Perhaps the tide is at last turning. Since it has become increasingly difficult to deny the success of female-led film dramatic films – in the wake of The Hunger Games, Gravity and Lucy, in particular – it is gratifying to see that Sony Pictures are not only adding the sci-fi action film The Eden Project to their development slate, but have acquired it as a ‘spec script’ from the pen of Black List writer Christina Hodson.
The film will be produced at Material Pictures – with Tobey Maguire and colleague Matthew Plouffe overseeing the project. It seems that competition for the acquisition of the script was high, and culminated in a purchase worth in the region of $750,000, courtesy of Columbia Pictures president, Hannah Minghella. The plot has not yet been revealed, although it is said to involve two female lead characters, and constitutes the first instalment in a potential trilogy.
While the comedy and romantic genres have long been the main home for female-led film projects, drama, sci-fi and action have all remained resolutely male-dominated. The situation has been increasingly highlighted during the rise of the modern superhero movie – none of which have ever been led by a woman. The go-to response for studios has historically been that female-led movies are inherently more risky in financial terms – an argument that has led to great frustration amongst fans of cinema, men and women alike. While discussion and awareness of the issue has grown, we have seen little change in attitude from executives.
Despite The Hunger Games franchise shattering world records in terms of profit, and films like Gravity and Lucy challenging long-held bias about women in front of the camera, the successful female screenwriter has remained a disappointingly rare breed. This previously upheld status quo is the reason that this latest acquisition by Sony is so noteworthy, and deserving of celebration. The Eden Project – written by a woman, to star women, in a traditionally male-centric genre – is on its way, and could well be the game-changer we’ve been waiting for.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter