Finally, the Emergence of Female Superheroes

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Kevin Park, Editorial Staff Writer

Since both Disney/Marvel and Warner Brothers revealed their massive slate of superhero films that will last them until 2019, the demand for a female-driven superhero movie has only gotten louder. Currently Warner Bros. is planning to introduce Wonder Woman (played by Gal Gadot) in 2016’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will be followed up by a standalone film now rumored to be directed by Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead). In response, Marvel is planning to release Captain Marvel in 2018, a movie that will focus on the titular character Carol Danvers. There are also talks of creating a Black Widow spinoff film and a female centric Spiderman spinoff project from Sony as well.

I think that with these recent developments, there is a great opportunity here for more female directors to break into Hollywood, especially those coming from an indie background. They have the potential to add a fresh perspective to a genre already showing signs of fatigue and wear. Much like how Jennifer Lee’s Frozen was lauded for bringing stronger female centered themes to the classic Disney Princess movies, I believe that the right director can achieve similar results in the upcoming films from Marvel, DC, and Sony. Here is my wish list of women I would like to see behind the camera for a superhero movie:

– Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) – Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil) is currently slated to direct Marvel’s Doctor Strange, but Jenifer Kent is in my opinion a more promising choice. Her first feature, The Babadook, has received critical acclaim and was praised for balancing genuine horror with a strong thoughtful story. 

– Patty Jenkins (Monster) – More involved in television than film now, her direction for The Killing earned her positive reviews. At one point in talks to direct Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, her gritty sensibilities make her more appropriate to the world of DC.

– Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights) – Known for her intimate kitchen sink dramas such as Fish Tank, Arnold has an uncompromising style that would be very interesting to see in a superhero movie, where playing it safe seems to be the unquestioned rule of the game.

– Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) – This would be glorious. Bigelow knows how to ratchet up tension better than almost everyone in Hollywood. In my opinion, she is a far more interesting choice to direct DC’s The Suicide Squad than current choice David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury).

– Brenda Chapman (Brave) – Chapman can pull a Brad Bird here, who went from Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille to the live action Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Chapman has a powerfully developed visual sense that aided her work in The Prince of Egypt and Brave, so it seems natural to think that her vision can do wonders for the superhero world.