During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros’ president of creative development and worldwide production, Greg Silverman, gave some insight into the decision-making process for their DC film franchises. After discussing the differences between Marvel and Warner Bros./DC, he went on to speak a little bit about the Wonder Woman film.
After a shakeup in the director’s chair, Silverman says, “Patty [Jenkins] and Michelle [MacLaren] were really the ones who came to the forefront the first go-round, so when things didn’t work out with Michelle, we all knew we had someone great who had expressed interest before. She came back and is doing a great job. But it was never about the best female director.”
I wish they wouldn’t be scared about admitting they wanted a female director for the gig. There’s nothing wrong with saying you prefer to have a woman direct the movie. Admitting there’s an incredibly small amount of female directors given big budget movies would be a huge step for a studio executive, especially with a film that revolves around a powerful female protagonist. Alas, that’s not the case here.
He also mentions the rather unorthodox writing process for Wonder Woman. Silverman says, “In the case of Wonder Woman, the right approach was to have writers pitching different scenes within the framework we created.” This worries me, as it no doubt will worry other fans. It’s not unusual for studios to commission different writers to come up with treatments or scripts for the same film. Ideally, you pick one and move on. Having multiple writers (in this case, it’s said they have over a half dozen) contribute scenes to the same film could lead to a disjointed end product. Let’s hope this isn’t the case with Wonder Woman. The character deserves to shine as bright as Batman and Superman.
If history is any indicator, it seems as if Warner Bros. just doesn’t understand the character or how to bring her to theaters. The popular TV show from the ’70s cemented Wonder Woman’s place in pop culture. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. was never able to capitalize on this popularity. The closest we got to a Wonder Woman movie was 2005 when WB announced Joss Whedon would write/direct the film. Of course, Warner Bros. was still unsure of the direction they wanted for the film, and Whedon walked away when they wouldn’t agree to the story he wanted to tell.
Now ten years later, we have Patty Jenkins, who hasn’t directed a feature film since 2003, directing the film. We have a script pieced together by at least a half dozen writers. We have a relative unknown star, Gal Gadot, whose greatest role to date is a minor part in the Fast and Furious franchise. Needless to say, this doesn’t inspire much confidence.
That being said, I am honestly rooting for the movie. I would love for WB to defy all odds and produce a movie that will inspire other studios to embrace female creators more, and lead to more action movies with female protagonists. I hope that Wonder Woman can be the film that speaks to the rising number of female comic book fans that are being drawn to these films. Please prove me wrong, Warner Bros.
Wonder Woman is scheduled to release June 23, 2017.