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Every now and then, the world of comic book movies needs its own set of heroes, especially when they’re people like Wonder Woman 1984 co-writer/director Patty Jenkins and Thor: Raganrok director Taika Waititi. With Jenkins delivering a resounding hit when the DCEU needed it, and Waititi reviving the middling Thor franchise, both creatives can be seen as kindred spirits in their approaches to their respective four panel backlots. It’s a scenario that’s even more interesting to contemplate after reading Patty Jenkins thoughts on Thor: Ragnarok, which praise the film for that innovative spirit.
Fresh off of the debut of Wonder Woman 1984, which shares somewhat of the lighter tone when contrasted against Wonder Woman, Jenkins picked the right time to discuss the 2017 MCU fan favorite. Appearing on WTF with Marc Maron, that comparison was drawn in more specific terms that signal how she can appreciate a good key change in the tonal language of a comic franchise. Patty Jenkins raved about Thor: Ragnarok during her interview as follows:
[Ragnarok] was such a good movie. I'm actually so grateful that Thor found Taika because Taika is the most genius fit for Thor of all time. It's amazing. Thor: Ragnarok is one of the best Marvel movies of all time, it's so good. That movie is pure joy and so well executed… It's not gonna matter [if you aren’t a superhero movie fan]. It’s irrelevant. Taika is a great filmmaker, and he just made a great film.
While the first two Thor films were by traditional definition successful films, they weren’t the sort of home run hits that the Marvel Cinematic Universe grew to expect. Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of the lead character still endured through other entries in the Infinity Saga, and became beloved by fans; but it wasn’t until Thor: Ragnarok that his individual franchise landed a massive hit. And as Patty Jenkins acknowledged, it was all thanks to the off-kilter wit and colorful talents that Taika Waititi brought from his own comedic background into the world of Thor.
It’s that sort of approach that feels dominant even in Patty Jenkins’s own work as of late. With an opening and set-pieces that harken back to the classic days of Richard Donner and Richard Lester’s Superman films, Wonder Woman 1984 underwent a slight course correction and turned into a film that was more about love than war. Even thinking back to the colorful marketing campaigns that both Thor: Ragnarok and this particular film have employed to sell their wares at a theater near you just hammers home the fact that Jenkins’s appreciation of Waititi’s work is truly game recognizing game.
What’s even more exciting is both Patty Jenkins and Taika Waititi are heading off into the Star Wars universe, as the two directors have landed crucial installments that are intended to help enrich the post Skywalker Saga landscape in that galaxy far, far away. If their future is as bright as their past, we might see a totally different Star Wars coming down the road. But for now, you can enjoy Patty Jenkins’ latest adventure two different ways, as Wonder Woman 1984 is playing in a theater near you, and on HBO Max until January 24th.