Since the premiere of Wonder Woman in 2017, it seemed that Patty Jenkins’ star power was on the rise. She went on to direct Wonder Woman 1984 and was in talks to direct a fighter pilot film for Star Wars. But the director seems to be meeting more roadblocks. In addition to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron being delayed, there also appears to be issues with the Gal Gadot film Cleopatra. Jenkins was previously slated to direct the film, but has recently been replaced. According to Deadline, Jenkins is not out of the Cleopatra film but has simply pivoted to a producing role. However, this does not bode well for her future projects.
Initially the reasons behind the film’s delay was cited as Jenkins wanting to focus on her other projects. Now many outlets have reported that the delay may actually be due to creative differences. The friction is allegedly due to clashing between Patty Jenkins and the executives under Kathleen Kennedy (via CBR). Currently Rogue Squadron has been delayed indefinitely and Kennedy’s contract with LucasFilm has been extended through 2024 (via Collider).
Cleopatra will now be directed by Kari Skogland. While it is a shame that Patty Jenkins has been replaced as director, it is encouraging that her replacement is female. Hollywood has notoriously had a discrepancy in female directors. Skogland has typically directed television. The most notable of her credits have been successful properties including Handmaid’s Tale and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. This is the next logical step for the Emmy nominated director.
Cleopatra is based on the historical story we all know. Cleopatra’s love triangle with Julias Caesar and Marc Antony was the subject material for Elizabeth Taylor’s Oscar winning 1963 film of the same name. Taylor and Richard Burton’s dynamic on screen was replicated in their tumultuous relationship in real life. Patty Jenkins is officially still attached in a producing capacity while Gal Gadot is set to star as the titular role.
Patty Jenkins has not made any comment on what caused the recent change, but many are concerned about the future of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. The film has been met with creative issues in the past and now is up in the air (via Comicbook.com). Jenkins previously stated the personal tie she had to the film. In honor of Jenkins’ father who was a pilot, she wanted to make “the greatest fighter pilot movie ever made,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. But with the context of issues with the Cleopatra film, Rogue Squadron‘s delay is cause for concern.
Patty Jenkins’ situation remains somewhat mysterious, but it may be that the general public never finds out exactly what happened. Fans can only hope that Wonder Woman 3 will remain on track. The follow up film to Wonder Woman 1984 may be the most telling for Jenkins’ future. Wonder Woman 1984 was famously divisive. Some critics found joy in the spectacle while others found the film fo be soulless (via Vulture). Gal Gadot will reprise her role as Diana of Themyscira and will be joined by Lynda Carter as Asteria. Carter originally portrayed Wonder Woman in the 1975 television series. So far with Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins is still on track.