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Patty Jenkins’s ‘Wonder Woman’ gave superheroes a whole new look, and a whole new audience

Jenkins is No. 16 on the Recode 100.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Everyone knows that Hollywood runs on superhero movies. And everyone knows that superhero movies are made by men, for boys.

Except that Director Patty Jenkins has proven that’s no longer true: Her take on “Wonder Woman” was deliberately designed to bring in women and girls to the theaters, while keeping the core audience that loves men in tights.

It worked: With the worldwide box office at $800 million and counting, the movie is one of the biggest hits of the year, and the most financially successful film directed by a woman.

The fact that Jenkins — who prior to this had made just a single feature film — was the first woman to direct a mega-budget blockbuster is embarrassing for Hollywood.

But as it turns out, Hollywood has plenty to be embarrassed about this year. And that makes Jenkins’s presence on the lot — “Wonder Woman 2” is tentatively planned for 2019 — a welcome relief.

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