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‘Belle’ Director Snags Kerry Washington Studio Movie: Things Are Looking Up for Women in Hollywood

'Belle' Director Snags Kerry Washington Studio Movie: Things Are Looking Up for Women in Hollywood

“Scandal” star Kerry Washington is working out a deal to star in “Belle” director Amma Asante’s Warner Bros. thriller “Unforgettable,” about a war between a man’s new wife and his ex, reports Variety.

A number of high-powered women are involved:  Christina Hodson is writing the script, and Warners in-house producer Denise DiNovi and her partner Alison Greenspan are producing. Warners production execs Andy Fischel and Racheline Benveniste are supervising.

Hollywood now considers CAA-repped Washington a marquee draw thanks to her hit TV show “Scandal”; Washington’s last films were “Peeples” and “Django Unchained.”

EARLIER: As Michelle McLaren, who has earned her action bonafides on such cable series as “Game of Thrones,” “Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad,” has landed the gig to develop and direct Warner Bros./DC Comics’ “Wonder Woman.” And Ava DuVernay and Angelina Jolie are both in the awards conversation for “Selma” and “Unbroken,” respectively, things do seem to be looking up for women in Hollywood.

There’s more in the fall lineup to be pleased about. “Big Eyes” is about a 60s painter (Amy Adams) who fights back after her husband takes credit for her paintings. Meryl Streep’s Witch dominates Disney musical “Into the Woods,” which is packed with women, from the baker’s wife to Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and her wicked stepfamily–and Chris Pine delightfully plays Prince Charming as a deluded two-dimensional buffoon.

It’s perfectly OK that “The Theory of Everything” is about the wife who made a great man’s achievements possible, not the great man’s achievements. We’ve seen plenty of movies about those. Keira Knightley’s Joan Clarke in “The Imitation Game” reminds that when it comes to math, if you can do the numbers, it doesn’t matter what your gender. “Wild” centers on Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon), a woman in pain who becomes a hero to her fellow hikers on the Pacific Crest trail. 

As “Lucy” and “Maleficent” and “Frozen” become global hits, now female superheroes are actually cropping up in both the Marvel and DC universes. There’s even an “Expendabelles” in the works, but the likely B-movie casting will tell that tale. 

After years of institutional male protection, Bill Cosby is now getting the shit kicked out of him on the internet and in the media, as more and more women stand up to declare that he drugged and raped them. When The Wrap posted a Cosby apologist guest blog, editor Sharon Waxman got the shit kicked out of her.

Is there a shift in the zeitgeist? Is there a heightened new consciousness? Can Lesli Linka Glatter move on from directing “Homeland” episodes and back to feature films? Can Lena Dunham be allowed to be young, successful, and female? We’ll see about that. But there does seem to be a disturbance in the force. 

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