October 24, 2014

WONDER WOMAN Director Shortlist Thankfully Includes All Ladies

It was recently revealed by Warner Brothers that they are releasing a Wonder Woman film on June 23rd  2017. The studio went even further by teasing that they were indeed looking at hiring a female director. Something we've been championing for almost an entire year, once we learned the studio was actually pursuing a Wonder Woman movie. While this is progressive, let's hope to to see women directing more projects across the board.

Forbes reveals a shortlist that WB is strongly looking at for the feature that would see Gal Gadot in the lead role. The names are Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, Strange Days), Julie Taymor (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Titus, The Tempest), Mimi Leder (Deep Impact, The Peacekeeper, The Leftovers, Shameless, Almost Human, Human Target), Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Nativity Story, Twilight, Red Riding Hood, Tank Girl, Tombstone, Three Kings) and Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body, Girlfight, XX, The Invaitation, Æon Flux). Bigelow might be the studio's frontrunner for the gig, but it;s very unlikely she would take an offer.

It's least likely Kathryn will consider this project. I've been following Kathryn Bigelow's career since I first watched Point Break in the 90s. I was very much obsessed with the film along with the James Cameron scripted Strange Days, which started my life-long crush on Angela Basset. Knowing her recent turn to based-on-a-true-story subject matter and that she's turned down two major comic book franchises, I find it extremely hard to believe she would consider making Wonder Woman.

This isn't something that is repeated while talking about Kathryn Bigelow doing films like this, but she turned down the James Cameron produced X-Men movie and Sony's Spider-Man reboot that went to Marc Webb. Giving the impression even when she was still apart of the studio system, she still wasn't interest in comic book characters. Let's not forget that she has two films in active-development which include The American and Triple Frontier, both adrenaline-fueled true life movies. I'm not too sure she's even interested in the fantasy realm.

The only way I see this happening is if the studio funds her next three projects, giving her a studio contract allowing her to make her gritty films at WB. Considering she's had some problems getting the budgets for her recent projects.

Mimi Leder is the only name (besides Bigelow) with interesting action roots, filming 90s action flicks Deep Impact and The Peacekeeper. She also directing episodes of Almost Human and Human Target. Her other television work includes popular shows such as Shameless and The Leftovers.

Karyn Kusama could be very interesting, as everyone loved her movie Girlfight which introduced us to Michelle Rodriguez. An actress who would eventually become known for her tough-as-nails characters. She's also directed genre material with the Charlie Theron starring Æon Flux and the underrated Diablo Cody scripted Jennifer's Body. Karyn will also be apart of the very awesome sounding all-female directed horror anthology XX. Contuning the horror streak with The Invitation. I think if Kusama is paired with the right screenwriter *cough JANE GOLDMAN *cough it could be a great choice.

A couple of other names that Forbes mentions is Michelle McLaren (Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, X-Files) and Tricia Brock (Walking Dead, Person of Interest). You might remember I wrote an article back in January focusing on Michelle and why she would be perfect for the Wonder Woman director's chair. I'm still behind Michelle, but most of these names aren't terrible candidates.

It's interesting that the studio is already looking at directors this could mean that they are possibly moving quickly on getting the film into production. I would assume it's fantasy elements would mean they'd need a lot of post-production. If we use Batman v Superman as an example it's being shot in 2014, but releasing in 2016. Which might mean Wonder Woman could begin production as early as late summer or fall of 2015. Giving the post-production team plenty of time to get the film where it needs to be for release. Warner Bros. productions have a tendecy to take longer for post-production.

I'm curious if they'll end-up using the recent script written by Michael Goldenberg (Green Lantern, Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Peter Pan, Artemis Fowl) or will look to Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League, Batman v Superman) for rewrites. I feel like the studio would want Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio to add their touches to the script, to make sure it fits into the world they are creating for Justice League. There is also the possibility that producer Christopher Nolan could get involved with the casting of the film. Like he has with Man of Steel and getting Ben Affleck for the role of Batman.


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