Lucasfilm Promises Female ‘Star Wars’ Director

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Directors J.J. Abrams (Star Trek), Rian Johnson (Looper), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (22 Jump Street), Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), and Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) are all white dudes. All very talented white dudes, mind you, but they’re white dudes. This has caused a slight uproar amongst Star Wars fans, but Lucasfilm promises there will be a female Star Wars director. Read more after the jump.

We know two of the upcoming Star Wars films star womenDaisy Ridley (Mr Selfridge) and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) — but, according to Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, in an interview with Fortune, her story group also mostly consists of women.

Fifty percent of our executive team are women. Six out of eight of the people in my Story Group are women. I think it’s making a huge difference in the kind of stories we’re trying to tell.

Kennedy insists they want to hire a female Star Wars director, it’s all about finding the right one.

It is going to happen. We are going to hire a woman who’s going to direct a Star Wars movie. I have no doubt. On the other hand, I want to make sure we put someone in that position who’s set up for success. It’s not just a token job to look out and try to find a woman that we could put into a position of directing Star Wars… If we do want to bring a woman in to direct a Star Wars movie, we want to make sure that it’s somebody who’s passionate and really, really wants to do a Star Wars movie. We don’t want to talk somebody into it.

So far all the Star Wars directors have experience making movies that cost more than $30 million — which most female filmmakers don’t have the opportunity to make.

It is interesting because I have a huge number of men who call me constantly and tell me how much of a Star Wars fan they are and how much they want to get involved in anything to do with Star Wars. I don’t have a lot of women who call and have those conversations with me.

Colin Trevorrow caused some controversy when he made a statement similar to this one from Kennedy — that a lot of female filmmakers in the industry don’t have the desire to make movies that involve superheroes or lightsabers. That’s probably true for some female filmmakers, just like it’s true for some male directors.

There are directors who would prefer to tell their own stories rather than get involved with a major franchise. The problem is some of the female filmmakers who want to make massive blockbusters aren’t given the opportunity to show what they can do with more than a few million bucks, to make their case on the big screen for why they could handle a Star Wars movie.

Director Jon Watts (Cop Car), based on the kid performances and charm of his film, landed the Spider-Man reboot. Marielle Heller not only got fantastic performances from her young actors with The Diary of a Teenage Girl, but made a hilarious, visually engaging, and dramatic debut film, but I doubt she was called in for a meeting on Spider-Man or other tentpole movies. Or maybe she has been, and after spending ten years making a personal film, she’s looking for another personal story to tell.

It is great to hear we’ll see a female Star Wars director at some point, and one right for the job, but hopefully that happens sooner than later.

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