Warner Brothers deny memo
I do avoid a fair amount of stories that I think are too far fetched or just plain false, and the story that Jeff Robinov over at Warner Brothers had issued a memo to say that women should no longer have the lead in WB films sounded utterly ridiculous.
Such a move would potentially kill a company, especially as it could cut out a huge audience for their films. So it's not really a surprise today that a denial comes from Robinov, and an extremely strong one at that.
Through Variety he says that he is moving forward with various films with women in the lead and is offended by these rumours. Here's a list of films he's working on with women in the lead:
There's a Cameron Diaz film that is in final negotiations; he made aggressive bids for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones and the Sex and the City film (with a bunch of female leads) but lost both; an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel Nights in Rodanthe starring Diane Lane; Spring Breakdown is a comedy about women in their twenties on spring break; the romantic comedy Fool's Gold stars Kate Hudson; then there's The Justice League of America and Watchmen which feature very strong leads from female superhero characters, and not to mention the Wonder Woman film that he's continuing to develop despite it having been on the slate for some ten years.
Okay, that's a fair list. As for the films which the rumour seems to concentrate on as the ones which brought about the alleged memo, well he has a few things to say to address those too.
He believes that The Reaping and The Invasion did poorly because of the bad timing of their release, at the end of a batch of horror films coming from Hollywood at the time. There's also the problem that Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig both refused to promote the film, something that I think might have been down to the director change and the big reshoots.
I think that sounds fair enough. If the memo were real, which I very much doubt, then he's certainly showing that they aren't actively following what was said in it. He makes a closing statement directly about the question of whether or not he would make another action film with a female lead:
"...it has to be the right movie with the right actor and the right filmmaker at the right time."
He's certainly willing to do so, but like The Brave One it has to be right. Let's face it though, sometimes audiences just don't take to a film, and I don't think Foster can be pointed at as a reason for The Brave One not hitting the mark with audiences.