Two days after it was announced that Michelle MacLaren—known best for her work on Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul, and as one of TV’s best action directors—was no longer helming Warner Bros.’ upcoming Wonder Woman, the studio has named her replacement. Patty Jenkins, director of the Oscar-winning Charlize Theron vehicle Monster, will take over the reins of the project, according to Variety.
MacLaren and the studio cited that old chestnut, “creative differences,” for the falling out, and it would likely take hogtying one of them with the Lasso of Truth before we ever got the full story behind the split. MacLaren would have been the first woman to direct a major superhero movie and now Jenkins will be. In a twist, Jenkins was previously set to garner that title before leavingThor 2 in 2011 after similar closed-door disagreements with Marvel.
These incidents are also similar to the dismissal of action-comedy master Edgar Wright from Ant-Man and his replacement by Yes Man director Peyton Reed. If the mega-franchise era has returned us to the days of the studio-run Hollywood, before Lew Wasserman and auteur theory mucked with the power dynamic, then it makes sense that these superhero directors are viewed by their employers as fungible, replaceable parts in a larger machine. Still, it’s somewhat disappointing we won’t be seeing MacLaren’s version of Wonder Woman make it to the screen.
Gal Gadot, who will make her first appearance as the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, will play the Amazonian warrior in the film, which is slated to hit screens sometime in 2017.