comic book movies

A Woman Directing Wonder Woman: How wonderful!

woman director wonder woman movieMichelle MacLaren is going to be directing the Wonder Woman film. Woohoo! Yes she’s a female director, and yes she’s a great director. Her directing experience may stem from television, but it’s not just any old TV shows she has directed, we’re talking cinematic television. And I for one am really glad that they went with a female director. So let’s discuss this Wonder Woman news.

So now that we know Michelle MacLaren is directing Wonder Woman (and will be involved with the story development), let’s just get a brief overview of her work. MacLaren has directed many episodes of television. Her credits include these little shows called:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Breaking Bad
  • The Walking Dead
  • The Leftovers
  • Better Call Saul

Shows like Game of Thrones aren’t just normal television, they are cinematic television, with huge characters and huge story arcs. And of course this isn’t the first time a television director has landed themselves a superhero movie directing role. The Russo brothers, who directed one of the best Marvel Cinematic films, ‘The Winter Soldier’, had most of their directing experience from episodes of Community. And as much as I love Community, it ain’t no Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead. So she is already better equipped to handle such a big property compared to the Russo brothers.

michelle maclaren woman director wonder woman

So we know she has the talent, but what about her being a woman? This discussion has come up a lot since the rumoured director list for the Wonder Woman film came up. When we heard that Warner Bros were actively seeking a female director, a lot of people thought that wasn’t the right approach. That Warner Bros going after a female director was purely a gimmick, and they shouldn’t just go for a female director, but go for the best director. I disagree.

Okay yes I’m sure the thought crossed Warner Bros’ minds how much good PR they would get if they not only released a solo female led superhero movie, but also got a female director to do it. But that aside, I’m glad that they actively sought after a female director. Because there really aren’t many female directors tackling these huge blockbuster movies. Yes it’s important to get a great director, but there are many great female directors so why not give them a chance too?

Lexi Alexander recently sat down with the Schmoes Knows and discussed the state of Hollywood with female directors. She discussed how she would often get shut out of discussions on films because she was a female, and the studio thought that it would be best if a male directed certain films instead. Okay so now that we have a female superhero film, this is finally the chance for female directors to exhibit their skills with a huge film, that they don’t often have the chance to do.

michelle maclaren wonder woman

A lot of people online have been saying, why would a woman director be any better? Just because a director is female, doesn’t mean they will understand Wonder Woman more. That’s slightly true. But let me tell you something, nobody knows what it’s really like to be a female, other than females. Just like I don’t know what’s it’s like to really be a guy, because I’m not a guy! So yeah a female director will be able to offer an interesting perspective of the Wonder Woman character, that a male director may find more difficult to grasp.

And I’m not saying that male directors can’t direct female led films, because they most definitely can. But I just think it’s important that female directors have the opportunity to direct these superhero movies, especially a film like Wonder Woman. Either way Michelle MacLaren is a great director, regardless of gender, and I’m extremely happy with the choice.

She will also have a huge hand in the story development, working alongside the writers, which is great. We also know Zack Snyder will be producing the Wonder Woman film, which isn’t really surprising. Snyder clearly has a huge hand in the development of this DC Cinematic Universe, and it’s good that Warner Bros at least has someone that is constant throughout these films, to make everything a little more cohesive. Snyder is no Kevin Feige for sure, but he may be the closest thing WB has to a Feige right now.

Anyways I’m stoked about MacLaren directing Wonder Woman. It’s good to see WB getting an interesting variety of directors on these films, with David Ayer and now Michelle MacLaren, I’m curious to see what other names pop up for the other DC films.

So what do you think about Michelle MacLaren directing Wonder Woman? Think it’s a good choice? Let me know!

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10 replies »

  1. We’ll see…it sounds like she can handle it. I would have felt more comfortable if they had picked a director who had already directed an action movie successfully, but I guess those were not exactly keen on the project after DC handled the whole matter so badly.

    To me the issue is less what gender the director is, but that DC publicity said it HAD to be a female one. They just put unnecessary pressure on the director in question because if the movie doesn’t please the audience (and that might not even be because the director failed), there will be people who say “yeah, that’s because she was female”.

    Honestly, I would have preferred if they had picked a female director for another movie in their line-up, and without announcing that they wanted a female one.

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    • Well to be fair they never publicly announced that they had to get a female director, that was just a rumour that ran through the trades. But yeah I agree, it’s going to be a lot of pressure, but I think if they were going to go with a female director for anything, it makes sense that they would go with Wonder Woman. And even though she hasn’t directed action movies, she is in a far better position the Russo Brothers were in before they directed Winter Soldier, so I’m pretty comfortable with the experience she’s had considering those are some pretty big shows.

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      • Oh, I don’t doubt that she can do the jump…every big director had to do it at one point after all.

        DC could have easily solved this by saying “That is only a rumour, we are looking into a couple of directors, and yes, some of them are female.” Issue solved.

        Why does it make sense to go with Wonder Woman? Just because the main character is female?

        At this point I am starting to wish that Marvel will give Black Panther to a female director and Captain Marvel to a black one.

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      • They shouldn’t be obliged to respond to every rumour that comes out about their films though, there are hundreds of rumours week, there’s no point in responding and it wasn’t even a big deal anyways

        Well yes, Wonder Woman is traditionally a character who struggles with gaining respect and independence in a ‘man’s world’ once she leaves Paradise Island, so compared to any other character it’s a great fit for a female director, who typically struggles in a male-dominated Hollywood context, to handle a character like this. Sure a female could direct an Aquaman movie or what ever, the point is that it makes perfect sense for a female director to do a Wonder Woman film.

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      • Depends on the story they want to tell, not on the gender of the main character. Wonder Woman is supposed to be a period piece. That’s something not every director can pull off without making it look corny.

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      • Well if the story has themes and issues that focus on the gender of the main character then the story and gender are linked anyways, and considering Wonder Woman is a character who typically explores feminist themes alongside issues such as a woman finding herself in what she views as a mans world, then again it makes sense to go with a female director. But you’re right it’s not just about getting a female director, it’s about getting a director who can handle that world.

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  2. I know virtually nothing about Michelle MacLaren as a director, but I think it’s a good thing they’re specifically hiring a female director for this movie. Having credits that include both Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad shows that she must have at least some skill. I hope Marvel follows suit and gives at least one of their movies to a female director, although making sure it’s a good director first.

    It’s a fairly big problem in Hollywood that big studios don’t put much faith in women directors. Sure, they’ll occasionally give it a chance, but then they’ll give them a limited budget, limited advertising and when the movie fails – “You’ll never direct a major motion picture again.” They never learn the lesson that the movie may have failed because of a terrible script or again, limited budget and/or advertising, and not just because a woman directed it.

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    • Yeah because of the type of shows she’s worked on i’m more confident in her directing it. And I completely agree, I think Marvel had a female director for Thor: The Dark World before she dropped out for some reason, so hopefully they also give some great female directors an opportunity to showcase their skills

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  3. I agree with the sentiment that the best person should be hired as the director, regardless of the gender. And like you said, guys can direct excellent films centered on female leads (examples being the Hunger Games films).

    Is Michelle MacLaren that person? I don’t know. I’m not qualified enough to judge. People are saying “Well, she’s a tv director, she can’t tackle a big project like WW”. First of all, I’m certain that Zack Snyder and Warner Bros would lend her all the help she needs, if she even needs it in the first place. Secondly, I have a general idea about what the job of the director is, but I don’t know the specifics. I don’t know how different directing tv episodes is compared to a big budget movie. For all I know, she might be more comfortable with directing a movie.

    Finally, let’s go back a few years. You’re asked how would you like if James Gunn, a guy who has directed a couple of shitty Scooby Doo movies, directed Guardians Of The Galaxy? You’d say it’s crazy to hand that guy that project, but now everybody’s singing praises about him. Michelle MacLaren looks a LOT better than James Gunn did prior to directing Guardians in my opinion.

    So yeah, I think it’s an ok choice.

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    • TV directors and film directors have very different jobs, film directors are in charge of their projects whereas tv directors aren’t, the showrunners/producers are, but looking at the episodes she has directed, it’s clear she has some good experience in cinematic television which is good
      Exactly Gunn, the Russo brothers, they weren’t sure hits, but they did a fantastic job. And with how serious WB are taking their DC universe, i’m sure they will give her all the support she needs

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