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