Editorial on the (Eventually) Upcoming Black Widow Movie and Its Potential Female Directors

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Superhero franchises are taking note from Patty Jenkins’ success with Wonder Woman and are answering the cry for letting women write and direct other women!

In this article for FSR, probably one of my favorites to write so far, I explore the need for having women helm projects about other women. I also take time to highlight the three female directors Marvel currently has at the top of their list for the Black Widow standalone film.


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It’s so important for people to be able to tell their own stories, and letting female writers and directors take charge of female-driven films is almost crucial. Not to say women in the industry can only deal with stories about their own sex, obviously. But there is a difference between female characters (especially powerful female characters) being written by men, and therefore viewed through a male lens or gaze, and having a woman tell her (the character’s) story.

To be blunt, this is what happened when Zack Snyder took over the character Wonder Woman in Justice League— we went from shots of Diana in a position of power and mystique to obligatory shots of her butt in tight pants.

There are some male directors out there who can do female heroes justice, but with how few women there are behind the camera (and let’s be honest, in front of the camera as well) in superhero franchises the need for female influence is strong.

This is why it’s so exciting that Marvel is specifically looking at female directors for Black Widow, and the contenders we know of so far are all without a doubt talented women in their field.


Update: As of Friday 13th July Cate Shortland has officially been selected to direct Black Widow!

While it’s great news the project found a director, and can therefore get the ball rolling on production, I do have some suspicions concerning this news coming the exact same day as the news that Scarlett Johansson stepped down from her role in Rub & Tug.

I am not entirely convinced she deserves praise for this, as her response to the intial backlash seemed offensive and honestly unapologetic. It could be possible of course that she did come to realize how her accepting the role took opportunities away from actual trans actors– or perhaps there’s too much coincidence with the Black Widow standalone having finally found a director the same day she dropped out.

It could have been under the guise of acting as a result of the backlash, when really she saw greener pastures on a closer horizon & saw the opportunity to save her career from the sour taste her past roles (ie; Ghost in the Shell) have left in people’s mouths. Just some food for thought.


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