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1-20 of 22 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


Croods 2 Finds Its Director, Brings in Leslie Mann

18 October 2017 5:53 PM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

DreamWorks Animation's The Croods 2 is finally back on the right track after the studio set a new release date for the animated sequel last month. Today the studio has set Joel Crawford to make his feature directorial debut with The Croods 2, after serving as head of story on the studio's Trolls and directing the new TV special DreamWorks Trolls Holiday, which was announced this week and will debut on NBC Wednesday, November 24. Here's what Chris deFaria, president of DreamWorks Animation Film Group, had to say in a statement about the filmmaker.

"Joel has done masterful work in his career and has proven himself to be an artist with a keen eye for character and story. His wonderful work at the helm of the DreamWorks Trolls Holiday as the director demonstrates his ability to expand his talents, and we think he's the perfect choice to bring the Croods »

- MovieWeb

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Dave Bautista joins animated action-comedy Groove Tails

18 October 2017 6:37 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Deadline is reporting that Dave Bautista has signed on to join Jamie Foxx in the animated action comedy Groove Tails.

The film is being directed by Cameron Hood, animator on How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda 2, and takes place in a world where mice engage in a competitive street dance competition. Bautista will voice multiple characters, while Foxx is also on board as a producer and Jingle Punks (The Lego Ninjago Movie, Step Up) is developing the music.

Former WWE Superstar Bautista is currently shooting Marvel’s Avengers 4, and has numerous projects on the horizon, including Avengers: Infinity WarHotel ArtemisEscape Plan 2: HadesEscape Plan 3: Devil’s Station, and the Ip Man spinoff Ip Man Side Story: Cheung Tin Chi. He also recently signed on to star in his own action comedy franchise, which is being developed by Stx Entertainment. »

- Gary Collinson

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‘Blade Runner 2049’ Actor Dave Bautista Joins Jaime Foxx In Animated Film ‘Groove Tails’

17 October 2017 3:18 PM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Dave Bautista, of Blade Runner 2049 and Guardians of the Galaxy, will lend his voice in multiple roles on the animated action-comedy Groove Tails, which has Jamie Foxx starring and producing. It’s set in a world where mice engage in a competitive street dance competition. How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda 2 animator Cameron Hood is attached to direct the project. Johnny Mack developed the story and wrote the first draft of the script with the most… »

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Jennifer Yuh Nelson to Helm “Bittersweet Life” Remake

21 August 2017 7:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Jennifer Yuh Nelson: Dp/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood/YouTube

As we previously reported, “Kung Fu Panda 2” director Jennifer Yuh Nelson has begun to direct live-action work alongside her already-prestigious animation career. Now, per Deadline, Nelson will join forces with “Creed” star Michael B. Jordan, Fox, and production company 21 Laps to remake “A Bittersweet Life.”

Originally a Korean cult action flick, “The Bittersweet Life” follows a longtime mobster who becomes emotionally torn between his boss and the mistress he’s been ordered to kill. The newly Americanized version, which will star Jordan, will be a “high-concept, character-driven genre film with franchise potential.”

Nelson’s background is predominantly in animation as both a storyboard artist and director. Her directorial debut, “Kung Fu Panda 2,” and its successor, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” received Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Picture.

Alongside “Frozen” co-director Jennifer Lee, Nelson is one of very few women directors in animation. Even though women make up roughly 60 percent of college animation programs, they represent only about 20 percent of the creative workforce.

Nelson’s live-action adaptation of “The Darkest Minds” is still in production. Featuring Mandy Moore (“This is Us,” “Tangled”), Amandla Stenberg (“Everything, Everything”), and Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”), the sci-fi thriller follows a group of supernatural children on the run from the government. It is expected to hit theaters in 2018.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson to Helm “Bittersweet Life” Remake was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Kelsey Moore

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Jennifer Yuh Nelson to direct Michael B. Jordan in A Bittersweet Life remake

19 August 2017 5:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Deadline is reporting that Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2, The Darkest Minds) is set to direct Michael B. Jordan in a remake of the 2005 Korean film A Bittersweet Life.

The action-thriller will see Jordan playing a mobster whose longtime loyalties to his crime family are challenged when his boss orders him to kill a mistress he’s recently grown close to. Shawn Levy, Dan Levine and Dan Cohen of 21 Laps are producing the film, which they view as a high-concept, character-driven piece with franchise potential.

Jordan will next be seen in HBO’s Fahrenheit 451 and Marvel’s Black Panther, while he is also set to reprise the role of Adonis Creed alongside Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in the sequel to 2015’s Creed. »

- Gary Collinson

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Movie News: Michael B. Jordan to Star in 'A Bittersweet Life'; Glenn Close Touted for 'Sunset Boulevard' Musical

18 August 2017 12:00 PM, PDT | Movies.com | See recent Movies.com news »

A Bittersweet Life: Michael B. Jordan (Creed, above) will star in A Bittersweet Life. It's a remake of a Korean action thriller about a gangster whose loyalties are tested when he is ordered to kill a woman he's fallen for. Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3) will direct. [Deadline]   Sunset Boulevard: Glenn Close is in "advanced talks" to star in a big-screen musical version of Sunset Boulevard. Close originated the role on stage in 1994 and recently starred again in a revival of the musical (above). It's inspired by Billy Wilder's 1950 classic drama about a faded silent film star who develops a strange relationship with a young screenwriter. [The Wrap]   Mary, Queen of Scots: Our first look at Saoirse Ronan in...

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- Peter Martin

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Movie News: Michael B. Jordan to Star in 'A Bittersweet Life'

18 August 2017 8:29 AM, PDT | Fandango | See recent Fandango news »

A Bittersweet Life: Michael B. Jordan (Creed, above) will star in A Bittersweet Life. It's a remake of a Korean action thriller about a gangster whose loyalties are tested when he is ordered to kill a woman he's fallen for. Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2; Kung Fu Panda 3) will direct. [Deadline]   Sunset Boulevard: Glenn Close is in "advanced talks" to star in a big-screen musical version of Sunset Boulevard. Close originated the role on stage in 1994...

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- affiliates@fandango.com

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Michael B Jordan to star in A Bittersweet Life remake

17 August 2017 8:09 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Nick Harley Aug 18, 2017

Creed and Blank Panther star Michael B Jordan will lead the remake of A Bittersweet Life...

The 2005 Korean action-thriller A Bittersweet Life is getting an American remake courtesy of Fox, and Micheal B Jordan is attached to lead the picture. Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda 2) will direct.

See related  Game Of Thrones season 7 episode 5 questions answered Game Of Thrones season 7 episode 4 questions answered Game Of Thrones season 7: episode 3 questions answered

The original version of the gangster film centers on a mob enforcer who is ordered to kill the mistress of his boss. After he develops for an affinity for her, he decides to spare the mistress’ life, causing dire complications in his relationship with his dangerous employer. The remake is being described as “high-concept,” “character-driven,” and having “franchise potential.” Jordan will star as the conflicted enforcer.

After directing the animated blockbusters Kung Fu Panda 2 and its sequel, »

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Michael B. Jordan Eyed to Play Mobster in ‘A Bittersweet Life’

17 August 2017 5:04 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Michael B. Jordan is circling Fox’s remake of the South Korean action-thriller “A Bittersweet Life.”

If Jordan’s deal closes, he will portray a mobster in the movie. “Kung Fu Panda” helmer Jennifer Yuh Nelson will direct.

Producers are 21 Laps’ Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, and Dan Cohen, along with Korea’s Cj Entertainment, which made the original film. Jason Young will oversee the movie for Fox.

In the 2005 film, Lee Byung-hun played a loyal enforcer for a crime boss, who assigned him to kill his young mistress if she turned out to be having an affair with another man.

Jordan is starring with Michael Shannon in “Fahrenheit 451” for HBO. He will be seen next in Disney-Marvel’s superhero movie “Black Panther,” in which he re-teamed with “Creed” director Ryan Coogler.

Nelson, who directed “Kung Fu Panda 2” and co-directed “Kung Fu Panda 3,” is making her live-action directorial debut with “Darkest Minds” — a potential franchise starter »

- Dave McNary

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“Wonder Woman” Is Now the Top Female-Helmed Film at the Domestic Box Office

14 August 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Wonder Woman”: Warner Bros.

Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” can add another accomplishment to its ever-growing list of milestones. As you might have heard, the superheroine pic surpassed the $400 million mark at the domestic global box office last week. As of yesterday, that number climbed to $402.2 million, per Box Office Mojo. In domestic earnings, that makes “Wonder Woman” the highest-earning film from a female director. “Frozen,” co-directed by Jennifer Lee, previously held the title with its $400.7 million domestic take.

Internationally, “Wonder Woman” has earned $797 million so far, trailing “Frozen’s” $1.28 billion. However, the film has surpassed “Kung Fu Panda 2's” $665.7 million global earnings. That means that Jenkins is now the top-grossing solo female director at the international box office, ousting “Kung Fu Panda 2's” Jennifer Yuh Nelson.

All this is in addition to the film’s numerous other achievements. Only a few weeks after its June 2 opening, “Wonder Woman” became the highest-grossing live-action film from a female director. Before that, Jenkins became the record-holder for the highest domestic opening for a woman director — topping the $85.1 million opening of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015 and the $69.6 million debut of Catherine Hardwicke’s “Twilight” in 2008.

Ten weeks into its theatrical run, “Wonder Woman” is still in the top 2o domestic films. It was the top-earner during its first two weekends in theaters and placed second in its two subsequent weekends. One of the reasons for its box office longevity? Women and moviegoers over age 50.

Wonder Woman’s” latest win can only bolster Warner Bros.’ Oscar campaign for the Gal Gadot-starrer. The studio has its sights set on “Wonder Woman” becoming the first comic-book film to receive a nod for Best Picture. Warner Bros. is also pushing for Jenkins to become the first director of a comic book movie to receive a nomination. No female directors have been nominated for Best Director since Kathryn Bigelow won for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010. She’s the first and only woman to ever take home the prize.

Wonder Woman” Is Now the Top Female-Helmed Film at the Domestic Box Office 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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Kovert Creative Hires DreamWorks Animation’s David Hail, ID PR’s Amanda Dykema

11 July 2017 11:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Entertainment and marketing agency Kovert Creative has hired David Hail and Amanda Dykema to work out of the company’s Santa Monica office, Variety has learned.

Hail, a veteran film publicist and awards strategist, will focus on film and television clients, including the upcoming launch of Steve Harvey’s new daytime talk show. Additionally, Hail will offer his expertise on animated and visual effects-driven feature film projects for both release and awards campaigns. He joins Kovert from DreamWorks Animation, where he spent the past ten years developing and executing dozens of film campaigns, awards campaigns, and publicity initiatives for the studio. He previously worked on “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Shrek Forever After,” “Trolls,” and most recently, “The Boss Baby.” Prior to his role at DreamWorks, Hail worked at Sony Pictures Animation.

“Having recently worked with David on Kung Fu Panda 3, I »

- Joe Otterson

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Kovert Creative Hires DreamWorks Animation’s David Hail, ID PR’s Amanda Dykema

11 July 2017 11:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Entertainment and marketing agency Kovert Creative has hired David Hail and Amanda Dykema to work out of the company’s Santa Monica office, Variety has learned.

Hail, a veteran film publicist and awards strategist, will focus on film and television clients, including the upcoming launch of Steve Harvey’s new daytime talk show. Additionally, Hail will offer his expertise on animated and visual effects-driven feature film projects for both release and awards campaigns. He joins Kovert from DreamWorks Animation, where he spent the past ten years developing and executing dozens of film campaigns, awards campaigns, and publicity initiatives for the studio. He previously worked on “Kung Fu Panda” and “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Shrek Forever After,” “Trolls,” and most recently, “The Boss Baby.” Prior to his role at DreamWorks, Hail worked at Sony Pictures Animation.

“Having recently worked with David on Kung Fu Panda 3, I »

- Joe Otterson

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Wonder Woman becomes highest-grossing live-action movie from a female director

24 June 2017 2:59 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Having become the first female filmmaker to direct a movie with a budget of $100 million, and the first to have a movie debut with a domestic opening weekend of $100 million, Patty Jenkins has now added another feather to her cap with Wonder Woman’s latest box office milestone.

The DC blockbuster has now reached $615 million worldwide, meaning it has overtaken 2009’s Mamma Mia! to become the highest-grossing live-action movie from a female director. The overall record is currently held by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and the animated film Kung Fu Panda 2 on $665 million, which Wonder Woman will likely overtake in the coming weeks (it should also be pointed out that Jennifer Lee co-directed Frozen with Chris Buck, and then went on to gross $1.2 billion).

Domestically, Wonder Woman has already surpassed Man of Steel’s $291 million, and is looking to finish the weekend with around $319 million, meaning it is fast approaching »

- Gary Collinson

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Wonder Woman Is About To Cross Another Huge Milestone

22 June 2017 2:40 PM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Wonder Woman is a film that started off by hitting some huge milestones, and it looks like there’s no stopping it. THR is reporting that the Patty Jenkins-directed DC flick is set to break $609.8 million worldwide either this Thursday or Friday. You might be thinking that to be an incredibly random number. Why $609.8 million?

Well, that’s how much Phyllida Lloyd’s Mamma Mia! grossed back in 2008, going down in history to become the highest grossing live-action film from a female director of all time. Either today or tomorrow, that number will be surpassed by Wonder Woman.

Notice the caveat we have by saying “live-action.” That’s because Wonder Woman will have one more obstacle in the form of Kung Fu Panda 2, which was directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson. That film made $665.7 million worldwide, and will likely get overtaken by Wonder Woman in the weeks to come. »

- Joseph Medina

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'Wonder Woman' Set to Become Top-Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman

22 June 2017 10:20 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Director Patty JenkinsWonder Woman continues to make history in its box-office run.

Sometime Thursday or Friday, the Warner Bros. and DC superhero tentpole will eclipse the $609.8 million earned worldwide by Phyllida Lloyd's Mamma Mia! (2008) to become the top-grossing live-action film of all time from a female director, not accounting for inflation.

Wonder Woman also has a strong shot of passing up Kung Fu Panda 2's $665.7 million to become the top-grossing film of all time from a female filmmaker with solo directing duties. Jennifer Yuh Nelson helmed the 2011 animated sequel.

Starring Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman passed the »

- Pamela McClintock

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“Wonder Woman” Director Patty Jenkins Makes History

5 June 2017 11:01 AM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Patty Jenkins: THR News/YouTube

By now you know that “Wonder Woman” kicked ass at the box office. But here’s the cherry on top of the sundae: “Wonder Woman” helmer Patty Jenkins now holds the record for highest domestic opening for a female director. Diana Prince’s origin story raked in $100.5 million this weekend, topping the $85.1 million opening of Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” in 2015 and the $69.6 million debut of Catherine Hardwicke’s “Twilight” in 2008.

Jenkins’ film also out-performed the highest-opening animated films helmed by women. “Frozen,” Jennifer Lee’s retelling of “The Snow Queen,” opened to $67.3 million in 2013. Brenda Chapman’s “Brave” opened with $66.3 million and Jennifer Yuh Nelson’s “Kung Fu Panda 2” debuted to $47.6 million. The latter two both hit theaters in 2011.

While Jenkins is only the second woman to helm a live-action film with a budget of $100 million or more — Kathryn Bigelow was the first with 2002’s “K:19: The Widowmaker” — the success of “Wonder Woman” sets an optimistic precedent for upcoming big budget projects from women. Two projects with $100 million budgets will open in 2018: Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and Niki Caro’s “Mulan.” In fact, as the first film of its size to be directed by a woman of color, “A Wrinkle in Time” has already cemented itself as a milestone for female filmmakers. Brie Larson-starrer “Captain Marvel,” co-directed by Anna Boden, will open in 2019. And news recently broke that Gina Prince-Bythewood will helm Marvel’s “Silver Sable and Black Cat.”

It’s likely that Jenkins and “Wonder Woman” will only continue to break records throughout the movie’s theatrical run. It is sure to be 2017's top-grossing movie directed by a woman. And, considering the opening numbers and the positive critical response, a sequel revolving around Diana Prince is all but guaranteed. Jenkins and star Gal Gadot are contractually bound to a second “Wonder Woman” film and the director “is more than ready to return to the character for a contemporary-set” installment, The Hollywood Reporter writes. It’s probable that Jenkins will best herself and make history again in the next few years as the first woman to direct a sequel (to her own movie) with a budget of over $100 million.

Wonder Woman” Director Patty Jenkins Makes History 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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Weekend Box Office Report: March 31-April 2, 2017

2 April 2017 11:26 AM, PDT | JoBlo.com | See recent JoBlo news »

The Boss Baby takes charge! Animated infant Alec Baldwin seized control of the box office this weekend as The Boss Baby opened with an estimated $49 million! The PG-rated family comedy (adapted from the childrens' book of the same name) was about average for the first weekend of a non-shrek Dreamworks effort, right between the $47.6 million start of Kung Fu Panda 2 and the $49.4 million... Read More »

- Dave Davis

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Weekend Box Office: March Goes Out Like a Boss, Baby.

2 April 2017 10:12 AM, PDT | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

A strong March at the North America box office was capped off by a tight race for the number one spot between Fox/Dreamworks’ The Boss Baby and Disney’s two-time champ Beauty and the Beast. Paramount’s pricey sci-fi flick Ghost In the Shell showed plenty of cracks in its third place opening while Focus Features’ The Zookeeper’s Wife had a decent limited release start in tenth. While the top ten was down 17% from last weekend’s totals, it was up a healthy 38% over one year ago at this time.

Backed by a massive marketing campaign that targeted both kids and adults, The Boss Baby talked up a smart $49 million in its opener at 3,773 theaters. Reviews were mixed for the Alec Baldwin-voiced cartoon, but audiences seemed to enjoy the flick. They gave the animated comedy an “A-“ CinemaScore rating.

The opening for Boss Baby was the tenth biggest for Dreamworks Animation studios, »

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What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017

24 March 2017 2:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mira Nair and Ava DuVernay: Wikimedia Commons/IndiaFM/Bollywoodhungama/usbotschaftberlin

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

Female filmmakers greeted the 21st century with optimism. By most measures, movies by women were garnering increased respect in the industry and at the multiplex. Their makers cracked glass ceilings, created new genres, and established new box-office records.

With “Nowhere in Africa” (2001), Caroline Link became the second woman to direct the Oscar-winner for the year’s best foreign film. With “Lost in Translation” (2003), Sofia Coppola was the third woman to receive a best director nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And with “The Hurt Locker” (2009), Kathryn Bigelow was the fourth woman nominated in the directing category — and the first to win. The following year, Danish filmmaker Susanna Bier directed the winner in the best foreign film category, “In a Better World.”

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Love & Basketball” (2000), Karyn Kusama’s “Girlfight” (2000) and Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham” (2003) created what might be called the “Title IX” movie, celebrating female athletes on the court, in the ring, and on the field. These are sports movies that celebrate the female body — not for its sex appeal, but for its power. These films inspired younger women (and their mothers were thrilled to take them to movies that didn’t objectify women).

Comedies by women continued to make serious box office, proving the Hollywood wisdom that “funny is money.” Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want” (2000), starring Mel Gibson as a player briefly given the power to hear what women think about him, made $374 million. Sharon Maguire’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), in which the title character says what she thinks about womanizers and prigs, brought in $282 million. Movies like these permitted men and women to laugh at men’s foibles.

From Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” (2002), which introduced America Ferrera as a college-bound Latina, to Julie Taymor’s biopic “Frida” (2003), with Salma Hayek as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, to Patty Jenkins’ “Monster” (2003), with Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, audiences saw realistic women — as opposed to human swizzle sticks with breasts — in movies by women.

Many critics hailed Niki Caro’s “Whale Rider” (2003), about a Maori preteen who challenges her tribal patriarchy and becomes the new chief, as a harbinger of the triumph of female filmmakers over the status quo. Others pointed to the fact that for the first time since records had been kept, in 2000 women made 11 percent of the top 250 box office films. For women who make movies, the new century felt like a new day.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Sadly, that encouraging percentage turned out to be a fluke. After 2000, the number dwindled. It remains stuck in the 6 to 9 percent range, says Martha Lauzen, professor of communications and head of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Since 1998 Lauzen has tracked women working in the industry in her annual “Celluloid Ceiling” report.

“When I started this, I thought it was merely an issue of people not knowing how low the numbers were,” Lauzen said ruefully. “I didn’t know how slow social change is.”

Lauzen’s reporting represents one of three vital resources for understanding the triumphs female filmmakers have made and how far they need to go to achieve parity with men. The others are Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity and Social Change Institute at USC’s Annenberg School and The Bunche Center at UCLA.

Collectively and individually, these creators of annual good news/bad news reports have kept the issue of representation in the public eye.

The Good: For Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), the late Nora Ephron (“Julie & Julia”), and Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Intern”), the 21st century has been a fruitful time. So, too, for younger female moviemakers. Consider Lisa Cholodenko (“Laurel Canyon,” “The Kids Are All Right”), Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”), and Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”).

Consider also that Catherine Hardwicke established a franchise with “Twilight” (which made $393 million), Sam Taylor-Johnson created another with “50 Shades of Grey” ($571 million), and that Anne Fletcher’s “The Proposal” made $317 million and Phyllida Lloyd’s “Mamma Mia!” earned $609 million.

Additionally, filmmakers like Dee Rees (“Pariah”), Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”), and Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) broke into the market with unique visions and eyes for new talent, including Adepero Oduye, Jennifer Lawrence, and Carey Mulligan. Significantly, Vicky Jenson (“Shrek”), Jennifer Lee (“Frozen”), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2”), and Brenda Chapman (“Brave”) staked a place for women in animation.

The Bad: For every woman appearing onscreen in movies in 2015 there were 2.3 men, according to Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity & Social Change Initiative.

The Ugly: When Walt Hickey, culture reporter for the website fivethirtyeight.com, goes to the movies and sees the screen population is 69 percent male, it just looks wrong to him. “It’s like something apocalyptic has happened, like a parallel universe — a man’s world,” he says.

Both Lauzen’s and Smith’s data show that when a woman is behind the camera and/or screenplay, 39 percent of protagonists are female. In movies by male directors, only four percent of the lead characters are female.

A century ago, male dominance behind the camera and on the screen was not the norm. For women behind the camera, it’s been the norm since 1920. And for women onscreen, it’s been the norm since 1950. Because of this, moviegoers have a distorted picture of America as predominantly male and predominantly Caucasian, when it is neither. (For finer-grain data on minority representation, see this annual report from UCLA’s Bunche Center.)

The Force Reawakens

The Hollywood Dream Factory tailors the majority of its product to the measurements of the men in the audience. This troubles those who want their daughters to partake of the same professional opportunities, cultural representation, and dream lives as their sons. While “Nine to Five,” “Norma Rae,” and “Erin Brockovich” show that studios love stories of women who triumph over the odds, there is less obvious love for female filmmakers trying to beat the odds stacked against them in their professional lives.

Since the Original Six filed suit against two studios in 1983 (see Part 3), female filmmakers have met, strategized, and troubleshot. So much so that in one of her final essays before her death in 2012, Nora Ephron made a list of “Things I Won’t Miss.” Near the top: “Panels on Women in Film.” Many women in film felt as though they were running in place.

“Instead of holding a million panels about it,” Christine Vachon, producer of “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Carol,” exclaimed at the 2016 Sundance Festival, “let’s do something about it!”

Someone had. She is Maria Giese, director of the feature films “When Saturday Comes” and “Hunger.” In February 2013 she brought a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) in Los Angeles. Her contention was that the cohort of working filmmakers in the Directors Guild of America (DGA), of which she is a member, was overwhelmingly male.

(While the number of women in the guild directing episodic television amounts to 17 percent, the DGA 2015 census of female filmmakers registered 6.4 percent. That’s lower than the nine percent of female coal miners, and fractional next to the 32 percent of practicing physicians and 36 percent of practicing lawyers who are women).

The Eeoc, which collects data on employer/employee relations for each calendar year, was reluctant to take on a class-action suit.

In April 2013, Giese contacted the Aclu of Southern California and showed the evidence to Melissa Goodman, director of its Lgbtq, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project. For the next two years Goodman and her colleague Ariela Migdal took testimony from more than 50 female directors. In May 2015 they sent the Eeoc an extraordinary letter that counted the ways in which “female filmmakers are effectively excluded from directing big-budget films and seriously underrepresented in television.” A compelling argument in their letter: “The entertainment industry employs many people and makes products that profoundly shape our culture and the perception of women and girls.” Later in 2015, the Eeoc commenced its own investigation.

In January 2017, based on a high-level internal DGA leak received by Giese, Deadline Hollywood reported that after a federal investigation spanning a year that included testimony from over 100 women directors, the Eeoc recently served charges of sex discrimination and unfair hiring practice against all six major studios. While the federal agency does not comment on active cases, Gillian Thomas and Melissa Goodman of the Aclu wrote in an editorial that they had no reason to doubt the veracity of the leak.

A key factor contributing to Giese’s success in getting this issue to the Aclu and Eeoc was her ability to expose the structural obstacles female filmmakers face, from a guild that puts female and minority filmmakers in the same category, to the studios that question the fitness of women to direct.

Myths and Continued Underrepresentation

Over the 25 years I’ve reported on female filmmakers, I’ve interviewed two generations of movie executives. Most, but not all, were male. Most took seriously my questions about the apparent exclusion of women behind the camera, both on the screen and their forthcoming line-up.

Without exception, all of them retold one or more of the “Three Hollywood Myths.”

Myth #1) “Women don’t want to direct action movies and those are the films which are making money.”

Untrue. See: Martha Coolidge’s “Real Genius” (1985), Kathryn Bigelow’s “Point Break” (1991), Mimi Leder’s “The Peacemaker” (1997) and “Deep Impact” (1998), Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: War Zone” (2008), and Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012).

What is true is that Patty Jenkins was hired to direct “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) and left due to creative differences. She is now working on the forthcoming “Wonder Woman.”

What is true is that Mira Nair was offered a “Harry Potter” film and chose instead to make the family drama “The Namesake” because the material was more important to her, and that Ava DuVernay was offered “Black Panther,” the film version of the Marvel Comics series, and declined for similar reasons.

Myth #2) “Movies by women don’t make money.”

Untrue again. Some movies by women don’t make back their investment, just as some movies by men do not. What is true is that many movies by women make major bank. Catherine Hardwicke’s little $37 million film “Twilight” grossed $393 million and launched a billion-dollar franchise.

Hardwicke told me by phone that she hears all the time from studios that films by women are poor investments. “And every time you say, ‘Well, this one made money, that one made money,’ they say, ‘This one made money because it was based on a best-selling book,’ or ‘That one made money because of its hot actress.’”

Here are six more films by women and their box-office grosses. They made money because they powerfully connected with audiences.

Bend it Like Beckham” (Gurinder Chadha). Cost: $6 million/Gross: $77 million“Frida” (Julie Taymor). Cost: $12 million/Gross: $56 million“Frozen” (Jennifer Lee). Cost: $150 million/Gross: $1.2 billion“The Proposal” (Anne Fletcher). Cost: $40 million/Gross: $317 million“Selma” (Ava DuVernay). Cost: $20 million/Gross $67 million“Lost in Translation” (Sofia Coppola). Cost: $4 million/Gross $120 million

Myth #3) “A woman behind the camera means women on the screen and no men in the audience.”

Untrue, if taken literally. Sometimes movies by women have a lower percentage of men in the audience, just as sometimes movies by men have a lower percentage of women in the audience. Take, for example, the 2015 films, “Bridge of Spies” by Steven Spielberg and “The Intern” by Nancy Meyers.

According to Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, the research company’s “PostTrak” data shows the audience gender breakdown at “Bridge of Spies,” a ’60s-era political thriller starring Tom Hanks, was 54 percent male and 46 percent female. For “The Intern,” a contemporary workplace comedy co-starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, it was 41 percent male and 59 percent female. Spielberg’s film grossed $165 million; Meyers’ $194 million. His budget was $40 million; hers was $35 million.

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” the story of the 1965 march for voting rights led by Martin Luther King and starring David Oyelowo, had an audience gender breakdown of 47 percent male and 53 percent female. The assumption that movies come gendered with a blue or pink ribbon is a canard that still lingers in Hollywood, perhaps a vestige of the target marketing that began in the 1980s.

Speaking from the set of “Queen Sugar” in 2016, DuVernay observed, “We’re in a place right now where every other film is about a comic book superhero. We’re top-heavy with testosterone.”

How did Hollywood, a century ago a place where female directors thrived and prospered, come to this?

Stacy Title, director of “The Last Supper” and “The Bye Bye Man,” points the finger at “unconscious bias.”

Mira Nair, who was born in India, suspects chauvinism. “I’ve always remarked at the irony that the percentage of female directors is higher in India than in the United States,” she explained in a phone conversation. “India is supposed to be the traditional chauvinist culture,” she observes. Nair wonders if the historic examples of female prime ministers in South Asia — Indira Gandhi in India, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan — may have broken the glass ceiling for all professional women there. “Their examples don’t exist in the U.S.”

DuVernay looks forward to the outcome — and hoped-for positive resolution — of the Eeoc investigation. “It’s a systematic problem and it requires radical change,” she said. “If it’s not happening organically, systems should be put in place.” Like many female filmmakers, DuVernay hopes the Eeoc can reconfigure what Giese calls the “vertical playing field for women” into a level one.

“One thing I’m heartened by,” said Nair, who’s been making features for nearly 30 years, “is that the variety and confidence of female filmmakers today is inspiring.”

Do others think it’s changed for the better for women since the 1980s?

“For me, there’s no comparison between the ’80s and now,” reflected Nancy Meyers, whose six films as a director or writer/director have grossed more than a billion dollars. By email she wrote:

Men were still getting used to us being on set in the ’80s. (Men used to have photos of pinups on the set in the ’80s! I’m not kidding.)The only women around back then worked in costumes and hair and makeup. Today women are in every department and often department heads. There are still very few women in the camera department and that’s a shame. That seems to still be a real boy’s club. Today, most crew members are far more comfortable working for and with women.

Yet one thing has not changed: “Now, getting the job to be the director — that’s still an uphill battle,” Meyers said.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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Gwendoline Christie Has Entered The Darkest Minds With Jennifer Nelson Yuh

24 March 2017 11:47 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

Just when we thought the ‘dystopian future’ trend of Young Adult fiction adaptations had finally come to an end, along comes The Darkest Minds to drag us back into this well-worn genre. The good news is that, unlike many of these ‘teenage-apocalypse’ efforts, the force is strong with this one. Its ever improving-pedigree now includes a talented female director, a talented female lead, and not one, but two women connected to the Star Wars universe.

The source material in question is The Darkest Minds book series, by Alexandra Bracken. These tales – set in the obligatory dystopian future – focus on a 16 year old girl named Ruby, who finds she has special powers. As she begins to explore them, and attempts to bring them under control, she escapes a prison camp in search of a young leader who is said to be able to control these incredible abilities. Along the way, she »

- Sarah Myles

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