'Wonder Woman' is getting a female director. Here's our wish list.
It’s no surprise that female directors are in short supply in Hollywood. Which is a shame, because obviously women can direct movies just as well as men. I once took a directing class in college, and it was myself, one other girl, and 22 guys. When I pitched my short film to the class, the boys were shocked it wasn’t a romantic comedy. Nope, I was suggesting explosions (which were never going to happen on my film-student budget, but I was going to try). Hollywood needs to try a little too, and slowly it’s happening. Warner Brothers just announced that they’re seeking a female director to helm their upcoming Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot, who will also play the role in Superman vs. Batman. Finally, some baby steps in the right direction.
While I am completely available to take the reins and direct Wonder Woman (got an ‘A’ in the directing class, btw), there are actually a lot of already-established female directors out there who would make wonderful choices. They come from all different film backgrounds, but among them one thing rings true: they’re all revolutionary in their own way, and it’s time to bring their work to the forefront of cinematic conversation. So, Warner Brothers and DC, if you’re listening–which I’m sure you are–here are my suggestions.
1. Lena Dunham
In case you didn’t know, Lena is kind of a big deal. There’s probably nothing we could throw at her that she couldn’t figure out and then totally make her own. I know Hannah jokes in the pilot of GIRLS that she wants to be “the voice of a generation,” but Lena has actually become that. Wonder Woman is clearly in need of a little makeover, and it’s happening, from comics to film. To really bring her down to Earth, and leave her completely relatable for all the quirky girls out there, give Lena the reins to make Wonder Woman a female role model for all of us.
2. Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks has already established herself as a producer extraordinaire, and not only that, but we entrusted her with our new desert-island movie, Pitch Perfect. It’s her first outing as a director, and I think we all know she’s going go crush it. Now, can we throw her name into the ring for Wonder Woman too?
3. Brenda Chapman
Brenda was the original director behind Pixar’s Brave, which was all about girl power and fighting for your right to choose your own path in life. So, clearly she has the perfect directorial touch needed to bring Wonder Woman to a whole new level of awesome.
4. Jennifer Lee
Jennifer was the co-director in this little movie about two sisters, where there’s lots of snow, maybe you’ve heard of it? . . .Frozen? Sometimes, animation directors make the jump to live action. Her animation comrade, Brad Bird–who did The Incredibles and Ratatouille–helmed the latest Mission Impossible and the upcoming George Clooney film, Tomorrowland. Bird showed us that it’s not unheard of to go from animation to action. Someone, get Jennifer on the phone before Frozen 2-29 go into production! 5. Karyn Kusama
If anyone knows how to showcase a kick-ass female on-screen, it’s Karyn Kusama. She wrote and directed Girlfight, the story of a girl (played by the always tough and gorgeous Michelle Rodriguez) who secretly trains as a boxer and after unexpected success, goes on to blaze the trail for other aspiring female boxers. Kusama also went on to direct Aeon Flux and Jennifer’s Body, and although Jennifer’s Body was less about female strength and more about quirky teenage angst and supernatural happenings, she still gets how to tell a female-driven story in a compelling way.
6. Amy Heckerling
Clueless was more than a movie, it became a way of life, and I’m sure many others will agree. It was directed by Amy Heckerling back in the ’90s, but since then, Amy hasn’t been involved with too many other films. Time to change that.
7. Mira Nair
This former actress-turned-director has some seriously impressive credits to her name. From her award-winning documentaries to her more recent work directing films like Vanity Fair, The Namesake, and Amelia, I think the world could use more of her brilliance, especially if that brilliance is used to take a classic female superhero story in a cool new direction.
8. Lake Bell
Lake Belle’s first outing as a director happened this past year for In A World. . ., which you should watch if you haven’t already because it’s on Netflix. Lake’s isn’t new to Hollywood, and I say it’s time to really let her flex her directing muscles. She also just had a baby, and the quickest way to become the coolest mom ever is to direct the movie about the coolest female superhero ever.
8. Catherine Hardwicke
The Twilight movies might not be your cup of tea, but the first one was directed by none other than Catherine Hardwicke. If that’s not enough to sway you, she also directed (and wrote) the 2003 film, Thirteen (also starring Nikki Reed), which received high praise among critics, and Hardwicke took home the dramatic directing award at the Sundance Film Festival that year. She’s worked on a handful of other films since then, and it might be time to give her control of a new film franchise.