Not sure if this discussion will expand into a broader discussion of female directors in general and how they're viewed in the industry / expectations and such.
The gist is Michelle MacLaren was brought on in November 2014 to direct this (which was rather a cool idea -- MacLaren has done some really nice TV work on noteworthy shows), but she only lasted six months before leaving this month over "creative differences."
Of course, this article suggests maybe the creative differences was understandable:
Wonder Woman and her pet tiger — The Beat
Aside from groaning over the idea of Zack Synder having any control over the content of the movie (he's decent at producing visual sequences but kind of sucks at the underpinnings of story + characterization and needs others to do the heavy lifting), it sounds like they don't know what they're doing at Warner with DC properties, unlike Disney/Marvel, and instead of getting things together they're just trying to jump on the movie franchise bandwagon that Marvel cranked up.So basically with a tight-for-a-blockbuster two years out schedule, they STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH WONDER WOMAN. Talking raccoons—no problem. A test pilot who gets a glowing green mask—think of the possibilities. A guy who shrinks down to the size of an ant—the kids will love it. A guy who got frightened by a bat in a cave—worldwide box office records. Woman who fights evil….hm…boy…jeez, that’s a tough one.The official reason for her leaving is ‘creative differences,’ and that seems legit according to the scuttlebutt that has reached me. MacLaren and Warner Bros couldn’t agree on anything – including what time period to set the movie. More than that, MacLaren had some very particular visions for the film, visions that maybe would have alienated fandom. Although perhaps Diana having a tiger sidekick/pet she could talk with would have appealed to people more than I expect.
As of now it seems like Wonder Woman is still on for a 2017 release – which means they need to get a director in there soon. I don’t even know if any of the stuff they developed with MacLaren, storywise, will last. It’s quite possible that whoever comes on next will start from scratch – or will basically take orders from Zack Snyder, who could be shaping up to be the driving creative force behind the DC Movieverse.
Still, if the above is true, I think MacLaren was a little tone-deaf on the character. But what kinds of expectations do companies have for their female directors? What female directors of note / well-known reputation have there been? I don't have time to wrack my brain right now over it, but...
MacLaren's done good TV stuff (and probably there are some other decent TV female directors)
- Penny Marshall (although her stuff was 80's and 90's; she did great comedy / dramedy)
- Kim Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, Carrie remake -- although her remake wasn't really that spectacular, it certainly did not improve the old movie even if Julianne Moore brought some substance to the mother role)