Posted on Sunday, October 7th, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
Update: Warner Bros Denies Comments
Warner Bros president of production Jeff Robinov has made a new rule that “We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead”, according to DeadlineHollywood. Apparently, Robinov won’t even look at a script with a female lead.
And why has Robinov come around to this new way (Neanderthal, so rather old way) of thinking? Because it is the recent Hollywood trend: Both Jodie Foster’s The Brave One, Emma Robert’s Nancy Drew, Hilary Swank’s The Reaping, and Nicole Kidman’s The Invasion fared poorly at the box office.
So 1 + 1 must equal 3, because The Invasion probably didn’t fail because of the highly documented re-scripts, re-shoots, and two different directors. Aside from those factors, Kidman has never been a bankable name, so why did they even hire her in the first place? And Foster is coming off two recent hits with Flightplan and Panic Room, and now all of a sudden can’t get people to buy tickets to a movie, how strange. It probably has nothing to do with her core audience (mainly women) not wanting to watch a vigilante/revenge film? Because that might make entirely too much sense. And people in Hollywood executives don’t live in the realm of the real world.
Now first off, I’m not a politically correct obsessed person. If none of the films with female lead characters had made money in the past 10 years, and had Warner then made this decision, I would say that it was unfortunate that society can’t get behind a woman-led story, but I would agree that it was a smart business decision. But the fact of the matter is that a female-driven film can make money, so in this case I’m pulling out the “sexist” card (alongside the “dumbass” and “moron” cards).
So I wonder if this means the end of a Wonder Woman movie? With Justice League being fast tracked into production, who needs a single franchise film anyway. I mean, one comic book movie with many superheros is likely to make a lot more than 6 self contained superhero films combined, right? Oh wait, the math is wrong there too. Not that I want to see a Wonder Woman movie, I’m just saying.
How about this: Why not review each screenplay based on it’s potential as a cinematic story, and not based on an archaic set of self imposed rules. Because the best film I’ve seen so far this year is Jason Retiman’s Juno, and that not only features a female lead (with oscar potential), but was also written by a female screenwriter. And now that I think of it, more than a few of my favorite films this year also have female leads: Waitress, Once, Eagle vs. Shark, and The Orphanage.
Gloria Allred is already calling for a boycott of Warner Bros productions. One thing is for sure, people must be vocal now – the louder, the better. Or maybe someday female characters will all be reduced to nothingness. Remember Sue Storm in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer? Jessica Alba’s sole purpose and driving point was to be to wed to Reed Richards. Talk about one dimensional.
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