The date has been set for the arrival of Wonder Woman as a standalone hero in WB's shared DC comic book movie universe; her solo adventure will arrive a year after her debut in Batman V Superman. Now that fans know who will be playing Diana of Themyscira (Fast and the Furious alum Gal Gadot, pictured above), the next biggest question is which director will be charged with doing her justice apart from her Justice League teammates.
After reports surfaced that WB was looking to hire a female director for the solo Wonder Woman movie, it seems the studio has done (or soon will do) just that, as WB has reportedly entered talks with veteran TV producer/director Michelle MacLaren. Given her experience both directing and overseeing projects like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, a move to the big screen is not out of the question. But it does mean that Wonder Woman will seek to challenge more than a few assumptions, if MacLaren takes the job.
The report comes courtesy of Variety, after MacLaren's name emerged as a potential contender given WB's desire to put a woman in the director's chair. The logic isn't hard to see: with Wonder Woman the first female-led superhero movie in either Marvel or DC's cinematic universe, the studio is showing that representing women in a genre where they are largely under-represented is a priority. And if the same is true of the people entrusted with the role of director, why should their philosophy change?
But regardless of their motivations or final decision, make no mistake: Michelle MacLaren's talent is not up for debate. The Canadian producer/director landed her first major role on The X-Files as both writer and director, later reuniting with Vince Gilligan to direct some of Breaking Bad's most iconic and praised episodes, including "4 Days Out", "Buried" and "To'hajiilee". With more than a few Emmy wins for that work, her contributions to Game of Thrones (on episodes like "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and "Oathkeeper") and The Walking Dead (including the episode "Guts" and "A") are merely a bonus.
MacLaren was assumed to be the top contender already, when another director rumored for the role, Lexi Alexander (Punisher: War Zone), explained that if the filmmaker she knew was being pursued ended up taking the role, she would support it wholeheartedly. It seems likely that MacLaren was, and is, WB's top choice. But Alexander explained to Fast Company that even if superhero blockbusters seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, there's clear reasons why a female director might pass on Wonder Woman:
“Imagine the weight on my shoulders. How many male superhero movies fail? So now, we finally get Wonder Woman with a female director, imagine if it fails. And you have no control over marketing, over budget. So without any control, you carry the f**king weight of gender equality for both characters and women directors. No way.”
Alexander makes a fair point, and only time will tell if MacLaren feels the same way. But if the studio is looking for reliable talent with a keen interest in doing Wonder Woman justice, then MacLaren seems a promising pick.
What do you think of this report? Is Michelle MacLaren the kind of veteran talent you would love to see land the film, or was there a stranger, more intriguing director you had in mind?
Wonder Woman will be in theaters June 23, 2017.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for Wonder Woman updates as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.