Hey, Kathleen Kennedy! Rachel Talalay Would Love to Direct Star Wars

Rachel Talalay made her directorial debut in 1991 with Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and her resumé has continued to grow ever since. Is she ready and willing to direct a Star Wars movie? You bet your ass she is.

Talalay, who also famously directed Tank Girl, has been burning her way through geek television properties in the last few years like Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Doctor Who, and Sherlock. Last year the director gave a phenomenal speech about her place in the industry. She said in part, “As a woman director, I’ve had my own battleground. In the big picture, I may look like I’ve held my own, but I haven’t. The scars are deep. And the problems aren’t over, as everyone here knows.”

I’m sure everyone here knows as well. I recently wrote about Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy’s thoughts about bringing women in to direct Star Wars. Her response rubbed a lot of people the wrong way especially when you consider they didn’t apply to how men are routinely hired in Hollywood for the same types of jobs. Kennedy said, “We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do Star Wars, they’re set up for success. They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

Kennedy later updated her thoughts when asked about them at a Rogue One press conference. Speaking to ScreenCrush she said:

ScreenCrush: The Star Wars films have done a lot for female characters and female heroes, but the movies have yet to have a female director. You recently said that a woman who has no experience with blockbusters wasn’t suitable to direct a Star Wars movie, however multiple male directors have had that opportunity. So why is it different for women and — 

Kennedy: That’s not true. This gentleman [points to director Gareth Edwards] did Godzilla before we hired him to direct the movie. And that quote was taken out of context. And I, as you can imagine, have every intention of giving somebody an opportunity. So, if somebody actually moves through the process of making movies and wants to make a Star Wars movie, and shows that they have actually stepped into the role on that level, of course we’re going to consider a woman. That goes without saying.

ScreenCrush: Can you name any female directors that you think have potential to direct a Star Wars movie?

Kennedy: There are many. And I’ve talked to most of them. There are many out there.

When I wrote about this before I highlighted Disney’s issues in particular (and noted they should be leading the charge) but it’s an industry-wide problem that women aren’t considered for blockbusters, whatever the reason. “As a woman, you have to remind people you do the things that you do,” Talalay said in 2014 and it looks like she’s here to remind the world again.

CinemaBlend recently spoke to the director about her interest in directing Star Wars and as you might have guessed from the work she’s leaned toward in the past, she’s very interested:

Absolutely. Are you kidding me? Absolutely. Do I not have enough effects experience and enough nerd pedigree? I think not just Tank Girl but I think Doctor Who in terms of science fiction scope, effects scope, iconic projects, love of science fiction, all of the above. It would be incredible to be involved in one of those projects.

I had brought Talalay up in my initial piece precisely because of all the things she’s listing here. She is perhaps even over-qualified for directing Star Wars. Patty Jenkins recently revealed she first asked Warner Bros. about directing Wonder Woman ten years ago. Let’s not make Talalay wait that long, Disney.

(via /Film, image via BBC)

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  • Pontifex

    In the late eighties/early nineties Disney had more female executives that could greenlight a film than any other studio, and had on site day care… and were paying them a lot less than male executives at any studio.
    At the time, Sherry Lansing and Dawn Steel, for all their press, were flukes.

    P.S.: I always thought that “Tank Girl” was unfairly bagged on.

  • VindicaSean

    I’d also like to throw Lexi Alexander into the discussion, since Punisher: War Zone only underperformed because the marketing wasn’t there. And she’s done DC TV episodes, so you’ve got the sci-fi angle with the superhero properties. Also also, the Wachowski Sisters. I don’t even need to explain how those two fit.

    • I loved War Zone so much! It captured the tone and flavor of an Ennis book and was miles better than the turd that preceded it! (Though that may be in part due to how obnoxiously awful John Travolta is.)

      • VindicaSean

        Also, it had the best pre-credit stinger joke I’ve seen in a long time:

        “Fraaaaaank!”
        *gunshot*
        “Thank you!”

  • Talalay should also be the one to direct Gotham City Sirens.