The superhero movie boom has been happening for years now and only one superhero film has had a female director: Lexi Alexander‘s Punisher: War Zone. And the budget for that film was drastically lower than the majority of superhero pictures. Patty Jenkins (Monster) came close to directing Thor: The Dark World, but she and Marvel couldn’t come to terms, so they went with Alan Taylor instead.
It’s absurd and sad that, even beyond superhero films, female directors almost never get to take on a blockbuster property. There are legions of incompetent male directors who are given hundreds of millions of dollars to blow on a waste of time, but incredibly talented female directors are relegated to indies, rom-coms, and TV shows. It’s time to break through that glass ceiling, especially with superhero movies since we’re going to be getting so many of them. Fittingly, that time may have finally come with Wonder Woman. Hit the jump for more.
In their overview of the 29 superhero movies due out between now in 2020, THR briefly mentions that Warner Bros. is looking for a female director for Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot.
There are no details beyond that, but it’s a sign that Warner Bros. has found a way to outmaneuver Marvel in some respects. First, while Marvel hems and haws about whether or not there will be a Black Widow movie or any female-led superhero picture from the studio, Wonder Woman is on the calendar for 2017. Yes, she’ll have her introduction in two movies first—Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice followed by Justice League Part One—but at least a solo movie is on the way.
Second, while Marvel is wrapped up in their grand storytelling plans (and that’s all well and good), WB is taking the initiative in being progressive in their hires, and while they should obviously take the best person for the job, time and time again the best person for the job could have easily been a female director. The notion that they lack experience is absurd considering that Gareth Edwards and Colin Trevorrow got Godzilla and Jurassic World, respectively, following small, indie features. When it comes to directors with more experience, Forbes (via Milton) says Kathryn Bigelow is the top choice (because why wouldn’t she be, although I personally hope she continues to use her clout to make complicated films like Zero Dark Thirty), but they’ve also heard four other names come up: Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Mimi Leder (Deep Impact), Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), and Julie Taymor (Across the Universe). Forbes also reports they’re heard buzz for TV directors Michelle MacLaren (Game of Thrones) and Tricia Brock (The Walking Dead).
We’re long past due for a female director behind a superhero movie, and I hope Warner Bros. finds someone who can make Wonder Woman soar.