There has been growing frustration over the lack of quality female directors not being given the chance to direct tentpole films. There may be a few exceptions, but when Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy says things like “We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do Star Wars, they’re set up for success. They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience,” it is easy to see why the call for female directors to helm blockbuster films is getting louder.
So rather than just be vocal during the campaign or wait around to do something, J.J. Abrams, and his Bad Robot production company are bringing in Outlander director Anna Foerster to helm a drama called Lou. Find out more about this film below.
The news comes to us from Mashable, who says the script for the movie originates from last year’s Black List. Here’s their brief description of the project: “Lou follows a young mother who teams up with a mysterious older woman to help recover her abducted child.”
There doesn’t appear to be a sci-fi element to this so don’t expect some vague connection to God Particle of any of the Cloverfield films we will be seeing. However, I wouldn’t put it past Bad Robot to reveal that there is a sci-fi element to the film. So it’s just a matter of waiting to see if there is one. Abrams will produce the project with Braden Aftergood (Hell or High Water). The film doesn’t have a start or release date as of yet.
The bigger news is that a production company like Bad Robot is giving a female filmmaker the chance to direct one of their films. Foerster isn’t unknown, having collaborated with Roland Emmerich on many of his films from Independence Day to White House Down. Underworld: Blood Wars will be her official directorial debut. While that franchise may not inspire confidence, know that she will be directing the sequel to Duncan Jones’ time traveling sci-fier Source Code.
If anything, this hire proves that there are female filmmakers who have the talent to direct large tentpole films. Ava DuVernay, Kathryn Bigelow, Michelle MacLaren, Patty Jenkins, and Karen Kusama have proven to be outstanding directors, and often times they are overlooked. Still, there is some hope. For instance, directing A Wrinkle In Time makes DuVernay the first African-American woman to direct a Hollywood studio blockbuster worth $100 million. Jenkins is directing Wonder Woman, a superhero film with a female superhero as the titular lead. Bigelow has more than a few Academy Award winning accolades under her belt. MacLaren directed one of the best episodes of Westworld and has directed the best episodes of Breaking Bad, not to mention Game of Thrones and The X-Files. Kusama was behind the lens for the fantastic film, The Invitation.
It’s hard to believe that Kennedy could say such a thing, especially when you can riff off a number of female directors with credits that prove they are more than capable of handling a movie like Star Wars. Hopefully, the Foerster hiring will inspire others to do the right thing and give their female directors the right to helm blockbuster movies.