Buried in a breakdown of the monster slate of superhero movies coming our way, The Hollywood Reporter had an interesting note: Warner Bros. is seeking out a female director to tackle the task of helming their upcoming [Wonder Woman](movie:45787) movie. I think we can all agree that as long as they get the best director for the job, male or female, it will go a long way to ensuring we have the best Wonder Woman movie we can possibly get.
That being said, a female director might be able to bring a fresh perspective to the idea of what it might realistically feel like to be the superheroine holding it down in a sea full of man-tastic superheroes like the rest of the Justice League. But picking the right director to launch a superhero franchise is always a tough task for a studio. So here are 4 choices I think could bring great things to Wonder Woman.
Kathryn Bigelow is the patron saint of female directors wanting to break into the very exclusive genre of action films. She's responsible for one of cinema's cult classics in Point Break, along with some more forgettable action flicks like K-19: The Widowmaker and Strange Days. But her career leveled up in 2008 when she directed The Hurt Locker, for which she became the first female to ever win the Oscar in the Best Director category (along with the Best Picture award), and later delivered another excellent film in 2012 with [Zero Dark Thirty](movie:332744), which had another legitimate shot at Best Picture, which was unfortunately torpedoed by politics and a smear campaign.
What she could bring to the job: Bigelow has had an excellent track record of balancing adrenaline-fueled action with deeply introspective character development. While the Wonder Woman movie will hopefully delve a bit more into Diana of Themyscira's origin story, and I do hope it will be a very character-driven film. But it's still Wonder Woman, which means she'll be kicking a lot of tail and engaging in quite a bit of hand-to-hand combat. Bigelow is more than up to the task.
Patty Jenkins is a director whose name comic book fans might already know...unfortunately, it's for being the original director hired to film [Thor: The Dark World](movie:206462) before being suddenly fired before shooting began, despite the cast having nothing but positive things to say about her. Still, Jenkins has a varied resume under her belt, starting with 2003's horrific, brutal Monster before moving on to television, where she's worked on some of the highest-quality shows on air right now.
What she could bring to the job: Jenkins was the director for the pilot (and a few more episodes) of [The Killing](series:772122), a TV series that has been critically lauded and nominated for multiple awards. Anyone getting the Wonder Woman franchise off the ground will have to understand what it takes to launch a new project from the start, tell some backstory, and keep audiences interested. Jenkins has that experience. Further, her work in TV will give her an instinctive understanding of how to pace the film so that there is no filler and it all moves along at a great pace.
Julie Taymor has had a really interesting career that has seen her garner accolades for her directorial work in three different genres: film, stage, and opera. She's best-known for the highest-grossing show in Broadway history, The Lion King, and being the original director behind the troubled (but now successful) Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. But she's also done impressive work in film with Frida and Titus, along with successful opera runs, such as The Magic Flute and Oedipus rex.
What she could bring to the job: Wonder Woman is a bit like Thor in that her background story is based heavily in warrior mythology. What Taymor could bring to the table is her Shakespearean sensibility, which could take a backstory that has the risk of being clunky in the wrong hands, and bring out the drama and depth of the mythology, similar to how fellow stage director Kenneth Branagh did with the first Thor film. Plus, with Taymor's eye for design, it would undoubtedly be one of Warner Bros. most beautifully designed films to date.
I'm more than a little in awe of Angelina Jolie. Besides all her U.N. and charity work, she still finds the time to be both an actress and director. This year, her top-lined [Maleficent](movie:39352) was a box office hit, and her second feature directorial effort, [Unbroken](movie:791899), is already racking up serious critical praise just in time for awards season. She's also one of the few women in Hollywood who could be considered a legitimate action star, having played Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider series, along with other action-heavy films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Wanted, Salt, and Gone in 60 Seconds.
What she could bring to the job: In a word, everything. Her experience on both sides of the camera lends her a unique perspective that the other women on this list don't have, as she understands the demands of being an actress as well as the sometimes conflicting needs of the director. With Gal Gadot being a relative newcomer to acting, Jolie's extensive experience could go a long way into shaping Gadot's performance into leading lady material. Plus, Jolie has an eye for action sequences and, much like Bigelow, could balance those with true depth.