Lady-Power and the ‘Thor 2’ Meltdown — And Some Awesome Gender Journalism

Apparently, Natalie Portman is furious that Patty Jenkins is off Thor 2 — and the studio is worried about keeping her happy in finding a replacement:

While the parties spun the Dec. 6 parting as an amicable split over creative differences, sources say Jenkins was fired without warning from a job that would have made her the first woman to direct a superhero tentpole. The news was out before anyone had told Portman, who had strongly urged Marvel to hire the director of 2003’s Monster (a film that won Charlize Theron her Oscar). According to sources, Portman had begun to question whether she wanted to continue acting at all right now — possibly for several years — because she wants to spend time with her baby boy, who was born last June. Portman was said to be re-engaged in Thor 2 because of Jenkins’ involvement and especially proud that she would have played a role in opening the door for a woman to direct such a film. The Oscar winner is contractually obligated to stay with the project and Marvel studio is now said to be working overtime to smooth over the situation by including her in discussions about whom to hire as a replacement.

I hope she uses that influence to push Marvel to hire a woman as Jenkins’ replacement. Kathryn Bigelow is probably too busy with her bin Laden project and other commitments, but if she could be tempted, it would be amazing. Maybe the entertainment universe could make it up to Mary Harron for the American Psycho remake by giving her a job? Failing that, Mimi Leder, who directed the final episode of HBO’s Luck?

I have to say, I also appreciate the fact that this piece doesn’t treat the studio insiders’ allegations that Jenkins was “indecisive” or that her decisions displayed a “a lack of overall clarity” as if they’re facts. “Exactly how Jenkins should have acted more decisively is unclear since no script was in place,” author Kim Masters points out. And she also reports that a Jenkins insider says that “Jenkins was so explicit about her vision for the film that she didn’t expect to be hired in the first place.” There’s a lot of call to not treat assertions as if they’re equal in political reporting when one side is misrepresenting facts. But we could use a lot more of it in entertainment journalism as well. In between this and Masters’ piece on the durability of the glass ceiling in Hollywood, color me impressed.