The latest buzz about the stand-alone Wonder Woman movie is that Warner Bros. and DC Comics want to hire a female director. Whether or not they will is another question entirely, but for the time being, film geeks and comic book lovers are chomping at the bit with suggestions.
Naturally, we have a wish list too — Kathryn Bigelow, Karyn Kusama, and Jennifer Lee, just to name a few — but there's one woman at the top: Lana Wachowski.
Wachowski has a long history with Warners, comic book properties, and giant budgets. She and her brother Andy are behind one of the most influential sci-fi/action trilogies in film, The Matrix, and the subversive (and underrated) V for Vendetta. Warners stuck by the Wachowskis even after Speed Racer tanked and the even pricier Cloud Atlas failed to impress. Although their upcoming film, Jupiter Ascending, was pushed back to the dumping ground of February by several months — supposedly to finish the "extensive special effects," which we assume means Channing Tatum's wolf/human hybrid pointy ears — it still looks awesome and we'll be first in line to see it.
Although in the past the Wachowskis have been a package deal, a shot at directing the big-screen debut of the Amazonian princess is the ideal time for Lana to break out by herself. She has the chops, she has the experience, and she has the long-standing studio relationship. The fascinating, sexy history of the character as detailed in Jill Lepore's book The Secret History of Wonder Woman, fits right in with the Wachowskis's directorial debut, Bound. (Check out this scene from Bound, which Susie Bright choreographed and wrote about in detail on her blog.)
There are plenty of female directors who would love to take a crack at a comic book blockbuster, but they're just not being hired. According to Women and Hollywood, women directed only 4.7% of studio films from 2009 to 2013. Only three female-directed films opened in wide release in 2013, and 2014 is looking equally dismal. According to Women Make Movies, "Women comprised 6% of all directors working on the top 250 films of 2013." Kathryn Bigelow made a dent in the glass ceiling, but we've still got a long way to go. Somehow it's easier and safer from a studio's point of view to hire a man with no filmmaking experience (such as allowing writer Roberto Orci to direct Star Trek 3) than it is to hire a woman who has actually, you know, directed a film. Any film.