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12 More Female Filmmakers Who Are Ready To Direct A Blockbuster

12 More Female Filmmakers Who Are Ready To Direct A Blockbuster

What’s a blockbuster without a sequel? Almost as soon as we published last week’s list of indie and emerging female filmmakers who are, by our estimation, more than ready to make the jump to blockbuster territory, we greenlit another list of talented directors (and thanks to the many readers who wrote in with essential picks). Still, the same guidelines apply: These lists aren’t exhaustive, because they can’t be. There’s too many talented female filmmakers for that.

READ MORE: 13 Female Filmmakers Who Are Ready To Direct A Blockbuster

So, here’s a dozen more picks for female filmmakers who should direct the next big blockbuster.

Lake Bell

After getting her big break in the dramedy “Boston Legal,” Lake Bell took a sharp turn into the alt comedy world in 2008 by toplining the hilarious and bizarre web series-turned-Adult Swim mainstay “Childrens Hospital.” There she truly honed her chops, and amassed a network of equally hilarious friends, many of whom she brought along to her feature directorial debut, 2013’s “In a World…” The Sundance comedy was so warm and natural that it’s easy to imagine her directing her pals in laugh-a-minute blockbusters with heart, in the realm of Paul Feig and Judd Apatow. With the unique ability to play beats alternately wacky and sweet, and an improviser’s eye, Bell could take a box office-friendly formula and make it completely unique. – Bill Earl

Alma Har’el

Why is a documentary filmmaker on this list? Because, based on the sense of adventure, sweeping movement and bursting visual excitement, she’s been able to create serving as her own one-woman documentary crew on “Bombay Beach” and “LoveTrue,” it’s easy to imagine how Har’el would crush it working with the resources of Hollywood’s top technicians. For a taste of what would be possible, check out the lush imagery and spirit of exploration she was able to conjure in this one-minute spot for AirBnB. Har’el is also not afraid to paint on a big canvas – tackling themes surrounding life and death, man versus nature, love and hatred, and a sense of spirit that connects us all. The key, as it is with all directors, is matching Ha’rel with the right content. May we suggest a water-based epic or a sci-fi script that blurs the lines between reality, dreams and other dimensions (think Wachowskis or Christopher Nolan)? – Chris O’Falt

Nicole Holofcener

After landing her first credited writing gig on TV (“Ready or Not” in 1993), Holofcener broke out in the indie film world with the Sundance hit “Walking and Talking.” Ever since, she’s made a specific balance of film and TV projects work to her advantage, honing her vision on every new job and pushing for a wider audience with each next step. Tracking her directorial efforts from the ’90s to now, it becomes clear how Holofcener has used her experience and success to craft not only successful projects on a financial level, but artistically satisfying experiences any filmmaker would be proud of. On the cinematic side, she’s moved from “Please Give,” to “Friends With Money,” to “Enough Said,” all while transitioning from “Sex and the City” to “Six Feet Under” to “Orange is the New Black” in TV. That combination of an auteur’s voice applied to universally relatable content is more valuable than ever for big budget studio pictures, as audiences have shown that they crave clear, passionate and unique perspectives from popular pictures still intended to attract a broad swath of the population. Holofcener is the perfect fit for today’s marketplace, deserving of every opportunity — in any medium — she chooses to pursue. – Ben Travers

Martha Coolidge

To really appreciate just what Martha Coolidge could bring to a big-budget film, we must point to “Real Genius,” one of the ’80s most human and hilarious films, proving Val Kilmer’s capabilities as a comic genius while also proving that a balance between story and comedy can lead to a great film. And when you look back at some of the great summer comedies that have become legitimate blockbusters, that’s been the secret ingredient the whole time. From “The Hangover” to “Ghostbusters,” a strong narrative thread has been key to making these films classic. Coolidge has been working in TV comedy lately, but that’s no barrier these days to the film world. And she could kill it. – Liz Shannon Miller

Julie Taymor

The thing about wondering what a Julie Taymor-directed blockbuster would look like is that yes, the theater-turned-film director has a distinctly avant-garde approach to her projects. But like many great artists who fall into the commercial sphere, some of her greatest works have come when confronted with a challenge like “take a ‘Hamlet’-esque Disney movie about lions and put it on the stage,” or “completely revolutionize the classic biopic format.” She’s never crafted a true crowd-pleaser for film, but she’s clearly not afraid of taking huge mainstream ideas and finding something bold and innovative within them. And thus I propose the following: “Julie Taymor’s TRANSFORMERS.” Don’t say you don’t want to watch that. You want to watch that. We all do. – LSM

Lynn Shelton

From “The Avengers” to “Ant Man,” some of the best modern superhero movies owe much to their comic timing, and that’s something Shelton’s films have in droves. From her boisterous dude movie “Humpday” to the cringe-inducing situational humor of “Your Sister’s Sister,” Shelton’s improvisatory approach has yielded some of the funniest American movies in recent years. Put those awkward, charmingly uncertain anti-heroes in capes and tights and you’d get a more personable take on this genre than any CGI could possibly offer up. – Eric Kohn

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Is this about political gesture or artistic vision? Why would we want Debra Granik (for example) to waste her time on an executive-controlled, big-budget studio pic? As if this were the pinnacle of the profession. Pfff.

jean Vigo

Mädchen makes the salient point here. Thank you. Blockbusters are giant tentpole "products" heavily controlled in all aspects by the studio – a director on these is reduced to a factory "foreperson" making sure the storyboards as specifically signed off by the studio ahead of time (and created by committee) are checked off and fulfilled. Great paycheck. Sure. But, where does one go if the blockbuster flops?


ALMA HAR’EL!!! Dream director for every film but the thought of a big $$$s SciFi and her is Making me think about all the things I miss and love in films. She’s epic but never loses touch with people. Praying this list gets to the right people. Thank u Indiewire


Gimme gimme gimme


OMG OMG OMG Alma Har’el. Thought she’s my secret.


Ok…… Alma Har’el is one of the most interesting directors of this generation and beyond. Why do we want her to do Blockbusters???

Jack Wibbe

And here are the scripts they could shoot, all nine of them starring strong women, at threewibbes dot wordpress dot com .

Jack Wibbe

PS your spam blocker is idiotic


Once again Penske falls on their sword agitating for talented filmmakers being allowed to make crap. Why not give them the money to make something personal and interesting unless you want to prove women can suck just as much as men


It’s funny that this would even be suggested. Any Male or female director could direct any of the recent big budget superhero movies. I can’t tell who directs them, anyway. They all possess the same generic marvel or dc movie arc. Creativity need not apply there.

Blueberry Picnic

As others here have pointed out, if the movie is a crappy comic book movie (which is mostly what Hollywood is making today), who gives a damn who directs it? Will the authors of this piece have loved Batman vs. Superman if a woman directed it? Would they say it’s the greatest movie ever made because the director was a woman?

I’ll bet when the new Wonder Woman movie is released, Indie wire will call it the year’s best, and one of the greatest movies ever made.


OR how about we just adequetly distribute the films they want to make? Is that so f*cking crazy?


I get what everyone is saying here about blockbusters all being the same but honestly there’s a fair chance they might be a little better if women made them. I loved the idea of Alma Har’el making a sci-fi that blurs memories and dreams. She’s one of the greats for sure. Was surprised to see her on this list because she doesn’t get enough credit… Being a "doc" director. If you’ve seen her commercials or her Sigur Ros video with Shia Labeoufff you know though. She’s the one I would single out of this list.


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OR what if we just let them direct whatever the hell they want and distribute it properly? Is that really all that crazy?

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