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Male Privilege Watch: Chris Addison to Make Feature Debut with “Nasty Women”

29 March 2017 9:02 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Yeah, we’re not happy about this either, Anne: “Colossal

Here we go again. Yet another newbie male director has been given the reins to a much anticipated women-centric project. This time it’s Chris Addison making his feature directorial debut with the gender-reversed “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” remake, “Nasty Women,” per Variety.

Starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, “Nasty Women” is a new take on the 1988 comedy, which sees Michael Caine and Steve Martin as con men trying to trick an heiress (Glenne Headly) out of $50,000. “Nasty Women” features Hathaway and Wilson as the cons, “one low-rent and the other high-class, who compete to swindle a naive tech prodigy out of his fortune,” Variety summarizes. The title refers to the feminist-reclaimed insult Donald Trump hurled at Hillary Clinton as she kicked his ass during a debate.

To date, Addison is best known for directing episodes of “Veep” and “The Thick of It” — which, to be clear, wouldn’t be a problem if women TV directors could make that transition just as seamlessly. Instead, it seems like every couple of weeks we hear about a green male director making leaps and bounds in his career while experienced female directors fight tooth and nail for every gig.

For example, “Iron Man 3” screenwriter Drew Pearce will helm the big budget “Hotel Artemis” — even though his only other directorial efforts are Funny Or Die videos and the 14-minute “Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King.” “Mozart in the Jungle” co-creator Alex Timbers will direct “Cruella” starring Emma Stone. He has experience directing theater, but hasn’t helmed any films or TV episodes besides an onstage production of “The Pee Wee Herman Show,” which aired on HBO. And David Ayer — director of “Suicide Squad,” one of the most universally reviled pics of 2016 — was apparently granted the benefit of the doubt from Warner Bros.: He will helm the Harley Quinn spinoff movie starring Margot Robbie.

The news is especially frustrating since “Nasty Women’s” screenwriter, Jac Schaeffer, has actual directing experience. She helmed 2009’s “TiMER,” a sci-fi/fantasy comedy about a world where everyone has a built-in clock that counts down to the moment they meet their soulmate. Of course, we don’t know the specifics of Schaeffer’s schedule or if she even wants to direct more films. It’s possible she was the studio’s first choice and turned down the offer — but we sincerely doubt it.

The truth is that unseasoned male directors are repeatedly given great opportunities — opportunities that veteran female directors are passed over for. As director Niki Caro (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”) recently told us in an interview, “It’s incredibly depressing, the criminal waste of talent and skill. I’m very grateful. I’m very fortunate that I’m working. But I’m very aware of the many that aren’t and that their talent, strengths, and voices are going to waste. That enrages me.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Male Privilege Watch: Chris Addison to Make Feature Debut with “Nasty Women” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Rachel Montpelier

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