Warner Bros Didn’t Cancel ‘Wonder Woman 3,’ Patty Jenkins Walked Off the Project (Exclusive)

In an exchange with studio chief Mike DeLuca, the “Wonder Woman 1984” filmmaker sent him a dictionary definition of “character arc”

Patty Jenkins

Hollywood was stunned by the news this week that Warner Bros Discovery would not move forward with “Wonder Woman 3,” but in fact it was Patty Jenkins, who directed the first two films in the superhero series, who walked off the project after rejecting studio notes on her treatment, multiple individuals told TheWrap.

Jenkins’ exit came as James Gunn and Peter Safran have been getting settled into their new roles as co-CEOs of DC Films and are busy plotting out an extensive multi-year plan for DC films, TV shows and games that they will present to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav next week.

Although Gunn and Safran have been given a mandate to reshape the DC landscape, Warner Bros. Discovery has “ongoing enterprises” that “nobody was going to mess with,” according to one insider. This includes Matt Reeves writing the sequel to “The Batman,” J.J. Abrams’ Black-led “Superman” from Ta-Nehisi Coates, Todd Phillips’ “Joker 2,” and Patty Jenkins doing “Wonder Woman 3.”

Last week, Jenkins turned in her treatment for “Wonder Woman 3” to the studio, according to the insiders.

Warner Bros. Film Group Co-Chairpersons and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy didn’t think the treatment worked and decided not to move forward with the film in its current iteration. Gunn and Safran, who had nothing to do with the decision, also agreed with De Luca and Abdy that the treatment didn’t work.

De Luca and Abdy spoke to Jenkins first and communicated that they didn’t get the treatment, didn’t think it was the right direction for the franchise and asked Jenkins if she would consider pitching something else for the IP in another direction.

According to one insider, Jenkins refused and let De Luca and Abdy “know that they were wrong, that they didn’t understand her, didn’t understand the character, didn’t understand character arcs and didn’t understand what Jenkins was trying to do.”

To underscore her point, according to the first insider, Jenkins sent an email to De Luca that ended with a link to the Wikipedia definition of “character arc.”

Jenkins was told that if she wanted to come back and pitch a different direction for Wonder Woman, the studio would hear it. She stood firm to her vision and responded that if they didn’t want to do her treatment, she wasn’t going to do a different one and would instead just move on to her next film.

Jenkins especially didn’t want to hear what newly installed DC Chiefs Gunn and Safran had to say, even though they had nothing to do with decision to not move forward with her version of “Wonder Woman 3.”

“She just doesn’t want to allow them to have a seat at the table to have an opinion on something new that she might come up with,” the insider added.

Representatives for Jenkins did not respond to requests for comment from TheWrap. Warner Bros declined to comment for this story.

The studio hasn’t killed the “Wonder Woman” franchise altogether and Gal Gadot is still attached to the role at this point. The studio has yet to discuss with Gadot how she feels about continuing as the Amazonian warrior without Jenkins, and hopes she wishes to stay on.

On Tuesday, Gadot tweeted “A few years ago it was announced that I was going to play Wonder Woman.I’ve been so grateful for the opportunity to play such an incredible, iconic character and more than anything I’m grateful for YOU.The fans.Can’t wait to share her next chapter with you”

Gunn on Thursday shared on social media that he is still not ready to reveal more details about DC’s future that “we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way, but we can promise everything we do is done in the service of the STORY & in the service of the DC CHARACTERS we know you cherish and we have cherished our whole lives.”

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is prepping the releases of four movies for 2023 from the previous regime: “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”

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