Warner Bros. is moving forward on their shared DC cinematic universe, which is set to get underway in 2016. That’s when Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (currently filming) and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (currently casting) will be released – setting all of the studio’s future plans in motion.
Arriving just under a year after Suicide Squad will be the long in development Wonder Woman solo film, which will see Gal Gadot’s Diana take center stage after her big screen debut in Dawn of Justice. Given the release schedule, it stands to reason that June 2017’s Wonder Woman is deemed a higher priority than the other films on the docket (in terms of getting a production team together). As such, WB is on the hunt for a director, and a shortlist of candidates has emerged.
A couple of weeks ago, word got out that WB was specifically looking for a woman filmmaker to call the shots on Wonder Woman, a claim that is seemingly validated by today’s report in Fast Company. In a profile on Punisher: War Zone director Lexi Alexander, the filmmaker revealed that while the studio has not contacted her regarding the movie (nor is she interested herself), they have in fact offered the job to a different female helmer.
In typical comic book movie rumor mongering fashion, Alexander was extremely brief:
“If she says yes, everybody will be very happy, including me.”
Given the lightning rods of controversy generated by WB’s Batman v Superman casting decisions, it seems like a bold statement to say that “everybody” will approve of the person selected to direct a film as highly-scrutinized as Wonder Woman – especially when the “she” in this case is a complete mystery to the outside world.
Fortunately, some light may have been thrown on that situation as well. Forbes’ Mark Hughes took to Twitter, where he posted a potential shortlist WB is discussing. It contains names such as Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Mimi Leder (Deep Impact), and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad). Hughes also mentioned that Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) could be in the running.
As always, it’s important to take all this with a grain of salt, but it certainly plays in line with what we’ve heard before. There’s no indication on who’s sitting in the pole position right now, but WB is clearly setting their sights high if they’re truly considering heavy-hitters like Bigelow and MacLaren for their anticipated Wonder Woman film.
Where we stand right now, we’d have to give the edge to those two. It’s highly doubtful that the announcement of Hardwicke – whose other credits include Red Riding Hood and Thirteen – as Wonder Woman‘s director would make “everybody” happy, and while Leder has directed episodes of some well-received TV programs like Almost Human and The Leftovers, the rest of her résumé isn’t quite as prolific as her competition.
In contrast, Bigelow and MacLaren have both been involved with critically acclaimed projects very recently. The former, of course, won a Best Director Oscar for her work on The Hurt Locker and helmed 2012’s Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty. The latter arguably went down as one of the best Breaking Bad directors, calling the shots on such tense episodes like “Salud,” “Buried,” and “To’hajiilee,” among several others. The two have demonstrated a knack for nailing compelling character drama and masterful sequences of suspense – both of which would be fine attributes to have in any superhero film.
Either way, it looks as if WB is continuing their trend of seeking out established talent to work behind the cameras for their upcoming DC slate, as opposed to Marvel Studios using up-and-comers for Phase 2 (the Russos, James Gunn). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Locking in someone with the pedigree of Bigelow or MacLaren would certainly give the Wonder Woman solo outing a healthy dose of prestige, generate buzz amongst casual moviegoers, and maybe even encourage A-list actors to sign on in order to work with a respected director.
Who do you want to see direct Wonder Woman? Let us know in the comments.
Wonder Woman will hit theaters June 23, 2017.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.