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The Real Reason Patty Jenkins Didn't Direct Thor 2

After helping guide Charlize Theron to a Best Actress Oscar in 2003's brutal, based-on-true-events indie Monster, Patty Jenkins instantly landed on Hollywood's directors to watch list. In spite of the film's endless accolades, Jenkins spent the next decade-plus working largely in television while trying to navigate the male-dominated world of feature filmmaking. Though she eventually broke through in a major way with the critical and box office smash that was Wonder Woman, it's worth remembering that Jenkins was initially set to make her superhero debut with one of the MCU's most powerful heroes, the Mighty Thor.

If you're wondering which Thor flick Patty Jenkins almost directed, it was the second outing for the thunder god, Thor: The Dark World. If you're likewise wondering why Jenkins ultimately didn't helm that movie, the esteemed director recently offered a refreshingly frank answer to that question in a Vanity Fair interview.

"I did not believe that I could make a good movie out of the script that they were planning on doing," Jenkins said. "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."

To those wickedly insightful remarks, we humbly respond, "Preach on, Patty."

Patty Jenkins dodged a bullet by passing on Thor 2

Though Jenkins ended up passing on Thor 2, she went on to praise Marvel for giving a female director the opportunity at a time when it was far from commonplace. "I really have nothing but positive things to say about Marvel, because honestly, they gave me that chance in the first place and it was not en vogue to do so." Jenkins said. Turning her thoughts to Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi, she opined, "They found Thor's rightful director."

As it happens, Jenkins' fears over the Thor: The Dark World script were far from unfounded. The film (eventually directed by Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor) underwhelmed in virtually every way possible. To date, it remains the MCU flick with the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score (though its 66% fresh rating is far from terrible). And even if Thor 2 feels very much like the black sheep of the MCU, it also made $644 million at the box office.

In spite of those numbers, Jenkins' opinion that Thor: The Dark World's perceived failures would've been viewed differently had it been directed by a woman is hard to argue with, given Hollywood's track record. Case in point: on the heels of the Thor 2 debacle, Taylor was immediately hired to helm another blockbuster property in Terminator: Genisys, while it's safe to assume that a female director would've found herself in "director's prison" for years after.

Luckily, Jenkins made her own Hollywood ending by claiming a spot on Tinseltown's A-list with the first superhero franchise to put a woman front and center. That Jenkins did so with boundless style, flair, and empathy feels like a hearty fist-bump to the female directors who came before her. Here's hoping she keeps it up with the hotly-anticipated sequel Wonder Woman 1984.