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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

Marjane Satrapi


Marjane Satrapi made her name in the film business just like everyone else: By growing up during the Iranian Revolution, creating a heartbreaking graphic novel about the oppression and brutality she witnessed during that time (“Persepolis”), and then adapting it into one of the best animated features of the last 20 years. Oh, and then by parlaying that into an exciting, unpredictable career directing live-action indies like “The Voices,” which starred Ryan Reynolds as a guy whose cat tells him to murder people. In other words, Marjane Satrapi is just another hack trying to climb her way up the Hollywood ladder, and so there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be invited to try her hands at a blockbuster just like the rest of her peers. The fact of the matter is that Satrapi is possessed with rare vision, is absolutely fearless, and sticks the landing every time — a major studio would do well to give her some money and let her swing for the fences. -David Ehrlich

Debra Granik

From its Sundance debut to its awards season splash, Granik’s breakout 2011 film “Winter’s Bone” proved that she could tackle a crime story with care. In co-writing the script adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s novel, Granik made the layered reveals of Ree and Teardrop’s respective backstories work especially well for the screen. (That the film became a giant first leap for Jennifer Lawrence on her way to mega-stardom doesn’t hurt Granik’s bona fides either.) “Stray Dog” was one of last year’s best films and a documentary that showed Granik has an impressive command of story even when she’s not in direct control of the action. Patience isn’t always a virtue in the blockbuster realm, but for a franchise where tone and character are especially key, Granik would certainly be a valuable asset. -Steve Greene

Lisa Cholodenko

A writer-director who has always shown far more confidence and control than Hollywood tends to appreciate out of a female filmmaker, Lisa Cholodenko has managed to become one of the most respected voices in indie cinema completely on her own terms. Having made a career of using big actors to tell smart stories about strong women (e.g. “Laurel Canyon,” “The Kids Are All Right”), Cholodenko has always expressed a rare talent for making increasingly accessible work without ever compromising herself to do it. That quality alone should put her on the top of the list to helm major studio projects — the flexibility she’s shown by sliding into the director’s chair on television shows like “Hung” and “Six Feet Under,” and the virtuosic command she displayed over HBO’s searing emotional epic “Olive Kitteridge,” are just icing on the cake. -DE

Rose McGowan

While she has yet to complete her first feature directing effort, the veteran actress has already proven her chops behind the camera with her tense short “Dawn,” a Sundance premiere in which a teen girl falls for a young stud and winds up in a darker situation than she imagined. In the short, McGowan displays her command of first-rate suspense and atmosphere, which shifts from sweet to scary through a fluid set of visual cues. As with her roles, McGowan shows that she has some impressively edgy sensibilities as a director. She’s well-positioned to tackle one of the grittier superhero stories and give it some serious bite. – EK

Talya Lavie

“Zero Motivation” writer and director Talya Lavie nailed the tricky dramedy with her first feature, a festival favorite built around her own experiences in the Israeli Defense Forces, finding great humor and serious pathos in a story that could have proven very hard to navigate. Despite the serious underlying nature of the film, Lavie mines her situations for plenty of laughs and keenly observed character work, richly developing complicated characters with unique motivations. At its heart, it’s essentially a slacker comedy starring bored military gals, an “In the Army Now” for the “Pineapple Express” age, and who wouldn’t to see that kind of charm and humor in a big-backed studio comedy? – Kate Erbland

Rebecca Miller


Rebecca Miller’s personal brand of deeply felt, bracingly human stories took a decidedly delightful turn with this year’s festival hit “Maggie’s Plan,” which not only follows the lives and loves of two very complex women (played by Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore, naturally) as they try to navigate romance and family in the face of some pretty strange issues, but does it with big laughs to boot. Miller is a natural fit for tangled stories about women and emotion, a skill that would translate with ease to any number of the bestselling-book-to-film adaptations that continue to be queued up for theatrical consumption. Just imagine what a Miller-directed “Girl on the Train” would look like, or the inevitable “50 Shades” sequel or even something like the in-the-works movie version of “The Night Circus,” all close character study and big drama. – KE 

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