I know that I'm carrying a bit of a weight on my shoulders of what I do represents more than just myself as a director. I wish that wasn't true, but it is. It makes me think about doing work that I believe in and that I believe I can do well, probably even a hair more than I would otherwise.
I don't think I could have made a good movie out of 'Thor 2' because I wasn't the right director. And I don't think I would have been in the running for 'Wonder Woman' as a result. And that's one of the reasons why I'm glad I didn't do it.
There's the 7-year-old me that pretended to be Wonder Woman running around the schoolyard. Like, what an incredible thing to imagine that when the bully shows up or the villain, you would be strong enough to do something about it. But, also, you look like Lynda Carter while you're doing it - like, 'Oh, my God.'
As soon as I went to painting school in New York, I took an experimental film course, and everything clicked and came together. I realized my love of music and drama and the visual arts all came together.
Just look at Gal Gadot when she smiles or when she meets somebody and shakes their hand. That is the embodiment of Wonder Woman. She is so beautiful and powerful, but kind and generous and thoughtful. She's just an amazing person.
If you look at the history of Wonder Woman, you look at the iconography, the images that have kept her alive - they're not dark. The thing I think is so important to always keep in mind about her is how positive and bright and shiny she is - very much in the same way that Superman has been.
To me, the two things that Gal Gadot - who is an amazing actress, and she played a great Wonder Woman - but the true things that she actually has inside of her are this incredible warmth and charm that is also informed by great intelligence. It's those two things.
As soon as I went to painting school in New York, I took an experimental film course, and everything clicked and came together. I realized my love of music and drama and the visual arts all came together. This happened in 1989. Since then, it's been a long road of educating myself in every possible way.
My father was a fighter pilot, so I moved around the world when I was young. Then I ended up in Kansas. I'd just sort of gravitated toward the arts, and I had always loved music and really loved theater even though I didn't want to act.
It's like there's something very maternal about Wonder Woman: when push comes to shove, if nobody else wants to do it, Wonder Woman would step up and take care of business. But she doesn't want to do it, and she would never take any delight in it. That's Wonder Woman to me.
I remember when I read in the news that 'Wonder Woman' had been cast, and my heart sank. I had been talking to the studio for so long about doing it, and I was like, 'Well, 'that's that.' I'm sure we wouldn't have made the same choice.
There was a very difficult time when a female hero was a man in a woman's body. 'Hunger Games' really changed that: a woman leading a non-woman's film in the action genre. I think 'Wonder Woman' does that on a very big scale.
I'm making a movie about Wonder Woman, who I love, who to me is one of the great superheroes, so I just treated her like a universal character, and that's what I think is the next step when I think you can do that more and more and when studios have the confidence to do that more and more.
My father wanted to be a hero. He went to the Air Force Academy, was valedictorian, and then he found himself strafing villagers in Vietnam in a war he didn't want to be in and didn't understand. He was extremely conflicted about the line where he went from being the good guy to possibly being the bad guy.
I was thinking I would love to make something that is a successful film that everybody sees, but I wasn't thinking about the actual dollar amount. I just wanted to make a great film that people responded to. That's always a good ambition because you'll never totally hit it.
The need to look behind the curtain is great for a filmmaker. But whether you want to deconstruct what you like as a viewer, what you like and don't like, I wish we could let films stand on their own a little bit.
I've been influenced by a lot of films. And a lot of them are the typical interesting, artsy films. But I haven't talked enough about how there are those few big blockbusters that really rock your world.