Prior to the appointment of Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome), Marvel Studios was said to have met with a host of potential female filmmakers – upwards of 65, apparently – for the director’s chair on the Black Widow solo movie.
One of those it seems was Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel (Zama), who has revealed to The Daily Pioneer (via The Playlist) that she turned down the opportunity to direct the Scarlet Johansson-headlined film, as well as slamming Marvel for what she felt was a slight on female filmmakers.
“I received an e-mail from Marvel for a meeting,” said Martel. “Marvel and other such production houses are trying to involve more female filmmakers. What they told me in the meeting was ‘we need a female director because we need someone who is mostly concerned with the development of Scarlett Johansson’s character.’ They also told me, ‘Don’t worry about the action scenes, we will take care of that.’ I was thinking, well I would love to meet Scarlett Johansson but also I would love to make the action sequences.”
“Companies are interested in female filmmakers but they still think action scenes are for male directors,” she continued. “The first thing I asked them was maybe if they could change the special effects because there’s so many laser lights. I find them horrible. Also the soundtrack of Marvel films is quite horrendous. Maybe we disagree on this but it’s really hard to watch a Marvel film. It’s painful to the ears to watch Marvel films.”
Marvel has taken its time involving female filmmakers in the MCU – Anna Boden, co-director of next year’s Captain Marvel will be the first – but one has to wonder whether Marvel’s comment about handling action scenes is less to do with a lack of belief in female filmmakers, and more about reassuring directors with little experience of handling huge action set pieces and big-budget blockbuster filmmaking. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below…