In an upset to the Wonder Woman feature film project, it has just been announced that creative differences have caused Michelle MacLaren to resign from the project.
Warner Bros. promptly issued a statement revealing the loss of Ms. MacLaren.
“Given creative differences, Warner Bros. and Michelle MacLaren have decided not to move forward with plans to develop and direct Wonder Woman together.”
The specific reasons for the parting of ways have not yet been made public, but the Michelle’s departure from the Wonder Woman project has already raised concerns that gender may have been an issue. Together with an incident involving the 2011 Thor film project, in which Patty Jenkins similarly left that project mid-stream only to be replaced by Alan Taylor, current incidents would seem to indicate that women are not welcome in the highly lucrative superhero film adaptation franchises.
If gender has become an issue among studio execs, it may affect much of Marvel’s plans for future developments and that, in turn, may make the issue more public. While Hollywood would seem to have difficulty in working with women in these projects, Marvel is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The comic book giant is looking at Nicole Perlman (co-writer for Guardians of the Galaxy) and Meg LeFauve (Pixar’s Inside Out) to write their female-driven Captain Marvel feature film.
Ironically, the incident with Wonder Woman frees up Michelle MacLaren in case Marvel has considered her for the Captain Marvel project.
Ms. MacLaren was certainly qualified to take on this Wonder Woman project. Although Wonder Woman would have been Michelle’s feature film debut, Ms. MacLaren has a long list of television directing credits that include episodes from shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Better Call Saul.
Warner Bros. had spent months searching for a female director to helm the filming of Wonder Woman, before finally choosing Ms. MacLaren to take on the project. Although Michelle is officially off of the Wonder Woman project, her vision may still be seen in the final film. Wonder Woman has gone through an intensive writing process that involved several writers working on several scripts, with Ms. MacLaren being the constant voice among them all.
This sudden change behind the scenes of Wonder Woman may create a domino effect, interfering with the releases of several planned films. Gal Gadot was to make her debut as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, followed closely by the Wonder Woman feature film, which would then see Wonder Woman again in Justice League: Part I, to be released on November 17th, 2017.
The loss of Michelle MacLaren may push back the release of that Wonder Woman feature film and in turn change plans for the proposed Justice League projects, if Warner Bros. can’t replace MacLaren quickly.