News that Michelle MacLaren was going to helm the Wonder Woman film got everyone pretty excited, and then news that she left the project got everyone unexcited (until Patty Jenkins came on). Of course the news was not delivered with any true explanation as to why it happened other than creative differences between MacLaren and the studio. Now rumors are leaking out about what those differences were.
According to Variety the two had drastically different takes on what the tone of the film should be, with MacLaren wanting an epic origin tale in the vein of Braveheart and the studio looking for a more character driven piece with less action. The confusing thing is that the studio reportedly lost faith in her ability to direct a large scale action film, which is odd because that’s exactly what she’s excelled at during her stints on Game of Thrones. With a whole host of male directors jumping from TV to the big screen with nary a blink of an eye that thinking is a bit suspect. Plus, Patty Jenkins doesn’t have anymore background in action blockbusters either, but Variety’s sources say that MacLaren seemed unaccustomed to the “laborious development process associated with making movies.”
That is a fair point, especially on a film as big budget as Wonder Woman will be. Evidently the studio had a bunch of scripts they were testing and MacLaren’s did not perform well. Contention reportedly rose over the fact that she wanted to have it play out during WWI while DC film lead Zack Snyder had his mind set on the Crimean War. Meanwhile MacLaren turned Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman’s boyfriend, into a sort of damsel in distress character. Sadly, the studio didn’t like that either because it would have been one of the best genre subversions we’ve seen in a long while.
Seems we lost a pretty interesting take on Wonder Woman with the departure of MacLaren, but by picking up a director as skilled Jenkins so quickly WB has not only kept the film on track, but should hopefully still be delivering a good take on the character.