Today in Really Disappointing News, Wonder Woman has lost its talented director Michelle MacLaren.
THR is reporting that MacLaren, who has previously directed episodes of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones, has left the project over “creative differences”. In a statement, the studio said, “Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together.”
That’s a damn shame. MacLaren has clearly got the chops to handle drama and spectacle, and Wonder Woman was the highest-profile blockbuster to get a female director. Her filmography showed she could have been well-suited to the character, and Wonder Woman needs to be right since it will be the first blockbuster superhero movie featuring a female character if Warner Bros. sticks to its 2017 release (Marvel’s Captain Marvel isn’t due until 2018).
I’m sure more details will come to light, and it will be interesting to see how quickly Warner Bros. goes to replace MacLaren, and if they’ll hire another female director. The last woman to came close to directing a superhero blockbuster was Patty Jenkins, who was hired to helm Thor: The Dark World, but also left due to creative differences.
The only woman to direct a superhero movie thus far is Lexi Alexander, who helmed Punisher: War Zone, an R-rated flick that totally tanked at the box office even though it’s fantastic and you should totally see it.
Sadly, there’s not a long list of female directors studios will trust with a marquee project like Wonder Woman, not because there aren’t capable directors, but because they don’t have the experience. We’re stuck in a vicious cycle: no one will give women the experience to direct genre material, and genre material wants experienced directors.
While I obviously want Wonder Woman to get a great director, this feels like a missed opportunity, and I’m curious about why MacLaren’s take didn’t mesh with the studio’s.
In the meantime, Captain Marvel doesn’t have a director. Perhaps Warner Bros.’ loss will be Marvel’s gain.