The American Civil Liberties Union isn’t happy with Hollywood right now. The ACLU has called for an investigation into the “systematic failure” of the film industry to hire female directors. In response to this, The Directors Guild of America blamed networks and studios for the “deplorable” lack of women directors in Hollywood.
But of course, actions speak louder than words.
In a positive step for women in film, Marvel is courting Selma director Ava DuVernay; according to the report, she will either helm Captain Marvel or Black Panther. The former picture is Marvel’s first solo female superhero film, and The Black Panther is the first movie that boasts a hero of color in the leading role. If one considers DuVernay’s work in Selma, one could hazard a guess that she’ll focus on the inspirational side of heroism.
This is good news for women in the arts. Not only are we seeing more female superheroes, we’re also seeing a particular emphasis on leading women in this summer’s blockbusters. The next step is to get a woman behind the camera and see what she can do with the continually expanding superhero concept. If DuVernay does indeed land in the director’s chair for either film in question, it’ll be the first time a woman has directed a movie for Marvel. Over at DC, Patty Jenkins has replaced Michelle MacLaren on Wonder Woman.
Perhaps this is in direct response to the ACLU’s investigation, or maybe Marvel just wants an extremely talented director to head up one of their most important projects. Either way, women interested in a career in the film industry will undoubtedly see this series of events as a step in the right direction.
Film Fatales: Independent Women Directors by Judith M. Redding (Seal Press)
The history of the female independent film director is all too brief but it’s well worth reading about. Profiling over 30 pioneering women directors, producers and distributors who have significantly contributed to the film industry, Film Fatales gives us a peek at the trailblazers who have paved the way for women like Ava DuVernay. Perhaps if DuVernay lands the Marvel directing gig, she can be added to that trailblazing list.