I was aware that I was the first person of all time getting to direct a Wonder Woman film, and that was taken very seriously.
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.
A woman doesn't have to direct a woman's film and a man doesn't have to direct a man's film; otherwise, where would we be?
I grew up very inspired by 'Superman One' and by kind of the promise of the genre of what a superhero origin story can do.
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.'
I like to work, and I worked for years as a camera person before I directed.
I had to adapt to other worlds, and that helped to educate me that we are all basically the same.
To be a director, you need to be reliable, on time, confident, calm, all of those things you see demonstrated in the military.
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.
We're all always wondering about our own limits, what we're capable of.
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.
I have a real pet peeve for women who play damaged characters but don't look damaged.
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.
When people are crass or loudmouthed, it's not because they don't give a damn. It's from fear and insecurity.
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 have a high bar for myself already; I always want to do something beautiful and meaningful.
It's been my experience with damaged people: they don't wake up every day and wallow in the bad things that have happened to them.
Being the person who gets to make a movie about Wonder Woman, of course, I take that incredibly seriously. I am a huge Wonder Woman fan, and the aspiration comes totally naturally to me.
My father was a fighter pilot, so I moved around the world when I was young. Then I ended up in Kansas.
If a film is based on a true story and you don't use anyone's name, you can do what you like.
I'm excited to see her power really soar and us have a great time having a great Wonder Woman in our world.
I don't think I focused on the financial part of it, but definitely, my ambition is to be great, and that always meant that the sky was the limit for what I was hoping to do.
I did not necessarily feel that Hollywood was interested in what I wanted to do. They wanted me to do what they wanted to do.
When I'm on a movie, I'm unavailable every day for a year and a half. You can't do that with a little baby. Somebody might be able to do it, but not me.
It is ironic you could make an animated film about a dog that's a universal character, but God forbid it be a human being who is not a man.
I think making a film that you think is good and you believe in is going to be difficult forever.
Who should make a great movie about Wonder Woman? It should be somebody who loves Wonder Woman. And I know that I'm that. So let's go and try.
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.
I think that, for whatever reason, we've gotten to a place where, particularly in Hollywood, things have to be very pat. Like 'I'm a good guy. I'm a bad guy.'
What I never want to do is start phoning it in and making things just to show that I can keep my foot in the door and do big movies.
Strangely, I have a huge aversion to movies that try to teach healthy people an abusive lesson about the darkness in the world.
There's an idea that action movies are more attractive to one gender than the other or different kinds of people or whatever. The truth is action is not any different than any other part of a story.
Frankly, I like DVDs having lots of things on it, but I have issues with it as well, too.
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.