It took 20 tries for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to make a movie with a female character in the title (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and 22 before the first solo female-led film (Captain Marvel). All this progress comes following years of rumors about a Scarlett Johansson-starring Black Widow standalone movie, which still hasn’t happened. A screenwriter (Jac Schaeffer) is attached, though, as is a director, Cate Shortland. Marvel reportedly met with over 70 directors for the gig, including filmmaker Lucrecia Martel, who discussed the process she went through, and why her interest didn’t go beyond that first encounter. While at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, she called Marvel films difficult to watch:
“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.”
Martel clarified more about her statement on action scenes. In doing so, she said that producers wanted her to handle everything but the film’s action:
“I received an e-mail from Marvel for a meeting. Because they were looking for directors for Black Widow. So I went to the 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. I do believe another female director is making the movie. 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.’ 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.”
About the laser lights and soundtracks, Martel’s right (bring back Dashboard Confessional!). “But just in case any of this is going to be on YouTube, I would love to make Black Widow,” she quipped.
That ship has sailed, but Martel is doing just fine without those pesky superheroes: her most recent feature, Zama, was shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. Here’s to the Martel Cinematic Universe!
(Via the Daily Pioneer)