Saturday, October 06, 2007

It Makes Total Sense About The Wonder Woman Movie Now

You know, I've just come home from a lovely evening of playing Magic The Gathering & drinking gin and tonics with awesome people only to read this s**t:

According to LA Weekly's Nikki Finke (article found via Newsarama), Warner Brothers president of production Jeff Robinov has been quoted by three sources as saying that "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead."

I would doubt the veracity of the quote except for the fact that is so totally f**king believable.

Nikki Finke writes:

"Of course, Warner Bros has always been male-centric in its movies. But now the official policy as expressly articulated by Robinov is that a male has to be the lead of every pic made. I'm told he doesn't even want to see a script with a woman in the primary position (which now is apparently missionary at WB). Oh yeah, the fact that so many Warner Bros movies have been sucking at the box office for the last two years is all the fault of females. "

Noted women's rights attorney Gloria Allred has now called a boycott on Warner Brothers movies:

"It is truly unfortunate that women get blamed for decisions which are made by men. Instead of taking responsibility for their own lack of judgment about which scripts to make, directors to hire and budgets to OK, some men in the movie industry find it easier to place blame for their lack of success on women leads and to exclude talented female actors from the top employment opportunities in Hollywood in favor of macho males."

So it all makes sense now about the Wonder Woman movie delays, doesn't it?

And if the movie company is this clueless and they are influencing the output of the comics as I know they are ("the comics are in the service of the TV/movies/licensing"), what the hell does that mean for the way women will be portrayed in the comic books?

And female characters like Ripley (4 movies), Alice from Resident Evil (3 movies), etc have made plenty of money for movie studios so this is just a bunch of crap.

Warner Brothers, stop blaming your failures on women.

Warner Brothers, what is your problem with women???

Time Warner, go wake up and see what is going on in your divisions and kick some ass. Anti-woman bulls**t is bad for publicity, dontcha know?


  1. I wrote this in my blog earlier tonight, and it bears repeating here:
    You know what I hope? I hope Jodie Foster wins the Oscar for her performance in The Brave One (she certainly desrves at least a nomination). And I hope she goes up on stage and refuses to accept the Academy Award because Warner doesn't believe their movies should have female leads.

    That would be cool.

  2. I wrote a bit about this on my blog, too. Real moronic, myopic stuff. Sooner or later this policy will lose some real money for WB, and when it does, Robinov will hopefully be out on his ass.

    Not surprising, really. Hollywood as a rule is risk-averse, so if someone is stupid enough to think the problem with these movies' performance lays with the fact the the lead has a vajingle (rather than, say, the TONS of bad pre-publicity that Invasion got), they're gonna stay away from women. And then some female-centered movie is going to clean up, and the WB'll be left holding the bag.

    Literally, I guess.

  3. I have met Jeff Robinov. I have no trouble believing this story. He is a cruel, stupid man who would blame anyone but himself for the failure of his product.

  4. Sounds like mom issues to me.

  5. What kind of excuse or explanation have they given for this? Do they point to recent movies with female leads that have failed? I've always thought that Hollywood in general works with grossly broad demographic assumptions; like, "women like this, men like that, blacks like X, whites like Y, the coasts like blah, the flyovers like whatever," etc. They've never had a very sophisticated idea of their audience, IMO.

  6. Wow..

    That is just...beyond retarded. I can believe a moron holding beliefs like that, I can't believe that he would feel justified in basing company policies on it...jesus, what is this, 1940??

    In other news, I have been reading your blog for quite a while! I have come close to registering a few times just to be able to leave comments such as this, this was just the first stupidity which was big enough to make me actually do it. Love ya work! :D

  7. So, wait. I'm no expert on anti-discrimination laws, but it would seem to me that he could get sued? Or huh. I'm sorting it out in my head, because it is a pretty berserk statement to hear. I guess nobody can FORCE the WB into making any particular movie. So maybe he can get away with just being a giant doofus. Honestly, it is hard to take a statement like this seriously; on so many different levels. How could he say such a thing outloud? I mean, think it, sure, but get quoted? Fuck. Like-- he can't be serious, can he? Ugh. I'm not making any sense. My basic response to reading this (this being the first time I've read it) is just a big WTF. The lucky thing is that bad ideas like this boycott themselves.

  8. Wow, that's a stunning admission.

    It's shocking that the percieved wisdom is still that boys won't watch strong female leads and girls won't watch fantasy... now where did my girlfriend put my Buffy boxed set.

  9. Now I myself have been pretty sick of movies with paper-thin models made to look like they can somehow kick ass, but holy shit! Off with his head I say. DC has awesome female superheroes that I want to see in movies. What a dick.

  10. This article on suggests that Robinov's reasoning may be a bit more complicated than people realize.

    Money quotes:

    "On a purely business level, though, if Robinov's declaration is more along the lines of "We are no longer doing action movies with women in the lead"... I'm afraid he's entirely justified. This isn't because a woman can't carry an action movie, but a acknowledgment of the deeply shitty reality that there isn't a single filmmaker or producer in town who knows how to develop an femme-led action movie that plays to the male quadrant (television is a completely different ballgame)."

    "And it's a failure of imagination, really. In a way, I'd much rather see Jessica Biel as a former Navy SEAL assigned to track down terrorists threatening to blow up the Anheuser-Busch brewery. But no studio would ever greenlight Biel in a role developed for, say, Mark Wahlberg because they'd first call up the respectable grosses Underworld, Kill Bill and the Resident Evil movies, and, then, contrast those numbers with the not-so-good returns for Elektra, Aeon Flux, Domino, Catwoman, Ultraviolet, Point of No Return and, for the hell of it, V.I. Warshawski. And then they'd conclude that the risk is too high for the modest-at-best reward."

    "The exceptions to this are Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Charlie's Angels, but those films had killer pedigrees."

    It's a lengthy article and there's more at the link.

  11. Yeah, I read that CHUD article. It isn't about women leads, but women action leads. A shame, since "Resident Evil: Extinction" was one of the only action movies I saw this summer, and certainly the best of that lot. Sure, it's got plot holes you couldn't fly over, but it's also got a super-heroine that crosses Jean Grey with Wolverine, but more badass. I'm still embarassed to admit that, flaws and all, "Resident Evil" is one of my favorite movies, but there I go...

  12. "This isn't because a woman can't carry an action movie, but a acknowledgment of the deeply shitty reality that there isn't a single filmmaker or producer in town who knows how to develop an femme-led action movie that plays to the male quadrant (television is a completely different ballgame)."

    Wow, they're really deep in bullshit, since I can name two of my favourite film-makers who are more than capable of doing that.

    1. Katherine Bigelow:

    I'm thinking about stuff like Strange Days, where Ralph Fiennes's character is the lead, but it's his co-star Angela Bassett who truly kicks ass and takes names. That's a movie that shows how a strong woman sometimes needs to pull an inadequate guy up by the bootstraps - and the guy rises to the challenge.

    2. James Cameron.

    People have forgotten about Linda Hamilton's performance in Terminator 2 already? Or his direction of Sigourney Weaver in Aliens? And I'm sure Ridley Scott, director of Alien, would be surprised to learn that nobody is making female-starred action movies that appeal to men. I guess everyone who has ever loved that series must be female...

  13. Katherine Bigelow has done one movie in the past 10 years that I've heard of, K-19: The Widowmaker, which bombed spectacularly. And Strange Days didn't do any better. Hollywod is ruled by the almighty dollar. She won't be handed a big budget action movie anytime soon.

    James Cameron is the exception rather than the rule. The article mentions this caveat at the end.

    This may be off-topic but I've never considered the first Alien movie an action movie. It's always been a horror film for me.

  14. I'm gonna get flamed to holy Hell for this, but oh well....

    He's right. Films with women in the lead don't make much money. Sure, the occasional female lead will open #1, like The Brave One, but for every one of those, probably 10 more bomb. To the person who said he's prefer to see Jessica Biel as a Navy SEAL, you practically had your chance. It was called Stealth. The movie bombed.

    Anyway, who's fault is it that movies with women in the lead bomb? Is it the fault of untalented filmmakers who can't properly imagine strong female leads? Well, if it is, then the problem is virtually no one in Hollywood is capable of making successful female lead movies, so it makes no sense to continue to waste money making them.

    Look, I love Hillary Swank and Kate Winslet as much as everyone else, but movies with them as leads bomb. I'm not saying I'm happy with it, but I can certainly understand the reasoning.

    And Mordecai, I went to law school. There's nothing about this policy in violation of any law. WB can stop making movies with female leads.

  15. Milla with Guns = Chills down Spine.

    God, I love her.

  16. Oh, if only we could magically blend the comic book and real world universes...that way, we could have Wonder Woman and Supergirl punch out Jeff Robinov mercilessly while a giant Rita Farr from the Doom Patrol is grasping him tightly around his torso some 100 feet in the air.

    Hollywood execs come up with some asinine comments, but this one proves that all the studios care about these days are adolescent males. The rest of us are irrelevant.

  17. OK. Some notes:

    1. Linda Hamilton's "Sarah Connor" has always been a 'supporting character' in the Terminator movies. The first movie, she was second to Kyle Reese and The Terminator (and the movie itself was more of a horror movie than a sci-fi/action thriller). In 'Judgment Day', she was second to T101, T1000 and John Connor (especially since she was no longer the primary target).

    2. Ripley's role in "Alien" was actually originally written for a male star - and apparently it would have been Tom Skerritt.

    3. The biggest problem for female action leads is much larger than studio execs making bad comments. Bad writing, bad casting, bad directing, and bad marketing all play a role. I Use This Blog to chronicle some of the attempts and try to examine why success has been fleeting. (I apologize for the shameless plug - and I need to examine some more movies).

  18. You're right, Valerie. This "logic" doesn't work. At all. Not for me.

  19. I'm hoping this story moves from the internet to regular TV news.(If it has been on the news I haven't seen it yet.)Watching this Robinov guy squirm during a press conference would be extremely amusing.