[Update: Shortly after posting, it was reported that Patty Jenkins has now been set to direct Wonder Woman. We still stand by our Marvel sources, however, that Jolie is in contention to take the helm of Captain Marvei. Our original story follows below.]
Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman just lost director Michelle MacLaren, and Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel hasn’t named a director yet. A couple months ago, it was reported that Angelina Jolie was circling Captain Marvel, and we now have confirmation that she’s definitely under consideration for the job. We’re also hearing that there’s the possibility she could direct Wonder Woman now that MacLaren has left the project. Only one studio can get Jolie since Wonder Woman is due in 2017 and Captain Marvel is coming in 2018.
There are also the obvious questions of whether she wants to do either movie. She’s currently attached to direct Africa starring Brad Pitt, but while production was poised to get underway this summer, that project may be falling apart over financing issues. If it does, her schedule is wide open to direct Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman.
Jolie is a terrific choice from an optics standpoint. In addition to a strong female director telling the story of a strong female superhero, she has the profile to attract non-comic book fans. The press loves her, she has no problem doing interviews, she’s personable, and that’s all essential to bringing the property to a larger audience. She may be a bigger star than Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot and will probably be bigger than whoever’s cast as Captain Marvel, and that’s a big asset to both studios. Jolie also gained a little experience crafting action set pieces and using extensive visual effects on Unbroken, so it’s not like she’s going from a minor indie to a tent-pole picture.
However, there are also some obstacles. Warner Bros. already parted ways with MacLaren over creative differences, so will they have the same problem with Jolie? Furthermore, do they want to be seen as smothering the vision of one of the biggest movie stars in the world? The issue with Marvel Studios comes from their creative restraints where they allow for some personality to come into their pictures, but the filmmaker still has to work inside the studio’s mold so that there’s a visual and tonal consistency between inter-connected pictures.
Nevertheless, getting Jolie is mutually beneficial for either studio, and while I think a more seasoned director could be a better choice—especially since Unbroken is underwhelming—I would still be interested to see what she would do with either property.