Out of the major comic book movie news to land in recent weeks, Michelle MacLaren’s departure from Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman has resonated the longest. Her initial appointment was met with excitement, intrigue and hope by those eager for an edgier take on the DC movie-verse after witnessing the director’s stellar work on Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad. That sense of enthusiasm led to sadness for many this week, however, as MacLaren exited after investing a fair amount into developing the project. While it took the studio mere days to source a replacement, suggesting the movie is still racing toward its 2017 release, there’s word from Variety (via Collider) now shedding light on why exactly her tenure was cut so short.
As MacLaren’s initial announcements implied, not only would she be directing, but she was also set to develop Wonder Woman, which means she had considerable sway in terms of its story. From what the trade relays, it seems as if ‘creative differences’ hit the nail on the head as both the studio and director had wildly opposing thoughts on how to tackle the standalone movie. MacLaren was pushing for “an epic origin tale in the vein of “Braveheart” while Warner were wanting to dial it back with “a more character-driven story that was less heavy on action.”
The report goes on to reference unnamed studio executives who were apparently “increasingly concerned” over her ability to craft a large-scale action-packed movie. But.. didn’t they just say they didn’t want action? If this intel is true, then it’s largely misguided. Especially considering MacLaren’s flair for imparting character THROUGH action to winning effect in Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Thrones. As Collider astutely points out, Colin Trevorrow was headhunted to direct Jurassic World with one indie film credit to his name, so it doesn’t seem to add up.
The biggest question remaining is, of course, what will Michelle MacLaren do next? One prevailing notion championed on social media is for Marvel to acquire her for Captain Marvel. But, it looks like Jolie’s already snagged that one, so we’ll have to wait and see what the talented helmer has in the pipeline.
Now directed by Patty Jenkins ,Wonder Woman opens on June 23, 2017.