Why Did Michelle MacLaren Leave Wonder Woman?
It’s been one of the hot stories of the week, filled with twists and last second turns. In about forty eight hours, Wonder Woman’s director chair passed from Michelle MacLaren to Patty Jenkins under the wings of “creative differences.” The story under the quick switch has given rise to a great deal of speculation, but Variety is claiming to know the behind the scenes details of the mix up.
So, who had the problem? Warner Bros. or MacLaren?
In a way, there were problems on both sides in that there actually were creative differences. MacLaren was reportedly keen on telling a Braveheart-esque tale, where Warner Bros. wanted a character story with less action.
Wait, the studio wanted a movie with less action?
Interesting, isn’t it? Tent pole films seem to be getting larger and larger in scope. If Man of Steel and the leaked trailer for Batman v Superman are any indication, Warner Bros. didn’t seem to be letting up on the mayhem department any time soon. Still, the desire for a more intimate movie makes sense if you think about MacLaren’s hiring. She’s known for her character work in Monster and Breaking Bad. If you’re smart, you don’t hire someone like that to make an epic special effects heavy action movie.
So Warner Bros. got cold feet.
Well, here’s the thing. It’s very possible that’s the case, but it’s also being reported that there are multiple Wonder Woman scripts being written, not including the main draft written by Jason Fuchs. So, while they knew what movie they didn’t want MacLaren to make, it’s possible they don’t know what kind of movie they want outside of that.
Wait, Warner Bros. ordered multiple scripts for a comic book property? That’s happened before…
Not just before. It’s happening right now with Aquaman. Word on the street is that there are two completely different scripts are being written by different writers at this very moment with the goal of taking the best ideas of both and melding it into a super script of sorts.
That sounds messy.
Show business is often messy. This kind of practice isn’t entirely uncommon, but it’s usually not the best way to put together a movie. It has, however, worked very well in the past to a certain extent. While it isn’t exactly the same situation, Nicholas Meyer wrote Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan based on 2-3 previous drafts of the film that were completely different from another. One draft had Kirk’s son, the other had the Genesis device, and so on. That movie turned out well, so who knows?
So what does this mean for the movie?
Warner Bros. brought Patty Jenkins in quickly because they are determined to make their 2017 release date as they have an obligation to shareholders. It’s very doubtful we’ll see the release date change… but as for the quality of the movie? It’s hard to say until we hear more. For the moment, however, stay cautious.