Luckily, the ‘Wonder Woman’ film adaptation was early in development for a 2017 release date, but even so, director Michelle MacLaren‘s departure surprised many, as she was also slated to “develop” the film, but it appears that she and Warner Brothers couldn’t come to an agreement as to what direction the film should take.
The reason given for the split is good ol’ “creative differences.” Reportedly, MacLaren hoped to craft an epic war story along the lines of ‘Braveheart’, whereas Warner Brothers “a more character-driven story that was less heavy on action.” There also seemed to be concern about the fact that this is a major movie and part of a crucial franchise, WB’s DC super hero universe and would have only been MacLaren’s first job helming a movie period. She has previously directed episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Walking Dead’, all popular and high-quality programs, but apparently the studio was concerned about her ability to adapt to the different pace and logistics of developing a movie.
Additionally, Zack Snyder (director of ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’, the film in which Wonder Woman will actually make her film debut) was pushing for a film set during the Crimean War, whereas MacLaren wanted a (slightly) more modern tale set during World War I. MacLaren also wanted to swap out traditional gender roles and make Steve Trevor a “damsel in distress”-type, which apparently made him appear “incompetent.”
MacLaren was replaced within days by another female director Patty Jenkins. You may recall that Jenkins was originally slated to direct ‘Thor: The Dark World’, before being replaced by Alan Taylor. Maybe she can bring some of what she’d planned for the Marvel mythological god to DC’s Greek counterpart. No word on what, if anything, will be kept from MacLaren’s vision. But the studio is sticking with its original June 23, 2017 release date.
These types of shakeups are nothing new and Warner Brothers has a lot invested in crafting a lucrative DC cinematic universe to rival (or if they’re really lucky, surpass) Marvel’s blockbuster juggernaut.
What would you rather see in a Wonder Woman movie– an epic war story set in World War I or a more character-driven story?