The ‘Wonder Woman’ Effect On Hollywood by Dave Ajumobi

Patty Jenkins may have started a much-needed revolution in the Film Industry.

This is one that has been needed for quite some time. And isn’t it kind of ironic that Wonder Woman could be the catalyst for change in a world dominated by men?

While perhaps, it would seem fitting for a woman to direct a film with a female protagonist, this hasn’t always been the case:

  • ‘Charlie’s Angels’ – directed by Joseph McGinty Nichol.
  • ‘Sucker Punch’ – directed by Zack Snyder.
  • ‘Kill Bill’ – directed by Quentin Tarantino.

But let’s not be completely blind to the fact that women ‘DO’ in fact direct movies with the Female Leads:

  • ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ – directed by Sharon Maguire.
  • ‘Clueless’ – directed by Amy Heckerling.
  • ‘Underworld 5’ – directed by Anna Foerster.

I believe the conversation lies in the fact that this doesn’t happen as much as people would expect.

The question is, If (and when!) Wonder Woman is a critical and financial success, will this give studios the courage to attach female directors to major blockbuster projects?

patty_jenkins.png

Who is Patty Jenkins?

Patty Jenkins is a screenwriter and director, and currently at the helm of the new anticipated release of the next installation from Warner Bros: ‘Wonder Woman’.

Jenkins has only a few films under her belt. Though this includes having directed ‘Monster’ in 2003. ‘Monster’ stars ‘Charlize Theron who put in an Oscar award-winning performance (Best Actress) and some say this was heavily influenced by the direction of the movie via Miss Jenkins.

Since then Patty has dabbled in TV but hasn’t worked on a single film. Now, 14 years later, on the 75th anniversary of the title character, she will have directed what may be the top blockbuster of 2017.

FYI – Jenkins, had stayed somewhat in the mix over the last decade. She was dropped from directing ‘Thor: The Dark World’ which many believe Marvel Studios could say was a bad decision! That is now easily one of the worst MCU movies to date. The outrage over this dismissal was echoed by star ‘Natalie Portman’ who was furious over the decision.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman aka ‘Diana Prince’ is the first ever female superhero! Her first outing was in ‘All Star Comics #8’ (December 1941) before being promoted to the title ‘Sensation Comics’.

Wonder Woman has been a tent pole character for DC since conception and has managed to stand the test of time as being one of the original characters to still remain relevant today.

Initially what makes her such an influential character is her iconic image. Her patriotic costume consists of blue, star-studded shorts, red knee-high boots and a red corset- type garment. She has a large golden eagle adorned on the front of her garment. And on her head, she has a gold band with a star at the center. Though this has gone through multiple iterations over the years, the core image and style has remained the same.

This image of a strong woman battling villains and fighting for justice resonates with every young girl that discovers her. Someone that inspires and someone to aspire to.

The Wonder Woman film will mark the 1st time she has been depicted on the big screen in her own movie. This honor has fallen upon the very talented ‘Gal Gadot’. She reprises her role as Diana Prince from her initial showing in Batman vs. Superman.

Not only is this the first female Superhero genre movie but it is the first being directed by a woman!

The Wonder Woman movie is the follow-up to BVS and is regarded to be the ‘Captain America’ of the DCEU.

The embargo has officially been lifted a few days before release, after the initial social media reaction from those who have seen the movie had been positive. Early reviews are again coming out as positive overall but the general audience will make their decision once they see Gal Gadot in action this week.

The Future is Female

The internet – the place where memes come true! A concept for a movie was created after a tweet and an image of Lupita Nyong’o’ and ‘Rihanna’ went viral. The tweet cited starring the 2 females as leads in a buddy movie. ‘Ava Duvernay’ (Director of ‘Selma’) then expressed interest in this and ‘Issa Rae'(creator of hit show ‘Insecure’) also suggested writing the script. This is now officially in the works!

The future for female directors is bright. There are a few female-led movies currently in the works. For example, ‘Marvels: Captain Marvel’ with ‘Anna Boden’ directing and starring ‘Brie Larson’ as the lead. Sony has announced that they are working on a ‘Silver and Black’ movie which has 2 female leads in Silver Sable and Black Cat.

It seems that the Superhero Movie genre is one that can provide opportunities for these types of things to happen. With such a diverse range of characters and almost unlimited storylines, anything is possible.

With all this being said, it should be remembered that the top priority is choosing whoever is best suited for the job. No matter the gender.

Hopefully, Patty Jenkins can open the door for opportunities for others to follow suit and lead a new wave of Amazon warriors to be at the helm of some of the greatest movies of all time.

I, for one, hope these are prophetic words and we see a change and increase in movies led by a female protagonist alongside a female director.

For now, we can only Wonder!

By Dave Ajumobi

Follow me on Twitter – @ajukobe

 

 

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