At long last, Warner Bros. is moving forward on its shared DC Cinematic Universe, having revealed an ambitious and expansive slate of more than 10 comic book movies that will hit theaters between 2016 and 2020, earlier this month. Now that we know when the adaptations will be released, the discussion has now turned to who will be the ones responsible for doing so – a topic that so far has more questions than answers.
Zack Snyder is essentially the big man in charge, directing Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the two parts of the Justice League extravaganza, while Fury‘s David Ayer will be calling the shots on the Suicide Squad film. Other than that, the jobs appear to be up for grabs; with recent reports indicating that The Conjuring filmmaker James Wan may be up for a DC gig at some point down the line.
Looking at WB’s lineup, the Wonder Woman solo film will follow Suicide Squad, getting its debut on June 23, 2017. That means when compared to the other projects that are in development, the studio would like to lock in a director sooner rather than later for Gal Gadot’s vehicle. The studio’s heads are currently looking for the right person for that job, and apparently, they’re searching for a female director to join their world.
The Hollywood Reporter did a break down on the massive wave of superhero films that is set to dominate multiplexes, and in it, they revealed that WB is looking for a woman to helm Diana’s solo outing. Given the character’s stature and what she represents, this isn’t all that surprising to hear, but it’s still an interesting development nonetheless, as female directors rarely get tapped to make these big budget endeavors.
WB is breaking new ground by launching the first woman-led superhero movie, and now they’re looking to take it one step further by making Wonder Woman the first major comic book film directed by a woman (though, Lexi Anderson did make Punisher: War Zone). The lack of female directors in Hollywood is a well-documented issue that needs to be remedied as quickly as possible, so it’s promising that a studio like WB would entrust one of those filmmakers to call the shots on one of their most highly-anticipated projects – giving the lucky selection a major boost in profile.
You may recall that Patty Jenkins was originally set to direct Thor: The Dark World before departing after creative differences got in the way. Since she’s already shown an interest in superhero material (complete with gods, coincidentally enough), her name will most likely be one of the ones that pop up from now until someone is officially named. Jenkins hasn’t made a theatrically-released film since 2003’s Monster, but she’s obviously confident in her abilities if she had discussions with Marvel.
As for other candidates, it’s difficult to say at this juncture since it’s unknown if WB is targeting an established director or going after a relative unknown. Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) should be another popular choice among fans, given her experience handling action sequences and hard-hitting drama that makes for a compelling film. Though, she is busy developing The True American with Tom Hardy and may be rolling on that project when Wonder Woman enters production.
A dark horse contender could very well be Angelina Jolie, who is set to break out (as a director, that is) with December’s World War II drama Unbroken. Despite having a limited filmmaking résumé, the Unbroken trailers have shown she’s capable of handling a large canvas with an eye for epic scope. Add in the number of action flicks she’s starred in, Jolie would seemingly have the ability to knock out a character-driven narrative punctuated by super-powered battle sequences. If Unbroken delivers on its Oscar potential, Jolie’s career behind the camera could explode, and WB would want to scoop up a hot commodity for their film before the competition.
Of course, there’s also a chance that WB hires none of the names we just mentioned. One of the things Marvel Studios has done so well is making left-field choices (see: Joe and Anthony Russo, for example) and then sitting back as their film makes hundreds of millions. To this point, WB is using a different strategy – with big-name directors like Snyder and Ayer being called upon, but they could change that tune should the right individual become available (or someone already in house like Lauren Montgomery, who directed the excellent Wonder Woman animated movie).
Either way, it’s time to do more of what the Internet loves best: speculate about WB’s DC films.
Wonder Woman will be in theaters June 23, 2017.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.