Thunder Road – the production company that most recently delivered John Wick and Sicario – has snapped up a spec script written by Josh Olson (A History Of Violence) and John Brancato (Terminator: Salvation), titled Trigger Warning. The film is an original action tale with a female hero at its centre – and its development ensures the chance of women-oriented stories beyond the planned remakes and reboots of male-led movies.
Little is known about the specific plot of Trigger Warning but, unsurprisingly, it is described in broad terms through comparison to well-known male-led movies. This is almost unavoidable, since the genre has historically been dominated by male-centric tales and so, Trigger Warning is characterized as a female Rambo: First Blood, with a dash of John Wick thrown in.
The significance of this project cannot be overstated. There has, for some time, been an increasingly vocal call for better female representation in leading roles in movies, and some progress has been made in the past few years. However, Hollywood has been in real danger of responding to those calls by simply making female versions of previously male-led stories. While the upcoming Ghostbusters movie is not a remake of the original movies that were led by Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray – it is a female version of that concept, using a recognizable brand established by men to tell a story with characters that are women. The upcoming Ocean’s Eleven reboot is an example of the same process.
While those are legitimate and welcome projects, they do not plug the gap in the film industry that calls for original female-led stories. What are needed are films which launch brand new franchises that centre on female heroes – and Trigger Warning has the potential to be just that. As such, it would be heartening to see this as an opportunity for a woman director to make her mark in the action genre, and hopefully, Trigger Warning producer Erica Lee would agree.