Sunday, October 07, 2007


According to this article, Warner Bros. (the movie studio) is no longer interested in making movies with female leads.

I only read a page and a half of comments, but they were starting to piss me off, where the original story only amused me (in a disgusted way).

Several people defended the "decision" as being based on numbers and named certain movies, like Catwoman and Elektra and Stepford Wives as solid reasons why female lead = tanking box office, and that it is not a sexist decision.

I say it sure the hell is.

Besides the list of examples consist of very poorly conceived and even more poorly written movies, there are also plenty of successes. The Devil Wears Prada, anyone? How about Hairspray?

It also amuses me how people distort what they read. The article said WB doesn't want to make ANY movies with female leads. The commenters often addressed action films and comic book characters, but those are a very small sampling of the overall release schedule.

Of course, movies with any kind of single lead are rare, anyway, and usually artificial. A big name is perceived to sell tickets, so whoever the biggest name is in a movie gets top billing. The reality is that the top grossers every year are ensemble movies or movies with equal male/female leads...when they aren't animated, that is.

This is all indicative, though, of a bigger, long-term problem. Women are still undervalued in Hollywood (except maybe as studio heads). In every interview with a "hot" actress, she makes reference to the lack of good scripts for women. Female directors are rare, and female screenwriters are even rarer. Next time box office tallies are not inflated by a Harry Potter/Pirates/Spider-Man trifecta, I have one suggestion for those nearsighted studio heads:

Betsy Morris. :)

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