Filmmker Colin Trevorrow has enjoyed a meteoric rise since his first feature, Safety Not Guaranteed, emerged as a Sundance hit in 2012. He followed up the indie comedy with the blockbuster reboot Jurassic World, and confirmation came last week that he’ll be in the director’s chair for Star Wars: Episode IX.
But as Trevorrow and contemporaries like Gareth Edwards (Godzilla), Josh Trank (Fantastic Four), and Jon Watts (Spider-Man) have been handed the reins of massive studio projects after successful debut films, observers have noted that up-and-coming women directors aren’t getting the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
On Friday, in response to a Twitter question, Trevorrow addressed the dearth of women directors making big-budget Hollywood movies. One factor, he said, is a lack of interest from women directors themselves.
“Many of the top female directors in our industry are not interested in doing a piece of studio business for its own sake,” Trevorrow wrote. “These filmmakers have clear voices and stories to tell that don’t necessarily involve superheroes or spaceships or dinosaurs.”
Trevorrow’s tweet echoed his comments in a recent Los Angeles Times interview, in which he said, “I know many of the female filmmakers who are being referred to in these articles. These women are being offered these kinds of movies, but they’re choosing not to make them. I think it makes them seem like victims to suggest that they’re not getting the opportunities and not artists who know very clearly what kind of stories they want to tell and what films they want to make.”
Trevorrow’s tweet landed with a thud, drawing the ire of actress Jaime King, among others.
“As the next director of @starwars & the rad Jurassic World @colintrevorrow-it’s unfortunate that you believe this,” she tweeted.
Trevorrow replied to King and acknowledged he might have put his foot in his mouth. “I believe that there is an imbalance in our industry that needs to change, and it will,” he wrote. “If I’m muddling my point, I apologize.”
Trevorrow and King’s back-and-forth comes at a time when the underrepresentation of women in Hollywood is increasingly being scrutinized. In May, for example, the ACLU called for state and federal agencies to investigate gender discrimination in film and TV.
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