In today’s chapter in the annals of dude with no experience gets job no woman would ever get, our dude with no directing experience is writer Seth Grahame-Smith of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” fame. He is the author of the books — he didn’t even direct their big-screen adaptations. He is also the screenwriter behind the horribly-reviewed “Dark Shadows” and upcoming mind boggling (as in WTF is this movie about?) “Lego Batman.”
But still none of that matters as he has been anointed wunderkind and given the reins of the upcoming “The Flash” film from Warner Brothers.
Ok, so Grahame-Smith has directed two episodes of MTV’s “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” a series he co-created. So he doesn’t have zero experience. But let’s remember “The Flash” is a big studio superhero flick with a budget rumored to be in the $100 million range. This is a man with ZERO film directing experience and he is being offered the keys to the kingdom. The film already has a release date of March 2018.
Ironically, this announcement comes just a couple of days after we learn that the EEOC will begin talking with women directors about their experiences of discrimination in the industry. BTW, Warner Brothers is one of the worst studios in hiring women directors: From 2009-2013, an abysmal 2.3% of their projects were directed by women.
This practice of hiring men with no or very little experience is commonplace, so much so that it is not even shocking anymore. But it should be. It should be shocking and unacceptable that the word director in Hollywood has become virtually synonymous with being a man — generally a white one.
Here are some examples of novice male directors offered huge opportunities I could come up with off the top of my head:
Colin Trevorrow for 2015’s “Jurassic World” with a budget of $150 million. Previous credit: “Safety Not Guaranteed” with budget of $750,000. He just started filming his third movie today.
Gareth Edwards for 2014’s “Godzilla” with budget of $160 million. Previous credit: “Monsters” with $500,000 budget.
Marc Webb for 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” with a budget of $230 million. Previous credit: “(500) Days of Summer” with budget of $7.5 million.
And Taika Waititi just signed on to direct “Thor: Ragnarok.” The first two installments of the franchise had $150 million+ budgets each. Waititi’s directing experience is “What We Do in the Shadows” for $1.6 million.
I am convinced that none of this will change until we have quotas imposed by class action lawsuits or governmental intervention. This ship will not right itself. There is no will for change. Fuck being nice anymore. The time for nice has passed. As Michael Moore said, we need to start kicking people in the teeth.