As we learned yesterday that Michelle MacLaren, of Breaking Bad and [Game of Thrones](movie:817617) fame left the movie-in-development over creative differences, Warner Bros. is most probably actively looking for a replacement as we speak.
Now, I’m all for female directors and would love to see Mimi Leder (director of Deep Impact) or Kathryn Bigelow take a stab at directing such a movie. And Scott Mendelson, with his usual vast knowledge of the industry had already listed other great potential candidates here.
However, I do feel there are few reasons why Joss Whedon as the director for Wonder Woman would make total sense.
5. Joss Whedon almost directed the movie from his own script a few years back.
If you recall, before there was Avengers 1 or 2, Joss Whedon was already working on a great superhero movie. And that was Wonder Woman! He had been hired by famed produced Joel Silver to not only take a crack at the script, but potentially direct. This was before he came to fame with Serenity, before he had even directed a full length feature film. He was coming off Buffy the Vampire Slayer and was the go-to-guy for strong female characters with great motivation and even greater one-liners. He mentioned a few times that it was quite a hard movie to write, he wasn’t sure whether to make it happen during World Word II or the present day (reminds you of a certain Marvel movie about the First Avenger?). But then he left overnight, just like Michelle MacLaren, over “creative differences”, either with the producer or with Warner/DC. But he already knows the character, came very close to a movie with her, and he would bring his great sensibility to it.
4. Joss Whedon writes strong female characters like no others
One could argue that with James Cameron, Joss Whedon has given us the rare strong female pop culture icon (and J.J. Abrams too with Alias). Whether it’s Buffy, Serenity, Doll House, or even Avengers (in the person of the Black Widow), Joss Whedon knows how to create or write strong, affirmed, confident yet vulnerable female characters, that can act as positive role models and don’t win with their looks but with their brains or sometimes their brawns (or stakes).
Most of all, he writes all those characters with humor and wit. And if the “No Jokes” rule at DC/Warner is really true, then there’s no better person than Joss to break that rule and show that that humor and wit don’t make a campy movie but a great fun movie!
3. We don’t want to have tokenism because of Wonder Woman
I almost feel sadder about Thor not having been directed by Pati Jenkins than Wonder Woman being directed by a female director. When you think about it, if you really want genre equality in Hollywood, it should be that a female director could direct any male superheroes movie, and a male director could direct a superheroine movie without batting an eyelash… So, trying to do affirmative action on a movie directing spot because it happens to star the first major female comic book icon is far from true gender equality.
2. It’s better to have a successful superheroine movie than a bad superheroine movie
I’m not saying at all that a female director would make a bad superheroine movie. Far from it! I’m just saying that knowing how Hollywood works, if the movie is not a resounding success, not only could it doom the superheroine movie genre, but Hollywood would think twice about giving the reins to such a tentpole to female directors in the future.
What we need is a smash hit Wonder Woman movie, that ensures that many sequels come, that other superheroine movies come, and then any director, male or female, could take a crack at it.
1. Joss Whedon would not be retreating, he would be coming back to his first love
As mentioned in Point 4, Mr. Whedon knows how to write strong female characters. And he loves Wonder Woman. I believe he would be coming back in such a position on strength on this movie – having directed the third most successful movie of all time; having honed his skills through the Pixar and Marvel machines; not having a producer that might not get along with him… It’s a win-win situation: for him (he will direct his dream project); for the studio (they’re getting the best superhero director there is, on equal footing with Chris Nolan); the fans (we’ll be getting a great [Wonder Woman](movie:45787) movie, not caring who was behind the camera as long as it’s great).