Actress Olivia Wilde made her feature directorial debut with this past weekend’s criminally underseen, R-rated comedy Booksmart. After such an auspicious debut many will be excited to see what Olivia Wilde directs next. As is the case with any exciting new filmmaker, that question naturally leads to the elephant in the cinematic room: Marvel. When asked if she’d be open to it, Olivia Wilde affirmed that she’d be down to direct a Marvel movie, saying:
Totally yeah, absolutely. I think that it's exciting that now women like Ava DuVernay and Chloé Zhao are directing Marvel films and it's exciting to think about what that will do to the franchise. I think it's a proud...I'm a proud member of the movement of female directors, and I don't think there's any genre that should be off the table.
In her interview with MTV International, Olivia Wilde sounds very open to possibly directing a Marvel movie in the future. More than that though she is just genuinely excited that that is a realistic question someone could ask her. That’s because we are seeing more and more female directors get their names out there and get the opportunity to direct big blockbuster movies, like those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Olivia Wilde specifically cites Ava DuVernay and Chloé Zhao as two of the directors helming superhero films and although the former is actually directing The New Gods for DC, her point stands. Chloé Zhao is directing The Eternals for Marvel, and she’s not the only female director putting her stamp on cinema’s most successful franchise. Anna Boden co-directed this year’s Captain Marvel and Cate Shortland is directing the Black Widow solo movie.
And although it’s not Marvel, Patty Jenkins gave us DC’s best movie in Wonder Woman and was paid a handsome sum to return for Wonder Woman 1984. So female directors are getting the kinds of opportunities with huge franchise movies that they didn’t always have, and Olivia Wilde would be happy to join them as the director of a future Marvel film.
Whether Olivia Wilde would be the right director for a Marvel movie or what property she could tackle is impossible to say. She definitely knocked it out of the park on her first big screen effort, and we’ll have to see how she follows it up. The thing she has already showed though is an understanding of character and how to get great performances out of her actors and that is something Marvel looks for in its directors.
It is not blockbuster experience or knowledge of how to handle big action set pieces that Marvel requires for its directors. Joe and Anthony Russo were best known for directing Community before Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Taika Waititi for What We Do in the Shadows and James Gunn for small R-rated fare like Super and Slither.
The point is that Marvel doesn’t look for directors with huge names for their other films; it looks for filmmakers that it has faith can deliver great Marvel movies. You’ll also notice that those names all had success with comedic properties pre-Marvel and Olivia Wilde definitely proved to have a great grasp on comedy with Booksmart.
None of this is to say Olivia Wilde will direct a Marvel movie, as I’d be happy to see her continue making smaller movies like Booksmart. But it isn’t a ludicrous idea and she seems down to do it. I could actually see her as Sue Storm, so maybe she could act and direct by the time Marvel gets its inevitable Fantastic Four reboot off the ground. Just a thought.
Booksmart is now playing. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the movies headed your way this summer.