the original ending would have entailed, but her implication is that she wanted something more pared-down and character based, which makes sense. Wonder Woman has its set pieces, but compared to other superhero movies, it’s largely character driven and really leans into its emotional moments compared to trying to win over the audience with spectacle alone. Its best set piece, Diana crossing No Man’s Land, is a thrilling action scene, but it’s still informing us about character and what she means to the world. Trading punches with Ares doesn’t really do that.

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman

For her part, Jenkins says she’s much happier with the ending of Wonder Woman 1984. “This time around, you know what I loved about it? I love that it has both at the end,” says Jenkins. “We had visual effects, a big battle, which I just dug into and had such a blast executing, which I felt so satisfied with. But ultimately the end of the movie is much more pared down. That was really, really fun. No spoilers, there’s all kinds of stuff going on, but it was really fun to shape it differently.”

Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday.


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Matt Goldberg
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Matt Goldberg has been an editor with Collider since 2007. As the site’s Chief Film Critic, he has authored hundreds of reviews and covered major film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival. He resides in Atlanta with his wife and their dog Jack.

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