While the other DCEU films certainly have their fair share of champions and die-hard fans, Wonder Woman is this universe's first mainstream success. Patty Jenkins has created a glorious throwback to a more optimistic era of superhero storytelling, and much of that stems from Wonder Woman's fundamentally lighter tone. Given the stark tonal contrast between this film and the rest of the DCEU, it would make sense to assume that DC forced Patty Jenkins to make this type of movie. However, it now turns out that a lighter Wonder Woman story was always Jenkins' vision, and the studio gave her the freedom to make it a reality. The director explained:
It could have, and it certainly does in the industry. In our case we were incredibly fortunate. DC didn't ever really give me a mandate of tone. And I pitched to Warner Bros. and DC 10 years ago, 'I want to make an origin movie a la the first Superman movie of Christopher Reeve. I want to go back and try to do a grand piece of cinema for her.' So I had been very strong about being excited about that idea. And they really supported it from the start. We were already just different.
DC has undergone numerous changes since Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad hit theaters. With all of the shifts that have occurred on its slate (not to mention the creative upheavals that have taken place behind the scenes), you would be forgiven for assuming that Wonder Woman's tone represented a kneejerk response to the other, darker DC movies. However, according to Patty Jenkins: she has toyed with this fundamental idea for a decade. The fact that it represents a refreshing change of pace (one more in line with Richard Donner's Superman than Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series) is simply serendipitous for DC and Warner Bros.
Of course, at the end of the day, I'm not even sure if Patty Jenkins' explanation to Business Insider matters in the long run. All that actually matters is the fact that her idea worked. Diana Prince's first solo movie has become a box office smash (a historic smash, in fact) and the entire DCEU seems to have genuinely rallied around her as a new focal point. Superman's symbol literally means "hope," but Diana Prince has become the bright and hopeful hero that we've been looking for.
Building off of that idea, it now looks like Diana may even become the DCEU's go-to hero in the face of Wonder Woman's monumental success. Behind the scenes rumors associated with Joss Whedon's newly retooled Justice League film (which he recently inherited from Zack Snyder) hint that he's going to focus on her in the film's reshoots. Beyond that, there are already rumors suggesting that Warner Bros. wants to bring Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot to the bargaining table for Wonder Woman 2 very soon. You have to hand it to Ms. Jenkins; she had an idea, and she followed through on it in spectacular fashion.
Wonder Woman is now in theaters, and Diana Prince will return to the DCEU when Justice League debuts on November 17.