Female directors behind record-breaking number of movies in 2019

Filmmakers including Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, and Anna Boden helped propel female-directed movies to record-breaking levels in 2019.Out of the 100 highest-grossing movies of the year, 10.6 per cent of them were directed by female filmmakers, a jump …

Filmmakers including Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, and Anna Boden helped propel female-directed movies to record-breaking levels in 2019.

Out of the 100 highest-grossing movies of the year, 10.6 per cent of them were directed by female filmmakers, a jump from just 4.5 per cent in 2018, according to the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, reported Variety.

Movies including Gerwig’s Little Women, Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers, animated sequel Frozen 2, which was co-directed by Lee and Chris Buck, and Captain Marvel, which was helmed by Boden and Ryan Fleck, all scored box office hits.

Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, Melina Matsoukas’s Queen & Slim and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell were also among 2019’s most popular female-directed flicks.

“It illuminates where we’re seeing traction and where there’s room for improvement,” said one of the study’s authors, Stacy L. Smith. “Universal under (studio chief) Donna Langley should be lauded for ensuring that women get opportunities.”

Smith also predicted that 2020 will be even better, with female directors being handed the reins of big superhero movies such as Birds of Prey, Eternals, Black Widow, and Wonder Woman 1984 as well as the Disney live-action remake of Mulan.

“2020 will be an extraordinary year for female directors,” she added. “That’s important, because we’re seeing women being given opportunities to direct action movies and not just smaller, independent films… Progress will come when females are given the opportunity to carry movies behind the camera across genres and budget ranges.”

The study comes weeks after the 2020 Golden Globe nominees were announced, sparking outrage that the Best Director category featured all-male candidates once again.

The prize, which will be handed out on Sunday, will be between Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Quentin Tarantino, 1917’s Sam Mendes, Joker’s Todd Phillips, Bong Joon-Ho for Parasite, and Martin Scorsese for The Irishman.

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Olivia Wilde wants to direct a Marvel superhero movie

Olivia Wilde wants to direct a Marvel superhero movie and thinks no genre should be off the table for female filmmakers. The 35-year-old recently made her directorial debut with comedy Booksmart, and the actress was quizzed by MTV about possible futur…

Olivia Wilde wants to direct a Marvel superhero movie and thinks no genre should be off the table for female filmmakers.

The 35-year-old recently made her directorial debut with comedy Booksmart, and the actress was quizzed by MTV about possible future projects she’d be inspired to take on.

When asked if she’d try her hand at directing a movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wilde replied, “Totally yeah, absolutely.”

And with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay heading up a movie adaptation of DC Comics’ The New Gods and Chloe Zhao directing The Eternals for Marvel, the mother-of-two is excited about the future of female filmmakers.

“I think that it’s exciting that now women like Ava DuVernay and Chloe Zhao are directing Marvel films and it’s exciting to think about what that will do to the franchise. I think it’s a proud… I’m a proud member of the movement of female directors, and I don’t think there’s any genre that should be off the table,” Wilde shared.

While she’s yet to be offered a superhero movie, the Cowboys & Aliens star would join a prestigious group of women when the time comes.

Zhao has become the first solo female director in the MCU, and will helm the highly-anticipated project based on Jack Kirby’s comic book, which follows the super-powered beings known as Eternals.

In addition, Anna Boden co-directed the hugely successful Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, and Cate Shortland has been confirmed to direct the Black Widow spin-off movie with Scarlett Johansson.

Wilde also praised the opportunities that are now being given to women in Hollywood, including heading up huge superhero franchises such as Wonder Woman, which is helmed by Patty Jenkins.

The 47-year-old was paid a handsome sum to return – along with leading woman Gal Gadot – for the sequel, Wonder Woman 1984.

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Brie Larson gushes over stunning Captain Marvel premiere gown

Brie Larson has gushed over the gorgeous gown she wore to the Captain Marvel premiere in Los Angeles on Monday night (04Mar19).The Oscar-winning actress posed up a storm on the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre for the launch of the Marvel Studios superh…

Brie Larson has gushed over the gorgeous gown she wore to the Captain Marvel premiere in Los Angeles on Monday night (04Mar19).

The Oscar-winning actress posed up a storm on the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre for the launch of the Marvel Studios superhero film, in which she plays lead character Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel.

For the event, Brie opted for a nude gown featuring white lace with a star pattern, with the ensemble specially created for her by Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy.

“I will never forget tonight,” she captioned a snap of her at the event on her Instagram page. “It was a dream come true to wear a custom @rodarte dress made with so much love by my sisters @kateandlauramulleavy – they have inspired me over and over to be the best artist I can be. Thank you Kate. Thank you Laura. I love you so much!”

Brie was joined by a number of her co-stars at the premiere, including Gemma Chan, Lashana Lynch, and Samuel L. Jackson, as well as the feature’s directors, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.

In addition, she thanked the 100 members of the U.S. Air Force who attended, as well as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who did a flyover outside the venue.

“I’ve got all the feelings. I’m grateful to everyone I met this evening. Thank you to our cast! And crew! The fans and amazing cosplayers! The service women and men from the military! And a special thank you to @afthunderbirds for the flyover! I know it wasn’t just for the film, but for Cajun – the big cat!!! Running out of words to express my gratitude. Higher further faster baby!” the 29-year-old added.

Other celebrities to step out at the Captain Marvel premiere included Pom Klementieff, McKenna Grace, Halsey and Iskra Lawrence.

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Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden: ‘We learned a lot making Captain Marvel’

Captain Marvel directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden “learned a lot” making their first superhero movie but insist it’s fundamentally not that different from their other films. The filmmaking couple were best known for making dramas like Half Nelson and…

Captain Marvel directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden “learned a lot” making their first superhero movie but insist it’s fundamentally not that different from their other films.

The filmmaking couple were best known for making dramas like Half Nelson and Mississippi Grind on a modest budget before venturing into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to helm Captain Marvel, the MCU’s first female-led superhero movie, starring Brie Larson.

While they admit they took a big leap in terms of scale and the project is very different from their past work, they insist that the fundamental elements of filmmaking were still the same.

“The scale is obviously huge and there are lots of bells and whistles and visual effects in a movie like this but at the end of the day, it’s storytelling and it’s working with actors and it’s saying ‘action’ and ‘cut’ and it’s just filmmaking, and so yes, we learned a lot on this journey but it’s surprising how it’s not that different from the other movies,” Fleck told WENN at the film’s London premiere on Wednesday (27Feb19).

Speaking to premiere host Edith Bowman, Boden added that it was a little daunting having hardly any constraints in terms of time, imagination and budget compared to their independent films.

“At first it’s daunting as we’re used to making movies that are very naturalistic and reality-based, where we walk into a space thinking, ‘OK, how can we fit our scene into this space.’ But now we have a movie where we’re starting from a blank slate and really the sky is the limit,” she commented. “It’s really exciting to be able to exercise that new muscle.”

The duo, who have also helmed episodes of TV shows The Affair and Billions, signed on as directors after Larson was already onboard, and they explained that having the Oscar-winning actress attached had huge appeal.

“She was a real draw for us, and she was why we wanted to make this movie with her. She brings such humanity to all of her roles, there’s this access to emotion that she has,” Boden gushed.

Captain Marvel, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jude Law, and Gemma Chan, hits cinemas from 6 March.

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Composer Pinar Toprak to be first woman to score a Marvel movie

Pinar Toprak is set to be the first woman to compose the score for a Marvel Studios feature.The Turkey-born composer has previously worked on films such as The Monster Project, The Challenger and The Lightkeepers, as well as TV series Krypton. Now, To…

Pinar Toprak is set to be the first woman to compose the score for a Marvel Studios feature.

The Turkey-born composer has previously worked on films such as The Monster Project, The Challenger and The Lightkeepers, as well as TV series Krypton.

Now, Toprak is to break major ground in the film industry, as on Thursday (14Jun18) she announced that she will be composing the score for upcoming film superhero film Captain Marvel.

“I’m so thrilled to finally announce that I will be scoring the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL!” she wrote on her Instagram page. “It’s an incredible honour to be a part of the Marvel Universe. So many thoughts racing through my head. And the main one is gratitude.”

In her post, Toprak also thanked her agents Laura Engel and Richard Kraft and Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck for giving her the “opportunity of a lifetime”.

Plans for Captain Marvel were first announced in early 2016, with Brie Larson taking the central role of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers.

The movie will be the first female-led superhero project under Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while plot details are a closely guarded secret, high-profile stars including Samuel L. Jackson, Annette Bening, Djimon Hounsou and Jude Law are among the castmembers.

Boden, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, Meg LeFauve, Carly Mensch, Liz Flahive and Nicole Perlman have penned the screenplay, with the film set to hit cinemas in March 2019.

Toprak took music classes at the Istanbul State Conservatory before moving to Chicago in 1997 and studying film scoring at Berklee College of Music.

She later worked at celebrated composer Hans Zimmer’s studios, eventually composing music for video games, films and TV, and recently wrote additional music for DC Comics’ Justice League.

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