When Warner Bros./DC officially announced a Wonder Woman movie, word came out that the studio was looking for a female director to bring that film to life. We offered a few choices of our own, and one of our selections was Lexi Alexander, one of the few female directors with experience in the comic book movie genre (she directed Punisher: War Zone). But in an interview with Fast Company, Alexander talked about how she absolutely does NOT want to take on the responsibility of directing a Wonder Woman film, and after reading her reasoning, I can see why:
Imagine the weight on my shoulders. How many male superhero movies fail? So now, we finally get Wonder Woman with a female director, imagine if it fails. And you have no control over marketing, over budget. So without any control, you carry the fucking weight of gender equality for both characters and women directors. No way.
Directing this film would be a large responsibility anyway, but add gender politics into an area in which fans have not always been great about treating women kindly (see: Shailene Woodley being called ugly after being cast as Mary Jane, death threats for female writers who express negative opinions about Christopher Nolan movies, and unfortunately dozens of other examples), and you can see why this isn’t just your run of the mill superhero movie.
She has a point: if a female-directed Wonder Woman movie fails, a depressingly large section of the population is going to actively delight in that failure, seeing it as validation that women shouldn’t be included in the “boys club” of superhero filmmaking. It’s a daunting thing, having that weight hanging on your shoulders. And she’s also right that the director wouldn’t have any control over marketing or budget – it’s rare that directors have that level of influence in any genre, but dealing with a film that’s sure to have a budget of over $100 million, your ability to make decisions without having them approved by committee drops off very quickly.
Alexander has been through this particular wringer before, and it doesn’t sound like she’s willing to go through it again. But hopefully another female filmmaker is given the opportunity to make it happen, and hopefully she knocks it out of the park with a Wonder Woman movie. We’ll keep you posted as announcements come in with regards to who will ultimately sit in the director’s chair, and in the meantime, I’d recommend checking out Green Street Hooligans, Alexander’s solid film starring Elijah Wood and a pre-“Sons of Anarchy” Charlie Hunnam.
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