It would be so, so fantastic if a woman finally got the chance to direct a superhero movie, particularly a superhero movie where the superhero is a guy, and even more particularly a superhero movie with feminist, if underdeveloped, female characters. I refer, of course, to the rumors that Patty Jenkins might be in the running for the job of directing the sequel to Thor.
I haven’t seen Monster, the Aileen Wuornos biopic for which Jenkins is best known. But it suggests she’s pretty fiercely engaged with female complexity. And whatever you think of how the show went after, she did a fantastic job directing the pilot of The Killing, particularly in capturing the spiky dynamic between Linden and Holder without resorting to cliches that would have portrayed Linden as ball-busting or humorless and Holder as cocky. Can you imagine how much fun it would be to have Thor and Sif rocking a slightly competitive, mutually supportive relationship? Not to mention how great it would be to have more attention paid to a superheroine who is not just clothed, but armored, and super-competent? I’d hope they’d hold off on having Sif and Jane compete for Thor’s attentions because yawn, who needs to see that again, and I’d much rather have some characters just be friends in one of these things. But there are a lot of possibilities.
Even if those don’t choose Jenkins, though I hope they do, I’m glad to see that Marvel’s committed to at least considering unusual directorial choices. Kenneth Branagh was a good experiment even if it didn’t quite take, I appreciate that it didn’t scare them off. Getting a woman’s perspective in the director’s chair on one of these things is probably more important, in any case, than bringing in the Shakespearean grandeur. And hey, if this works, maybe we can get Kathryn Bigelow doing a superhero movie some day.