Marvel Studios is hard at work chiseling away at creating Phase 4 of their incredibly ambitious Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we’ve known for a while that they are looking to bring Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow her long-deserved standalone picture.
Of course, given just how respected and beloved she is, they understandably are also working to ensure that they land a female director to take on the task. Apparently, one director who met with the studio was Argentian director Lucrecia Martel. But it turns out her discussions with them didn’t go beyond a first meeting. The filmmaker spoke with Indian English-language newspaper The Daily Pioneer, where she laid out what the studio wanted.
“I received an e-mail from Marvel for a meeting. So I went to the [Marvel 10th Anniversary] reunion. I actually signed this thing where I can’t talk about that reunion. 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.’”
From the sound of it, Martel was likely also looking forward to spreading her wings in a completely different genre than she’s used to, and that likely also included the directing of action scenes. Though, the studio was reportedly not interested.
“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.”
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Ultimately, this was a dealbreaker for her, and she passed on it. Now, this isn’t a huge surprise. More often than not, the studio’s mantra seemed to be that story and character are what mattered most, and that it was more important to get a filmmaker who can handle those aspects of the production. It’s why they have been able to get amazing work out of relatively new talent throughout all three phases of their universe. However, that isn’t how Martel seemed to take it.
“Companies are interested in female filmmakers but they still think action scenes are for male directors. 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.”
So, could Martel’s reason be why Marvel Studios told her not to worry about the action scenes? Obviously, we weren’t there, so we can’t say one way or another whether or not the conversation would have gone differently if she was a male, but I find myself torn. Based on their track record, it seems like something they could have also said to Peyton Reed before he hopped on Ant-Man, but again, I wasn’t there. As such, we really only have one side of the story, so take from it what you will. If nothing else, it’s also possible they just didn’t care for her ideas about action (not sure I’d be gung-ho about her ideas if she berated their films as she did in the interview).
We reached out to Disney on the matter but they had no comment.
What do you think of Martel’s comments? Do you think this was the case of a studio just trying to make a more indie director comfortable with signing on to a bigger project than normal, or does it go deeper than that? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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SOURCE: Daily Pioneer