Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kathleen Kennedy Wants More Experienced Women Directors For Star Wars


The recent Star Wars films have made plenty of progress in terms of representation in front of the camera. But representation behind the camera has proven to be very difficult. Recently, Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm which is the studio behind all the upcoming Star Wars films, has spoken about why there aren't any female directors in line to helm a Star Wars film, saying that they're waiting to hire a woman director with more experience.

Having read those comments, I found them to be rather unfortunate. Mainly because we have recently seen plenty of male directors with little studio experience or directing experience make an immediate jump to blockbusters. For example, Marc Webb landed the Amazing Spider-Man films right after 500 Days Of Summer, Colin Trevorrow got Jurassic World after the Sundance wonder Safety Not Guaranteed, David Lowery went right from Ain't Them Bodies Saints to the more commercial Pete's Dragon, Joe and Anthony Russo landed the Captain America sequels after directing episodes of the series Community, and even Cedric Nicolas-Troyan who is a visual effects supervisor helmed The Huntsman: Winter's War which was his directing debut.

So if men with little or no directing experience can make the jump to blockbusters, why can't women do the same? It shouldn't feel like that much of a challenge to find a right director because the Star Wars franchise is tevlon. Those movies will always have big openings and make boatloads of dough. So even if they got an inexperienced woman director, she'll at least be allowed more opportunities going forward because she had that guaranteed box office win on her resume.

Also, we are starting to see female directors with little blockbuster experience make that transition. Patty Jenkins, whose previous credits include Monster and a few episodes of The Killing, will be coming out with Wonder Woman next year while Ava DuVernay has just become the first African-American woman to direct a $100 million film with A Wrinkle In Time for Disney (And FYI, Lucasfilm is a part of The Walt Disney Company). So for Kennedy to say that they're waiting for a woman with more experience just makes her look bad.

While representation in front of the camera is very important and is something that Kennedy and co. have worked on as mentioned in the beginning of this post, representation behind it is just as important. For example, Shonda Rhimes, a woman of color who is a TV executive producer, is behind shows like Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder which center around women of color.

What do you guys think? Are you as saddened by these comments as I am? Please be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!