Actor Michelle Rodriguez has agreed to return in the ninth installment of the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise, but only after securing agreement for a female writer to join the production. The actress made headlines in June 2017 for an Instagram post in which she threatened to leave the franchise unless producers showed “some love to the women of the franchise on the next one.”
The Golden Globes have once again shut out female directors in three major categories, including Best Director and both Best Motion Picture categories. It’s par for the course for the annual event, which has only ever nominated five women for Best Director in its 90-year history, with only Barbra Streisand (a two-time nominee) going home with a win for her “Yentl.”
Gender-flipping a character from male to female can sometimes change the DNA of the story and character dynamics. Months before “Elementary” premiered in 2012 and introduced Joan Watson (played by a race-lifting Lucy Liu) to replace the traditional Sherlock Holmes sidekick John Watson, producers had to address the change at Comic-Con. Robert Doherty said, “When this opportunity arose, I did a lot of research —psychological assessments of the original characters by actual doctors. One of the things I came across is that Holmes struggles a bit with women. He struggles with people in general, but there are moments when he doesn’t quite seem to get the fairer sex. What could be more trying for Sherlock Holmes than working with Watson as a woman?”
No one goes to action movies for their veracity, but costumes that even look like they could survive the odd plane crash, shipwreck, and tomb-set battle sequence go a long way toward selling a story. Beyond that, moving away from costumes designed to accentuate the assets of those wearing them — yes, usually women — sends the message that these movies are being made with a much bigger audience than adolescent boys.