Speculations abounded as to the cause. But before the news could sink in too much, we learned last night that Patty Jenkins, the woman who directed Charlize Theron to her Best Actress Oscar in “Monster,” would take over the film and potential franchise. Jenkins, if you remember, was also on the cusp of becoming a superhero director at Marvel several years ago when “Thor 2” was in development, but she left that project due to the same “creative differences” that led MacLaren to leave Wonder Woman.
The quick switch illuminates a couple of points:
1. This had to have been in the works for some time.
You don’t fire and then hire a director in one day. I sense they deliberately wanted to keep the time frame as short as possible between announcements to make clear that things are still on track for a summer 2017 release.
2. They felt the gender pressure.
The folks at DC and Warner Brothers understood the gender backlash they would get when MacLaren left, and they wanted to make sure to mitigate the issue by hiring another woman. They clearly knew that they had many eyes on them and the project and that the optics would be terrible if a man was hired (especially because the script is written by a man). Hopefully, Marvel will get a clue about where things are at and also hire a woman director for the Captain Marvel movie.
All in all, this could have been a huge PR disaster, but now that has been taken care of. We’ll all be happy when production finally starts.