Lucasfilm Is Meeting With Female Directors and Writers for ‘Star Wars’
Every Star Wars film has been written and directed by a man, and although The Force Awakens and Rogue One boast women in lead roles, Lucasfilm has yet to hire a woman to write or direct a new installment in the franchise. That may be about to change, as a new report reveals that the company is meeting with a few unnamed women to potentially write and / or direct new Star Wars movies.
In the New York Times’ recent illuminating piece on women in filmmaking and sexism in Hollywood, Lucasfilm exec Kathleen Kennedy revealed that not a single woman had approached her to write or direct a Star Wars film:
Until I waved the flag at the Fortune women’s conference recently, I had not had one single phone call from a woman telling me that she really, really wants to direct a ‘Star Wars’ movie. They need to be the ones picking up the phone and saying, ‘Hey, let me tell you what ‘Star Wars’ means to me and how much I could do with it.’
This week the LA Times published a feature on the two-day summit held by Women in Film and the Sundance Institute to confront Hollywood’s gender divide, in which they revealed that Adriana Alberghetti, a top-ranking agent at William Morris Endeavor, secured meetings for four unnamed female directors and three writers at Lucasfilm.
While the piece doesn’t offer specific names, it’s easy to speculate: Alberghetti represents directors Sarah Gavron (Suffragette), S.J. Clarkson (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), and screenwriters Linda Woolverton (Maleficent) and Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mad Men). That doesn’t necessarily mean that those are the women who are meeting with Lucasfilm, but it’s quite possible. Clarkson and Noxon are particularly interesting names, given the absolute perfection of Jessica Jones and Noxon’s recent, fantastic breakout series UnREAL.
Lucasfilm has several powerful women working behind the scenes, including Kennedy, Director of Creative Content Strategy Carrie Beck and Senior Vice President of Development Kiri Hart. But there are no women involved in writing or directing any of the franchise’s current crop of sequels and spinoffs.
The only woman to have written a Star Wars script was Leigh Brackett, who passed away before completing work on The Empire Strikes Back; her draft was subsequently discarded. Carrie Fisher did some rewrites for The Phantom Menace — though her work was uncredited.
As of now, Lucasfilm has J.J. Abrams directing The Force Awakens from a script by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, Gareth Edwards directing Rogue One based on a story by Gary Whitta and screenplay by Chris Weitz, Rian Johnson writing and directing Episode 8, Colin Trevorrow directing Episode 9, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller directing the young Han Solo film based on a script by Kasdan.
But there is potential for further sequels and spinoffs, as well as the standalone film to which Josh Trank was previously attached — that project is rumored to center on Boba Fett and is in need of a writer and new director. And Lucasfilm could take a page from Marvel and launch a live-action Netflix series, using TV-friendly talent like Noxon and Clarkson to create a female-driven spinoff show.
Over the summer Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow made some comments suggesting that women didn’t want to direct movies like Star Wars, but these seven female writers and directors meeting with Lucasfilm definitely prove that theory wrong.